State To Set Up Special Courts To Tackle Real Estate Cases

The inflated price deceived lenders, who approved loans for the buyers that were larger than the actual prices. The seller received the higher price gave a $30,000 kickback to the buyers at closing. The buyers defaulted on the home loans after the 2008 market crash, causing a loss to the lenders of $393,000. Engelmann testified that he believed it was appropriate, if unusual, for the deals to be structured with a “cash refund” to the buyers and he denied committing fraud. But the high court rejected that argument Friday, as the jury did in 2011. A federal appeals court has also upheld his convictions. Justice Thomas Waterman said that Engelmann made repeated misrepresentations that deceived lenders. As a sophisticated real estate attorney, Engelmann knew or should have known that the deals were unethical and refused to take part, he wrote. Engelmann collected only a $350 fee for each closing and did not otherwise benefit from the fraud. But Waterman said the crime nonetheless forced banks to suffer great losses. Engelmann had practiced law since 1976 with an unblemished disciplinary record, handling thousands of real estate transactions in the Quad Cities area of eastern Iowa and western Illinois. He is incarcerated at a prison in Terre Haute, Ind., with a projected release date of Oct.

Real Estate SEO Expert Added to Marketing Services Provided by

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The REI Ranker company is announcing its addition of a real estate SEO expert to its current team. This expert is a welcomed addition to the company staff to help expand property marketing solutions to companies at . This change to adding a property specific expert to the company team is expected to boost the rankings that are possible for client websites. The standard SEO services that many companies provided were affected by the Panda 2.1 and Hummingbird updates that Google announced earlier this year. The addition of the new REI Ranker company expert is expected to enhance the existing real estate marketing services offered. The shift to a new results oriented marketing platform is also a new concept that is offered to all clients going forward. These solutions have been added to the company detail pages online. “We’ve slowly built our team of experts in the real estate industry over the past several years and we’re confident our rankings will be improved for clients,” said a source a the REI Ranker company. The newly assembled marketing team that is currently attached to all marketing services offered at the REI Ranker company is now available for small and large companies. The 2013 modification to pricing and additional add-on services has leveled the package pricing for all companies. “We moved earlier this year to a different price point for packages and the expert team we’ve now assembled help guarantee our low pricing for clients,” the source included. Aside from the addition of new employees, several changes have taken place this month at the website. Instead of a simple sign-up form offered to clients, a new review process is enabled for any person who submits a request for SEO services. This new solution guarantees a review by company staff to ensure SEO programs offered for real estate will fit into the needs of all interested clients. About The company provides small business search engine targeting services that are designed to be affordable and produce results for all clients.

Robert Baker a New York real-estate tycoon whose family has amassed stacks of degrees from the Ivy League stronghold has donated $25 million for a dormitory at Yale Law School. The gift will fund half of a project to buy and renovate a campus building into a complex that will house law students as well as administrative offices and seminar rooms. The new dorm opens in 2018. Despite the top US ranking of Yale Law School whose alumni include Bill and Hillary Clinton many graduates dont go into high-dollar professions, opting instead for public service and non-profit jobs, Baker said. Weve looked and looked, and could find no other major donor, he said. Baker earned his Yale law degree in 1977, 21 years after finishing college there.

Commercial real estate transactions

First St. in Garland from Altronic, LLC. Henry S. Miller Brokerages Dan Spika brokered the sale with Chris Stout of Jones Lang LaSalle. Environmental Logistics has purchased a 20,471-square-foot office building at 2605 Northaven Road in Dallas. Nathan Denton with Lee & Associates brokered the sale with Tracy Peterson with ReMax DFW. Modjarrad & Abusaad Law Firm has purchased an 11,420-square-foot office building located at 212 Spring Valley Road in Richardson. Kent Smith of NAI Robert Lynn brokered the sale with Hudson Peters Janice Peters and Michelle Hudson.

