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    New Federal Laws for Residential Real Estate Sales Applies August 1st

    Monday, June 22, 2015

    If you are buying or selling real estate and the buyer is financing the transaction with a loan and mortgage, new federal laws entitled "Know Before You Owe" may affect your purchase contract. For closings where the buyer applies for their residential loan on or after August 1st, new HUD closing statements, lender disclosures, and time limitations apply. Most notable is that lenders must meet disclosure deadlines (including last minute changes to the closing statements), or the sale cannot close on the scheduled date. Failure to meet these deadlines can result in delayed closings, loss of earnest money, and breach of contract. While the new disclosure laws should simplify the information provided to borrowers, sellers and buyers should expect some "growing pains" while the system is converted. We encourage all sellers and buyers with questions about the new rules to contact one of our real estate attorneys for assistance with their offer to purchase and closing. An amendment has been proposed to delay the effective date of the new rules until October 1st. Pinkert Law Firm LLP will keep you updated as information develops regarding "Know Before You Owe."


    PLF Attorneys Volunteer to Build New Community Playground

    Monday, June 08, 2015

    Ymca

    Attorneys James R. Smith, Jon R. Pinkert and their families volunteered with the Door County YMCA on Saturday June 6th to help build a new playground at Peterson Park. Close to 200 volunteers built the new playground in approximately six hours through generous donations from Kaboom!, Baylake Bank, the Raibrook Foundation, and the Auricchio family. Attorney Pinkert serves on the Board of Directors for the Door County YMCA.

     

     


    Legal Aid Society

    Friday, May 01, 2015

    The Legal Aid Society of Door County, Inc. had a volunteer recognition event on April 30th, 2015, sponsored in part by Pinkert Law Firm LLP. Attorneys Richard Hauser, Jennifer Hobart, and Amy Sullivan were recognized for volunteering their time and efforts to the organization over the past year with pro bono legal services. Pinkert Law Firm is proud to support the mission of the Legal Aid Society to help meet the legal needs of the poor in our community.


    Pinkert Law Firm Supports the Boys and Girls Club of Door County

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Partners James Smith and Randy Nesbitt of the Pinkert Law Firm recently presented a $5000 check to Julie Davis, Executive Director of the Door County Boys & Girls Club. The Pinkert Law Firm believes in equality and fairness in their representation of their clients and sees the value of instilling those qualities in the next generation. "The Boys & Girls Club is working to develop good character, civic engagement and academic success in Door County youth. We're proud to make an investment supporting our youth and the future of Door County."

     


    Habitat for Humanity

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Habitat

    Pinkert Law Firm LLP is proud to support Door County Habitat for Humanity, Ltd. and assist them in providing its 37th home to Door County residents. Attorney Amy Sullivan assisted with the most recent Habitat closing to a new home owner. The new homeowner proudly received the keys to her new home at the Closing at Pinkert Law Firm. From left to right: Greg Dietz - Habitat Board President, Christine Loose - Lakeshore CAP, Panfila J. - new homeowner, David Van Dyke - Habitat Executive Director, Denise Plassmeyer - Title Services of Door County, and Amy Sullivan - Pinkert Law Firm LLP.

     


    Mandatory E-Filing of Court Documents is Likely Coming Soon

    Wednesday, October 08, 2014

    Currently, only 27 counties in Wisconsin allow for optional electronic filing ("e-filing") of court documents, and the State Bar reports that very few cases in those counties are actually e-filed. To promote efficiency in the justice system and reduction of paper documents, the Committee of Chief Judges and the CCAP Steering Committee have recommended that all attorneys be required to e-file in Wisconsin Circuit Courts. The chief judges plan to file a rule petition before the end of the year to ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to adopt mandatory e-filing. The proposal will have a three-year rollout period from 2016-2019 that would phase-in e-filing with each county. You can read the proposal at http://www.wicourts.gov/ecourts/efilecircuit.htm . Pinkert Law Firm LLP will continue to follow updates regarding mandatory e-filing in the future so that we are ready to advise our clients on the proper procedures for filing court documents as the new rules develop. Source: Bousquet, Jean & Vandercook, Marcia, "Mandatory E-Filing May be Coming Soon to the Courts Near You," Wisconsin Lawyer, Vol. 87, No. 9 (Oct. 2014).


