Vinsko & Associates, P.C.

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From real estate to family law matters, Vinsko & Associates, P.C. is the keystone to any legal strategy.

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Vinsko & Associates, P.C.

Bold Representation. Sound Results.

From real estate to family law matters, Vinsko & Associates, P.C. is the keystone to any legal strategy.

2 ways for property owners to respond to eminent domain claims

Property ownership is the American dream. Millions of Pennsylvanians spend several years setting money aside so that they can afford to buy a house, and others pass their homes to family members as part of an inter-generational legacy.

People tend to think of their ownership rights as absolute. Unless they fall behind on their mortgage and face foreclosure or fail to pay their taxes, they assume that they will own that property until they die or decide to sell it. However, there is a rare but very real possibility that could to the loss of property through no fault of an individual’s own.

Eminent domain is a legal means by which government authorities can potentially lay claim to private property. In Pennsylvania, eminent domain claims almost always involve projects for public benefit, typically conducted by government agencies like the Department of Transportation. How can a homeowner defend against a pending eminent domain claim?

Challenge the project or their property’s inclusion

Sometimes, those presented with an offer for their property related to eminent domain and an upcoming project will question whether that project actually qualifies under state law for such properties eases. It is sometimes possible for homeowners to fight back against involuntary property sales compelled for a project that is not truly in the public interest. Other times, the project itself may be valid, but the inclusion of a specific parcel may not be necessary.

Challenge the fair market value offered

The professionals or agency attempting to compel the sale of real property for a project will obviously want to keep what they pay for the properties as low as possible. State law requires that any involuntary sale involves someone receiving the fair market value for their home.

Sometimes the issue with an eminent domain scenario is not whether the property is at risk but rather how much the property is actually worth. Those who believe that the offer they received is unfair and far too low could potentially use appraisals or estimates from real estate professionals to show that the amount offered does not reflect what the property is really worth.

Preparing an appropriate response to an eminent domain claim with the help of a legal professional can help to protect someone from the loss of their most valuable asset.

3 things buyers need to know about Pennsylvania Upset Sales

There are numerous ways to become an owner of Pennsylvania real estate. Maybe you inherited farmland from your grandparents, or perhaps you went the more traditional route of securing a mortgage in conjunction with your spouse.

Some people, including real estate investors, are eager to learn more about alternative means of acquiring real property. The annual Upset Sale for real estate in your county could be a source of surprising real estate bargains.

You can potentially buy real estate for a fraction of its fair market value by covering the past-due taxes and certain other expenses at an Upset Sale. Here are a few things that property buyers in Pennsylvania need to know about Upset Sales and home ownership.

It takes a while to complete a transfer

If you go to an Upset Sale and make a bid on a property, it would likely be a mistake to attempt to gain possession of the property and start moving in as soon as possible. The reason is simple. The original owner who has the tax debt technically has an opportunity for redemption. You may have to wait up to nine months after the tax sale to become the official owner. If the previous owner redeems the property, you will no longer be the owner.

Redeemed properties can be a source of income

The idea of undertaking the effort to research properties and make a purchase at an Upset Sale may seem both time-consuming and potentially frustrating given the right of the owner to redeem the property after the sale. However, you have a right to compensation for your investment of time and effort. The law typically allows you to claim 10% interest on the amount that you paid at the Upset Sale in the event of a redemption.

You need capital on hand for an Upset Sale

Mortgage lenders will typically not underwrite a loan for a property that you won’t hold clear title to, as is the case in an Upset Sale purchase. You will typically need to have liquid capital on hand to complete an Upset Sale transaction. The purchase amount is due in full by the next day.

Exploring all the different means of becoming a real estate owner in Pennsylvania can help you determine if attending an Upset Sale might be a worthwhile endeavor.


3 issues couples can address in their prenuptial agreements

You don’t need millions of dollars in property to make a prenuptial agreement a smart protection when you decide to get engaged. Prenuptial agreements are not just about preserving someone’s wealth. In fact, agreements that are clearly biased in favor of one spouse may end up invalidated by family courts because they are unethical.

