January 13, 2017
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development completed a study analyzing the Boston, Massachusetts housing market. The study found a total need of over 40,000 rental and sales units required to house the residents of Boston, Massachusetts. Additionally, the study uncovers the current economic status of the city as a whole and its relation to housing.
- The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has released 22.6 billion dollars to their three housing programs in the U.S. The three housing programs vary in their support to the public. Their services include loan modification to ensure that residents can remain in their home and refinancing one’s loan to ensure it is federally insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
- Colorado school districts and politicians banned together to provide housing to staff members and students. Rentals in the Colorado have increased at rapid rates. As a result, many school districts have been building their own housing developments to support the housing crisis.
- Anand Parekh and Dennis Shea gave Ben Carson guidelines to help ensure Americans are healthy and have the appropriate housing. The four guidelines range from healthcare, broadband access, to senior living.
- Since 2010, foreclosures in the U.S. have decreased dramatically, a whopping 78.2%. As of November 2016, foreclosures were down 30%. This comes as no surprise because the economy is better and more Americans are employed.
January 11, 2017
Business News Daily quoted me in 6 Big Regulatory Changes That Could Affect Your Business in 2017. It reads, in part,
It’s a new year and there’s a new incoming administration. That means there are likely some big-time regulation changes in the pipeline, not to mention changes that were already on the agenda. Some proposals will fail, while others will pass, but all of them could significantly affect your business in 2017 and beyond.
Top of the list this year are the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the currently suspended change in Department of Labor overtime regulations, and minimum wage or paid sick leave efforts at local and state levels. However, there are a bevy of other potential changes on the horizon that the savvy entrepreneur should be aware of as well.
Here are some of the proposals we’re keeping an eye on this year, and how they might affect small businesses.
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3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) arbitration rules
Proposed rules from the federal CFPB would prohibit what are known as mandatory arbitration clauses in financial products. Those clauses essentially prevent consumers from filing class-action lawsuits against the company in the event that something goes wrong. The rules would instead leave people to litigate on their own, a time-consuming, costly endeavor that often has very little payoff in the end.
“It is expected that the Obama administration will issue the final rule before President-elect Trump’s inauguration,” David Reiss, research director of the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at the Brooklyn Law School, said. “Entrepreneurs with consumer credit cards should expect that they could join class actions involving financial products. They should also expect that credit card companies will be more careful in setting the terms of their agreements, given this regulatory change.”
Reiss added that the final adoption or rejection of these rules is also subject to the Congressional Review Act, which empowers Congress to invalidate new federal regulations. Even if the rules were adopted, Congress could ultimately reject them.
“Republicans have been very critical of the proposed rule, which they see as anti-business,” Reiss said.
- Effects of FHA Loan Limit Increases by ESA 2008: Housing Demand and Adverse Selection, Hwang, Miller, and Order.
- Public Investment and Housing Price Appreciation: Evidence from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Westrupp.
- Importance of Demographics for Housing in the OECD Economies, Arestis and Gonzalez-Martinez.
- Geographic Proximity and Managerial Alignment: Evidence from Asset Sell-Offs by Real Estate Investment Trusts, Glascock, Wang, and Zhou.
January 10, 2017
Politico quoted me in Selling His Empire Would Cost Trump Money. A Lot of It. It opens,
Donald Trump’s critics say the only way for him to keep his business interests separate from the public’s interest is to simply get out of business entirely, selling his companies and putting the proceeds into anonymous assets that someone else can manage.
But there’s nothing simple about it: unloading a real estate empire as large as Trump’s is a lengthy, complicated process fraught with ethical pitfalls, one that could end up costing a fortune.
“He has to make a choice,” said David Reiss, director of Brooklyn Law’s Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship. “How much pain is he willing to take?”
Trump, who’s expected to lay out a plan to address conflicts of interest at a press conference Wednesday, heads a particularly difficult estate to unwind. Forbes has pegged his net worth at $3.7 billion in September, attributing most of that to real property holdings tangled in debt, partnership agreements, management contracts, branding deals and tax deferrals.
Ethics watchdogs say Trump’s cleanest break would be to sell his company to the public, but an initial public offering — especially one that folds in most or all of Trump’s scattered businesses — would be complicated, costly and time-consuming.
“The nature of the business doesn’t lend itself to going public,” said Jan Baran, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s election law and government ethics practice. “Rolling in all the real estate and the royalty contracts and all the other orphans like wineries and steaks, it’s a little hard to imagine any public companies that resemble what his business is, because it’s such a hodgepodge of things. It would take a while, it would take at least a year.”
What’s more, Baran noted, an IPO would require underwriters to raise capital and pull together an offering — raising new concerns about investment firms potentially currying favor with the new administration.
“Are the ethics complainers willing to let Goldman Sachs do the underwriting on this public offering?” he said. “Somebody’s got to put it together.”
Even if Trump chose to skip the IPO and just liquidate his assets via direct sales, he’d face a complex task — and a costly one.
“This would be an extraordinarily difficult situation,” said Neil Shapiro, a law partner at Herrick Feinstein in New York. “It would certainly be unprecedented in terms of somebody liquidating a portfolio of this size. We’re in uncharted territories here.”
The problems start with finding a buyer. The pool of people shopping for, say, a Fifth Avenue skyscraper is small, and only the buyer and seller can say for sure whether the price paid is fair. As such, selling a property raises nearly as many ethical quandaries for Trump as owning it. A buyer looking to curry favor with the next president might pay too much. Another might do Trump a favor by making a quick deal while paying too little.
- The Federal Housing Authority reduced yearly insurance premiums on a great deal of mortgages. This reduction is slated to save homeowners at least $500 this year due to the “quarter of a percent” reduction.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is concerned about the housing and reading needs of underprivileged children across the U.S. The agency recently partnered with other organizations to ensure children in public housing have a “book rich” environment to promote reading and the value of an education.