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Michigan Abolished Dower
by Robert Franco | 2017/02/01

Michigan's dower statute has been on the books for more than 170 years.  Only a handful of states recognize dower rights, and the number is shrinking.  Interestingly, in Michigan the legislature finally took the steps to get rid of it because it would have needed to be revised in light of Obergefell v. Hodges (legalizing gay marriages).  

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Categories: Dower, Real Estate Law

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The Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") Allows Tax Credits for Small Employers
by Robert Franco | 2013/08/16

One of the premier goals of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") is to get everyone covered by some form of health insurance. The main aspect most people hear about is the "mandate" that employers provide health insurance to their employees. While this mandate only applies to those employers with 50 or more employees (and it has been delayed until 2015) the ACA encourages small businesses to provide health care coverage by offering attractive tax credits.  Proper understanding of the ACA, and some planning, can help you maximize your tax credit.

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Categories: Tax Law

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Ohio Minimum Wage Increased to $7.85/Hour
by Robert Franco | 2013/01/03

Effective January 1, 2013, the minimum wage in Ohio has increased 15 cents to $7.85/hour.

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Categories: Business Law

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Ohio House Republicans Aiming to Repeal Ohio's Estate Tax
by Robert Franco | 2011/04/29

Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives have announced changes they want to make to the Governor's budget, including eliminating the Ohio estate tax by 2013.

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Categories: Probate and Estate Planning

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DIY Wills and Trusts
by Robert Franco | 2011/03/03

There is a lot to be said for "doing it yourself," and saving a little money.  I get that.  These days, you can find templates for Wills and Trusts online with the click of a mouse.  You can purchase pre-printed forms, for a few dollars, that seem very simple to complete yourself.  The appeal of DIY Wills and Trusts is easy to see.  Who wants to pay an attorney a few hundred dollars when it all seems so easy, right?

Well... it isn't always the bargain it seems.

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Categories: Probate and Estate Planning

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Unemployment Benefits No Longer Count As Income Under HAMP
by Robert Franco | 2010/09/22

For a while at least, borrowers attempting to modify their mortgages under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) were able to use their unemployment benefits to show enough income to qualify.  Fannie Mae has reconsidered this approach and unemployment benefits will no longer be counted as income.

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Categories: Foreclosure Alternatives

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Help Now Available for Homeowners Underwater on Their Mortgages
by Robert Franco | 2010/09/08

In an effort to help responsible homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth, the government recently announced an FHA Short Refinance Option.  This program would allow underwater homeowners to refinance and get at least 10% of their mortgage forgiven permanently.  There are some qualification requirements, but those who qualify could take advantage of the program to reduce their mortgage debt.

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Categories: Foreclosure Alternatives

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Fannie Mae May Penalize Loan Servicers for Foreclosure Delays
by Robert Franco | 2010/09/03

Fannie Mae recently announced its Foreclosure Time Frames and Compensatory Fees for Breach of Servicing Obligations.  It updated the allowable foreclosure time frames for four states (FL, MD, NV, and NY) and stated that it may begin conducting reviews of servicer loan files, processes, or procedures.  Where Fannie Mae finds delays in foreclosures, it will exercise its remedy to assess compensatory fees as deemed necessary.

This could mean that servicers will pursue foreclosures more aggressively to get more cases through the process within the allowable guidelines.

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Categories: Foreclosure

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Foreclosure Prevention Scams: Be Aware!
by Robert Franco | 2010/06/29

With so many homeowners in foreclosure, there are plenty of potential victims for scammers to prey on.  They are easy to find and desparate enough to be willing to try anything.  It is a dream come true for con artists who have a plethora of scams to run on unsuspecting homeowners who are in need of help.  The myriad of government programs, often complex in nature, make it easy for them to make their scam sound legitimate.  Homeowners need to be aware of the variety of schemes designed to rip them off.

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Categories: Foreclosure

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Alt Mod Provides Hope for More Homeowners
by Robert Franco | 2010/06/15

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has been less than a stellar success.  Very few of those who have been through the modification process have been getting permanent modifications.  Often times, they go through a very lengthy application process and trial period plan only to find out that they don't qualify and are then even further behind in their payments.  Now, there is hope for many of them.  The Alt Mod program may finally spur the number of modification that was originally anticipated by HAMP.

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Categories: Foreclosure

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Robert A. Franco, J.D., LL.M.

1007 Lexington Ave.
Mansfield, OH 44907

419-524-5938 | Phone
888-764-3525 | Fax

Admitted to:

 

  • Ohio Supreme Court
  • Federal District Court - Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
  • Bankruptcy Court - Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court  

Announcements

January 2, 2014: Attorney Franco will be teaching Business Law, Real Estate Law, and Real Estate Transactions at North Central State College this Spring semester.

August 10, 2013: Attorney Franco will be teaching Business Law at North Central State College this fall semester.

August 8, 2012: Attorney Franco will be teaching Business Law at North Central State College this fall semester.

December 8, 2010:  Attorney Franco will be teaching Real Estate Law at North Central State College this winter quarter. 

June 15, 2010:  Attorney Franco was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch: Ohio outlaws real-estate transfer fee that would have benefited developers.

May 18, 2010: Attorney Franco earned his LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree in Business and Taxation from Capital University Law School.

 April 16, 2010: Attorney Franco was quoted in CommonWealth Magazine: Private developers ape BRA controversial resale fees.

March 6, 2010: Attorney Franco was quoted in the Washington Post
A new real estate cost to watch out for: Developer's private transfer fee.

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