CAR Legal Update

FLOOD INSURANCE CHANGES Property owners in flood zones are likely to get relief under a bill recently signed by the President. Under the bill (1) sales will no longer trigger immediate premium increases, and (2) properties that complied with prior flood map requirements will be grandfathered, which would likely mean that insurers may not require elevation certificates at sale to obtain flood insurance. In response to homeowners around the country experiencing large increases in flood insurance premiums and to the increased costs at sale due to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012... Read more »

New Robocall Rules

REALTORS® who use telemarketing are subject to the Do Not Call rules. The FCC’s new Robocall rules impose some additional requirements for obtaining consent when making a prerecorded telemarketing call to a residential phone number or making an autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing call or text to a wireless number. The new rules require that telemarketers first obtain written consent to receive such calls or messages, on paper or through electronic means, including website forms, a telephone key press, or a recording of oral consent. Additionally, a telemarketer will no longer be able to... Read more »

Conserve Water, Save Money, and Prepare for New Retrofitting Law

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, property owners who obtain permits to remodel a property that was built prior to 1994 are required to retrofit with toilets that use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, showerheads with flow rates of no more than 2.5 gallons per minute, and other interior fixtures that use less than 2.2 gallons of water per minute. This applies to all single-family property permits, as well as multifamily and commercial property permits where 10 percent or more of the square footage is included in the remodel. By Jan. 1, 2017, all residential properties in California that were built prior... Read more »

Videos Look at Changes for 2013 Tax Filings

Learn about the new home office safe harbor and a higher per-mileage deduction that can help them lower their 2013 tax bill in two videos released this week. Also, learn about changes that impact higher-income households, including the new 39.6 percent tax bracket, higher long-term capital gains and dividend taxes, and the 3.8 percent net investment income tax that goes into effect.  The videos feature NAR’s tax analyst Evan Liddiard, who sits down with tax advisor Peter Baker to talk about these and other tax changes important to real estate practitioners.  Read more »

FHA Accepts More e-Signatures

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that as of January 30, 2014, it is granting expanded authority to lenders to accept electronic signatures (e-Signatures) on documents associated with mortgage loans. Origination, servicing, and loss mitigation documents, as well as FHA insurance claims, HUD REO sales contracts and related addenda can now be signed using e-Signatures. Current FHA policy allows for e-Signatures only on third party documents such as sales contracts and other documents not controlled by the lender. FHA Commissioner Carol Galante said that “By extending our acceptance... Read more »

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