International Real Estate

Blockchains, best known as the technology behind digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are beginning to be implemented in a variety of commercial applications. The technology is attracting not only financial institutions and stock exchanges, but fields as disparate as the music, diamond, healthcare, insurance, and shipping industries. The possible benefits of an organized, structured, secure, and efficient data management system that blockchain technology may be able to provide has also led governments and private companies to begin to explore using blockchains as a replacement for the current land title record systems used around the world.

Continue Reading Blockchains and Land Title Records

Beginning on February 16 of this year, the rate of tax withholding required by the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) will increase from 10% to 15%.  FIRPTA imposes federal tax on the sale of an interest in real property located in the United States by a foreign seller. Continue Reading FIRPTA Tax Withholding Set to Increase Effective February 16, 2016

A sophisticated (and effective) wire-fraud scam targeting real estate (and other) transactions is on the rise, and mostly occurring in the United States.

Here’s a Wire Fraud Alert from Chicago Title explaining how the scam works.

The National Association of Realtors suggests following this guidance to avoid becoming a victim: Continue Reading Sophisticated Email Scams Targeting the Real Estate Industry

We are seeing more and more of our clients branching out into international markets.  My partner, Dawn Saunders, wrote an interesting article about navigating international leasing transactions and the importance of having experienced international leasing counsel review these transactions. For example, experienced U.S. based attorneys have vetted and worked with local counsel. Additionally, they understanding key differences like how local contracts differ from contracts in the U.S. and how risk is assessed.