Rabideau Law Food Drive 2017

 

Rabideau Law’s November Food Drive in support of The FoodBank of Waterloo Region

We are proud to announce that we will be holding a Food Drive from November 1st-27th in support of The FoodBank of Waterloo Region, and in the spirit of GivingTuesday.

What is GivingTuesday?

As stated on the GivingTuesday Waterloo Region website:
“Tuesday, November 28th is GivingTuesday, a day for businesses, individuals, groups and charities to join together to rally for favourite causes, create opportunities and share meaningful experiences. Whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering or fundraising, GivingTuesday is our day to celebrate the importance and impact of giving back.
Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday marks the start of the giving season. What started four years ago in New York is now becoming a global movement that has reached 68 countries. In 2014, Vancouver, Regina, Guelph, Ottawa, and Halifax launched their charitable campaigns. The GivingTuesday Waterloo Region movement began in 2015.”

To work our Food Drive in with GivingTuesday, we will be going to visit The Food Bank on November 28th to deliver the donations we have collected over the month.

Why should you donate?
• The Food Bank serves a Community Food Assistance Network of more than 80 agencies and community food programs. 2,000 meals are served daily by this Network.
• 49% of households seeking assistance are families with children.
• Just $1 will provide 3 meals.
• 215 food hampers are distributed every day.
• Community nutrition workers teach healthy eating and food budgeting skills at 16 different locations.
• 1 in 20 households in Kitchener-Waterloo are hungry.

How can you help?
• Make a donation
$20 will feed a family for 4 days
Tax refunds are available for donations
• Donate food
Most needed items include:
o Canned stews and chili
o Canned meat and fish
o Beans in sauce
o Tomato sauce
o Canned pasta
o Canned soup
o Canned fruit
o Dried beans
o Hot cereals
o Rice

Donations will be accepted at our office, 501-305 King St W, Kitchener.

To make things interesting this year, the office has been split into three teams, each led by one of our lawyers. The two losing lawyers will participate in a lip syncing contest at the end of the food drive which will be posted to our social media! Only food donations will be used towards saving the lawyers, cash donations will be put in a donation jar towards the Food Bank’s new food processing room in their warehouse.

When making your donations, be sure to let us know whether your donation will be going towards saving Geoff, Varun or Roger!

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact Kayla at kkompter@rabideaulaw.ca

Rabideau Law’s February Potato Blitz in support of House of Friendship

We are proud to announce that we will be holding a Potato Blitz from February 1st-28th in support of House of Friendship.

What is a Potato Blitz?

Over twenty years ago, House of Friendship (HOF) Board Members decided to host a potato blitz in February to help meet the need for potatoes throughout the year in emergency food hampers and program meals. Today, the campaign raises potatoes and donations equivalent to 300,000 pounds of potatoes. Potatoes are used for hampers and meals, and donations are used to buy more potatoes.

This fun campaign kicks off with Don Cameron Potato Night with the Kitchener Rangers, when fans donate money and spuds at the door. It is followed by a one-day Supermarket Blitz on a Saturday at most local grocery stores, where volunteers invite shoppers to donate money and spuds.

And the campaign wraps up with a Community Potato Lunch hosted by HOF, at which guests enjoy a delicious offering of potato dishes (no tickets required – free-will offering accepted), and where we have the opportunity to thank many volunteers and sponsors. Over 200 volunteers roll up their sleeves to help campaign mascots Spuddy and Sweet Potato.

At Rabideau Law we will be acting as a drop-off point for donations, as well as holding our own contest within the office to collect the most potatoes!

 Why should you donate?

  • House of Friendship’s Charles Street Mens Shelter houses up to 51 men per night
  • They send out over 28,000 emergency food hampers to local individuals and families annually
  • Over 550 men and women annually turn to House of Friendship’s addiction treatment programs
  • Over 120 kids from families living on low-income play, learn and grow at House of Friendship’s summer camp each year.

How can you help?

  • Make a donation
    Tax refunds are available for donations
  • Donate potatoes

Donations will be accepted at our office, 501-305 King St W, Kitchener.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kayla at kkompter@rabideaulaw.ca

Rabideau Law Food Drive 2016

Rabideau Law’s November Food Drive in support of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

We are proud to announce that we will be holding a Food Drive from November 1st-28th in support of The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, and in the spirit of GivingTuesday.

What is GivingTuesday?

