Freedom of Information Law: How Will This Affect the Market?

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal this week, a dispute over home conversions in suburban Rockland County threatens to upend Manhattan’s luxury condominium market by instituting a new state law that makes every condo buyer’s name publicly available under the state’s Freedom of Information Law. As we know, many wealthy owners prefer to purchase through LLCs, also known as shell companies. Some want privacy, and others want to protect assets from lawsuits. So we want to hear from you about what you think the consequences of this new law will be on an already struggling market?
1. Do you think the lack of privacy will stop some buyers from purchasing?
Martin: No. An attorney will be able to find a solution....i.e. "in care of"
2. In your experience, what is the main reason buyers use LLCs?
Martin: Well, LLC stands for "limited liability company". It limits the owner of the LLC to be exposed only to the extent of the property. In other words, if you are having a party at $1,000,000 property and a guest falls out the window and dies, you would be exposed only to the $1,000,000.
3. The articles says Federal officials say some buyers use LLCs to launder money or hide ill-gotten gains. Do you agree?
Martin: Sensationalism sells! You will always find exceptions but 99.9% of LLC are created for the reason above.
4. This new law was enacted on September 13, a bit under the radar. Did you notice?
Martin: I just read about it last week.

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