Excessive Bail & Pennsylvania Bail Laws

pennsylvania bail laws

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,” Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The New York Times, in a recent feature article on March 31, 2018, discussed the current state of the bail system within the United States. Although the Constitution holds that a criminal defendant shall not be held on excessive bail, the current practice does not always adhere to that. Many defendants on the margins of society find themselves having to choose between incarceration, or using their homes, vehicles or life savings as collateral in order to have their freedom while defending themselves against criminal charges.

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Child Custody Presentation at the 6th Annual Chester County Single Mothers’ Conference

chester county child custody

On April 14, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking at the 6th Annual Chester County Single Mother’ Conference at Henderson High School in West Chester.  The free conference was devoted to encouraging, educating and empowering single mothers in their role as sole provider for the family.  More than seventy (70) exhibitors and speakers provided resources and activities including workshops, clinics and demonstrations on parenting, self-defense, custody, child support, finances and more.  The conference was organized by the Chester County Community Collaborative in partnership with the Chester County Women’s Commission.

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OWM Newsletter – Real Estate Transactions and For Sale by Owner

FEATURE ARTICLE – David A. Megay, Esquire discusses the different ways realtors assist property owners with real estate transactions, including transactions where property owners are selling property by themselves.

STAFF SPOTLIGHT – Meet Tori L. Walker, Legal/Administrative Assistant

OWM FIRM NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS – Melissa A. Iacobucci, Esquire, Kathleen M. Martin, Esquire, CELA, Rebecca A. Hobbs, Esquire, CELA, and David A. Megay, Esquire have upcoming speaking engagements.

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OWM Blog – Child Support in Pennsylvania | High Income Cases

Child Support in Pennsylvania

As I was browsing the internet the other day, I came across the following headline: “Kevin Federline is Making Child Support Money Grab.”  The name Kevin Federline may not sound very familiar, but I bet if I told you who his ex-wife is, your memory may be refreshed.  Kevin Federline, or K-Fed as he is affectionately known, is the ex-husband of Britney Spears.  As someone who grew up listening to Britney and is now a family law attorney – we’ve obviously taken different career paths – I was instantly intrigued and clicked on the article.  Kevin and Britney share physical custody of two sons, and recently, Kevin reached out to Britney about renegotiating the amount of child support she pays to him.  According to the article, Kevin has asked for double the whopping $20,000 he currently collects monthly from Britney.  The basis for his request is Britney’s success as a headliner in Las Vegas.  According to one article, her Las Vegas residence brought in more than $137 million.

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OWM Blog – Real Estate Transactions and For Sale by Owner

Some of my closest friends, business associates, and new client referral sources, are realtors. Realtors do a wonderful job of assessing fair market value, marketing properties, finding Buyers and vetting their financial ability, negotiating real estate transactions and closing same, etc. However, some Sellers are able to find a Buyer, and sell real estate, without the use of a realtor. We work closely with Sellers, with or without realtors, in the handling and processing of a real estate transaction.

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Staff Spotlight: Tori L. Walker – April 2018

Staff Spotlight: Tori L. Walker - April 2018In this month’s Staff Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Tori L. Walker. Tori has been with O’Donnell, Weiss and Mattei since February, 2017. She is the Legal/Administrative Assistant to David A. Megay, Esquire, Joseph K. Koury, Esquire, and James C. Kovaleski, Esquire and works closely with each in the areas of real estate, business law and business planning. Anyone who has been to the Phoenixville office will already recognize Tori since she is usually the first person our visitors see when they visit our Phoenixville office. Tori also provides assistance in processing payments, opening new files, maintaining several OWM file logs, and just generally helping anyone who needs assistance. …

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OWM Blog – Do I Need Title Insurance? | Title Insurance in PA

How to Know if you Need Title Insurance in PA

title insurance in pa

As a lawyer handling real estate transactions, as well as a title insurance agent for Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, buyers often ask me if I really “need” to buy title insurance.  The answer, like most legal issues, is not as clear…in essence, it depends!

Conventional Lenders

Quite simply, the answer to the question “Do I need title insurance?” is dictated by your lender if you are financing the purchase price of the property.  Quite simply, a “conventional lender” is almost always going to require title insurance as a condition of obtaining the loan necessary to either purchase the subject real estate or to refinance any or all of the indebtedness (i.e. loans, judgements, etc.) associated with the subject real estate.  The conventional lender is going to require that the borrower purchase title insurance with coverage at least equaling the amount of the loan, as the lender is going to want insurance that their loan is secured by a mortgage against the proper real estate parcel, the mortgage is recorded against the proper real estate parcel, and the lien position of the mortgage is in, usually, first position.  For example, you may be buying a $200,000 property and financing $150,000 of that purchase.  As a result, the conventional lender will require that you buy title insurance with a coverage for the lender in at least the amount of the mortgage (i.e. $150,000).  The borrower/ buyer does not have to purchase $200,000 worth of title insurance; just enough title insurance coverage to insure the $150,000 mortgage.  However, the cost of buying the additional $50,000 worth of title insurance, for a total of $200,000, is nominal and the $200,000 title insurance policy will cover both the owner and the lender.

Private Lenders

There is always a chance that the lender will not require title insurance; however, almost all “conventional lenders” (i.e. banks, mortgage companies, etc.) will require title insurance.  A “private lender” (i.e. investor, family member, friend, etc.) may not bother requiring title insurance.  When we represent private lenders, we always recommend that they require that the borrower, as a condition of the loan, purchase title insurance as we want to make sure that our client’s loan is a secured mortgage that is in first position and is properly recorded against the correct real estate parcel.  However, that private lender certainly has the option of not requiring title insurance.

What If I Pay with Cash?

Finally, someone buying real estate with “cash” (i.e. not requiring any kind of financing) does not “need” title insurance.  That “cash buyer” has the option of buying title insurance. However, we almost always recommend that the buyer purchase title insurance as it is a relatively nominal expense in the overall context.  This is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime and the title insurance company will handle the entire transaction, the settlement agent will conduct closing, etc.  The only time that it makes sense to not buy title insurance is when you are getting ownership of a piece of property as a gift from a family member (i.e. grandma gifts her home to you, your parents transfer ownership of their investment property to you, etc.).

Do I “need” title insurance?  Hopefully, the above makes it clear that you only “need” title insurance when you are dealing with a conventional lender; when not, you should still purchase title insurance with few exceptions (i.e. a gift from a family member).

Do you have additional questions regarding title insurance in PA? Contact OWM Law today.