With more than a decade of experience in real estate and commercial law, Joseph Treff is a partner in the New York-based law firm of Treff and Lowy. In this capacity, Joseph Treff represents buyers and sellers of properties and handles matters concerning real estate finance, syndication, and litigation.

Some commercial buyers opt to purchase property through the use of a real estate sale contract. This tactic benefits investors who don’t have full funding for a project, as well as those buyers who wish to retain cash and have it available for additional investments or other purposes. Under the usual terms of a real estate sale contract, the buyer takes control of the property while making payments directly to the seller or seller’s representative; the buyer gains an interest in the property, but the seller holds the deed until he or she receives payment in full.

Because of the level of trust involved in a real estate sale contract, sellers and buyers often retain the services of an experienced real estate attorney. The lawyers develop and negotiate a document that protects the interests of their respective clients in the transaction. The buyer’s attorney ensures that the seller upholds promises such as use of land, payment of any taxes or fees, and turnover of the deed once all terms of the contract have been fulfilled. The seller’s attorney often incorporates into the contract such particulars as a payment schedule and provisions for termination and eviction if the buyer fails to make the stipulated payments or to meet other requirements.


As a partner in the New York City law firm of Treff and Lowy, PLLC, Joseph Treff offers advice to investors on all aspects of real estate financing. Familiar with numerous investment vehicles, Joseph Treff has facilitated a number of conduit financing transactions.

By definition, conduit financing describes the path that funds take from investor to transactions. It allows borrowers to secure the funds that they need for a transaction while the long-term financing undergoes structuring. It has become a common technique for facilitating commercial real estate transactions, which frequently require a larger capital total than residential mortgage lending. A conduit lender grants this capital to the buyer and takes on the responsibility for sourcing investor funding to achieve the final total.

A conduit lender may also use a similar system to fund municipal projects with external managers. This allows the project to get underway and begin to produce revenue, which then goes toward paying back the original loan. Conduit lenders maintain control over the structure of the financing itself, which allows them to provide more flexible financing adapted to the life of a project, while investors gain access to prestructured opportunities.

A partner in the Brooklyn-based law firm of Treff and Lowy, PLLC, Joseph Treff represents clients engaged in buying and selling real estate, as well as matters such as real estate development, syndication, and financing. Joseph Treff also undertakes negotiations and contracts concerning the structuring and formation of complex real estate joint ventures and partnerships.

An assignment of contract allows the original owner or debtor in the agreement, or assignor, to turn over to a third party his or her responsibility for the asset, as well as any benefits, such as revenues, appreciation, and use. In most cases, the assignee, or party that takes possession of the asset, also assumes all obligations associated with it, including related costs and taxes. Nonetheless, some assignments require the original assignor to guarantee the terms of the original contract regardless of the assignee’s promises of performance.

Some original contracts prohibit the transfer of the agreement via assignment, while others nullify an assignment that alters the terms of the initial arrangement. In addition, most courts refuse to recognize an assignment of contract that violates statutes or laws. Many assignments of contract involve real estate transactions in which the owner of a commercial or multifamily residential property assigns contracts for management, maintenance, and other critical functions.