Real-estate tycoon gives Yale $25M to build dorm

The first such court has been planned for Thane and will start operations once it receives a green signal from the government, he added. The proposal will be placed before the state assemblies and will be discussed at the upcoming winter session. Samant said the amendments would also include cluster development. This will promote development and redevelopment of smaller areas, buildings, which can be developed jointly to make it into big projects. Pune: The residents and people affected with real estate issues may get a special redressal system which will take up their grievances. The state government has planned to set up special courts only to deal with real estate dispute and illegal constructions in the state, said Uday Samant minister of state for Urban Development. Samant was speaking with reporters on the sidelines of a programme organised to celebrate centenary year of establishment town planning department. He said that the state government has proposed amendments in the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MRTP). The act, which was drafted in 1966 aims at better development of urban areas as per their regional specialties. These amendments are aimed to make town planning better and more citizen friendly. Establishments of the special courts is also one such amendment. “A number of disputes related to real estate are going up due to rapid urbanisation. Many disputes between tenants and owners take years to get sorted out. Such problems can be solved if there could be any mechanism specially dedicated to resolve this problems,” said Samant. He added that the first such court is planned in Thane.


Solid Commercial Real Estate Advice For Anyone To Follow

You can sometimes become overwhelmed when thinking and dealing with commercial real estate, yet you don’t have to be discouraged for too much longer. The advice of the following article will guide you through the often confusing and complicated world of commercial real estate, and hopefully see you better prepared for succeeding in it. 
Pest control is a very important issue that you need to be aware of when renting or leasing. This is especially true when renting in an area that has a lot of bugs or rodents, so be sure to talk to the rental agent about some pest control policies.

When Should A Real Estate Agent?

An essential fundamental of commercial property is location, location, location. Take the neighborhood of the property into consideration. Compare its growth to similar areas. You’re not only thinking about the here and now; you want to look a decade down the line too. Pick an area with the potential for sustainable growth.
You may find that you spend a large amount of time at first on your investment. First, you will need to search for an opportunity and purchase the property, as well as perform any repairs that are required. Do not give up because this process takes too much of your time. You will reap the rewards of all your hard work.
Once you have narrowed your choices down to two major contenders, you should expand your decision to include the big picture. If you will be financing the purchase, you should take into account that doing so will require just as much time and effort for a small lot as it will for a larger lot. Just think about it as the more you buy the lower you are paying per unit, so you save more in the end.
Ask for the credentials of any professional you’re planning to hire as an inspector, and ensure they are experienced in commercial real estate. This should be especially noted for those who work in pest removal since there are actually a number of non-licensed people who work in this area. You want to avoid a future liability that can come after the sale, if the inspection was not correct.
With the commercial property, you need to make sure there is easy access to the utilities. Your business may have unique utility needs, but at the very least, you probably require hookups for electric, sewer, water and most likely, gas.

How To Get Property Deed Online?

Keep the smaller issuer for later on in your negotiations and the larger ones first, when you write a letter of intent. This way, negotiations will be smoother, and agreements on the small issues are more likely to be reached.
Carefully peruse the disclosure statements issued by the real estate agency you intend to hire. Be aware of the possibility of dual agency. What this means is that your chosen agency has an interest in buying and selling the property. In effect, while you are paying the agency, they also work for the opposite side; if you are a prospective tenant, for example, the dual agency represents the landlord, as well. Both parties need to clearly understand that the transaction is being handled by a dual agent and consent to this fact.

How To Recover House Quilt Block?

Hunting for commercial property is a stressful and sometimes overwhelming situation for beginners and experts alike. Hopefully by using the pointers in this article, you can find ways to ease the pressure of this unique market as you seek the ideal property.