Contracts need to offer some kind of valuable consideration to both parties for them to be valid. Both you and your spouse should think about your personal concerns about both marriage and the possibility of divorce. Each of you will have the right to integrate certain terms that will protect you during the marriage and if you ever decide to divorce.

What kinds of terms do people frequently include in prenuptial agreements?

1. Protections for personal property

Engaged couples sometimes use prenuptial agreements as a way to protect their individual assets from commingling. People can protect inherited assets or specific property, like their retirement savings, as separate and therefore not subject to division. Other times, couples take a different route and simply include rules intended to guide the property division process.

2. Agreements related to child custody matters

Parenting choices can be a source of conflict both during a marriage and at the end of the relationship. The more thoroughly you discuss how you intend to parent and your expectations for one another related to your shared children, the less you will have to negotiate when you decide to divorce. From the breakdown of parenting time to rules about religion and technology, there are many important parenting terms that you can integrate into your prenuptial agreement.

3. Spousal support considerations

It is important that people know that the common request to waive child support rights in a prenuptial agreement could invalidate the document. Child support is what a parent owes to the children they have, and therefore the other parent does not have the authority to decline those payments in most cases.

However, you can set certain terms for spousal support. For example, you could put rules in place to ensure that the spouse who makes career sacrifices to raise the children will receive proper support if the marriage ends and they have to reenter the workforce unexpectedly.

When you understand the terms that people frequently include in prenuptial agreements, you can see how they reduce the conflict that occurs during a divorce and also how they may lead to a happier and more successful marriage. Talking about a prenuptial agreement with your fiance could help the two of you start your marriage out the right way.

What happens to your family home in Pennsylvania divorce?

When you file for divorce in Pennsylvania, you may not know what exactly to expect. The stories you have heard from other people often won’t apply to your current situation. In fact, they may not have even divorced in the same state, which means that their insight is not useful for your situation.

Divorce requires that spouses address their shared obligations. If they have children, they will need to come up with a parenting plan that explains in detail how they will share the responsibilities that they have to their children. Sometimes, couples may need to negotiate terms for spousal support if one spouse has depended on the other and will need support before they can live independently again.

Spouses also have to divide their property, which can be a very challenging process. The home where the two of you live is likely one of your most valuable belongings. Possession of the home could also influence everything from your daily commute to your custody arrangements. What can you expect to happen with your house in your Pennsylvania divorce?

Most spouses have to share home equity

Given that you have used marital income to make mortgage payments or improvements to the property, at least some of the home equity you have accrued over the years is likely subject to division in your divorce proceedings. Some couples can negotiate their own settlement regarding their marital home.

For example, maybe the two of you can agree that the parent with more time with the children will be the one to keep home. Other times, financial concessions, like giving up a claim to a retirement account, might allow one spouse to keep the home. Some couples choose to sell their home and share what they make in the sale. If they can’t settle on their own, then a judge will make those decisions.

How a judge will divide your property

Every judge in Pennsylvania will need to use the same standard when dividing people’s property in a divorce. They will have to reach a conclusion that they believe is fair and reasonable. Equitable distribution rules give judges a lot of discretion regarding how they manage a couple’s assets and debts in a divorce. You generally have to abide by whatever decision a judge makes related to your marital property.

The first step in preparing for negotiations will likely be determining how much of your home equity is marital property and what your house is currently worth. From there, you can start discussing how to handle the home in a fair manner with your spouse or prepare a strategy for advocating for your preferred outcome in divorce litigation. Learning more about property division rules can help those preparing for an upcoming Pennsylvania divorce.

Strong Legal Counsel For Individuals, Families Businesses and Municipalities in Pennsylvania

Vinsko & Associates, P.C., opened its doors with a single aim: To provide legal counsel and exceptional representation to individuals, families and professionals in Pennsylvania. We have remained true to our mission ever since.

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Tax Sale Litigation

If you are behind in your real estate taxes for two years or more, your property can be exposed to a tax sale. Vinsko & Associates, P.C., has extensive experience in handling Pennsylvania tax sale litigation throughout the Commonwealth.

