Congress Considers National Data Privacy Law Written by Richard A. Chapo
Legislation was introduced into Congress this week that would establish a national data privacy law. The bill would require businesses to disclose to consumers any breaches that result in exposure of personal information.
The legislation is a reaction to massive security breaches that have occurred over last year. In most notable breach, over 40 million credit card numbers were exposed in a security breach involving CardSystems, an online processor. LexisNexis, Bank of America and other corporate entities have also suffered breaches exposing personal information of millions of individuals.
Under new legislation, businesses exposing personal information of more than 1,000 individuals would be required to notify individuals. Failure to comply with law would result in penalties of up to $11 million per incident. Interestingly, legislation would bar businesses and schools from putting Social Security numbers on any form of identification.
Upon receiving notice, consumers would be allowed to put a notice on their credit reports, which would prevent any company from providing new credit under their name. This would effectively stop thieves from opening new credit accounts with stolen information.
What is Tax-Deferred Exchange? Written by Neda Dabestani-Ryba
What is Tax-Deferred Exchange?
By Neda Dabestani-Ryba Prudential Carruthers REALTORS
Under Section 1031 of Internal Revenue Code, owners of real estate held for investment or use in a trade or business can swap their property tax-free for "like-kind" real estate. Exchanges are made for people wanting to stay invested in real estate, increase their leverage and to avoid paying hefty taxes upon sale of property. Like Kind - Apartments - Rental Houses - Retail Properties - Commercial - Raw Land - Office Buildings - Industrial - Ranches Non Qualifying Properties - Personal Residences - Dealer Property - Partnership Interests - Inventory Reason to Exchanges - Restoring Depreciation that will soon expire - by exchanging one property for another of greater value. - To upgrade size and/or quality of investment. An exchange can be utilized to combine equity of one or more properties into a larger singular investment. - To change investment location. An exchange can be executed in anticipation of market trends to maximize appreciation potential. 7 Steps for a Successful 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange Step 1: Consult with your tax and financial advisors to determine if a tax deferred exchange is appropriate for your circumstances and compatible with your investment goals. Step 2: Listing Relinquished Property for sale with a licensed real estate broker. During first step Exchanger will list Relinquished Property with a real estate broker. The broker/agent will disclose intent to complete an exchange in listing agreement. Step 3: Offer, Counter Offer and Acceptance. The Exchanger enters into a contract with Buyer for sale/exchange of Relinquished Property. The broker/agent discloses Seller/Exchanger's intent to exchange into Purchase Agreement and Receipt for Deposit. Step 4: Open escrow for Relinquished Property and coordinate with Facilitator. The Facilitator prepares exchange agreement and coordinates with escrow holder to close escrow as Phase I of a tax deferred exchange. Important: The exchange agreement must be in place and signed by all parties prior to close of escrow. Additionally, all earnest money deposits should be placed with title company. Step 5: Replacement Property Identification. After closing escrow for sale of Relinquished Property, Exchanger must identify all Replacement Property within 45 days from day after close of escrow. Step 6: Contracting for Replacement Property. After closing on Relinquished Property Exchanger has 180 days to acquire Replacement Property. With help of his or her agent Exchanger enters into contract to purchase Replacement Property from Seller. In contract to purchase agent discloses Exchanger's intent to complete exchange and obtains Seller's cooperation. Step 7: Open escrow for Replacement Property. The Facilitator prepares Phase II Exchange Agreement and coordinates with Replacement Property Escrow holder. The funds held in trust by Facilitator are placed in escrow and Replacement Property is purchased by Facilitator from seller. The Facilitator then transfers Replacement Property to Exchanger and transaction is closed as Phase II of a delayed exchange. Identification of Replacement Property Regardless of number of relinquished properties transferred by Exchanger as part of same exchange, maximum number of replacement properties that Exchanger can identify is as follows: 3 Property Rule: Three properties without regard to fair market values of replacement properties. Or 200 Percent Rule: Any number of properties as long as their aggregate fair market value as of end of identification period does not exceed 200 percent of aggregate fair market value of all relinquished properties as of date relinquished properties were transferred by Exchanger. Exception 95 Percent Rule: Any number of replacement properties identified before end of identification period and received before end of exchange period, but only if Exchanger receives before end of exchange period identified replacement property fair market value of which is at least 95 percent of aggregate fair market value of all identified replacement properties. Glossary of Terms Accommodator: A principal involved in exchange transaction who agrees to assist exchanger to effect a tax-deferred exchange. Same as Facilitator or intermediary. Accommodating Party: In an exchange of properties there is always a person or entity that steps in to accommodate or facilitate exchange transaction. Depending on how transaction is structured, accommodating party may incur additional liability in their efforts to assist in exchange.