Category Archives: Mortgage

CDC Halts Evictions Nationwide – Renters Must Claim Protection

Centers for Disease Control Moratorium Stops Residential Evictions to Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(September 2, 2020)

Worried couple facing eviction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced the issuance of an Order under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The moratorium becomes effective on its publication date in the Federal Register of September 4, 2020, and remains in effect through December 31, 2020.

Under the order, a landlord, an owner of a residential property, or another person with a legal right to pursue eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which the moratorium order applies during its effective period. The order does not apply in any State, local, territorial, or tribal area with a moratorium on residential evictions providing the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC order. Nor does it preclude State, local, territorial, and tribal authorities from imposing additional requirements that provide greater public-health protection and are more restrictive requirements. The order is a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract. Nothing in the order precludes charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payments on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.

For renters to qualify for the CDC’s protections, they must make less than $99,000 a year, or $198,000 if filing taxes jointly, be unable to pay rent because of loss of income or extraordinary medical expenses, if they would become homeless or be required to live in crowded conditions, and have to declare that they have no other housing options available if evicted. This CDC ban will apply only if there isn’t a more protective state moratorium already in place.  According to the CDC, “In the absence of State and local protections, as many as 30–40 million people in America could be at risk of eviction. A wave of evictions on that scale would be unprecedented in modern times. A large portion of those who are evicted may move into close quarters in shared housing or become homeless, thus contributing to the spread of COVID-19.”

Tenants, under penalty of purgery, must swear to the following:

  • They have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  • They either expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) under Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
  • They are unable to pay my full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  • They are using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses;
  • If evicted that they would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options.
  • They understand that they must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations that they may have under their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract. And further understand that fees, penalties, or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract may still be charged or collected.
  • They further understand that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on December 31, 2020, their housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made before and during the temporary halt, and failure to pay may make them subject to eviction under State and local laws.

 

Any person who violates the CDC order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 if the violation does not result in a death or one year in jail, or both, or a fine of no more than $250,000 if the violation results in a death or one year in jail, or both, or as otherwise provided by law. An organization violating the order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per occurrence if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law.

[Image Credit: (c) CanStockPhoto] [Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19]

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint is given or implied.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

Information in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author or may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Top Relocation States During the Pandemic

Florida tops the list of buyer destinations during the pandemic

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(August 19, 2020)

Stack of moving boxes on a hand truck      (OnlineEd)Hire a Helper, who has been helping people move for over 10 years, has released what they bill as “The Ultimate Collection of US Moving Statistics” on their web site https://www.hireahelper.com/.

The report is a comprehensive hub for every major relocation study in America and includes migration reports, van line reports, and government census data. The report has as its goal to combine, compare, and contrast data across every major moving report to explain where Americans are moving. These are some interesting facts you will find in their report:

  • 9.8% of Americans moved in 2019 – the lowest rate in 70+ years. This moving rate has been steadily declining since reaching a high of 20.2%, way back in 1985.
  • 35 fewer people moved in 2019. At roughly 31.4 million people, that’s 3% fewer than a year ago when 32.3 million Americans relocated, and 16% fewer than 5 years ago in 2015 when 36.3 million people moved.
  • 21.2% moved to a different county within the same state in 2019, the second-highest rate in 30 years.
  • 20% of Millennials moved in 2019, the highest % among all age groups; only 3.5% of people aged 65+ moved last year.
  • 20% of people renting a home moved in 2019; 5% of homeowners moved in 2019.
  • 85% of people moved at least once in the last 5 years; 75% moved once or twice in the previous 5 years; 6% moved once every year; 4% moves multiple times each year.
  • On average, Americans move 11 times in their lifetime.

