Information straight from the California Association of REALTORS® to help clarify the credit score myths!
DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, JANUARY 16, 2015 Source: Freddie Mac
Borrowing costs got even cheaper for home buyers and refinancers this week, as mortgage rates continued to descend.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent this week, the lowest weekly average since May 23, 2013, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. What’s more, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped below 3 percent, also for the first time since May 2013.
Read more: Loan Demand Posts Biggest Leap in 6 Years
“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week as oil prices plummeted and long term treasury yields continued to drop despite a strong employment report,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6 percent, the lowest since June 2008.
This marked the third consecutive week that mortgage rates lowered as bond yield continued to drop despite a strong employment report, Freddie Mac reports.
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 15:
• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.66 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.73 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.41 percent.
• 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.98 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.05 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.45 percent.
• 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.90 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.98 percent average. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.10 percent.
• 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.37 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.39 percent average. Last year at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.56 percent.
I have excellent lenders standing by to give you a free analysis of your current financial position and help you decide if now is a good time for YOU to refi. Call me. 408-923-7758.
With all the warnings for REALTORS® in the news today, I wanted to share this one page flyer with you also. No one can be too careful about safety issues and being aware of your surroundings.
Since so much of what the California Association of REALTORS® does in the legislative arena protects not only REALTORS®, but our clients as well, C.A.R. has created Homeowner Legislative Facts, a monthly compilation of articles about laws and legislation that you may find valuable.
As new updates are received I will post their information page for you. This update is as of 6/24/14. Dawn
Pro-Consumer, Anti-“Shill Bidding” Bill Considered in Senate – updated 6/20/14
Real estate auction companies increasingly are being used to sell real estate. Some lenders require homeowners to agree to use an auction company to see if the property fetches a higher price at auction before a short sale offer will be accepted. One aspect of the auction that is not commonly known is that the auction company may place a bid on behalf of the seller – or a “shill” bid – to artificially drive residential and commercial property prices up.
The California Association of REALTORS® is sponsoring AB 2039 (Muratsuchi), which would prohibit “shill bids” and make clear that only legitimate bids may be placed on behalf of a seller; otherwise, the seller bid must be disclosed to the all bidders as a bid which cannot be accepted to complete the sale of the property. The measure has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee but faces stiff opposition from the auction companies.
Legislature Reviews Bill to Allow Seniors and Disab led to Postpone Property Tax – updated 6/20/14
Until 2009, the Senior Citizens and Disabled Citizens Property Tax Postponement Law allowed the Controller to postpone payment of property taxes for those qualified property owners who applied for the program. AB 2231 has been introduced to re-establish the Senior Citizens and Disabled Citizens Property Tax Postponement Fund within the State Treasury. AB 2231 provides individuals who are on a fixed income, such as senior citizens or disabled individuals, a program to which they can turn for assistance with paying their property taxes, allowing them to stay in their homes. Beginning on July 1, 2015, qualified individuals with at least 40% equity in their home may file a claim with the Controller to postpone the payment of their property taxes. Applications will be accepted until January 1, 2016, and the postponed tax amount will be filed as a lien against the property. AB 2231, which is supported by the California Association of REALTORS® is being considered by the state Senate.
Bill Introduced to Prevent Homeowner Associations from Imposing Unnecessary Document Fees – updated 6/20/14
Often, when purchasing a home in a common interest development (CID) like a condominium, the Home Owners Association, in an attempt to generate more revenue, will “bundle” unnecessary documents with those that are actually required and then charge excessive fees for the “bundle.” AB 2430 (Maienschein) will provide more specific document delivery and disclosure standards and tighten the anti-bundling provisions in connection with condominium sales and HOA document delivery requirements so that those buying or selling homes in CIDs aren’t charged for more documents than are required. This bill is sponsored by the California Association of REALTORS®.
Legislature Considers Bills to Prevent Fines for Underwatering Landscaping – updated 6/20/14
Under current law Homeowners Associations (HOAs) can create rules and regulations dictating the responsibilities of separate interest owners to maintain their yards and can impose fines if these rules are not followed. Two bills currently being considered by the state legislature, AB 2100 and SB 992, would prohibit an HOA from imposing fines for under-watered lawns and plants during a period for which the Governor has declared a drought emergency. Proponents of the measures believe residents of HOAs in CIDs should be permitted to undertake landscape modifications that foster more efficient water usage without risking a monetary fine by the HOA. The California Association of REALTORS® supports these measures.