Address Many Common Commercial Real Estate Problems With These Easy Tips

Buying a commercial property is totally different than buying a house, so don’t treat them as identical transactions. Read this article for timely tips and advice to help drive you to success.
Location is crucial when it comes to commercial property. For example, consider the surrounding area and local neighborhoods. Look at the growth of areas that are similar. What you are seeing now in terms of commercial potential might be very different a few years from now.
Your investment may require a large amount of time to begin with. Hunting for the opportune property will take time and effort, and even after you have purchased it, upgrades and reconditioning might be necessary. Don’t throw in the towel due to the massive hours needed. You will reap the rewards of all your hard work.
When interviewing potential brokers, ask them to tell you about their experience level with the type of commercial investments you are interested in. Make sure they are specializing in the desired area that you’re selling or buying in. Once you find the broker you want to use, sign an exclusive agreement.
Net Operating Income, the commercial metric for real estate, needs to be understood. Success is about staying in the green. 
If you want to rent your commercial property, well built solid buildings are your best bet. Tenants will be eager to fill these spaces because it will be clear that they are well-maintained. This type of building also has the advantage of requiring less maintenance, an attractive feature for tenants and owners alike.
If you rent or lease the commercial properties you own, keep them occupied as much as possible. You are legally responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of unoccupied spaces. If occupancy is low, you may want to see if something is wrong with your property, and if there is, fix it.
You need to think over the community any commercial property is in before you commit to it. In general, it’s better to locate a business in a richer area because rich customers obviously have more discretionary income. You might want to buy a property in a less affluent neighborhood if you are selling products or services that less affluent people would find attractive.
Determine your business goals before you start your hunt for commercial property. You should write down the features you are looking for, such as size or settings.
Put a high priority on emergency maintenance needs. Be sure to find out who takes care of maintenance in the building and also who handles emergency repair situations. Keep the phone numbers in a convenient place, and know how long it will take them to respond if needed. Develop an emergency plan for those times when disruption in your services occurs. This advance planning can save your business reputation if an emergency strikes.
By now, you realize that there are many things that need due consideration if you’re going on a commercial real estate shopping spree. Remember what you have learned in the preceding article, and you will be able to get a good deal on a piece of real estate that meets your needs.

Real Estate Matters | Is It A Good Idea To Turn Fha-financed Condo Into A Rental?

Top Charlotte real estate developers bullish on region’s outlook for 2014

Potential for growth in the realty sector has been acknowledged across the industries in India and emerged as a focus of interest in the international arena. Lately, Singapore, the world’s only sovereign city-state, has emerged as the frontrunner of capitalizing the promising returns in the Indian real estate. Beginning with the entrance of Jumabhoy family from Singapore, the premium residential sector in India has been the sanctuary for massive foreign investments. Raffles Residency Pvt Ltd, a real estate corporation floated by the Jumabhoy group intends to develop ultra-luxury villas in the city of Bangalore. Other leading developers like the DLF and Lodha group have also been witnessed to be collaborating with leading foreign architect and designing firms in order to match up to the best international realty standards and practices. Captivatingly, the broadening horizon of Indian real estate is all set to absorb yet another chunk of investment from the foreign investors, eyeing on the promising returns in the commercial subsector of Indian real estate. It is the GIC, Singapore government’s wealth fund, and the developer company named Ascendas, who intend to invest in the bourgeoning commercial sector of India. As reported by the Business Standard, $600 million is expected to come from the Ascendas India Growth Programme, an initiative by GIC and Ascendas to explore the business space market in India. The metro regions and cites like Pune, Hyderabad, the suburbs and the outgrowths of the metropolitan regions have been the attraction for the foreign investments. The suburbs and the outgrowths have been enticing the investors owing to the immense potential and scope of growth that these regions hold. The lower cost of land tracts, availability of supportive infrastructure and the increasing demand of residential units at these locations has worked well for growth in the recent past. Moving forward, the eased FDI norms, adaptive mixed-land use policies and the profitability that the Indian real estate sector offers, is expected to further enhance the growth and development in this sector over the coming future. Don’t Miss ( 1-4 of 12 )

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“Starting this next chapter with the Berkshire Hathaway brand name – the world’s most respected company, according to Barron’s – will bring even more opportunities to our agents and clients and strengthen our position as a leader in Iowa real estate.” Peers and Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, introduced the new brand at the Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines today and spoke about the implications of the transition on the local real estate market. They helped unveil the new “Cabernet and Cream” signage, and agents and brokers from the company’s three offices were on hand to celebrate and display the first yard sign at a local property. “We are thrilled to welcome First Realty to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” said Peltier. “For the last 50 years, First Realty has built its reputation as a frontrunner in the real estate market with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced agents. We are proud to have the company join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network and represent the brand in Iowa.” With the change, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices affiliates gain access to a robust real estate technology platform, ongoing business consultation, professional education, marketing support and more. “A respected leader in the Iowa marketplace, First Realty makes a strong addition to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network,” added Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. “First Realty is known for its commitment and dedication to its clients and we are excited to have the team on board.” First Realty’s new yard signs will begin appearing throughout Des Moines starting today. The company is part of a long line of Prudential Real Estate affiliates that will join the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand through 2014 and beyond. About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty, a full service real estate company, has more than 80 sales associates across three offices in Iowa. Since 1960, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty has built a solid reputation of having knowledgeable and experienced agents helping people throughout Iowa buy and sell real estate. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty is proud to be a member of HomeServices of America Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. About Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, based in Irvine, CA, is a brand-new real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate.