As stated on the GivingTuesday Waterloo Region website:

“Tuesday, November 29th is GivingTuesday, a day for businesses, individuals, groups and charities to join together to rally for favourite causes, create opportunities and share meaningful experiences. Whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering or fundraising, GivingTuesday is our day to celebrate the importance and impact of giving back.

Just as Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, GivingTuesday marks the start of the giving season. What started four years ago in New York is now becoming a global movement that has reached 68 countries. In 2014, Vancouver, Regina, Guelph, Ottawa, and Halifax launched their charitable campaigns. The GivingTuesday Waterloo Region movement began in 2015.”

To work our Food Drive in with GivingTuesday, we will be going to visit The Food Bank on November 29th to deliver the donations we have collected over the month.

25boxes

Why should you donate?

  • More than 34,000 men, women and children received food assistance last year in Waterloo Region.
  • People seek food assistance because of unexpected job loss, physical or mental health concerns, or other crises.
  • 49% of households seeking assistance are families with children.
  • Just $1 will provide 3 meals

How can you help?

  • Make a donation
    $20 will feed a family for 4 days
    Tax refunds are available for donations
  • Donate food
    Most needed items include:

    • Peanut Butter
    • Canned Fruit and Vegetables
    • Canned Meat and Fish
    • Canned Stews and Chili
    • Beans in Sauce

Donations will be accepted at our office, 501-305 King St W, Kitchener.

To make things a little more interesting­—and of course raise as much for The Food Bank as possible­—we’ve split the office into two teams.

Will your donations go to Team FullBelly (Geoff Rabideau’s team) or the Pantry Packers (Varun Sharma’s team)?
Full team lists are on our Facebook page

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact Kayla at kkompter@rabideaulaw.ca

How to Fight your Property Tax Assessment

Property taxes are a significant cost to owning a home, and no one likes to see their tax bill going up. But did you know that you can dispute your property assessment and have it reconsidered?

There are two ways to have your property assessment reconsidered – by submitting a Request for Reconsideration (RFR) with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) or by filing an appeal at the Assessment Review Board. This blog post will focus on the Request for Reconsideration process. The Assessment Review Board appeal process will be covered in a future post.

A RFR may be time-consuming to complete, but the process is free and the potential tax savings are worth it. Just note that for the 2014 tax year, your deadline to file a RFR with MPAC is March 31, 2014.You may file a RFR every tax year.

Understanding your Property Assessment

The first step in disputing your taxes is understanding how the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) made their original assessment. There two ways to do this, both of which are free.

If you contact MPAC (1-866-296-6722) a representative will review the information they have on file for your property, answer general questions you have about your assessment, and if necessary, make corrections.

Alternatively, MPAC’s website, www.aboutmyproperty.ca, is a self-service tool that lets you look up your property assessment information, and recent sales information for similar properties in your neighbourhood. You may correct errors in the assessment information and submit a Request for Reconsideration directly from the ‘About My Property’ website.

Registering for ‘About My Property’

If it is your first time using the ‘About My Property’ website, click the “Register Now” link. To register, you will need your property’s 19-digit roll number and access key, both of which appear on your most recent Property Assessment Notice. If you own multiple properties, each property will need to be registered separately.

No Roll Number or Access Key?

If you do not have your most recent Property Assessment Notice and do not know the roll number or access key, first obtain the roll number by calling your municipality’s Property Tax or Revenue Division. For Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, the contact numbers are as follows:

City of Kitchener Revenue Division: 519-741-2450

City of Waterloo Revenue Services: 519-747-8718

City of Cambridge Property Taxes: 519 740-4524

After you get the roll number, call MPAC at 1-866-296-6722 to get assistance with registering for ‘About My Property’. Please note that you must have the roll number when you call MPAC.

Using ‘About My Property’ to Obtain Assessment Information

Answers to common questions on how to use ‘About My Property’ are available at:

https://www.mpac.ca/HowAssessmentWorks

From ‘About My Property’, you may obtain a Detailed Property Profile Report, which contains all of the assessment information that MPAC has on file for your property. The website also allows you to obtain assessment and sales information for up to 24 properties of your choice and 6 similar properties selected by MPAC, for free.

Submitting a Request for Reconsideration

If you want to dispute your property assessment, you may submit a Request for Reconsideration from ‘About My Property’, at no charge. In the RFR form, you must set out the grounds on which you are disputing the assessment. It is important to include supporting documentation, such as pictures of the property, a copy of a home appraisal report from your mortgage lender, and sales data from similar properties. You should make the most of the free assessment and sales information that is available on ‘About My Property’ before starting the RFR form.

Some of the grounds for submitting a RFR are:

  • The assessed value of your property is quite different from similar properties in the area
  • MPAC’s records are incorrect – for example, the lot or building size is overstated
  • The property was purchased close to MPAC’s valuation date, and the purchase price is a significantly different amount than the assessed value
  • There are unique factors that negatively impact the property’s current value, which were not taken into consideration in the current assessment, e.g. the property is located on major, high-traffic road, while the comparable properties are on quiet streets.

MPAC will review your RFR submission and provide a written response, setting out its reasons. You can review the status of your RFR from ‘About My Property’. If you are unhappy with MPAC’s decision, you have 90 days from the decision date to file an appeal with the Assessment Review Board. The appeals process will to be discussed in a future blog post.

Selling a Home

The excitement of moving can be often overshadowed by the stress of selling your current home. Choosing the right residential real estate lawyer can make all the difference. At Rabideau Law, we work hard to protect your interests and ensure a positive selling experience.

With an office in downtown Kitchener, flexible meeting times, and remote signings for Real Estate deals, we are dedicated to providing professional services when and where it is most convenient for you.

What are the responsibilities of a residential real estate lawyer?

Our team will work closely with you from start to finish ensuring a timely and efficient closing. Our services include:

  • Advising the seller on matters pertaining to their mortgage, the property, and the legal process.
  • Coordinating the exchange of documents between the real estate agents and bank.
  • Corresponding with the cooperating lawyer representing the buyer.
  • Removing any liens, mortgages, easements and other clouds on title
  • Releasing the transfer of title to purchaser’s lawyer.
  • Ensuring payment of the balance of the seller’s mortgage.
  • Depositing funds into your account upon closing.
  • Protecting your interests in the event of misrepresentation.

What are the legal costs to selling a home?

Rabideau Law is pleased to offer home sellers fixed fee legal representation, giving you the peace of mind of knowing up-front the total cost of our services. Our rates are highly competitive, so be sure to visit our residential real estate page or contact our office for more information.

*Additional costs may be incurred under some circumstances. Please refer to our associated costs schedule for more information.

I’m ready to get started – what’s my next step?

To get started, contact our office today to discuss your needs with one of our residential real estate law specialists.

For residential real estate law services in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas, please call 519-957-1001 or email info@rabideaulaw.ca.

Buying a Home

Buying a home – whether you’re a first time home buyer or an experienced one – should be an exciting and memorable occasion. Now that you’ve found the perfect house, condo, or vacation property, it’s time to close the deal. With Rabideau Law on your side, you can be assured that the closing process will be stress-free and handled with the highest degree of professional care.

With an office in downtown Kitchener, flexible meeting times, and remote signings for Real Estate deals, we are dedicated to providing professional services when and where it is most convenient for you.

What are the responsibilities of a residential real estate lawyer?

From start to finish, Rabideau Law works closely with you to ensure the process of buying a home is handled professionally, with your best interests in mind. Our services include:

  • Advising the purchaser on matters pertaining to their mortgage, the property, and the legal process.
  • Coordinating the exchange of documents between the real estate agents, mortgage broker and bank.
  • Corresponding with the cooperating lawyer representing the seller.
  • Searching for liens, mortgages, easements and other clouds on title.
  • Verifying the absence of any writs against the home purchaser or seller.
  • Ensuring the removal of any liens or writs registered against the property or seller.
  • Obtaining title insurance to protect you and the mortgage lender.
  • Registering the transfer of title and the mortgage with the provincial government.
  • Informing the municipality of the transfer of title.
  • Remitting the land transfer tax to the provincial government.
  • Providing you with your keys on the day of closing.
  • Protecting your interests in the event of misrepresentation on the part of the seller.

What are the legal costs to buying a home?

Rabideau Law is pleased to offer home buyers, fixed fee legal representation, giving you the peace of mind of knowing up-front the total cost of our services. Our rates are highly competitive, so be sure to visit our residential real estate page or contact our office for more information

*for certain unique circumstances, additional fees may apply. Please refer to our associated costs schedule for more information.

Are there any additional costs to buying a home that I should be aware of?

When financing the purchase of a home with a mortgage, the lender will require Title Insurance, which we purchase on your behalf. The cost of title insurance will depend on the amount of the mortgage. For mortgages ranging from $200,000 to $500,000, the cost of title insurance is included in the fee. For additional title insurance, please contact our office.