States People Moved INTO the most 2019 (HireAHelper):

  1. Idaho
  2. New Mexico
  3. Maine
  4. Arizona
  5. South Dakota
  6. Iowa
  7. Mississippi
  8. Nevada
  9. North Carolina
  10. Vermont

Where Do Americans Who Leave Their State Go? (Source: US Census Bureau)

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. California
  4. North Carolina
  5. Georgia
  6. Virginia
  7. New York
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Washington
  10. Illinois

 

This comprehensive report is chock full of useful information, including % of people who moved by demographics, reasons for moving, highest traffic of inbound and outbound moves, state-by-state, and top city by net moves in each state to name a few. You can get your copy of the complete report at https://www.hireahelper.com/moving-statistics/.

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint is given or implied.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

Information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

COVID-19 Mortgage Relief, Scams, Online Banking Tips, and Student Loan Relief

CFPB offers tips and videos to alert the public about how mortgage forbearance works and financial information for those impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic 

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(April 3, 2020)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) has released a video on how struggling homeowners can obtain mortgage forbearance if their finances are impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student loan relief, scams to watch out for, and online and mobile banking tips.

Below are the resources for consumers:

VIDEO: CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know

Guide to coronavirus mortgage relief options

What you need to know about student loans and the coronavirus pandemic

Beware of scams related to the coronavirus

Online and mobile banking tips for beginners

 

[Source: CFPB press release]

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint is given or implied.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

Information in this posting is assumed correct when published but is not guaranteed if obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Home Value Appreciation Has Slowed Each Month This Year

Annual home value appreciation decreased for the seventh straight month in July

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(August 16, 2019)

SEATTLE, Aug. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. home value growth continues to slow, according to the July Zillow® Real Estate Market Reporti. The typical U.S. home is worth $229,000, up 5.2% from a year ago – this is the smallest annual appreciation since October 2015. Last year at this time, home values rose 7.7% year-over-year. Still, home values are up 0.3% month-over-month, an indication that values are stabilizing after a period of relatively extreme growth rather than headed for a sustained downturn.

Among the 50 largest U.S. markets, home values have grown the most in Salt Lake City (up 9.4% since July 2018), Indianapolis (up 8.1%) and Charlotte (up 7.3%), although growth is slowing in each of these metros. Only New Orleans, Birmingham and Oklahoma City saw home values appreciate at a greater rate than a year ago.

Home values have fallen year-over-year in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, home to the two most expensive markets in the country. The value of the typical home fell 10.5% in San Jose and 1.1% in San Francisco. A year ago, home values were growing 24% annually in San Jose, a 34.5 percentage point difference.

“As talk builds of a potential recession in the next year or two, housing remains fairly stalwart,” said Zillow Director of Economic Research Skylar Olsen. “The slowing appreciation is ultimately a good sign that the market is adjusting in response to the growing unaffordability of down payments, while low mortgage rates are keeping those with the required savings interested despite softer growth out the gate. The uptick in the rate of homes coming onto the market – a good and true increase in supply – should be a boon to those inventory-starved home buyers still searching near the close of home shopping season. While buyers are catching a break, renters have seen prices continue their steady upward climb, presenting yet another obstacle in the quest to save for that down payment.”

The median U.S. rent rose 1.9% year-over-year to $1,592ii. For the eighth consecutive month, rents rose the most in Phoenix (up 6.1% from a year ago), followed by Las Vegas (up 5.9%). Rents fell in only three of the 50 largest markets – Houston, Buffalo and Baltimore.

Inventory grew 1.3% annually, reversing four straight months of declines. There are 19,978 more homes for sale than this time last year. New listings drove the inventory growth in July, up 5.7% from a year ago.

Mortgage rates listed on Zillow fell lower in July. Rates ended the month at 3.72%, down 23 basis points from July 1. Zillow’s real-time mortgage rates are based on thousands of custom mortgage quotes submitted daily to anonymous borrowers on the Zillow Mortgages site and reflect the most recent changes in the market.