Homeowner Tax Proposal Abandoned – updated 6/1/14
The proponents of a bill that would have imposed a new tax on homeowners has declared defeat and has abandoned the bill for the year, vowing to try again next year. The bill would have created a tax that would be imposed on homeowners who need to record certain documents with their counties This $75 per document tax would have been imposed on a variety of documents, which would include, for example, documents related to refinancing properties, taking properties in and out of trusts, making lot line adjustments, obtaining constructions loans and upon the death of a spouse. The tax also would have applied to foreclosures (the owner would be responsible, not the lender) and filing mechanics liens. For instance, it’s not untypical in a refinance, for six documents to be subject to the new tax, resulting in a tax of $552, in addition to current recording fees. If a spouse dies, up to five documents need to be recorded, creating a tax of $440 on top of existing recording fees.
The California Association of REALTORS® is opposing this bill.
IRS Further Clarifies Stance on Forgiven Debt in a Short Sale – updated 6/1/14
Last fall, the IRS and the state Franchise Tax Board issued letters stating that California families who have sold their home in a short sale are not subject to either state or federal income tax on the forgiven debt. Recently, the IRS, claiming that its original letter had been “too broad,” issued another letter to clarify that under some circumstances (e.g., cash out equity lines) the debt forgiven in a short sale is still taxable. Homeowners who have sold their home in a short sale are strongly urged to consult with a tax professional to determine what, if any, tax they owe.
In a short sale, homeowners sell their homes for less than what is owed. If a lender agrees to the sale, the lender is forgiving a certain amount of the loan principal. Before these clarifications, requested by Senator Barbara Boxer and Board of Equalization Member George Runner on behalf of the California Association of REALTORS®, it was not entirely clear that homeowners wouldn’t lose their homes and then be faced with a large tax bill as well. Homeowners with questions about taxes and short sales should contact their tax professionals.
Mortgages to Remain More Affordable – updated 6/1/14
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the federal agency that sets the maximum mortgage loan limit for what are called “conforming” loans, typically the most common and often the most reasonably priced loans. “Conforming” loans are those loans that meet certain federal guidelines and therefore enjoy the benefit of lower interest rates. The vast majority of mortgage loans – over 64% of mortgage loans obtained nationally – are “conforming” loans.
Late last year, the previous Acting Director of FHFA had indicated that the agency would be substantially reducing the loan limits, forcing many home buyers to obtain loans with higher interest rates. The National Association of REALTORS® and the California Association of REALTORS® both aggressively fought the proposal.
In the last few weeks, Melvin Watts, the new Director of FHFA, has announced that the agency will not be reducing the loan limits, helping make homeownership accessible to more families.
Legislature Proposes Limits on Going out of Business – updated 6/1/14
Existing law prevents local governments from forcing rental property owners to continue in the rental business. SB 1439, a bill proposed by Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, would require that a rental property owner have owned the property for five years before the property can be converted to another use. For instance, if a homeowner owned an apartment building and needed to move aging parents into a unit, they would be unable to do so unless they had owned the property for at least five years. SB 1439 does not take into account individual families’ financial or personal circumstances. SB 1439 was recently passed by the state Senate and now will be considered by the Assembly. The California Association of REALTORS® is fighting this attack on private property rights.
Legislature Considers Tax on Homeowners – updated 3/25/14
The state legislature has been considering a tax that would be imposed on homeowners who need to record certain documents with their counties This $75 per document tax will be imposed on a variety of documents, which will include, for example, documents related to refinancing properties, taking properties in and out of trusts, making lot line adjustments, obtaining constructions loans and upon the death of a spouse. The tax also applies to foreclosures (the owner would be responsible, not the lender) and filing mechanics liens. For instance, it’s not untypical in a refinance, for six documents to be subject to the new tax, resulting in a tax total of $552. If a spouse dies, up to five documents need to be recorded, creating a total tax of $440 including existing recording fees.
SB 391 is in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is opposing this bill.
Draft Tax Plan Would Limit Homeowners Tax Deductions — updated 3/25/14
Rep. Dave Camp, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, recently unveiled a large-scale plan to overhaul the federal tax code. Included in his draft proposal was a significant limit on the mortgage interest deduction. Over four years, the amount of mortgage principal on which interest is deductible would be reduced from the current $1,000,000 to $500,000. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, this would apply only to new loans. In many areas of California, homeowners who would have struggled to purchase even the median priced home would be unable to take the full deduction for their mortgage interest and therefore might be priced out of the market. The draft plan also calls for the elimination of the deduction for property taxes.
The plan is currently in draft form, meaning that no bill has yet been introduced in the House of Representatives.
