SBA announces the return of the 504 loan refinance program

In late May of this year the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has re-established the debt refinancing program consistent with the more well- known SBA 504 loan programs.  The 504 loan program was historically only available to purchasers of commercial property.  The debt refinancing program, while available several years ago, was temporary.  The program, which expired in 2012, is has now been made permanent.

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The benefit of SBA financing, and more specifically, debt refinancing, is that borrowers who are approved and funded have a fixed mortgage rate for 20 years.  In today’s commercial loan market, it is very difficult to obtain fixed rate financing, and almost never for 20 years.  Also, the interest rates which are set at funding have recently seen historic low rates.  For June 2016, the 20 year rate was about 4.3%.

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Applications are being accepted after June 24, 2016 and borrowers have to meet certain criteria, including, but not limited to, that the debt being refinanced must be “qualified debt” as that term is defined in the act, the borrowers must be current on their existing debt payments for at least one year prior to applying, and the assets to be secured (real estate or personal property) must qualify as “eligible assets.”  There are a host of other rules and regulations concerning these government guaranteed loans.  Therefore if you are interested in learning more about the SBA 504 Debt Refinance Program, the lawyers at Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro can answer your questions and introduce you to a Certified Development Company that can assist you with an application.

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Update On Regulations Defining And Delimiting The Overtime Exemptions For Executive, Administrative And Professional Employees

On May 18, 2016 the Department of Labor announced that it will publish a Final Rule updating the exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Final Rule updates the salary level required for exemptions to ensure that the Fair Labor Standards Act intended overtime protections are fully implemented and to make the exemption for executives, administrative and professional employees easier to understand and apply.

The focus of the Final Rule is primarily updating the salary and compensation levels needed for executive, administrative and professional employees to be exempt.  Specifically, in part, the Final Rule:

  1. Sets the standard salary level at $913 per week or $47,476 annually for a full-year worker;
  2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees subject to the “minimum duties test” to $134,004;
  3. Establish a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years (this will begin January 1, 2020); and
  4. Amends the “salary basis test” to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonus and incentive payments to satisfy up to 10% of the new standard salary level.

Department of Labor updating the exemption of executive, administrative and professional employees from the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Final Rule goes into effect on December 1, 2016.  If you are a business trying to determine how the Final Rule affects how you operate your business, contact one of the Employment Lawyers at Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. to ensure that your business is prepared to be compliant with the Final Rule. – Susan M. Molinari.

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Tips on Filling Out Your Financial Statement Correctly in Divorce Matters

In all divorce cases it is required that the parties each complete a Financial Statement.  The Financial Statements are exchanged between the parties and filed with the Court.  Financial Statements are signed under the pains and penalties of perjury, therefore itis imperative that the information contained on your financial statement be accurate and contain all the required information.. For example, if one party fails to include an asset in his/her Financial Statement, that asset is subject to division even after the Separation Agreement has been approved by the Court.  It is important to distinguish who owns an asset listed on your Financial Statement; you only want to list the interest and dividends income produced by assets that you own.  Where assets are jointly owned, you should include only one-half (½) of the dividend and interest income and make this indication on the Financial Statement.

Financial Statments

Although Financial Statements are filed with the Court, they are impounded to protect your personal information; this means that access is limited to the parties, attorneys of record and the court.  Your Financial Statement must include all of your income.  If you are self-employed you must file a Schedule A to your Financial Statement.  Much of the information needed from the Schedule A may be taken from your income tax returns; however some deductions on your income taxes are not deductions for purposes of your Financial Statement.  For example, a depreciation deduction is appropriate for income tax purposes but not on your Financial Statement.

In addition to disclosing assets, parties must set forth their actual and anticipated expenses on their respective Financial Statements. It is not uncommon to have to estimate expenses particularly in cases where the other party was primarily responsible for the finances.  It is important to make a footnote indicating that these expenses have in fact been estimated.  Furthermore, reasonable anticipated expenses should be footnoted.

In a divorce matter, a Financial Statement is given great weight by the court in reviewing the assets and expenses of the parties, and therefore should be completed with great care and caution. Should you require assistance in the preparation of a Financial Statement you should contact the family law team at Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. – Lisa Bond.

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BBB mourns the passing of our colleague Attorney Douglas C. Purdy

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that our firm mourns the passing of our colleague and friend Attorney Douglas C. Purdy

Purdy Doug @500

February 10, 1943 – May 25, 2016

Doug practiced law in Quincy for over 30 years with Serafini, Purdy, DiNardo & Wells and for the last eight years with Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. He will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

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Why Do I Need a Health Care Proxy or Durable Power of Attorney?

If you have failed to plan for your personal incapacity by designating an agent to act as your Attorney in Fact under a Durable Power of Attorney or as an Agent under a Health Care Proxy, the person who will make these personal decisions on your behalf will be determined not by you, but by a Judge in the Probate Court.  Many people recognize the benefits of having their estate avoid the Probate Court upon death, but most people forget that it is equally important to avoid the Probate Court in the event of an illness or incapacity during their lifetime.

Power of Attorney

In the event that you are incapacitated or gravely ill such that you cannot make decisions for yourself and you do not have either a Heath Care Proxy or a Durable Power of Attorney , your spouse, child, sibling or a friend will have to petition the Probate Court to be named your Guardian and Conservator.  There is also the possibility that the Probate Court will appoint someone that is unfamiliar with you and your needs, something that can happen without proper planning.

The Probate Court will appoint a Guardian who will be charged with the duty of making personal decisions on your behalf.  Those decisions are very personal and include health care choices, personal care choices, and decisions for your long term medical care.   In addition, the Probate Court will appoint a Conservator of your estate; this person will be charged with managing your finances.  Both of these court appointed agents will be required to get permission from the Probate Court to take action on many matters, including matters involving your property.  As a result, the Probate Court has an unnecessarily high level of control over your well-being and assets, which is also costly as the fees and costs from the Probate Court’s review will come from your assets.

To protect yourself in the event of incapacity and to ensure that decisions regarding your health care and finances will be made in your best interest by a friend or family member of your choosing, consult with a Probate attorney at Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. to get your Health Care Proxy and Durable Power of Attorney drafted today. – Christopher Sullivan.

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