At the November meeting of the Lancaster Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Council, Rich Weeber of Regal Abstract warned of the problems that the “Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act” or FIRPTA could cause in real estate transactions. In a room full of real estate professionals, we discovered that some people had no idea what FIRPTA was, and the rest of us only worked through it when we had to. It didn’t seem like anyone felt 100% comfortable with what to do if it came up.

This post will explain what FIRPTA is, what to do if it applies in a real estate transaction, and the dangers of not paying attention to it.

What is FIRPTA?

Congress enacted FIRPTA in 1980 to manage foreign investment in U. S. real estate. (I remembered it as a reaction to Japanese investors buying American property, such as Pebble Beach Golf Course, Rockefeller Center and lots of other Manhattan properties in the 1980’s, but it turns out the law was passed before those things happened.) The goal of FIRPTA is to capture income when a “Foreign Person” sells “U. S. Real Estate.”
Continue Reading What is FIRPTA, and What Do I Need to Know About It?

This post was originally published on December 3, 2020 and updated on December 6, 2021.

This time of the year, our thoughts turn to family and friends.  Maybe we reflect on the past year or look forward to the next.  For association boards and property managers, these happy thoughts are interrupted by questions about snow removal. When do we call snowplows? What kinds of deicers should we use? And does our association have any liability for slips and falls?
Continue Reading HOA Snow Removal: Your Questions Answered

In Part 4 of this series, I discussed how the Automatic Stay stops collection efforts against Unit Owners. In this entry, I want to go through a typical timeline for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case — mostly from the Association’s perspective. I do not intend this to be an exact breakdown of the Bankruptcy Court’s filing deadlines and procedures. Rather, this is more of a general, “what to expect” timeline.

Before I do so, remember that when a Unit Owner files for Bankruptcy, they usually have debts that they cannot pay without that help. In our situation, it usually means that they are far behind on their mortgage and/or assessments. Very often, a Unit Owner files for Bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure by the Bank or the Association. When a Unit Owner files for Bankruptcy, they often owe thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to the Association and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the mortgage company.
Continue Reading Condominiums, Homeowners’ Associations and Bankruptcy: The Lifecycle of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Does your business need to file a decennial report? If you have received a postcard from the Pennsylvania Department of State Revenue Department OR have not made a new or amended filing with the Bureau of Corporations in Pennsylvania, this is your reminder to do your decennial report filing by December 31, 2021.

What is a Decennial Filing?

A decennial filing is a report that must be filed with the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations of Pennsylvania by each domestic or foreign business entity every ten years. The purpose of the decennial is to identify business names and marks that are no longer being used. Those not in use will be reissued and placed back into the stream of commerce.

The Bureau should have mailed you a notice to make a decennial filing at the registered office address of your entity. However, if your business did not receive this notice, it does not mean your business is exempt.
Continue Reading Don’t Lose Your Name: Filing a Decennial Report

Frank Hosking joined Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP in August 2021 after graduating from the Drexel University Thomas E. Kline School of Law. While attending law school, Frank participated in Drexel’s estate planning clinic and worked as a law clerk for the law office of Peter A. Levin. During his third year at Drexel, Frank interned at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, a Delaware business and litigation firm.

Frank’s clients appreciate his analytical approach. Whether he provides guidance to clients during the estate planning and estate administration process or provides counsel in litigation and business matters, his thorough analysis of each unique situation is critical. His time with the estate planning clinic and his experience drafting post-conviction relief act petitions and appeal briefs highlighted the importance of understanding the exact needs of each client to maximize the effectiveness of the legal representation. Frank utilizes those skills in his practice at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, ensuring each client receives the personal attention needed to provide the best possible representation in various practice areas.

Frank currently resides in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Ben Gingrich is a Lancaster County native, growing up in Lititz, Pennsylvania and graduating from Lancaster Catholic High School. He began his legal career as a Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Howard F. Knisely of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County and gained additional experience while serving as a summer associate for a law firm in York, Pennsylvania.
 
As a Clerk in the Court of Common Pleas, Ben drafted legal briefs on a variety of issues and often worked with criminal appeals, premise liability, and landlord/tenant disputes. During his tenure as a Clerk, Ben was also able to observe the decision-making process from the judicial perspective. That experience assists in shaping his legal strategies and enhances his ability to provide effective legal counsel for his clients at Russell, Krafft & Gruber.

 
As a homegrown attorney, Ben understands the nuances of the Lancaster legal community which will help him negotiate more effectively and obtain the best results for his clients. Ben resides in Leola with his girlfriend Madison.

LNP has announced the winners of their 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards for favorite local businesses. We’re proud to announce that Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP has been named the number one Law Firm in Lancaster County.

We are honored and grateful to have such loyal clients who voted for us to receive the top spot in this category, and we look forward to continuing in this tradition of excellence to the community.

RKG offers services in three locations in Lancaster County, including our brand-new Lancaster location at North Pointe:
Continue Reading RKG Voted Best Law Firm in LNP’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards

Due to increased property foreclosures, Lancaster County has developed a new Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program (RMFD).  The Program gives a separate pathway that residential mortgage foreclosures need to follow.  Hopefully, the RMFD will allow homeowners to work out mortgage defaults without losing their homes through foreclosure.  If so, the RMFD has the added bonus of taking some foreclosure cases out of the Court’s schedule.

Eligibility

A homeowner with a mortgage in default is eligible for the program if the home:

  • is owner-occupied
  • is the owner’s primary residence
  • is part of a building with four or fewer residential units
  • has a remaining balance on the Mortgage of $400,000 or less
  • is not part of any bankruptcy, divorce or estate proceedings

Continue Reading New Foreclosure Process in Lancaster County

The Lancaster office of Russell, Krafft & Gruber has finally moved into our new home, and we look forward to serving you from our new offices at 101 North Pointe Boulevard.

Our attorneys and staff are excited to meet with you in our updated space beginning on August 9, 2021.

Please use our new address for all correspondence:

101 North Pointe Boulevard

Suite 202

Lancaster, PA 17601

Continue Reading We’ve Moved!

Exciting changes are happening at Russell, Krafft & Gruber as we prepare to move our Hempfield office to our new location this summer:

101 North Pointe Boulevard

Suite 202 (2nd Floor)

Lancaster, PA 17601

map of the old RKG offices and the new ones we're moving to

Click here to go directly to Google Maps for directions

Centrally located at North Pointe on the second floor of the PNC Bank Building, our new offices are right off Oregon Pike and Route 30 just minutes from downtown Lancaster. They feature updated spaces designed to accommodate the needs of our clients and the delivery of legal services in 2021 and beyond.

What’s not changing is the exceptional representation and personalized service you can count on from the same attorneys and staff you know at RKG.  You can also expect the same great service at our Ephrata and Willow Street locations which remain the same.

For our Lancaster clients, please continue to visit us at 930 Red Rose Court, and we’ll update the blog when our move date is set. We look forward to seeing you there!