The Cooperator's Latest Roundtable Forum Lenders, Lawyers. Leaders

Carrying on The Cooperator's popular series of "roundtable" discussions for professionals in various disciplines of the city's residential real estate industry, a group of representatives from the worlds of co-op and condo law, finance and management met at The Cooperator's offices in July for breakfast and conversation about co-op financials. Topics ranged from co-ops' financing rules for applicants to the increasing popularity and availability of reverse mortgages.

Reprising his role as moderator for the morning's discussion was Al Pennisi, president of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives and Condominiums (FNYHC) and a partner with the law firm Pennisi Daniels & Norelli. The panel also included Greg Carlson, the FNYHC's executive director, a longtime property manager and Pennisi's colleague at the Federation, attorney Eric Goidel of the Manhattan law firm of Borah Goldstein Altschuler Nahins & Goidel, PC, Anthony Mancusi, Kathy Schenker and Peter Matzerath of Sovereign Bank, Neil Davidowitz, an attorney and president of Orsid Management, and Mona Shyman, vice president of the Federation and with the management consulting firm MHS Consultants.

Also present were members of The Cooperator's editorial staff: Managing Editor Debra A. Estock, Associate Editor Crystal Proenza and Editorial Assistant Olga Alexander.

Pennisi opened the morning's discussion with a few welcoming remarks to the assembled panel, and kicked off the conversation with the question of cooperation between lenders and lawyers when it comes to borrowing money—whether for an individual unit purchase, or on behalf of an entire building.

"One of the things you've got to do is have a dialogue between the cooperative management, their attorneys and the Federation," says Pennisi. "With attorneys, the first concern is that the bank has a solid, financially stable property so that when the buyer buys into it and the bank finances that purchase, there's no doubt that in the final analysis, the loan will be paid."


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  • Are reverse mortgages available for co-ops? Where do I get information about this
  • We live in a newly renovated pre-war condo building. We just discovered that our outer walls within our apartment were not insulated properly and some walls have no insulation plus our pipes going from floor to floor do not have insulation at the base. We went to the Attorney General who told the sponsor that the work needs to be done but he refuses to comply. What can we do?