New Business Edition of Bits & Bytes is now available.

Take a moment for the Business Edition of “Bits & Bytes,” as Attorney Tom Schumacher presents the second installment of the six-part Business Succession Planning series. Click here for a transcript or click here to view previous videos in the Business Edition of “Bits & Bytes”.

Disclaimer: This video is designed to be educational and informative, but it is not legal advice. Business, tax and estate planning law is constantly evolving and subject to change. Each situation is unique, and each case should be addressed to fit the unique situation.

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Business Succession Planning – Part II

B&B - Bus Edition (small with cropped line)Take a moment for “Bits & Bytes,” as Attorney Tom Schumacher explains succession planning for the owners of a closely held business. This installment discusses a key aspect of a successful business and a well thought out business succession plan: a compatible advisory team.

Disclaimer: This video is designed to be educational and informative, but it is not legal advice. Business, tax and estate planning law is constantly evolving and subject to change. Each situation is unique, and each case should be addressed to fit the unique situation.

A key aspect of a successful business and a well thought out business succession plan is a compatible advisory team. This is a group of trusted professional advisors who understand you and your business. Typically, the advisory team consists of four categories.

First is the board of directors in a corporation, partners in a partnership or mentor in a sole proprietorship. These people provide ongoing advice to you and the business. They will have areas of expertise that compliment your own skill set. They will not always agree with you.

They bring a different view point and, perhaps, a more objective view of decisions that are part of your succession plan. In most cases, they will have been involved with you and your business for a significant period of time.

Second is an accounting advisor. If part of the plan is to sell to an outside third party, your accountant can review your financial statements and determine what needs to be improved upon in order to present the best possible financial picture to a prospective buyer.

If the succession plan is going to be internal, involving other current owners, family members or employees, the accountant can help educate them to the financial side of the business.

Any business succession plan is going to be impacted by taxes. You want to know the tax consequences of the business transfer. You want to be aware of different sale structures and how they impact taxes.

Third is an investment advisor, insurance broker and/or financial planner. These individuals will assist you with advice on investing the proceeds of any sale. They can also look at alternative insurance products that are available to shift risk and to provide financial resources in the event of your untimely death or disability.

Finally, any business involves legal aspects that need to be addressed beginning with business organization documents and continuing through the sale or transition document that transfers your business to the next owner.

Any new owner will want to see your business entity documents and essential contract documents, such as employment agreements, buy/sell agreements, supplier agreements and leases.

Each of your advisors brings a different perspective to the many different aspects that make up your succession plan. The varying viewpoints are valuable and will ultimately produce a more comprehensive plan that addresses all of the many components of a successful plan.

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How Long Does a Foreclosure Take? Bits & Bytes Lender Edition Now Available for March.

Take a moment for March’s “Bits & Bytes,” as Attorney Deanne Koll explains how long the foreclosure process may take. Click here for a transcript or click here to view previous videos in the Lender Edition series.

Disclaimer: This video is designed to be educational and informative, but it is not legal advice. Collection law is constantly evolving and subject to change. Each situation is unique, and each case should be addressed to fit the unique situation.

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How Long Does a Foreclosure Take?

B&BTake a moment for “Bits & Bytes,” as Attorney Deanne Koll explains how long the foreclosure process may take.

Disclaimer: This video is designed to be educational and informative, but it is not legal advice. Collection law is constantly evolving and subject to change. Each situation is unique, and each case should be addressed to fit the unique situation.

You’ve decided that a loan has gone bad and are sending it to the attorney to start the foreclosure process. How long is it going to take? Well, like anything, it depends.

All foreclosure cases require the filing, service and answer of a complaint. That process is approximately 30 days. Assuming that the borrower has not answered the complaint, and are therefore in what is called “default”, the attorney can file a motion for default judgment and have a hearing.

Depending on the county and the judge’s calendar, that will occur within the next 30 days. What happens after that is the large variable.

After a lender obtains judgment, the foreclosure goes into a redemption period, which is the borrower’s opportunity to pay their debt in full and retain the property. The length of the redemption period varies depending, mainly, on the classification of the property.

If the property is homestead property, the redemption period is either 6 months or 12 months. If the property is non-homestead, the redemption period is either 3 months or 6 months. There are a few classifications within each of these, but these are the very basic differences.

The short vs. long redemption periods—meaning 6 vs. 12 or 3 vs. 6—depends on whether the lender has chosen to waive or preserve its deficiency rights. Deficiency rights are the lender’s ability to recover any shortfall of the borrower’s debt after the sale of the foreclosed property from the borrower’s other assets.

If the lender chooses to waive deficiency, it receives the shorter redemption period (the 3 or 6 months depending on the classification of the property). If the lender decides to preserve its rights to deficiency, it receives the longer redemption periods.

After the redemption period ends, the foreclosure may go to sheriff’s sale and then a confirmation of sale. That process may take another 30 days.

So, in a foreclosure, you have approximately 60 days prior to judgment and redemption period and another 30 days after judgment and redemption. Then, to a large extent, the length of the foreclosure process will be determined by the redemption period assigned to the case.

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Municipal Seminar – Register Now

Join us for the 2015 Municipal Seminar on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at WITC – New Richmond Campus at 1019 South Knowles Avenue. Registration and light dinner will be served from 5:30-6:00 p.m. Seminar will be held from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

The topics covered include:

  • Legislative/Case Law Update – Tom Schumacher, Bakke Norman, S.C.
  • Comprehensive Plans – Todd Johnson, UW – River Falls
  • Implements of Husbandry – Tim O’Brien, Bakke Norman, S.C.
  • Borrowing 101 – Sean Lentz and Patrick Mallory, Ehlers & Associates
  • Enforcing Ordinances – Kate Avoles and Jeff Cormell, Bakke Norman, S.C.

To register, CLICK HERE or call (715-246-3800) or email Janet King. RSVP appreciated by Thursday, April 16, 2015.

What Does “Single Family Residence” Mean?

Does it include a house which was clearly built to be a single family unit, which is a time-share where different families occupy the residence for a week at a time, but only one family at a time? Does it include such a house which is rented out for short term rentals?

A recent court of appeals decision says yes, at least under circumstances where the zoning code is otherwise silent about duration. If a zoning code allows a single family residence, and sets no other time constraints, then a zoning board cannot later arbitrarily impose such a time constraint.

In a decision recommended for publication, Heef Realty v. City of Cedarburg Board of Appeals, two homeowners were renting out single family homes they owned. The Cedarburg zoning code allowed single family homes, and did not have any language at all about whether short term rentals of such homes was allowed. But the City determined that short term rentals were not permitted by the code. The appeals court, upholding a lower court decision, found that a restriction on the free use of property must be explicit – it cannot be implied into otherwise unambiguous language.

While the court did not decide that a municipality could never restrict short term rentals, it was clear that such restrictions must be unambiguous. I would add that they cannot be arbitrary – they should be reasonable restrictions which have a rational relation to a legitimate government objective.