For more information, see the following opinion editorial published in the US News and World Report: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2014/03/19/tax-reform-plan-goes-the-wrong-way-on-housing
President Obama signs Flood Insurance Bill into law — updated 3/25/14
On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” into law. This law repeals FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18 percent annually on newer properties and 25 percent for some older ones. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance.
Homeowners with questions about flood insurance should contact their insurance agent.
Short Sellers Won’t Be Taxed on Forgiven Debt — updated 3/25/14
In a short sale, homeowners sell their homes for less than what is owed. If a lender agrees to the sale, the lender is forgiving a certain amount of the loan principle. The IRS and the state Franchise Tax Board have recently issued letters clarifying that California families who have lost their home in a short sale are not subject to either state or federal income tax on the forgiven debt. Before these clarifications, requested by Senator Barbara Boxer and Board of Equalization Member George Runner on behalf of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, it was not entirely clear that homeowners wouldn’t lose their homes and then be faced with a large tax bill as well. Homeowners with questions about taxes and short sales should contact their tax professionals.
Law Requiring Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures Goes into Effect — updated 3/25/14 A law calling for the replacement of older plumbing fixtures with water-conserving ones went into effect on this year. The law says that, as of January 1, 2014, when improving a property new water-conserving toilets, showerheads, faucets and urinals must be installed before the local building department will issue a certificate of final completion and occupancy. The plumbing fixtures that will need to be replaced are: any toilet manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons per flush; any showerhead manufactured to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute; any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute and any urinal manufactured to use more than one gallon of water per flush. Homeowners with questions about their individual fixtures are urged to contact the manufacturers.
Register to Vote — updated 3/25/14
Recently moved? Don’t forget to re-register to vote. Those elected to federal, state and local office make decisions that affect you every day, from the taxes you pay to the quality of your schools. Many races are decided by just a handful of votes so it’s essential that all those eligible to vote do so. California’s primary election is June 3, 2014 and the deadline to register to vote is May 19. You can register to vote here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm
There is a possibility that you may be receiving a check in the mail as “Compensation” from the banks for a short sale, denial of loan modification, foreclosures, bankruptcy, or a myriad of other actions by the bank for which they deem you may have been harmed……
Hello – losing a home and getting this compensation is too little too late for many of my clients but I just wanted to let you know what is in the wind in case you do receive a check from the Federal Banking Regulators – the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
I have heard that the check will range from $300 up to $125,000 –
If your loan was serviced by one of the following companies, their affiliates, or subsidiaries: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo you should be receiving a check soon.
If your loan was serviced by EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company, Financial Freedom (OneWest), GMAC Mortgage, and IndyMac Mortgage Services (OneWest), the Independent Foreclosure Review process continues. More about the continuing reviews.
The Paying Agent will be Rust Consulting Inc…… This will NOT cost you any money – do watch out for scammers.
Here is another link if you care to research it further – do pass this on to friends or family that may have gone through any of these processes in 2009, 2010 or 2011.
Correcting Foreclosure Practices
Thank You, Dawn
Dawn O’Neal & Tom Binder
CELL 408.221.0575 & 408.826.9193
Realty World Executive Advantage
DRE #01101500 & #01710719
OFFICE 408.923.7758 FAX 408-923-7758
Exceeding Expectations ~ ALWAYS! TM
Santa Clara County Real Estate Watch
Monthly Newsletter http://realtytimes.com/c/DawnONeal
Real Estate Market Report – City by City http://dawnoneal.rereport.com/market_reports
Dawn’s Blog https://experiencedcaliforniarealtor.com/
Foreclosure Search http://www.dawnoneal.com/foreclosureradar.html
Local City Tours http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=E3D547CDB6BAEBFA
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MY CARTAVI DROPBOX ID:
|Short Sale Relocation Assistance Program:
Your clients could receive $5,000 to $30,000 in relocation assistance
Financially distressed clients want to avoid foreclosure. So…
That’s why Bank of America is excited to offer enhanced relocation assistance. Qualified homeowners who initiate a Preapproved Price Short Sale (without an offer) could be eligible to receive $5,000 – $30,000* in relocation assistance and owe no more on their mortgage with the sale of their property, depending on the investor involved.
AFTER contacting your REALTOR® they will initiate a Preapproved Price Short Sale on the Equator website.
Determining eligibility is easy:
Once your REALTOR® has initiated the short sale on Equator, Bank of America will quickly evaluate the homeowner to determine if they qualify for the enhanced relocation assistance.
The homeowner must participate in one of the Preapproved Price Short Sale Programs, such as:
Specific investor participation and eligibility criteria do apply to these programs. Call your agent to help you with these conditions.
