July 2020 - Wyman Legal Solutions

Who is YOUR lawyer?

It’s a simple question, really. I’m sure you can tell me who your doctor is. You could even tell me who cuts your hair. But you can’t tell me who your lawyer is because you don’t have one. Do you?

Now more than ever, having a trusted advisor is so critical. A lawyer shouldn’t just be someone you turn to AFTER a problem arises. As a lawyer, the most value I can provide you is to be there to guide you away from trouble before it hits you.

If you do not have a lawyer you can turn to for timely, valuable advice when you really need it, it is for one of three reasons:

  1. You don’t understand why you need a lawyer.

Here’s why you need a lawyer….

A lawyer guides you through all of life’s uncertainty and in your moments of greatest need.

A lawyer empowers you to take control when you are worried about planning for your future or your children’s future.

A lawyer eases your anxiety when you are concerned about this economy and your finances.

A lawyer is a trusted advisor you can call when you know that making the “wrong” decision will be expensive.

A lawyer has your back and helps you anticipate problems before they arise.

A lawyer is your quarterback when solving problems.

  1. You don’t know any lawyers you can trust.

Every successful person gets guidance from people they trust. I bring my perspective as a father, son, and business owner to all of my clients’ legal problems so I can give honest, straightforward, and valuable advice. But don’t just take my word for it. Read these reviews written by actual clients:

  1. You think you cannot afford a lawyer.

With our Lawyer on Retainer plans, having a lawyer you can consult with on all of life’s problems is available to everyone and to every business for a fixed, low monthly fee. Call us at (561) 361-8700 to learn about which one of our plans is best for you.

So, the next time you find yourself needing to make an important decision, you can say “First, I need to speak with MY lawyer!”

 

 

DON’T PAY TWICE

When we are not helping clients with their business issues and insurance claims, the rest of our work involves construction issues and disputes.

Lately we have been contacted by numerous homeowners who have paid their contractors for home improvements only to learn that the contractor did not pay for materials. These clients now have liens on their property and the material suppliers are looking to the property owners to get paid.

Unfortunately, if these clients did not pay their contractor the “right” way, they’ll have to pay twice.

Home owners just do not know that there is a right way and a wrong way to pay contractors.

The “right” way protects the homeowner. The “wrong” way exposes the home owner to potentially paying twice.

How do you make payments the right way?

Know who is working on your job. Keep an eye out in the mail for something called a Notice to Owner (NTO). Subcontractors and material suppliers will be sending you a NTO to alert you they are working on your job. You also have the right to ask your contractor for a list of subcontractors and suppliers. Make this request in writing and via certified or registered mail.

Obtain Lien Releases every time you make a payment. Every time you make a payment to the contractor, make sure the contractor gives you a lien release. Also have the contractor obtain lien releases from every company or person who sent you a NTO.

Make joint payments if necessary.

If the contractor tells you he cannot pay his subcontractors or suppliers without receiving your money, then arrange to make your payment jointly to both the contractor and the sub or supplier to obtain the releases.

Most importantly, before making a final payment, obtain a contractor’s affidavit. Before making your final payment, tell your contractor you want a “Contractor’s Final Payment Affidavit”. Although you are entitled to it, a contractor will generally not give you one unless you ask for it. In the affidavit, the contractor has to tell you what subs or suppliers remain unpaid and by how much. That way, you can direct your payments properly and make sure you receive final lien releases from everyone involved.

Florida’s lien laws are very technical and the slightest mistake can cost homeowners big money. If you are going through a home improvement project, you should call us to make sure you are making payments the right way.

 

 

 

PPP Odds and Ends

The past few weeks has seen a flurry of PPP news. We wanted to make sure you didn’t miss out on some of the more important developments:

PPP Loan Application Deadline Extended

June 20, 2020 was the original deadline for your PPP application. With $130 Billion still left in the program, the government extended the PPP loan application deadline to August 8, 2020. If you have not applied for the PPP loan, you still have time. We can introduce you to a lender if you need one. If you have already received a PPP loan, you cannot receive a second PPP loan.

Some PPP loans Extended to Five Year Payback Period Instead of Two

If your PPP loan received an SBA loan number on or after June 5, 2020, the loan has a five-year maturity. If your PPP loan received an SBA loan number before June 5, 2020, the loan has a two-year maturity, unless the borrower and lender mutually agree to extend the term of the loan to five years. Your promissory note for your PPP loan will state the term of the loan.

The SBA is Not Yet Accepting Loan Forgiveness Applications

Some borrowers have already spent their PPP loan funds and are interested in applying for forgiveness. Contact your lender. Some Lenders are accepting Loan Forgiveness Applications. But lenders cannot yet submit them to the SBA. Getting your forgiveness application in early may get your loan forgiven more quickly later. However, you should wait to submit that loan forgiveness application until the process is a bit more developed. Until the SBA is ready to accept the forgiveness applications, the applications themselves, and the rules, are subject to change. You may just end up having to redo your loan forgiveness application or you may miss out on some important changes.

If you have any questions on any of the PPP developments, call us at (561) 361-8700.

EZ-DOES IT

In the last ten days, the SBA revised the PPP loan forgiveness applications and updated the instructions. There is now a Form “3508EZ” available for some borrowers which greatly simplifies the loan forgiveness process:

*          PPP Forgiveness Application Form 3508EZ <PPP EZ application>

*          PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Instructions <PPP EZ application instructions>

How do you know if you can use this “EZ” form? If any of these three statements apply, then the EZ form is for you:

1. The Borrower is a self-employed individual, independent contractor, or sole proprietor who had no employees at the time of the PPP loan application and did not include any employee salaries in the computation of average monthly payroll in the Borrower Application Form.

2. The Borrower did not reduce annual salary or hourly wages of any employee by more than 25 percent during the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period compared to the period between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020; AND The Borrower did not reduce the number of employees or the average paid hours of employees between January 1, 2020 and the end of the Covered Period.

3. The Borrower did not reduce annual salary or hourly wages of any employee by more than 25 percent during the Covered Period or the Alternative Payroll Covered Period compared to the period between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020; AND The Borrower was unable to operate during the Covered Period at the same level of business activity as before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements established or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, related to the maintenance of standards of sanitation, social distancing, or any other work or customer safety requirement related to COVID-19.

Here is what is clear: You can use the EZ form if you are self-employed, an independent contractor or sole proprietor with no employees.

What’s not so clear? The third statement. Never before was the concept of not “operating at the same level of business activity” included in the forgiveness process. Unfortunately there is no guidance yet as to how “business activity” will be measured or evaluated.

Do you have questions about the PPP loan forgiveness process? Or are you still in need of a PPP loan? Then call us today at (561) 361-8700 and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys.