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.

Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC)

What Is The Credit?

The federal government offers a $5,000 credit to certain home buyers.  The amount of the credit can be a little bit misleading; this credit will not allow you to save $5,000 in taxes.  This credit is always applied against the lowest tax bracket, which is 15%.  The maximum tax savings are actually $750, which is found by multiplying the $5,000 tax credit with the 15% tax bracket to find your actual savings ($5000 * 15% = $750).

Who can Claim this Tax Credit?

The federal government offers this credit for two types of purchases.  The first eligible purchase is a purchase by a first time homebuyer.  The second eligible purchase is the purchase, for or by a disabled person, of a home that accommodates their disability.

A first time home buyer is someone who does not own a house and has not owned a house in the preceding four calendar years.  So even if you have owned a house in the past, if it was long enough ago, you may still qualify for this credit.  This credit can be claimed by the first time home buyer or by their spouse.  If a group of first time home buyers buy a house together they can use this credit, however, they will have to split the maximum $750 tax savings between them.

For the purpose of this credit a disabled person is someone who is eligible to claim a disability amount on their taxes in the year that the house is acquired.  The credit can be claimed by whoever buys this property, be it the disabled person themselves or someone else buying a home for them.  Under these circumstances the buyer does not have to be a first time home buyer to get the credit.  However, the house purchased has to be lived in by the disabled person and the house must be specially equipped to address the disabled person’s needs.

When Can I Claim This Credit?

You must claim this credit in the year in which you take ownership of the property, not necessarily the year you enter into the agreement to buy the property. If you have purchased a condo you should claim this credit when you take ownership, which may not be the same year as you get to move in.

Which Properties Are Eligible For The Credit?

In order to qualify for the credit the property must be in Canada and be one of the following types of property:

  • single-family houses;
  • semi-detached houses;
  • townhouses;
  • mobile homes;
  • condominium units; or
  • apartments in duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, or apartment buildings.

Most Canadian properties that someone would buy for them or their family to live in will qualify.

Conclusion

Don’t forget to take advantage of this great opportunity to save some tax money when you buy a home.  If you have any questions about how to take advantage of this credit or any questions at all about buying or selling a home please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Rabideau Law.

Rabideau Law Cares – Food & Fund Drive

Recently Rabideau Law & Rabideau Debt Law hosted a Food & Fund Drive to help contribute to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region’s ‪#‎DIGIN‬ event on May 2nd, 2015.

We could not be more thrilled to announce that not only did we reach our goal of 25 boxes but we actually managed to surpass it! In total we raised 630 lbs of food and $180 in donations. That’s enough to provide 1,032 meals for our neighbours in need!

We could not have done it without the support of the other offices in our building. A BIG thanks goes out to Primal, Quadriga Business Centre Ltd., Square, Nutrafarms, MappedIn, Chalk.com, RENOMii & SigmaXL! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

WHY DIG IN?

  • 1 in 20 Waterloo Region residents needed food assistance last year
  • 46% of households needing assistance are families with children
  • The Food Bank of Waterloo Region will need enough food and funds to provide 360,000 meals this summer alone

MORE ABOUT THE FOOD BANK

The Food Bank distributes 20,000 lbs of non-perishable food to food programs in Waterloo Region each week.

In Waterloo Region during 2010:

26,500 residents of Waterloo Region sought emergency food assistance

38% were children

10% were working poor

24% were disabled

Over 48,000 people in Waterloo Region are living below the poverty line (2006 census).

Currently 1 in 20 people in Waterloo Region is hungry… 37% of those are children.

To Find Out More About How You Can Help visit www.thefoodbank.ca

Refinancing a Home

When the term of your mortgage is up for renewal, refinancing your home can reduce your monthly payment and allow you to take advantage of better interest rates or a more favorable amortization period. At Rabideau Law we make this process as simple and straightforward as possible.

What are the responsibilities of a residential real estate lawyer?

Our team works hard to ensure that the refinancing of your mortgage is handled professionally and completed in a timely and efficient manner. Our services include:

  • Advising the client regarding their mortgage and title.
  • Coordinating with the bank or mortgage broker.
  • Determining the amount necessary to cover the balance of your current mortgage.
  • Searching for and removing liens or writs registered against the property or the owner.
  • Registering the new mortgage and removing the existing mortgage against the title.
  • Depositing any remaining funds into the account of the client.

What are the legal costs of refinancing a home?

Rabideau Law is pleased to offer home owners fixed fee legal representation when refinancing, 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 for more information on pricing.

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

Refinancing for Debt Consolidation

Refinancing your home can be an attractive options for consolidating multiple debts into a single monthly payment. In addition to home refinancing services, Rabideau Law also offers a variety of solutions tailored towards overcoming debt, tax and insolvency problems.

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.

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.

In memory of René Boerkamp

rene

In memory of René Boerkamp, friend and client of Rabideau Law.

René you will be missed with your cute little accent and warm character, which always lit up the office when you visited.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Eva, Roy, Tim and Nikki.

Restructure your corporation under the CCAA

The Canadian Creditor’s Arrangement Act, (“CCAA”) is federal legislation that provides insolvent companies the opportunity to restructure their affairs, in doing so, it provides the company the ability to avoid bankruptcy while opening dialogue with its’ creditors.

To start the dialogue the troubled company seeks an order from the court under the CCAA. This Order provides an immediate 30 day Stay of Proceedings* against the company affording the company the time to prepare its Plan of Arrangement.

A Plan of Arrangement is an offer from the company to its creditors in which the creditors are offered a reduced amount, on the outstanding debt, in exchange for the company paying a lump sum of cash, or entering into a payment plan. The CCAA offers significant flexibility and not all plans involve a payment. Plans can include an offer of shares, possessions or cash or a mixture of the three.

The troubled company has the ability to exclude a specific creditor or group of creditors from its Plan, and can even include the shareholders as creditors. There is no limit to what the Plan could entail.

In order to be eligible under the CCAA, the company must be:

  1. a Canadian company; or,
  2. a foreign company with assets in Canada or conducting business in Canada; or,
  3. an income trust;

The company must be insolvent or have committed an act of bankruptcy and the company must have in excess of $5 million in debt.

After receiving the Plan of Arrangement the creditors will meet to vote on acceptance of the Plan. In order to be accepted, and therefore binding on all the creditors in that class, 2/3rds of the creditors, by dollar value, must approve the Plan. If the creditors don’t immediately approve the Plan it can be altered by negotiation between the creditors and the company until all the necessary changes are made to have it approved.

If the creditors and the insolvent company cannot come to an agreement the Plan is rejected and the troubled company loses the protection of the Stay of Proceedings, which ultimately would result in the insolvent company filing for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (“BIA”). From a creditor perspective, an insolvent company filing for bankruptcy would be the least beneficial option available.

*Stay of Proceedings is the halting of all legal and collection actions by the creditors against the insolvent company.