As for transferring title from her name to your name, you might be able to do that, but you should know that in some places the transfer of title might trigger a real estate tax review of your property. If your propertys value has gone up 15 percent, you might see your real estate taxes go up by that proportion as well. Also, the transfer of title wont release your daughter from the debt. You could sell the condominium, but you will pay federal income taxes on any profit you have made over the last year, along with any state income taxes. We recommend that you sit down and work through the numbers. Determine what rent you could get from the condominium. Then figure out what your current monthly expenses are, along with a cushion for other expenses that might come up for the condominium. Since your current homeowners insurance rate is for a personal residence, you might also want to find out what the insurance rate will be if its a rental. Also, in some states, real estate taxes are higher for income producing properties than they are for personal residences. On another front, some condominium associations limit or prohibit rentals. You should determine if there are any rental restrictions in your development or even talk of these restrictions. You should also find out if there are any rental time requirements or fees to be paid. Your whole idea of renting the unit might go out the window if you find out that you cant rent the unit or that the fees the association levies along with other expenses wont make it worth your while. If you overcome some of those issues, you still need to figure out what owning the condominium does for your finances and your federal income tax situation. You might find that owning the condominium affords certain tax benefits that you are unable to receive. Some real estate benefits are limited to people who are not real estate professionals.

Prudential First Realty Joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Brokerage Network

Stability is the key. Understanding the playing field the changing playing field drives us crazy. The Charlotte portion of the survey found that when asked to forecast profitability in the year ahead for real estate-related business, 35 percent of respondents characterized it as excellent, 51 percent called it good, 10 percent said poor and 4 percent said abysmal. With the exception of the last category, which remained unchanged, all of the figures reflected more optimism than the previous year. That report also said banks that feared lending on commercial real estate projects during the recession now are all of a sudden comfortable with the idea. The availability of equity capital from foreign investors, pension funds, private equity funds and other large institutions is also expected to increase. The outlook is mostly bright, said Curran, who led a panel discussion focused on the local survey findings during a luncheon at Myers Park Country Club. One example: Wyatt said the market for neighborhood shopping centers, which are often anchored by grocery stores, should receive a boost from the continued entry of the Publix grocery chain into the Charlotte region. That, along with Krogers purchase of Harris Teeter, will put two strong grocery chains into competition for real estate in Charlotte. This will be a real game changer for the Charlotte neighborhood center market, he said. I think well continue to see that business grow into 14, 15. Winners and losers The survey pointed out both winners and losers while analyzing the prospects for various sectors of Charlottes real estate market.

Use These Tips And Make The Right Decisions About Commercial Real Estate

The profitability of commercial real estate may exceed even your highest expectations. There is no guarantee that your commercial real estate purchase will be profitable, so be sure that you are in a position to handle the loss if things do not go exactly as you planned.
It is easy to get emotional when you are venturing into the commercial real estate market, but is is very important to stay patient and remain calm. Never rush into an investment. You may soon regret it when the property does not fulfill your goals. It could take up to a year for the right investment to materialize in your market.

How To Reduce Property Tax Ohio?

