State and Federal Regulations

At SPAAR, we know it can be a daunting task to keep current on all the state and federal regulations that may affect the housing market, so we’ve compiled a list here. You can also check NAR’s Washington Report for top issues posted each week.

Articles

December

IRS Clarifies Debt Tax Relief

The Internal Revenue Service announced procedures designed to aid homeowners who are facing the year-end expiration of a tax provision that excludes from income mortgage debt forgiven in connection with the Principal Reduction Modification Program ("PRMP") and the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"). The IRS notice offers clarity and assurance to homeowner-borrowers that if they are in the trial period of the PRMP or HAMP programs, or will enter into the trial period before the end of 2016, even if the debt reduction does not occur until 2017, the tax relief provisions of the expiring provision will apply to them if the conditions outlined are met. The IRS announcement (Notice 2016-72) provides that IRS will consider the debt forgiveness to occur before the December 31, 2016 deadline for tax-free treatment as long as the following conditions are met:
· An arrangement under PRMP or HAMP is entered into in writing before January 1, 2017;
· Before that date, a mortgage loan servicer sends the borrow-homeowner a notice outlining the terms and conditions of the permanent mortgage loan reduction that will occur following the successful completion of the trial period.

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December 2016

GSE and FHA Loan Limits Raised for 2017

On November 23, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency ("FHFA") released the 2017 conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The national conforming loan limit was raised to $424,100 while the limit in the most costly areas was raised up to $636,150. On December 1, 2016, the Federal Housing Administration ("FHA") released its 2017 Loan Limits. In high-cost areas the FHA national loan limit "ceiling" will increase to $636,150 from $625,500. FHA will also increase its "floor" to $275,665 from $271,050. The standard loan limit for lower cost metropolitan areas will increase from $271,050 to $275,665. The increases are due to a rise in housing prices across the country. Loan limits increased in 2,948 counties, loan limits remain unchanged in 286 counties and no counties faced a loan limit decrease.

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September 2016

Minnesota Legislature Authorizes the Creation of ‘Temporary Family Health Care Dwellings’

Senate File 2555 passed both the Minnesota House of Representatives, the Minnesota Senate and was signed into law by Governor Dayton. The official text can be view in session laws chapter 111. Effective September 1, 2016 the bill establishes and authorizes the uses of a ‘Temporary Health Care Dwelling.’
The definition is as follows:
MSS 394.07 Sec 2. Subd. 2.

Temporary family health care dwelling

A temporary family health care dwelling must:
(1) be primarily assembled at a location other than its site of installation;
(2) be no more than 300 gross square feet;
(3) not be attached to a permanent foundation;
(4) be universally designed and meet state-recognized accessibility standards;
(5) provide access to water and electric utilities either by connecting to the utilities
that are serving the principal dwelling on the lot or by other comparable means;
(6) have exterior materials that are compatible in composition, appearance, and
durability to the exterior materials used in standard residential construction;
(7) have a minimum insulation rating of R-15;
(8) be able to be installed, removed, and transported by a one-ton pickup truck
as defined in section 168.002, subdivision 21b, a truck as defined in section 168.002,
subdivision 37, or a truck tractor as defined in section 168.002, subdivision 38;
(9) be built to either Minnesota Rules, chapter 1360 or 1361, and contain an
Industrialized Buildings Commission seal and data plate or to American National
Standards Institute Code 119.2; and
(10) be equipped with a backflow check valve.

The bill requires a permit application and certain requirements must be met. The temporary family health care dwelling must be located on the property where the care giver or relative resides. The temporary family health care dwelling unit is limited to one occupant and one unit per lot. The initial permit term is 6 months. One renewal for additional six months is allowed. The dwelling unit is subject to inspection with reasonable notice. The permit may be revoked by the municipality at which point the permit holder has 60 days to remove the dwelling unit. Initial fee is $100 and renewal is $50. No public hearing is required. A municipality may by ordinance opt-out of the requirements of this section (whole bill).

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January 2016

2016 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) represents over one million residential REALTORS® and commercial practitioners involved in all facets of the industry as brokers, sales agents, property managers, appraisers and counselors. As the largest professional trade association in the United States, NAR advocates policy initiatives that promote and protect a fundamentally sound and dynamic U.S. real estate market fostering vibrant communities. In 2016, NAR will be focused on the following public policy initiatives:

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January 2016

2015 NAR Issue Brief Legislative & Regulatory Year in Review

During the 114th Congress, NAR’s legislative and regulatory agenda continued to focus on creating a fundamentally sound and robust U.S. real estate market while protecting the business interests of members, as well as consumers. NAR achieved several accomplishments and set the foundation for many important issues moving forward.

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September 10, 2015

Independent Contractor Status in Real Estate

A recent wave of litigation is challenging the longstanding practice within the real estate industry of brokers choosing to classifying real estate agents as independent contractors, as opposed to employees. The outcome of these cases could potentially have a wide-reaching impact on the manner in which brokers have traditionally done business, and as a result, the issue of worker classification has garnered the attention and interest of NAR’s membership. However, the real estate industry is not alone, as the issue of worker classification has been raised in several industries in various jurisdictions throughout the country, and the Department of Labor has made it clear that it will aggressively pursue worker misclassification as a top priority.

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January 17, 2014

OMB Questions EPA Water Rule

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reportedly requested that EPA clarify whether the "significance" of a connection between smaller waterbodies and larger downstream waters marks a technical or policy issue -- echoing questions raised by a coalition of regulated stakeholders, including NAR, who are concerned that the agency may not be adequately weighing the issue as it works to clarify jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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January 17, 2014

FHA Condo Insurance Requirement Waiver

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has temporarily waived the blanket hazard, flood, liability and other insurance requirements in Mortgagee Letter 2011-22 for Manufactured Housing, Detached and Common Interest Housing Projects.

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January 17, 2014

NAR Comments on QM Rule

NAR submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit hearing on "How Prospective and Current Homeowners will be Harmed by the CFPB's Qualified Mortgage Rule."

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January 17, 2014

Flood Insurance Update

Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3547) to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, 2014.

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January 17, 2014

NAR Seeking Members Contacted by Patent Trolls

Have you received a demand letter from a “patent troll”? We want to hear from you.

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December 15, 2013

Mortgage Cancellation Debt Relief Act

SPAAR 2013 Government Affairs Chair Cheryl Retterath provides an update on the Mortgage Cancellation Debt Relief Act and what it will mean for your clients.

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