Homeowners not meeting eligibility requirements for the enhanced relocation incentive may still qualify to receive $2,500 – $3,000 in relocation assistance from government- and bank-sponsored programs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How can I find out if my loan qualifies for this limited time offer?
Q: Do I have to do anything special when initiating or completing the short sale?
Q: If a short sale is initiated with an offer, will it qualify for this enhanced relocation assistance?
Q: Is the enhanced relocation assistance eligible to non-owner-occupied properties?
Q: Will the relocation assistance funds be reported on the HUD-1?
Q: Can the relocation assistance funds be used to pay off existing liens?
A: Yes, the homeowner may use funds to pay off existing liens or to help with relocation expenses.
Q: Is the enhanced relocation assistance added to any other incentives, such as the HAFA or Bank of America Cooperative Short Sale Program incentives?
A: The homeowner incentive will be inclusive of the $3,000 HAFA incentive. For example, if the homeowner is eligible for $5,000, then $3,000 will be from the HAFA funds and the remaining $2,000 will be from Bank of America homeowner incentive funds.
|If you have questions, first contact your REALTOR®/short sale specialist.
Your REALTOR® also has contacts for urgent needs (such as a foreclosure postponement) or for escalation of a short sale. Don’t delay – contact today!
Click here to read the full press release.
|* The relocation assistance payment is calculated based on the appraised value of the homeowner’s property. The total amount will be no less than $5,000, but no more than $30,000. The payment will be delivered at the time of closing if the homeowner complies with all terms and conditions of the Short Sale Agreement, which include but are not limited to the following: a full walk-through appraisal must be completed and the homeowner must satisfy all junior liens and provide clear title for the property (the relocation assistance payment can be used to clear those liens). The short sale must close by Sept. 26, 2013. If the homeowner does not comply with all terms and conditions of the Short Sale Agreement, they will not receive the relocation assistance payment. The amount of any deficiency and relocation assistance will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the appropriate 1099 Form or Forms. We suggest that the homeowner contact the IRS or their tax preparer to determine if they have any tax liability.|
Dawn O’Neal & Tom Binder
Exceeding Expectations ~ ALWAYS! TM
REALTOR®-Broker~Owner REALTOR®, SRES®
Check out my BLOG at Dawn O’Neal – Experienced California REALTOR®
1-408-923-7758 O 1-408-923-1333 F
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Here are the full questions & answers related to the Petition I have submitted for assistance in helping a client prevent a Foreclosure that should never happen! Find the petition at :
I’m confused by this Dawn. It looks like they have already left the house and are faced with a more difficult situation then a foreclosure. Will they still be responsible for costs associated with losing the house, and if so, how will the bank collect given their financial situation? We already know that the banks don’t care or this would have been settled by now, and the petition will probably have little or no effect at all. I’d like to help, but can’t figure out what this will accomplish? Jerry
Hi Jerry – Thanks for asking these question….. I am new to this Petition approach so I am learning as I go here too. Any suggestions are always welcome to help. I set this up because I have to do SOMETHING to try and help these clients!!!
Yes, they have left the house and have another place to live – Thank God for their family helping them!
Here is how I perceive the situation:
IF they do a short sale:
1. The possibility of the HOA lien being paid is greater because the buyer has offered to pay this
2. If not a short sale, that lien will become an outstanding lien against them.
3. With a SS, their credit will be less impacted and they can possibly buy again in a shorter period of time
4. They also feel like they have at least done the best they can, under the circumstances, to pay off a loan commitment they undertook and due to job loss, market adjustements and now health issues, can no longer keep.
IF IT GOES INTO FORECLOSURE:
1. Their credit will be affected for a much longer period of time
2. After 12/31/12 –IF the Debt Foregiveness Act is not extended, this client – but moreso anyone else that goes through this same scenario – MAY BE subject to taxable debt forgiveness in a foreclosure – (This may also affect the short sale forgiven if it is not extended but the amount is much greater in a foreclosure than a short sale obviously.)
IN ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTIONS WHAT I HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH:
1. At this point, the debt forgiveness act is still in effect so the biggest issue will be the foreclosure affecting their credit adversely
2. What I am trying to accomplish here is to get the Foreclosure Stopped before 7/2/12
3. AND – Get help from the Government Agencies that are also being sent this petition to step in and work with Ocwen to accept the short sale and close this chapter in their saga of challenges.
Additional FREE Information can be found at http://hosted.cdpe.com/169014/Foreclosure-Solutions.aspx