    Juvenile Expungement Update

    Friday, June 06, 2014

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently decided State v. Matesek. The Court held that in order to be eligible for juvenile expungement, the court must order at the time of sentencing that the defendant is eligible. A defendant cannot seek expungement after sentencing if it was not ordered at that time. Wisconsin Assembly Bill 818 was previously introduced in the legislature in February. The Bill proposed changing the law so that someone convicted of a crime who qualifies for juvenile expungement could petition for it at any time, including after successful completion of his or her sentence. However, as of April 8, 2014, the bill failed to pass pursuant to a Senate Joint Resolution. If you would like to consult with an attorney to see if you qualify for juvenile expungement, contact our office to make an appointment.


    Recent Developments in Juvenile Expungement Law

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Currently, Wisconsin law permits a person who was convicted of a criminal misdemeanor or certain felonies to petition the court for expungement of their criminal record. An expungement does not overturn a conviction. Instead, it essentially seals your criminal record, which results in the case being removed from the Wisconsin Circuit Court Public Access website.

    Wisconsin Statute s. 973.015 provides a very narrow set of circumstances which must apply in order to be eligible for expungement. The person must be under the age of 25 at the time of sentencing (but, under 21 if sentenced prior to July 1, 2009). Additionally, a person must have successfully been discharged from probation and completed their sentence, including not committing any subsequent offense. Finally, the eligibility for expungement must have been ordered at the time of sentencing. That means that if a defendant did not request to be eligible for expungement when sentenced, it is very likely that it was not ordered, and the defendant is ineligible.

    A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case challenged whether expungement could be ordered at a time later than sentencing. State v. Matesek held that the statute was clear that expungement must be ordered at the time of sentencing, and the court looked to the Wisconsin Legislature to change the law based on policy reasons. The case is currently awaiting an opinion on review by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

    In January 2014, the Wisconsin State Bar's Board of Governors voted to support legislative efforts to expand expungement remedies. Assembly Bill 818 was introduced on February 27th, 2014. The Bill would permit the courts to revisit the expungement determination after sentencing and would permit a defendant to petition for expungement after sentencing. The Bill has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. If the Bill becomes law, it may broadly expand the opportunities for people who committed crimes as juveniles or young adults to expunge their criminal records. Pinkert Law Firm LLP will continue to follow these law updates. If you were convicted of a crime under the age of 25 and are curious if you are eligible for juvenile expungement, please call our office to make an appointment with one of our attorneys.


    Scam Affecting Real Estate Owners

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal recently reported on an investigation they conducted into a scam which tries to trick homebuyers into buying useless documents.  The report states that private companies are sending letter to new homebuyers requesting an $83 fee to receive copies of their deed and othe rpublicly available information.  The letters look official, and despite having a fine-print disclaimer, the letters are often mistaken for official government documents.

    However, new homebuyers will receive their original deed from either the Register of Deeds or their title company for free after recording.  Additional copies can be obtained from the Register of Deeds office for a minimal fee.

    For more information on the scam, visite http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/pi/scam-tricks-new-homeowners-into-buying-useless-documents-b99200536z1-245195821.html.

    If you ever have any questions about a real estate transfer, including whether requested fees are legitimate, call our office at 920-743-6505 to make an appointment with one of our real estate attorneys.

     

     


    New Law Makes it Easier to Show Proof of Automobile Insurance

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Every six months, your automobile insurance company probably sends you a new insurance card, which you may not always remember to put in your wallet or vehicle.  In 2009, Wisconsin started requiring drivers to carry their proof of insurance with them or face a citation and a $10 penalty.  While the penalty is minimal, it's an easily avoidable fine that frustrates many properly insured drivers every year.

    Wisconsin has recently made it easier to show your proof of auto insurance.  Effective July 6, 2013, you can now show proof of auto insurance "in either printed or electronic format" under Wis. Stat. 344.62(2).  That means you can use your smart phone, tablet, or other electronic device to access your proof.  The statute also specifically says that a police officer may only view the insurance information, and may not view any other content on the phone or device. 

    This simple solution may save your wallet $10.