Welcome to the Legal Section of C.A.R. Online, where REALTORS® legal needs are met with the latest information and legal updates. Look below for the latest legal news during the last two weeks. You'll see Regulatory News, new Realegals®, and What's Hot announcements.
Scam Watch The "Scam Watch" feature will provide you with a summary of all the latest short sale and foreclosure scams. Included is a "Scam Resources" feature to provide you with tools to assist your clients in avoiding scams. Check back frequently since this feature is updated on a regular basis.
Attorney Outreach Calendar C.A.R. attorneys visit real estate offices and local associations throughtout the state providing an opportunity for a live discussion of current legal issues as well as training sessions on the use of new C.A.R. standard forms.
May 2, 2014 (new) Legal Article: In a "hot" or competitive market it is not unusual to see offers with escalation clauses. While such offers seem to provide a savvy strategy to the buyer, it's easy to overlook the complications involved. This new Q&A examines many of the contractual nuances of escalation clauses and their enforceability in general.
Legal Article: Vacation Rentals are a sub-category of property management. But the legal issues affecting vacation rentals are often very different from standard rentals. This new Q&A looks at exactly what constitutes a vacation rental; what the licensing and regulatory requirements are; and the practical differences between vacation rentals and standard rentals.
April 10, 2014 (new) Former Tarp Bank president and two others are indicted in massive bank fraud scheme. They were arrested on federal charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, money laundering, false statements to a bank, false bank entries, and attempted obstruction of justice relating to a real estate project known as the Park Lane Villas east in Santa Rosa.
April 1, 2014 (new) Legal Article: In this Q&A we will address questions concerning changing offices and how to transfer listing agreements and buyers in contract as they are some of the most freqent calls fielded by CAR's Legal Hotline.
Legal article: New protections have been afforded to runaway and homeless youth shelters which are now classed as a type of residential care facility. Also, federal law grants rights under fair housing law to sober living homes. California and federal law affords various fair housing protections to residential care facilities. As such, agents be cautious about disclosures relating to these facilities lest they violate state and federal fair housing laws. Family day care homes also have various legal protections.
Feb. 5, 2014 (new) Legal Article: How can a seller, who is in contract, cancel the CAR residential purchase agreement? Agents too often attempt to take short cuts which lead to a cancellation that is questionable. This new Q&A takes you step by step through the process with the goal of achieving a proper legal cancellation which will be difficult for the buyer to challenge.
February 14, 2014 (new) Legal Article: Beginning February 2014, a new energy use disclosure must be provided for the sale, lease or financing of certain types of commercial buildings. The law requires that this disclosure must be delivered prior to entering into contract. This new Q&A breaks down the complexity of this law and provides clear and straightforward guidance on how to comply with it.
May 23, 2014 (revised) Legal Article: This legal article discusses the income tax consequences to the borrower in the event of a foreclosure on the borrower’s property, in the event the borrower transfers title to the lender as part of an agreement with the lender (deed-in-lieu of foreclosure), and if the borrower sells the property to another in a short sale in which a lender accepts less than the balance due on the loan as payment in full.
Dec. 3, 2013 (revised) Legal Article: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued new rules (rule) that amend Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The rule requires creditors to make a reasonable, good faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay a loan secured by a dwelling before providing a loan.
This rule becomes effective on January 10, 2014. This Q&A will review those aspects of the new rule most relevant to REALTORS®.
Nov. 27, 2013 (revised) Legal Article: Under contract law, a contingency provides a party to the contract the ability to condition performance on another event. If the event does or doesn't occur depending on how the contingency was written, the party may cancel the contract without being in breach. A new section was added discussing cancellations of contract on the basis of a contingency.»
Nov. 27, 2013 (revised) Legal Article: Of the multitude of disclosures required by real estate licensees and sellers of residential property, few are as well known as the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement, typically referred to as the TDS. Since 1987 sellers or other transferors of real property containing one-to-four residential units, and since 2000 sellers and other transferors of manufactured homes or mobilehomes, have been required to furnish prospective buyers or other transferees with a completed TDS (MHTDS for manufactured/mobilehomes) on a specific form prescribed by law--unless exempt.
Nov. 26, 2013 Legal Article: California law requires smoke alarms (previously referred to as “smoke detectors” in the law) to be installed in every "dwelling intended for human occupancy." The specific requirements may vary depending on the type of property, the number of units and the number of stories of the property.
Nov. 25, 2013 (revised) Legal Article: This article seeks to provide a straight forward explanation of the rules governing deficiencies in foreclosures and short sales. For a discussion of the tax implications of a deficiencies, please see C.A.R. legal article, “Taxation for Foreclosures and Short Sales.” For more information on short sales and deficiency rules, please see C.A.R. legal articles “Short Sale Deficiencies” and “Short Sale Deficiencies Fact Sheet.”»
No Federal Debt Relief Income Tax for Short Sales. A letter from the IRS to Senator Barbara Boxer indicates that the IRS will not subject certain short sales to federal income tax for mortgage debt forgiveness. »
Oct. 14, 2013 (revised) What's New: This chart summarizes new laws passed by the California Legislature during the first half of the 2013-14 legislative session and the U.S. Congress that may affect, or otherwise be interesting to REALTORS®.
Legal Q&As -
Find answers to over 150 subjects in more than 50 categories.»