Bankruptcy Appraisal

The process of a bankruptcy requires the debtor to create an expense report illustrating the net worth of their assets. In order to get a true reading of the value of their property, an appraisal is necessary. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to get the appraisal.

The bankruptcy process has several deadlines. Missing one deadline may postpone the court date and delay resolution. It is important to order a bankruptcy appraisal as soon as possible. LAS will work with your schedule to complete the report well before any deadlines. A simple call to LAS will keep the process on schedule and complete the requirements necessary for resolution.

The key in a bankruptcy proceeding, particularly the difference between a chapter 7 or 13, is the credibility of the appraisal. Because the trustee and/or the judge will be the final arbiter, credibility of the appraiser and his or her appraisal is of the utmost importance. This credibility is often dependent upon the type of valuation reporting format utilized as well as the experience and reputation of the appraiser.

Typically, the judge wants to see a full appraisal completed by a state certified residential appraiser. An appraiser must be certified by the state in which they are appraising and are obligated to follow certain laws, rules and regulations (USPAP). Having a full interior appraisal to present to the trustee and/or judge will show that you are serious about your proceedings and that you are knowledgeable of the appropriate steps to take.

The LAS team of state certified residential appraisers are experienced in dealing with the requirements necessary to complete an appraisal for bankruptcy proceedings. We work quickly and efficiently and understand you trust us with a very important decision in your life.

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Home Appraisal for Divorce

Divorce is an unfortunate reality in our world. When real estate is involved, the question of, "Who gets the house?" must be answered before finalizing the divorce.

The two most common outcomes in such a situation are:

  • The house can be sold and the proceeds divided or
  • One party can be "bought out" by the other.

Regardless of whether the house is sold or one party "buys out" the other - it is usually in the best interests of both parties for each to order an independent appraisal of the property.

The key criteria for appraisals to be used in divorce proceedings are that they are credible and defensible in court. The appraisal report must be thorough and professionally prepared - at a minimum by a New York State Licensed Real Estate Appraiser.

LAS appraisal reports are regularly relied upon by attorneys for a variety of legal matters, including but not limited to divorces. We are accustomed to providing appraisal reports that meet the requirements of the courts and various agencies during a divorce proceeding.

When you hire LAS to perform your appraisal, you can rest assured that you've hired a competent professional firm who will provide you with an accurate appraisal of the highest quality. Also, all of our state certified appraisers and support staff are sensitive to the need for discretion and confidentiality in these matters.

LAS can provide a current "fair market value" or a retrospective opinion of value, whatever the situation warrants.

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Estate Planning and Tax Purposes

For many reasons, the value of a loved one’s real estate that is left behind can be an arduous task for the executor.  Attorneys, accountants, financial planners, executors and others rely on Lauritano Appraisal Services (LAS) for retrospective estate appraisals for real estate valuations and have trust in our appraisal service. We have over 25 years of residential real estate experience throughout Long Island and the five boroughs, including Manhattan. When you retain LAS as your estate tax (or planning) appraiser, you can be confident that the appraisal will be completed in a professional and efficient manner by a state certified appraiser experienced in all guidelines set forth by the IRS tax regulations (Section 1.170A-17a). 

An important factor, not to be over-looked, is what the IRS looks for in an appraisal.  First, the accreditation of the appraiser; all of our appraisers are state certified and have been for an average of 12 years or more.  Second, the rationale of "Fair Market Value" (FMV) opinion as defined by the IRS, "The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts."1  Third, the validity of the comparable research; are the comparables within the subjects defined market area, same school district or city?  How recently have they sold since the effective date of the appraisal?  Along with many other factors, an appraiser must use due diligence in his/her search for comparables by exhausting every data source available.  Lastly, the IRS examines the overall professionalism of the appraisal report.  Any opinion of value prepared by one of our state certified residential appraisers for use in planning and estate probate is well supported by a detailed report as to how the appraiser arrived at the value conclusions.  With LAS you can rest assured all of our appraisal reports meet Treasury Regulations.  Furthermore, all of our experienced real estate appraisers are qualified to handle these types of situations (sample appraisal form).

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Extensions Form ET706

The IRS allows 9 months to file estate tax paperwork, and up to 15 months with an extension. Wherefore, the executor and estate planning attorney agree that the valuation of the estate would be less on a certain date within 6 months of the death, they can file for alternative valuation and an optimal date will be used to determine the fair market value of assets. For example, if the testator were to die on January 1, 20xx, then the value of all assets might be calculated on that date.  The difficulty with this method is if the assets in an estate changes significantly, for instance if they appreciate, the estate might benefit being taxed at the lower original value. In reverse, if the value of assets depreciate, it would be unfair to tax at a higher value 9 months after the death of death.  In addition, if the assets depreciate enough, the taxes could destroy any value in the estate.  Thus to rectify this event, the IRS allows executors to select an alternate valuation date of up to 6 months after the date of death of the principal.  However, do avoid submitting an appraisal that is more than 2 years old or an appraisal that does not meet other specific IRS guidelines for estate tax valuation of real property.  You may lose time and money.

What you will find with LAS are professional real estate appraisers that will determine the fair market value, bound by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), with a high degree of confidentiality and professionalism. The kind of quality report and work product the IRS and state taxing authorities, courts and real estate attorneys want and expect. In addition, our state certified appraisers are designated to perform residential real estate appraisals in New York as well as New Jersey.

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Casualty Loss Appraisal

On October 30, 2012 President Obama declared a Federal Disaster in the State of New York due to Super Storm Sandy which hit our area on October 27, 2012. Living in New York, the disaster and devastation of the recent events caused by Hurricane Sandy have struck many. Here at Lauritano Appraisal Services, we are well aware of the extent and prepared to help you and your clients make the process as easy as possible.

Damage to personal, income-producing, or business property may be a claimable tax loss deduction on an individual’s tax return. The loss/deduction must be taken within the year the damage occurred. What this means is that any damage (flood or wind) caused by Super Storm Sandy, which has been declared a Federal Disaster Event, can be made a Casualty or Loss Deduction on the tax return for the year that immediately preceded this disaster or the year of the Disaster (Federal Tax Return Form 4684 see lines 5 and 6)

The process in determining the Casualty or Loss Deduction requires full residential appraisals before and after the Super Storm to ascertain the amount of the casualty loss as described below:

1) A certified retrospective appraisal to determine the opinion of market value of the home or property before the Super Storm.

2) A certified current appraisal to determine the opinion of market value after the storm inclusive of the damages that were incurred due to the Super Storm. This will determine the decrease in fair market value or the casualty loss of the property as a result of the Federal Disaster or Super Storm Sandy.

3) Add any insurance or other reimbursement received or expected to receive (there are limits to the amount of the casualty loss that may be deducted for damage to personal-use property) to the appraisal inclusive of the damage and subtract that from the opinion of market value before the storm. This difference will be the Allowable Deductible Casualty Loss.

With LAS you can rest assured that you've hired a competent and professional firm who will provide you with an accurate appraisal. LAS can provide a current "fair market value" or a retrospective opinion of value, whatever the situation warrants. All of our state certified appraisers and support staff is sensitive to the need for discretion and confidentiality in these matters.

Contact us today by phone or email to speak with one of our experienced administrative staff who will be happy to answer all of your appraisal questions (800) 477-5187 • Appraiser@Lashomevalue.com

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1http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/Treasury_Regulations,_Subchapter_B,_Sec._20.2031-1