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February 15, 2012

Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.
721 Route 202-206, Suite 200
P.O. Box 5933
Bridgewater, NJ 08807-5933
Contact: Edward C. Miller, Jr.
Chief Marketing Officer
(908) 722-0700 x4224
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Smith and Somach Present Distressed Properties Seminar to Lehigh Valley REALTORS®

Allentown, PA (February 15, 2012) – Charles F. Smith, Jr. and Richard Brent Somach, Members of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., presented “Distressed Properties and Everything You Want to Know About Short Sales, Sheriff Sales, and Tax Sales in the Marketplace” to the Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS® (LVAR) on February 15, 2012, at the LVAR office in Bethlehem. Due to the popularity of the subject matter, the session was at full capacity, and the LVAR has planned a duplicate presentation this month.

“Short sales, sheriff sales, and tax sales are hot topics and have become very common in this real estate climate. Many real estate agents do not have experience dealing with these properties and need to be informed of the intricacies of selling and buying them in order to serve their clients,” said Somach.

“A short sale simply means that there will not be enough sale proceeds to satisfy the existing mortgage. In order for a short sale to proceed to settlement, a lender must approve the sale and agree to accept less than what is owed. This adds a layer of complexity to an otherwise routine real estate closing. Our goal is to help the realtors guide their clients through that often frustrating and time consuming process. If the lender refuses to approve the short sale, the property can proceed down a track which can ultimately end in foreclosure,” added Smith.

The Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS® is a not-for-profit trade association established in 1996 by the merger of the former Allentown-Lehigh County Association, the Bethlehem Association and the Eastern Northampton County Association of REALTORS®. The merger has directly benefited home buyers and sellers by providing a wider exposure of properties throughout the Lehigh Valley. LVAR has approximately 2382 members who market property in the Lehigh Valley in Eastern Pennsylvania. Members of the Association promise strict adherence to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®. LVAR's mission is to provide and promote programs, products and services to enhance members ability to conduct business and to advocate for REALTORS® and private property rights.

Smith, a resident of Upper Saucon Township, has 23 years of practical legal experience. He practices primarily in the areas of transactional work related to real estate, land use/development, banking and financial services, and commercial litigation. He represents buyers acquiring real estate and financial institutions in preparing loan documentation. Smith has handled the acquisition of over 20 large commercial self storage facilities for his clients. He represents title companies in title insurance claims and litigation, and manages ABE Settlement Services, LLC, the Firm's title insurance agency. In addition, he is an Assistant County Solicitor with the Law Department of Lehigh County focusing primarily on County real estate matters.

Smith is a member of the Pennsylvania Self Storage Association and frequently lectures on self-storage related issues.

He earned his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 1988 and his B.A. from Lafayette College in 1985. An active alumnus, he serves as President of Lafayette’s class of 1985. He was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1963.

Somach focuses his practice on real estate, commercial law, and creditors' remedies, representing real estate development companies, shopping centers, and local banks. In the banking area, Somach assists clients with their transactional, litigation, and operational needs, and has extensive experience handling collections, foreclosures and complex commercial workouts. Somach has represented real estate owners, developers and investors in a broad range of real estate transactions, including zoning matters, residential subdivisions and shopping center development. As a licensed title insurance agent and is legal counsel to the Lehigh Valley Association of REALTORS®.

Somach is Assistant Lehigh County Solicitor, advising the Sheriff’s Office, the Tax Assessment Office and the Tax Claim Bureau, and frequently writes and lectures on real estate matters, sheriff’s sales and real estate tax sales. He moderated “Sheriff's Sales in Pennsylvania” and authored “Sheriff's Sales and Real Estate Tax Sales” for A Day on Real Estate, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI). In the past, he has presented lectures on mortgage foreclosures for PBI and has lectured at the annual Real Estate Institute Program.

Active in many community organizations, Somach is a past president of the Salisbury Township School Board and a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and of the Lehigh County Bar Association, serving as President in 1992.

Somach earned his J.D. in 1974 from Hofstra University and his B.A., with honors, from Lehigh University in 1971.

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