Metropolitan Area Zillow Home Value Index, July 2019 ZHVI Year-over-Year Change, July 2019 ZHVI Year-over-Year Change, July 2018 Zillow Rent Index, July 2019 ZRI Year-over-Year Change, July 2019 Inventory Year-over-Year Change, July 2019
United States $229,000 5.2% 7.7% $1,592 1.9% 1.3%
New York, NY $442,800 3.2% 5.5% $2,279 2.3% 4.8%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $650,600 0.9% 6.3% $2,599 1.3% 11.3%
Chicago, IL $225,200 2.1% 5.3% $1,615 1.3% 6.9%
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX $243,500 5.1% 11.8% $1,439 1.5% 12.3%
Philadelphia, PA $233,300 2.1% 5.3% $1,497 2.5% -4.8%
Houston, TX $206,400 3.4% 6.1% $1,378 -0.5% 5.5%
Washington, DC $407,700 2.1% 3.8% $1,971 2.0% -8.8%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL $284,300 3.2% 8.2% $1,851 2.2% 3.8%
Atlanta, GA $220,300 6.9% 11.8% $1,454 4.1% 8.3%
Boston, MA $463,300 1.9% 6.2% $2,416 2.2% 8.4%
San Francisco, CA $938,100 -1.1% 9.4% $3,166 1.2% 21.5%
Detroit, MI $162,900 4.6% 9.4% $1,211 2.3% 17.4%
Riverside, CA $371,500 3.3% 7.3% $1,907 4.3% -1.6%
Phoenix, AZ $267,500 4.5% 7.7% $1,401 6.1% -2.9%
Seattle, WA $489,500 0.5% 8.7% $2,036 2.4% 14.3%
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN $272,000 4.3% 6.6% $1,494 0.6% 4.9%
San Diego, CA $591,500 1.1% 6.1% $2,519 3.1% 6.0%
St. Louis, MO $167,700 3.5% 5.5% $1,009 1.3% -15.0%
Tampa, FL $216,400 5.0% 10.6% $1,392 3.7% 2.8%
Baltimore, MD $267,100 0.7% 4.9% $1,605 -0.1% -4.0%
Denver, CO $409,200 3.0% 6.7% $1,781 1.5% 26.9%
Pittsburgh, PA $144,700 2.5% 7.3% $1,102 1.8% -15.0%
Portland, OR $396,700 1.5% 5.3% $1,647 0.7% 3.1%
Charlotte, NC $210,600 7.3% 10.2% $1,322 3.5% 6.2%
Sacramento, CA $411,300 2.7% 5.4% $1,788 3.5% 0.8%
San Antonio, TX $195,600 5.0% 5.7% $1,215 0.3% 17.9%
Orlando, FL $240,000 5.1% 9.4% $1,414 3.5% 4.5%
Cincinnati, OH $170,400 5.4% 6.3% $1,145 3.2% -8.3%
Cleveland, OH $147,100 4.2% 6.6% $1,071 4.1% -1.3%
Kansas City, MO $191,900 4.7% 9.5% $1,121 1.0% N/A
Las Vegas, NV $279,100 5.1% 13.6% $1,329 5.9% 53.5%
Columbus, OH $193,800 6.5% 7.9% $1,183 0.6% -3.3%
Indianapolis, IN $167,300 8.1% 9.6% $1,100 1.0% N/A
San Jose, CA $1,144,800 -10.5% 24.0% $3,338 0.5% 32.6%
Austin, TX $312,300 4.7% 6.2% $1,586 2.1% -4.9%
Virginia Beach, VA $229,800 1.5% 2.8% $1,335 1.1% -9.6%
Nashville, TN $255,700 4.0% 9.8% $1,445 1.3% 14.6%
Providence, RI $295,100 3.4% 7.3% $1,427 3.2% -3.7%
Milwaukee, WI $232,500 4.5% 5.2% $1,094 2.5% 15.3%
Jacksonville, FL $214,400 5.5% 10.5% $1,348 3.9% -2.1%
Memphis, TN $141,000 5.1% 8.3% $1,047 4.2% -10.6%
Oklahoma City, OK $148,400 4.0% 2.9% $937 1.8% -11.5%
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY $164,400 5.5% 5.7% $1,087 1.4% -1.2%
Hartford, CT $229,100 0.2% 2.5% $1,334 1.1% -4.4%
Richmond, VA $232,000 4.0% 5.3% $1,323 1.3% N/A
New Orleans, LA $176,000 2.7% 0.0% $1,274 0.5% 0.4%
Buffalo, NY $161,400 4.4% 6.7% $1,015 -0.3% -1.2%
Raleigh, NC $269,100 5.2% 5.6% $1,286 1.0% 0.6%
Birmingham, AL $148,700 6.9% 5.5% $1,058 2.3% -5.9%
Salt Lake City, UT $373,200 9.4% 11.3% $1,494 1.7% 20.3%

