NEWS FROM NAR – Issues & Legal

Published: April 18, 2007

<table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>ISSUES </b></span></td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Congress Considers Nixing ‘Phantom Tax’ on Foreclosures, Short Sales </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">The House of Representatives introduced today the Mortgage Cancellation Tax Relief Act, H.R. 1876 — an NAR-supported bill that would change current laws that force individuals to pay an income tax when they’ve had part of a mortgage loan forgiven or have been forced to foreclose because of their inability to pay their mortgage. When home owners with only a small amount of equity have no choice but to sell their home, their stagnant or declining property values can cause them to fall short of the amount needed to pay off a mortgage (also known as a short sale), says NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs. “Clearly, it’s unfair to tax people on a phantom income, particularly when they have experienced a serious economic loss and probably have no cash with which to pay the tax,” Combs says. For more info, <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/IIK49/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/IIK49/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM">click here.</a> </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>House to Vote on Reporting Change for Sellers </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">The full U.S. House is scheduled to vote this week on the Taxpayer Protection Act of 2007, H.R. 1677, which includes a long-sought after provision by NAR that could change how sellers’ identities are reported at closing. Under the current law, sellers must provide a buyer with an affidavit that they are a U.S. citizen and disclose their Social Security number. But with identity theft growing, sellers have become reluctant to provide Social Security numbers to buyers. If approved, the legislation would continue to require verification that the seller is a U.S. citizen, but the tax laws would no longer require sellers to provide their Social Security number to buyers. </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>RESPA Investigations of Real Estate Salespeople and Appraisers </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">Colorado Division of Real Estate Director, Erin Toll, announced she plans to investigate kick-backs and other RESPA violations beginning this summer — one more indication of a growing interest in RESPA enforcement at the state level. NAR's expanding RESPA Realities education program will help raise awareness and knowledge of member's obligations under RESPA. RESPA expert Phil Schulman will conduct a session, &quot;Don't be a Target,&quot; at 8 a.m. on May 15 during NAR's Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., which will answer key RESPA questions. For info on the session, <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/7AC6W/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/7AC6W/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM">click here.</a> To access NAR’s compliance tools, <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/6208T/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/6208T/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM">click here.</a> </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Senate Hearing Highlights Insurance Affordability in Coastal Regions </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">Earlier this week the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs examined the availability and affordability of property and casualty insurance in the Gulf Coast and other coastal regions. To watch the hearing, <a title="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/OR9I7/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/OR9I7/OR9DK/YT/0SVDM">click here.</a> </td></tr></td /></tr /></td /></tr /><!– End of story –><!– Section header –><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br />LEGAL </b /></span></td></tr><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Injunction Against Minnesota Caller for Threats to Brokerages </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">A man who threatened brokerages with lawsuits for alleged Do Not Call violations can’t continue to use the DNC rules to demand money, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota ruled. RE/MAX Ideal Properties has filed a lawsuit against Ryan Swanberg. The company claims he threatened to sue RE/MAX, and other real estate brokerages, if they didn’t comply with his demand to issue him their Do Not Call policies within five days. After he would threaten a lawsuit, he would offer the brokerage an opportunity to settle the matter for around $5,000, according to court documents. The court ordered an injunction against Swanberg and said RE/MAX didn’t have to respond to his demands. </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Commission Awarded from Second Purchase Contract </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">A brokerage is entitled to commission after a buyer purchased property following the expiration of the buyer’s representation agreement, ruled a Missouri appellate court, reversing an earlier trial court’s decision. Initially, the buyer was unable to obtain financing, so an initial purchase agreement was terminated and soon after the buyer’s representation agreement expired. The buyer had resolved the financial issue and then reached an agreement with the seller to rent the property. The brokerage argued — and the court agreed — that it was entitled to a commission because of a protection clause in the buyer’s representation agreement, which required the buyer to pay the brokerage a commission if she purchased a property shown to her by the broker within 180 days after the contract expired. </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b></b></span></td></tr><!– Story –></tbody></table>


Last modified: April 18, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Originally published: April 18, 2007 at 12:06 pm
Printed: September 24, 2020