Below you will find links to federal and state regulatory agencies including updates from the Department of Real Estate, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. ConsumerProduct Safety Commission as well as others.
What is the FHA? The FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world, insuring over 34 million properties since its inceptionin 1934.
Expanding Homeownership Act of 2007* (Passed by House & Senate - 110th Congress of U.S. Sep. 2007 - Goal: To modernize and update the National Housing Act and enable the Federal Housing Administration to use risk-based pricing to more effectively reach underserved borrowers, and for other purposes.)
What is the FTC? The FTC is an independent agency that reports to Congress on its actions. When the FTC was created in 1914, its purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce as part of the battle to "bust the trusts." Over the years, Congress passed additional laws giving the agency greater authority to police anticompetitive practices. In 1938, Congress passed the Wheeler-Lea Amendment, which included a broad prohibition against unfair and deceptive acts or practices. Since then, the Commission also has been directed to administer a wide variety of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Pay-Per-Call Rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In 1975, Congress passed the Magnuson-Moss Act, which gave the FTC the authority to adopt trade regulation rules that define unfair or deceptive acts in particular industries. The FTC's work is performed by the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition and Economics.
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD)*
What is HUD? The Department of Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 created HUD as a Cabinet-level agency of the U.S. government. HUD's mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. To fulfill this mission, HUD will embrace high standards of ethics, management and accountability and forge new partnerships--particularly with faith-based and community organizations--that leverage resources and improve HUD's ability to be effective on the community level.
HUD Mortgagee Letter 2007-09*: This mortgagee letter provides assurances to FHA-approved mortgagees that credit reports with truncated SSNs, subject to the additional guidance in the letter, are acceptable for FHA mortgage insurance purposes.)
What is Freddie Mac? "Freddie Mac" which is actually FHLMC, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress to increase the supply of funds that mortgage lenders, such as commercial banks, mortgage bankers, savings institutions and credit unions, can make available to homebuyers and multifamily investors. Freddie Mac conducts its business primarily by buying mortgages from lenders, packaging the mortgages into securities and selling the securities (FRE) - guaranteed by Freddie Mac - to investors. Mortgage lenders use the proceeds from selling loans to Freddie Mac to fund new mortgages, constantly replenishing the pool of funds available for lending to homebuyers and apartment owners. (Note: the federal government took over Freddie Mac pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.)
Current information on Freddie Mac's website (click here): "Does Freddie Mac Own Your Mortgage," "Foreclosure Prevention Resources," "Taylor, Bean, & Whitaker Q&A" (9/17/2009)
What is Fannie Mae? "Fannie Mae" which is actually FNMA, the Federal National Morgage Association, is a private, shareholder-owned company that works to make sure mortgage money is available for people all across America. It does not lend money directly to home buyers but it works with lenders. Fannie Mae stock (FNM) is actively traded on the New York Stock Exchange and other exchanges and is part of the Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Stock Price Index. (Note: the federal government took over Fannie Mae pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.)
What is Ginnie Mae? "Ginnie Mae" which is actually GNMA, Government National Mortgage Association, is a government agency within HUD created by Congress to ensure adequate funds exclusively for government loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Veterans Administration.
What is the CPSC? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Some of these products are real estate related and impact homeowners.
"eLicensing"* - The DRE has implemented an interactive online system that allows real estate license renewals and change tranactions to be completed via the internet.For answers to frequently asked questions about eLicensing, click here. (DRE password required)
The DRE is a licensing and regulatory agency empowered to seek disciplinary action through the State Office of Administrative Hearings against licensees who violate specific sections of the State Business and Professions Code. The DRE is also empowered to file orders to desist and refrain against licensed and unlicensed individuals and entities. Enclosed is a listing of the disciplinary action initiated against real estate licensees and a listing of the filed orders to desist and refrain from unlawful activities.
What is the DOC? The DOC is California's Investment and Financing Authority, and has exclusive authority to bring both civil and administrative actions under the laws subject to the jurisdiction of the DOC. The DOC licenses and regulates a variety of businesses including securities brokers and dealers, investment advisers and financial planners, and certain fiduciaries and lenders. The DOC also regulates the offer and sales of securities, franchises and off-exchange commodities.
California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)*
What is the HCD? The HCD provides leadership, policies and programs to preserve and expand safe and affordable housing opportunities and promote strong communities for all Californians through various programs such as the occupational licensing program, mobilehome registration and titling, factory-built housing program, and state housing program.
2007 HCD New Home Universal Design Checklist (Copy of AB 1400 - This law requires a developer of any new residential housing development to provide a buyer with a list of specified universal accessibility features that would make the home entrance, interior routes of travel, kitchen, and bathrooms, fully accessible to persons with disabilities.)
What is the SCO? The SCO provides the following functions:
(1) Accounts for and controls disbursement of all state funds (2) Determines legality and accuracy of every claim against the State (3) Issues warrants in payment of the State's bills including lottery prizes (4) Administers the Uniform State Payroll System (5) Audits and processes all personnel and payroll transactions for state civil service, exempt employees, state university and college system employees (6) Responsible for auditing various state and local government programs (7) Informs the public of the State's financial condition (9) Administers the Unclaimed Property Law (e.g., escrow monies that escheat to the state) (10) Informs the public of financial transactions of city, county and district governments (11) Administers Property Tax Postponement Program.
California Office of Real Estate Appraisers (OREA)*
What is OREA? In 1989, Title XI of the federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act was adopted by congress mandating states to license and certify real estate appraisers who appraise property for federally related transactions. The federal law was enacted as a result of the savings and loan disaster. In response to the federal mandate, the Real Estate Appraisers Licensing and Certification Law was enacted by the California Legislature in 1990. OREA was established within the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, and charged with developing and implementing a real estate appraiser licensing and certification program compliant with the federal mandate. To date, OREA has received over 25,000 applications and has licensed over 18,000 real estate appraisers. OREA, which is entirely funded by licensing fees, is a single program comprised of two core components, licensing and enforcement.
For any questions regarding this Web page, please contact the Legal Editor, Neil D. Kalin, Esq. Please be sure to include your full name, office, and your member number in your e-mail.
* DISCLAIMER: The California Association of REALTORS® uses links to other websites in an effort to assist users in locating information on topics that might be of interestto them. The links to these websites are provided as a courtesy to our members. These links are NOT maintained by C.A.R. and C.A.R. cannot be responsible for their information content or their maintenance. Furthermore, linking to a Web site does not constitute an endorsement by C.A.R. or any of its employees of the sponsors of the Web site or the products presented on the Web site.