Real Estate Law & Litigation

If you are looking for assistance with your real estate matter in Pennsylvania, look no further. Our real estate lawyers and trained staff can assist you with any and all issues regarding real estate.

Family Law, Divorce, Custody

When child custody is an issue that you must face, you need a trusted lawyer to guide you through the steps necessary to do what is in the best interest of the child.

Business & Corporate Law and Litigation

We have considerable experience handling legal matters for small entrepreneurial businesses as well as large well-established corporations.

Employment Law

If you have been affected in your job because of your national origin, your gender, your age, your religion, your disability status, or sexual orientation, call us today.

Estate Probate Planning & Litigation

At Vinsko & Associates, P.C., we understand how complex Pennsylvania probate law is and how confused it can leave families as well as personal representatives.

Municipal & Government Law

If you have been affected in your job because of your national origin, your gender, your age, your religion, your disability status, or sexual orientation, call us today.

Personal Injury

Our experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers have settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few years, and we will work just as hard for you!

Seasoned Litigators In Your Corner

Throughout our years of practice, we have learned the ins and outs of the law. When you bring your case to us, we take the burden from your shoulders and put all our efforts toward finding the best solution. If this requires litigation, we are not afraid to step up to the plate. Our attorneys have successfully litigated in state and federal court.

Seasoned Litigators In Your Corner

Throughout our years of practice, we have learned the ins and outs of the law. When you bring your case to us, we take the burden from your shoulders and put all our efforts toward finding the best solution. If this requires litigation, we are not afraid to step up to the plate. Our attorneys have successfully litigated in state and federal court.

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We Meet You Where You’re At

Our clients are located all around Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia area. In a time where distance can be a barrier to premier services, technological advancements have allowed us to remove that obstacle for our clients. We frequently use teleconferencing to meet with stakeholders to discuss details of the case, our goals, and our strategies. Any legal matter can be overwhelming and burdensome, but no matter where you are in the state, you can count on Vinsko & Associates, P.C., to go the extra mile for you.

Founded In 2003 

A full-service Pennsylvania law firm with offices in downtown Wilkes-Barre and in center-city Philadelphia, our lawyers have a history of providing competent legal representation throughout the Commonwealth.

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If you are Selling, Buying or Refinancing a property, whether it be residential or commercial, click here. We can give you estimated closing costs which includes transfer taxes, title insurance, recording fees and other costs you will see. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out how much you will spend. Use our Closing and Settlement Service Center and you will obtain information directly from our real estate closing and settlement staff.

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Experienced Attorneys You Can Depend On

Whether you are dealing with a real estate, business or family law issue, the legal system can be perplexing. At Vinsko & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have more than 32 years of combined experience navigating complex legal issues and developing effective strategies for our clients. When we are formulating a strategy, we never stop when we think we have reached the end. We keep digging, discovering new information and finding alternative ways to solve the issue at hand. It’s one of the many things that sets us apart from our competitors. Clients can depend on us to guide them through their legal issue.

Testimonials From Our Clients:

Working with Vinsko & Associates on the closing of mine and my wife’s house was amazing. They were with us every step of the way during the whole process. They went above and beyond for us and we are so grateful for them and all of their help. – Jason G.

I would highly recommend Vinsko & Associates, P.C. for all legal needs. Their level of knowledge, legal prowess, and professionalism is above and beyond all others I’ve experienced. They obviously take pride in developing relationships and invest themselves in the success of their clients. – Melody P.
Bill and Brian did excellent work for us! Thanks to them we won our case. They made sure no stone went unturned and took care of us and our best interest every step of the way. We always felt like they had our backs! – Jennifer K.
One of the BEST Law firms I have ever dealt with in my career. Vinsko & Associate were very responsive to my questions, my needs and everything that pertained to my legal cases. I have utilized them on multiple levels and cases and I ALWAYS felt as though I was their “ONLY” Client, NOT a Number… Kudos to all who represent this great company! – Chuck T.
Best lawyer in town! Bill has helped me with so much, from purchasing my home, starting a business, drafting wills, and handling contracts. Top notch expertise in all areas. The lawyer you want if you need things done right. Thanks Bill!!! – Matthew F.