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2013 Q&A Revisions

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To find the updated and other Legal Q&As, please go to the Navigation Tab on the left click on "All Legal Q&As" and then go to either Legal Articles (By Title) or Legal Articles (By Category).

The Taxation of Foreclosures and Short Sales Q&A (December 5, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Questions 4 and 8 have been modified to reflect the Internal Revenue Service and Franchise Tax Board clarifications of the tax treatment of debt forgiveness in a short sale of 1-to-4 residential property.

The Regulation Z – Ability to Repay Standard for Loans Q&A (December 3, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Section V has been added to provide information regarding an exception to the ability to repay requirements for certain refinance loans.

The Transfer Disclosure Statement Law Q&A (November 27, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question 32 notes that the TDS now contains a check box for water-conserving plumbing fixtures
  • Question 33 explains that the TDS (on page 2, Section C, question 16) now asks the seller to disclose certain types of construction defect “claims” in addition to “lawsuits.” This change becomes operative on July 1, 2014

The Contingencies and Contingency Removal Q&A (November 27, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • A new section was added discussing cancellations of contract on the basis of a contingency. This new section covers:
    • The circumstances in which a buyer may exercise a cancellation right based upon appraisal, loan and inspection contingencies
    • Limitations on contingency cancellation rights and when such cancellations may constitute a breach of contract  
    • Practice tips relating to cancellations based upon a contingency

The Smoke Alarm Requirements Q&A (November 26, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • The law now refers to “smoke detectors” as “smoke alarms”
  • Properties built since 2007 require smoke alarms in each bedroom, each hallway or area outside the bedrooms and on every floor even if there is no sleeping area on that floor
  • Commencing January 1, 2014, the law requires that for repairs that exceed $1,000 and for which a building permit is required, the owner must demonstrate that all smoke alarms required for the dwelling are devices approved by the State Fire Marshal.
  • For all rented units and for single-family properties commencing January 1, 2014, the landlord is not allowed to make the tenant responsible for testing and maintaining the smoke alarms. 
  • Commencing July 1, 2014, new smoke alarms must be equipped with a 10 year non-removable, non-replaceable battery. There is an exception for existing inventory but only through July 15, 2014
  • Commencing January 1, 2015, new smoke alarms must additionally display the date of manufacture, provide a place to insert the date of installation and incorporate a hush feature.      
  • Commencing January 1, 2016, if a property is rented or leased then the smoke alarms must be located to meet new construction standards, but existing smoke alarms need not be replaced, and there is no requirement to upgrade from battery operated to hard-wired.
  • Used mobile homes and manufactured homes that are sold must have smoke alarms installed in each room designed for sleeping and that are operable on the date of transfer of title
  • Seller of both single-family properties and two-unit dwellings are required to provide a written statement of compliance    

The Deficiency Judgments and California Law Q&A (November 25, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Commencing January 1, 2014 anti-deficiency protections have been expanded to include that no deficiency can be owed or collected upon. Presently, most anti-deficiency protections state only that no judgment in court for the amount of the deficiency can be obtained.

The Short Sales Q&A (October 3, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question 4 was revised to address the case of Coker V. JP Morgan Chase regarding shorts sales with purchase money mortgages.
  • Question 5 revised to include SB1069 protections for certain refinanced mortgages.
  • Section VII added to address lender use of online auction platforms.

The Probate Sales of Real Property Q&A (October 3, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question 5 was added to discuss deposit requirements in probate sales of real property.

The Fictitious Business Names Q&A (September 12, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Questions 2 through 6 were added explaining the difference between a fictitious business name and a trademark

The Proposition 90 Watch Q&A (September 10, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Riverside county has adopted a proposition 90 transfer ordinance, effective September 19, 2013.

The Agency Disclosure and Confirmation; and Agency Law Summary Chart Q&A (August 30, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question #2 was clarified to explain how delivery of the form is made, with a simplified chart illustrating the delivery requirements. 
  • Questions #4, #5 and #6 provide explanations as to the meaning and purpose of the disclosure.
  • Question #11 discusses a critical  mistake to avoid in delivery of the disclosure.
  • The Agency Law Summary Chart was also included as part of a unified Q&A.