When selling a piece of commercial property, it is wise to ensure that you ask a realistic price. There are a variety of different factors that go into determining a property’s value.
One major part of commercial real estate deals is inspections. When property you are involved in is being inspected, take steps to verify the legitimacy of every inspector. Pay particular attention to credentials when it comes to pest inspections, since it is not uncommon to encounter people working in pest removal without a license. Staying on top of this will help you avoid issues after the deal is completed.
Make sure you have the right access that has utilities on commercial properties. You’ll need to have quick access to water, electricity, gas and the sewer.
When you are looking at a commercial property, be sure to look at the neighborhood, too. Expensive, luxury-oriented businesses will thrive in more affluent neighborhoods. On the other hand, if you are going to offer a product or service more popular with working class individuals, a less affluent neighborhood might be a better choice.
Before you negotiate a commercial real estate lease, you should aim to decrease the things that could be considered an event of default as much as you possibly can. That will cut down on the likelihood that the tenant defaults on a lease. This is something you want to avoid.
Prior to selling commercial property, have it inspected first by a professional. Repair any problems that the inspector finds immediately.
Keep letters of intent simple by tackling large issues before sweating the small stuff. This will help to reduce some of the tension in initial negotiations and will also make gaining agreement on some of the smaller issues much easier.
Before you begin your search for the perfect commercial property, have a clear picture of your needs. Write down what features are most important to you when you look a piece of property, like the square footage, the number of offices and conference rooms, and bathrooms.
In a commercial loan, the borrower must order the appraisal. There is a good chance that the bank may not validate it otherwise. Do the right thing and order it yourself.
Commercial real estate offers the potential for huge profits. These types of investments often require a substantial down payment, as well as a huge investment of your time, in order to achieve success. The information and tips from the article above can help you get the edge to succeed in real estate.

Thinking Of Leasing Space? Be Prepared And Use These Tips.

Locating the perfect spot to operate your new business may be challenging, unless you know what you are looking for. Read this article to acquire a good groundwork of information that will help you get off on the right foot.

Who Are The Benefits Of A Property Survey?

Regardless of whether you are buying or selling the property, it is in your best interest to negotiate. Be certain your needs are met, your concerns are heard, and you champion a fair, honest price for the real estate.
Do some research on the internet to learn more about real estate and investing, whether you have a lot of experience already or are completely green on the matter. It is wise to learn all you can, as it is impossible to know too much.
Location is crucial when it comes to commercial property. You will want to consider many things, including the neighborhood that the property is located in. Don’t forget to check out similar areas as well, in order to see how other neighborhoods are growing economically. Make sure that the area will still be nice and growing in several years. 
Your investment may require a large amount of time to begin with. Not only will you have to search out the right property, you’ll likely have to make repairs or renovations to it after the purchase. Don’t abandon you commercial real estate venture because it currently consumes so much of your time. The rewards will show themselves later.
You should try to understand the NOI metric. To be a success, you need to be able to stay on the positive number side.
If you plan to rent out a commercial property, you should do all you can to make sure they stay occupied. If you have any open spaces, then you are losing money. If you have more than one property without someone in it, think about why that is, and fix any problems that might be occurring.
If you are thinking of selling a commercial property, your experience will be much smoother if you utilize the services of a professional and have it properly inspected. If they flag issues that need to be fixed, repair them before you list the property for sale.
Before you can start using the property you’ve purchased, you might need to make some improvements. In some cases, these may be minor changes, such as a new coat of paint for the walls or a new arrangement of furniture. However, you might have to remove or relocate some of your walls so that you can get the most out of your space. Negotiate payment for these improvements ahead of time, and attempt to have the landlord pay at least part of the costs.
Always include emergency maintenance on your list of need to know things. Ask your landlord who is in charge emergency maintenance requests for the building. Be sure to have emergency numbers on hand, and remember to check about a quoted response time for maintenance emergencies. Utilize the information given by your landlord to develop a plan for emergencies. This will help you ensure your reputation or customer service is not tarnished while your business is disrupted.
In the previous paragraphs, you saw a variety of advice that will help you in your commercial property dealings. Use this advice to remain informed.

Senate Panel, White House At Odds On Iran

Iran nuclear

But its not from CBO. The real talks are taking place behind closed doors between Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash. The duo met most recently on Tuesday evening. Murray said the two have had a number of discussions since our last meeting, regarding the parameters of a potential deal, and Ive been very encouraged by those conversations. They are going to continue in the days ahead and Im hopeful we will get to a bipartisan compromise very soon. The talks are centered on finding ways to cut spending and special interest tax breaks to replace automatic across-the-board spending cuts that are slamming the Pentagon and domestic agencies. Murray wants to use tax revenue generated by closing tax loopholes and preferences to pay for some of the cost of providing relief from the automatic cuts known as sequestration. Options including eliminating a carried interest exemption that allows wealthy hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than salaried workers. But Ryan and other Republicans oppose using such revenues to finance government spending. They instead want to curb loopholes and other major tax breaks but use the resulting revenue to lower income tax rates while reforming the hopelessly complex U.S. tax code. Ryan wants to cut so-called mandatory spending from the roughly two-thirds of the budget that operates on autopilot instead of being funded through annual appropriations bills. Ryan has suggested ideas like requiring wealthier Medicare beneficiaries to pay higher premiums and curbing the explosive growth of the militarys Tricare health program. Elmendorf issued familiar warnings about the corrosive effects on the economy of the growing national debt and said a larger budget agreement addressing the nations long-term fiscal ills would be better than simply addressing sequestration for a couple of years. Big steps are better than small steps, but small steps are better than no steps at all, Elmendorf said.