Each purchase in Ontario incurs a provincial land transfer tax. The amount of the tax is dependent on the cost of the home, generally ranging between 1% and 2% of the purchase price. First time home buyers are also eligible to receive a rebate of up to $4000 against the cost of this tax.

I’m ready to get started – what’s my next step?

To get started, contact our office today to discuss your needs with one of our residential real estate law specialists.

For residential real estate law services in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas, please call 519-957-1001 or email info@rabideaulaw.ca.

Restructure your Corporation & Return to Profitability!

Whether you are a high profile company, such as Air Canada, or a tradesman operating through a numbered company, ex: Bob’s Tiling, your outstanding tax, debt and supplier obligations have the ability to derail your hard earned business in an instant and leave you personally liable; affecting your home, your family and your livelihood.

If this sounds similar to you, rest assured knowing that there are options available which can help restructure your company’s outstanding debt obligations ensuring the survival of your business while protecting the life style you have come accustomed to living.

In Canada, insolvent* companies have three legislative options available to them in order to restructure their outstanding debt obligations.

The first is The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). This option is the usual legislation insolvent companies with outstanding debts utilize. However, the CCAA is only for companies with more than $5 Million in outstanding debt.

Doesn’t sound like you and thankfully so, then the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) is for insolvent companies with less than $5 million in outstanding debts. A corporate restructuring under the BIA is a less costly measure than an arrangement under the CCAA, and is normally used by small to mid-sized businesses.

The third option is to file a plan of arrangement pursuant to the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA). Arrangements under the CBCA are very limited as only certain companies meet the very specific requirements.

Beginning in January, my invitation to you is to check back with Rabideau Law as we will examine the above mentioned options and deal with specific case studies which may be applicable to your business.

*Insolvency is defined as the inability of a company to pay its bills, debts and other financial obligations.

Do I Have To Pay My Debts?

Time limitation on collecting a debt in Ontario

In Ontario, an unsecured creditor has a legal right to collect on an unpaid debt no later than two years from the date of the last activity on the account. Unsecured creditor means a creditor that has not registered a mortgage or a lien on a piece of property such as a house or car, a credit card is normally an unsecured creditor. Last activity means the date of the last payment, even a partial payment, or the date the debtor last acknowledged owing the debt to the creditor.

Therefore, the debt does not have to be repaid if you have not made a payment on the credit card for more than two years and they did not start a legal action against you within that two year time period.

This, however, will not stop all actions by debt collectors and collection agencies. Collectors will continue to contact you and they may threaten legal action as they are aware that most Ontarians are oblivious to this time limitation. In such a case, inform the Collector never to contact you again and under no circumstances should you acknowledge that you owe the debt to the creditor or the collector as this will restart the two year time period.

Further, Collectors still have the ability to report the unpaid debt to credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax and Trans Union. This unpaid debt will remain on the debtor’s credit report for six years from the date of the last activity, thereafter it will be automatically purged by Equifax and Trans Union.

If you see an unpaid debt or discrepancy on your credit report, you can challenge the discrepancy by completing the attached Consumer Credit Report Update Form and providing all the relevant documents:

  1. photocopies of all necessary documents
  2. receipts
  3. legal documents
  4. proof of current address
  5. photocopies of two pieces of identification

What are the fees?

For more information on pricing, please contact our office.

Waterloo Region Housing Market Outlook 2013

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) held the annual Waterloo Region Housing Outlook Seminar Thursday November 22nd at Bingemans in Kitchener. The seminar examined where the local housing market is heading and discussed the challenges to be encountered in 2013.

The highlights of the seminar were:

  1. Housing demand will increase in 2013 as the local economy and the overall economy will pick up
  2. Resale housing sales will improve in the second half of 2013
  3. Resale prices will remain relatively flat through 2013 as the market continues to balance supply and demand
  4. Housing starts will move up from the end of 2012
  5. Low mortgage rates and household growth will support demand

I would add:

  1. Mortgage rates will continue to remain low with only slight increases overall
  2. Consumer debt will continue to be a concern as Canadian debt loads continue to increase at an alarming rate
  3. Resale housing sales will increase as mortgages, which were registered when mortgage rates declined rapidly in 2008, will mature in 2013
  4. First time home buyers will continue to spark sales of houses and condos with a purchase price of less than $300,000.00, however, less first time home buyers will enter the market due to tightened mortgage lending rules.
  5. Multi person housing, such as duplex, condos and houses with an in-law suite or two master bedrooms will increase as baby boomers move into households with their adult children.