The Guide to Loan Disclosures Q&A (July 24, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Section IX is updated to include changes to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and to include Truth-In-Lending-Act (TILA) requirement.  The ECOA updates will be effective as of January 18, 2014.
  • Section XVI. C. i. is updated to include changes to disclosures for high-end mortgages that will be effective as of January 10, 2014
  • Section XVII is updated by included a list of homeownership counseling organizations that will be effective as of January 10, 2014

The Regulation Z - Ability to Repay Standard for Loans Q&A (July 18, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question 8 has been updated to include more transactions that are exempt from the requirement that a creditor makes a reasonable and good faith determination of a borrower’s ability to repay.
  • Question 17 has been added to describe a new type of qualified mortgages for small creditors.
  • Question 18 has been added to describe how a small creditor’s qualified mortgage can lose its status if the qualified mortgage is transferred.
  • Question 22 has been added to describe the criteria for a temporary balloon-payment qualified mortgage.
  • Question 23 has been added to state when the temporary balloon-payment qualified mortgage will expire.
  • Question 25 has been added to explain how a rural area qualified mortgage with balloon-payments can lose its qualified mortgage status if its transferred.
  • Question 29 has been updated to include a new definition of a higher priced covered transaction.

The Predatory Lending: The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act Q&A (April 22, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Predatory Lending:  The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act.  This Q&A was formerly named “Predatory Lending: the Federal High Cost Mortgage Disclosure” and has been extensively revised and updated to reflect pending changes to the law as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act.

The Short Sale Fraud Q&A Q&A (February 21, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Revised to include a warning that unscrupulous entities may pose as non-profit organizations offering HAFA short sales to unsuspecting homeowners and even soliciting money from real estate agents for certifications or membership into their organizations in exchange for leads or listings. HAFA was amended in March 2011 to allow loan servicers to approve short sales to non-profit organizations for the purpose of renting or reselling the property to the borrower as specified, but REALTORS® and their clients should carefully investigate the qualifications of these organizations before doing business with them.

The Internet Data Exchange (“IDX”) Q&A (February 21, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Revised to reflect recent changes in NAR’s IDX policy broadening the concept of “electronic display” permitted under the policy.

The Social Networking Q&A (February 21, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Section III (Potential MLS Violations When Using Social Media) has been revised to reflect recent changes in NAR’s IDX policy impacting “social media.”

The Virtual Office Website (“VOW”) Q&A (February 21, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Revised to reflect recent changes in NAR’s IDX policy and updated generally.

The Capital Gains Tax and Health Care Reform Tax Impact Q&A (February 8, 2013)  has been updated as follows:

  • Question 24 Update of extension of capital gains rates for most taxpayers and increase of capital gains rate for high income taxpayers.

The Medical Marijuana Issues for REALTORS® Q&A (February 7, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question 24 Expanded discussion of federal policy and discussion of lack of any safe harbor for medical marijuana activity.
  • Question 29 Expanded and citation added to recent federal case on topic of medical marijuana and the ADA.
  • Question 31 New question discussing possible options for landlord who does not wish to allow medical marijuana at all.
  • Question 32 Revised to expand discussion of conflict between federal and state law.
  • Question 40 Question added discussing federal government actions against landlords.
  • Question 41 Revised to expand discussion of  conflict between federal and state law.
  • Question 57-58 Revised to expand discussion of conflict between federal and state law.

The Independent Contractor Reporting to the California EDD Q&A (January 23, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Revised to reflect the updated links and telephone numbers on the California EDD website.

The Taxation of Foreclosures and Short Sales Q&A (January 10, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question 4 updated to reflect addition of protections for refinance loans effective January 1, 2013.
  • Question 9 and 14 updated to reflect extension of the Federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act to 2014 and the current status of California law.

The Property Management Frequently Asked Questions Q&A (January 7, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Question 24 Update of amount that can be charged for tenant screening fee.
  • Question 30 Update and revision of protected categories to reflect 2013 changes to fair housing laws.
  • Question 38 Answer revised and expanded.
  • Question 53 Question added to address new law regarding landlord’s and certain pets.
  • Question 93 Question added to address new law requiring disclosure of a notice of default in effect at the time a lease is entered into

The Deficiency Judgment After Foreclosure Chart Q&A (January 2, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Revised to reflect changes in the law regarding deficiency judgments and refinanced loans.

The Guide to Loan Disclosures Q&A (January 2, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Section XIII (Investor Questionnaire and Qualification of Income) was added.

The Deficiency Judgment and California Law Q&A (January 2, 2013) has been updated as follows:

  • Revised to reflect changes in the law regarding deficiency judgments and refinanced loans.

For any questions about this Web page, please contact the Legal Editor, Neil D. Kalin, Esq.


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