November 15, 2018

I recently found myself attending an arraignment for a client in a local town court. This is unusual for me because, as a rule, I don't practice criminal law. It was a one-time favor for an established client, and although I don't see a future for myself in criminal law, I am so grateful that I took this one case on, because it gave me a real glimpse into how truly fantastic the women lawyers who are in the trenches practicing criminal law are. 

As a background, you have to imagine a jam-packed town court - standing room only, with a line of locals out the door waiting to be heard on anything from small claims, to evictions to arraignments on criminal matters. At the front of the courtroom, next to the Judge's bench, sit the prisoner transports - unfortunate folks who are currently in custody and have been transported by law enforcement to the Court for arraignment. They wear prison-type jumpsuits and are shackled. Next, there are the at...

October 15, 2018

I came across a fascinating issue that rarely comes up in the loan application process recently, and I thought I should share it with you. As many first time home buyers quickly find out, mortgage lenders can be a bit intrusive when considering whether to approve a mortgage application. This is for several reasons including federal regulations that require them to collect certain information, and more generally, lenders trying to protect against the types of bad investments that led the the now infamous "mortgage meltdown". 

Lenders will demand to know things like who your employer is and how much money you make (and make you provide the pay stubs to prove it). A lender will typically require months worth of bank statements, and will question any deposits that don't correspond to your pay stubs. In short, mortgage lenders are very concerned with whether the person applying for a mortgage loan can afford to pay them back.

So...

March 15, 2018

I met with the sweetest young couple today. They had just put in an offer on a house, and were brand spanking new to the real estate purchasing process. My conversation with them inspired me write a post about the process of buying real estate in general. I will answer specific questions they had, and others that I hear frequently in upcoming posts.

(Here, I have to do my lawyerly duty and tell you that nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice. (If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer about your particular case). 

Ok- so as my clients today discovered, buying real estate in New York State is a lengthy and sometimes confusing process. Even within our great Empire State, the process can vary by geographic region. I am most familiar with the Central New York process, so I will focus on how things work here in this post. Real Estate Lawyers practicing out of New York City who read this post will be totally confused,...

March 15, 2018

Welcome to my inaugural blog post! Thanks for visiting! My name is Michelle Wolfenden, and I am the Managing Attorney of the Wolfenden Law Firm, PLLC. I'm a Brewerton, NY native, and the daughter of hard-working, middle class parents who taught me by example that the opportunity to improve is always available to those who are willing to work hard and live humbly. I hope someday my two lunatics (kiddos) will have something similar to say about the way that my husband and I are raising them. 

I am a graduate of the Central Square School District, and after high school, I was not sure what I wanted to do. So, I enrolled in Onondaga Community College, commuted from home, and got a couple of jobs to support myself. I worked as a medical receptionist and waited tables all throughout my time at OCC and then LeMoyne College, and continued to wait tables (great money!!) during summers in Law School. 

My path to the law was circuitou...

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