Powers of Attorney in Ontario

Originally authorized under the Powers of Attorney Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.20, a power of attorney is a legally binding document in which one person (the principal or grantor) appoints another person or persons (the attorney or substitute decision maker) to act on their behalf in the event they are unable to make their own decisions.

The Powers of Attorney Act only provided a mechanism for appointing substitute decisions makers with respect to property and has been substantially repealed. It was not until the enactment of the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, S.O. 1992, c. 30 (“SDA”), which came into force on April 3rd, 1995, that it became possible to also name substitute decisions makers with respect to personal care decisions.

The SDA preserves certain powers of attorney created under the old legislation. They must have been executed before April 3rd, 1995 or within six months after that date. They must also: contain a provision expressly stating that it may be exercised during any subsequent legal incapacity of the grantor; have been executed in accordance with the Powers of Attorney Act; and otherwise be valid.

Powers of Attorney for property, unless restricted as to their use, allow the attorney to do on behalf of the grantor anything the grantor could do except make a will or other form of testamentary disposition. For example, property decisions would include such financial issues as: bank deposits and withdrawals, paying bills, making or changing investments, buying, selling or refinancing a home, making payments to or on behalf of dependants, and filing income tax returns.

Personal care is defined in the SDA and includes decisions about health care, shelter, clothing, nutrition, hygiene, and safety.

In Ontario, there are currently three different types of power of attorney: two for property and one for personal care. These include: a general power of attorney for property, a continuing power of attorney for property, and a power of attorney for personal care.

A General Power of Attorney for Property is ordinarily used if a person wants to appoint someone to act on their behalf for a specific period of time or for a specific task. This type of power of attorney ends upon completion of the time or the specific task, or if the grantor becomes mentally incapable.

A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is used where a person wishes to appoint someone to act on their behalf while they are mentally capable as well as to act on their behalf in the event of mentally incapacity. These powers of attorney can be for a specified period or task or they can be all encompassing. Both types of powers of attorney for property can be effective on the date of signing or on the happening of a specified condition other than incapacity which can only be a condition for continuing powers of attorney for property.

A Power of Attorney for Personal Care enables the grantor to appoint an Attorney for Personal Care to make personal care decisions in the event the grantor becomes incapable of making their own personal care decisions. Incapacity can be either mental or physical depending on the circumstances. For persons who have specific wishes regarding their personal care, these can be included in the power of attorney for personal care document. These wishes can also be specified in a separate advance directive, usually prepared in consultation with a doctor or other health care provider, and incorporated by reference into the power of attorney for personal care.

Power of attorney documents confer significant authority on the substitute decision maker. Caution should be exercised in selecting these persons, especially with respect to unrestricted continuing powers of attorney for property that are effective on signing.

The requirements for a valid power of attorney under the SDA are:

  1. The donor must be at least 18 for powers of attorney for property, and at least 16 for powers of attorney for personal care.
  2. The donor must be capable of granting a power of attorney. Each type of power of attorney. Each type of power of attorney has its own guidelines for assessing capacity with powers of attorney for property having the higher standard.

    For powers of attorney for property a person is capable if he or she:

    • knows what kind of property he or she has and its approximate value;
    • is aware of obligations owed to his or her dependants;
    • knows that the attorney will be able to do on the person’s behalf anything in respect of property that the person could do if capable, except make a will, subject to the conditions and restrictions set out in the power of attorney;
    • knows that the attorney must account for his or her dealings with the person’s property;
    • knows that he or she may, if capable, revoke the continuing power of attorney;
    • appreciates that unless the attorney manages the property prudently its value may decline; and
    • appreciates the possibility that the attorney could misuse the authority given to him or her.

    For powers of attorney for personal care a person is capable if he or she:

    • has the ability to understand whether the proposed attorney has a genuine concern for the person’s welfare; and
    • appreciates that he or she (the donor) may need to have the proposed attorney (the donee) make decisions for him or her.
  3. Both powers of attorney for property and personal care must be executed in the presence of two witnesses. A witness cannot be the attorney or the attorney’s spouse or partner, a the grantor’s spouse or partner, a child of the grantor or a person whom the grantor has demonstrated a settled intention to treat as his or her child, a person whose property is under guardianship or who has a guardian of the person, and a person who is less than eighteen years old.

Powers of attorney for property and personal care can both be revoked by the donor if they have the capacity to do so.