House Republicans to Draft ‘Principles’ on Immigration

WASHINGTONHouse Republicans are taking a new tack in their overhaul of the immigration system, drafting a set of principles to guide their approach, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) told reporters Wednesday. Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled House have already passed five immigration bills in committees, but Republican leaders have announced no plans to bring any of the legislation to the House floor for vote. Instead, Mr. Boehner announced Wednesday that House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) is working with Republican and Democratic lawmakers to develop principles to help navigate the topic. There are hundreds of issues involved in dealing with immigration reform and weve got to deal with these in a common sense way where our members understand what were doing and their constituents understand, Mr. Boehner said. The top House Republican made clear that he was not abandoning an effort to rewrite the countrys immigration laws, but offered no timeline of when the principles might turn into legislation. I want us to deal with this issue, but I want to deal with it in a common sense, step-by-step way, he said. He declined to specify whether the House might take any votes this year or next. As we develop the principles well figure out how were going to move ahead. The Senate passed a broad immigration bill in late June, but the legislation has languished in the House, where some Republicans have objected to provisions that would eventually let many of the illegal immigrants already living in the U.S. become citizens. Some House GOP lawmakers have objected to passing any narrow immigration legislation out of fear that could be used to start negotiations with the Senate bill. Mr. Boehner said Wednesday he would not allow that scenario to unfold.

“The American people, justifiably and understandably, prefer a peaceful solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And this agreement, if it’s achieved, has the potential to do that,” Carney said Tuesday. “The American people do not want a march to war. And it is important to understand that if pursuing a resolution diplomatically is disallowed or ruled out, what options then do we and our allies have to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” he said. Senators who support stronger sanctions, such as Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., say sanctions will do exactly the opposite: pressure Iran’s leaders to make real concessions on their nuclear program to end crushing economic penalties that are riling their own people against them. Letting Iran off the hook, he says, will relieve pressure on them to deal seriously with U.S. demands. Western powers believe that Iran’s nuclear program is designed to develop weapons, and not for peaceful purposes as Iran claims.

Problems mount for White House in push for Trans-Pacific trade pact

Obama administration officials have argued that Trade Promotion Authority, which would prevent Congress from amending trade deals, is needed to assure trade partners that any agreements will not be reopened. Without it, securing trade deals becomes more difficult. In a letter to President Barack Obama, 151 House Democrats said there had not been enough consultation between the administration and Congress over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP pact. “Given our concerns, we will oppose ‘fast track’ Trade Promotion Authority or any other mechanism delegating Congress’ constitutional authority over trade policy that continues to exclude us from having a meaningful role in the formative stages of trade agreements and throughout negotiating and approval processes,” the lawmakers said. The letter was the latest sign of trouble for the administration’s hopes of securing a TPP deal by the end of the year. The lack of Trade Promotion Authority could also be a problem for Washington’s ongoing talks on a free trade pact with the European Union. On Tuesday, 22 House Republicans said in a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew that granting so-called fast-track trade negotiating authority would amount to “delegating away Congress’ constitutional authority over trade.” The administration has asked Congress to quickly pass TPA, but no legislation has been put forward in either the Republican-controlled House or the Democratic-controlled Senate. The TPP, which would include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam in addition to the United States, would establish a free-trade bloc stretching across a region that makes up nearly 40 percent of the global economy. But the negotiations, which have been going on for three years, have been mired in controversy over a lack of transparency and slowed by the conflicting interests of the negotiating countries, U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups. Previously, 230 U.S. House members and 60 senators had written the administration to demand any deal ensures member countries do not engage in unfair currency practices that could hurt the U.S.