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Buying real estate property for undocumented residents

November 30, 2020

Hi, my name is Marina Shepelsky and I am a New York and New Jersey admitted attorney since 2002. In practice for over 18 years. I am admitted in New York and New Jersey court and Federal Courts as well as in the Supreme Court of the United States.

I handle real estate closings and immigration law as part of my practice all the years I have been admitted. I was asked, what are the issues facing an undocumented immigrant in purchasing a home and getting home for that purchase.

My commentary in this video is based on personal experience working in real estate and immigration law with many people, undocumented immigrants.

The answer is that is very hard for an undocumented immigrant to purchase a home in the United States. Here is why:

1. Many don`t have a social security number nor do they work on the books because you only get a social security number if you have a legitimate immigration case pending. And once it is closed and the case is denied, the social security number gives a trigger in the employment search system.

So, an undocumented immigrant either has no social, limited social or can not work on the books, can not work legally. It is impossible to get a mortgage and with the current real estate prices…How would an undocumented immigrant…even have…tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars without being able to get a mortgage.

Why is a mortgage impossible to get for an undocumented person?

Well, a mortgage bank needs a social and proof of legal status and they also need proof of U.S.employment and U.S. residency. For an undocumented immigrant, they don`t have any of the above.

2. You also need tax returns to back up a loan application and usually they don`t have those as well.

3. Home insurance. To insure a prospective home the insurance company needs social, and proof of legal status, and usually some sort of other status of residency. They don`t have that.

4. People who are undocumented have no state ID. They go to the DMV, but DMV requires an employment authorization which they don`t have. they also require social, which they don`t have.

So they are unable to get a driver`s license, unable to get a state ID. Without those, you can`t buy the property and also, you have no proof of being here legally.

5. Each state requires the transfer documents to be recorded by the social, the person`s name, and get registered, and people have to pay a tax on the sales, and sometimes even on the purchase.

Without a social and tax ID, it`s impossible to register the sale or the purchase. People are very vulnerable in that state. they get their relatives to record the property in their name. they get, you know, defrauded. People steal their property. I have calls coming to my office all the time.

So, what is the solution?

Unfortunately, the solution is to wait to buy property until you are legalized in the United States.

My name is Marina Shepelsky and this was my commentary.

Thank you!

Shepelsky Law Group

Tel: (718) 769-6352