Petition Process for the Removal of Discipline Information from the DRE’s Website – Regulations Approved and the DRE is Now Accepting Petitions

The Department of Real Estate (DRE) has issued a Real Estate Advisory, approving Regulation 2915 effective March 7, 2019. This regulation establishes the process and standards for a petition by a current real estate licensee for the removal of license discipline information from the department’s website. The DRE is now accepting petitions. 

In order to qualify for this petition process:
• You must be a current real estate licensee
• At least 10 years from the effective date of the discipline to be removed must have passed
• A set of classifiable fingerprints must be submitted (using a Live Scan Service Request RE 237 completed no earlier than 30 days before the date of mailing or delivering the application to the DRE)
• Payment of the $1275 petition fee must be submitted by check, money order, cashier’s check, or credit card

It is important for petitioners to understand that the DRE still has discretion to deny the petition based upon its assessment of whether the licensee poses a “credible risk to the public.” In this regard, it is worth noting that Regulation 2915(f)(4) lists as a criterion of credible risk “any professional license discipline on petitioner’s Department record that is based on an offense that resulted in harm to a client or other consumer in a real estate transaction.”

To assist licensees who are interested in petitioning to have their discipline history removed, the department has developed a new form, Form RE 506R, which includes a checklist and submission instructions. A single petition may be used to request the removal of multiple instances of discipline, as long as each one is eligible for removal. The following actions listed on the DRE’s public license lookup are considered discipline and may be eligible for removal: Revoked, Restricted, Surrendered, Suspended (if done so by a Disciplinary Order, Decision, or Stipulation and Agreement), Public Reproval, as well as Desist and Refrain and BAR Orders.

Individuals who would like to petition for removal of discipline information but are not current licensees must first regain their licensed status. If a license has been expired for more than two years, a prospective petitioner must first successfully re-apply for their real estate license following standard application guidelines. If a license has been revoked or surrendered, a prospective petitioner must submit a petition for license reinstatement (RE 506). This petition for reinstatement may be submitted concurrently with a 506R Petition for Removal of Discipline Information, in which case a petitioner would only be required to pay a single $1275 petition processing fee. In this circumstance, discipline information will only be eligible for removal from the public website if both petitions are granted and the petitioner successfully completes all steps necessary to regain their license.

Petitioners may mail their petition along with acceptable payment and supporting documents to: Department of Real Estate, Attn: Petition Intake Unit, P.O. Box 137012, Sacramento, CA 95813-7012.
For a complete description of the review criteria and processing requirements refer to Regulation 2915 and B&P §10083.2, along with the relevant rehabilitation criteria described in Regulations 2911 and 2912.

CFPB to Follow California’s Lead in Addressing Abusive PACE Loan Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced that new regulations will be adopted to address abusive practices associated with Property Assessed Clean Energy loans (PACE), following the lead set by California. 

This year California enacted a C.A.R.-supported law, AB 2063, mandating verification of a homeowner’s reasonable ability to repay prior to signing a PACE contract. Previously, in 2017 California enacted a C.A.R.-sponsored law, AB 2693, that required delivery of a TILA-like detailed financial disclosure document. Among other information, the disclosure document contains a warning that the property owner may not be able to refinance or sell without paying off the PACE obligation, and it also included a 3-day rescission right. 

Now the CFPB will mandate that PACE liens be subject to TILA’s ability-to-repay (ATR) requirements, currently in place for residential mortgage loans, and apply TILA’s general civil liability provisions for violations of the ATR requirements to PACE financing. The regulations will implement the federal “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, Sec 307. passed in May of last year. Unlike California, however, the new regulations, as they are currently proposed, lack a provision that would make PACE loans subject to TILA-style disclosures such as the “Know Before You Owe” rules. 

HUD Announces Agreement Resolving Allegations of Discrimination Involving San Diego Housing Providers and Property Managers

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in March that it has entered into a Conciliation/Voluntary Compliance Agreement with a resident and owners of a San Diego apartment complex including the property management firm.
The case came to HUD’s attention when the resident, who uses a wheelchair, filed a complaint alleging that his request for an assigned parking space in the development’s garage had been denied. The resident alleged that the owners and manager subsequently allowed him to park in non-assigned accessible spaces in the garage but denied him the key that is necessary to enter the garage and to use the elevator. As a result, each time the resident wanted to enter the garage, he allegedly had to wait for another resident to open the gate, then follow that person in so he could use the elevator. The housing providers deny that they discriminated against the resident.
Under the terms of the Agreement, the owners and manager will pay the resident $17,000, modify their fair housing policy to include information about reasonable accommodations, comply with the provisions of Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, and attend fair housing training. 
The agreement resolves allegations that Wakeland Atmosphere, L.P., and FPI Management, Inc., the owners and managers of Atmosphere Apartments, refused to grant the resident’s request for a designated parking space close to the building. Read the agreement.

Home seller claims NAR, MLS Providers Have Conspired in Violation of Anti-Trust Laws

A class-action lawsuit filed in March by a Minnesota home seller names as defendants NAR and four multiple listing services. Filed against the NAR, Realogy, HomeServices of America, RE/MAX and Keller Williams, the suit alleges that the MLS providers conspired with NAR to require sellers to pay buyer’s broker’s fees at inflated rates in violation of anti-trust laws.

The suit states that it will represent any sellers who paid a broker commission during the sale of their property in the last four years in areas covered by regional MLS sites, which includes sellers in Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Virginia and Utah. 

A spokesperson for NAR told HousingWire that the suit was unfounded. “The complaint is baseless and contains an abundance of false claims. The U.S. Courts have routinely found that multiple listing services are pro-competitive and benefit consumers by creating great efficiencies in the home-buying and selling process,” The spokesperson said. “NAR looks forward to obtaining a similar precedent regarding this filing.”