 

[Source: Zillow press release]

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

Excerpts from articles not originating with Jeff Sorg/OnlineEd are reprinted with permission; remain the sole property of the author; no permission to reprint is given or implied.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

Information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Report for Residential Construction Activity in June 2019

Building permits, housing starts, and housing completions report

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(July 17, 2019)

(Wahington) US Dept. of HUD (c) Can Stock Photo– The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for June 2019.

Building Permits

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,220,000. This is 6.1 percent (±1.2 percent) below the revised May rate of 1,299,000 and is 6.6 percent (±1.1 percent) below the June 2018 rate of 1,306,000. Single‐family authorizations in June were at a rate of 813,000; this is 0.4 percent (±1.0 percent)* above the revised May figure of 810,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 360,000 in June.

Housing Starts

Privately-owned housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,253,000. This is 0.9 percent (±7.9 percent)* below the revised May estimate of 1,265,000, but is 6.2 percent (±7.8 percent)* above the June 2018 rate of 1,180,000. Single‐family housing starts in June were at a rate of 847,000; this is 3.5 percent (±9.6 percent)* above the revised May figure of 818,000. The June rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 396,000.

Housing Completions

Privately‐owned housing completions in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,161,000. This is 4.8 percent (±12.8 percent)* below the revised May estimate of 1,220,000 and is 3.7 percent (±10.5 percent)* below the June 2018 rate of 1,205,000. Single‐family housing completions in June were at a rate of 870,000; this is 1.8 percent (±11.5 percent)* below the revised May rate of 886,000. The June rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 283,000.

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Media Repeats False Information About Commissions

Are real estate boards losing the PR war against claims that internet brokerages charge less than “traditional brokerages?”

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 10, 2019)

(PORTLAND, Ore.) OnlineEd – This is an enlightening video post from Frank and Brian over at The National Real Estate Post.  Watch the video and then download their real examples of closing statements to see how fees are represented to seem less than charged by traditional brokerages.

[Reposted with permission] Subscribe/Watch at their site: https://thenationalrealestatepost.com/

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Freedom Mortgage Corp. to Pay $1.75 Million Penalty

CFPB settles with Freedom Mortgage Corporation

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(June 5, 2019)

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) CFPB – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) today announced a settlement with Freedom Mortgage Corporation (Freedom), one of the ten largest Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporters nationwide.

Freedom is a mortgage lender with its principal place of business in Mount Laurel, N.J. For each year from 2013 through 2016, it originated more than 50,000 home-purchase loans, including refinancings of home-purchase loans. Freedom is required to collect, record, and report data on HMDA-covered transactions to comply with HMDA and Regulation C.

According to the consent order, the Bureau found that Freedom violated HMDA and Regulation C by submitting mortgage-loan data for 2014 to 2017 that contained errors. The Bureau found that Freedom reported inaccurate race, ethnicity, and sex information and that much of Freedom’s loan officers’ recording of this incorrect information was intentional. For example, certain loan officers were told by managers or other loan officers that, when applicants did not provide their race or ethnicity, they should select non-Hispanic white regardless of whether that was accurate.

Under the terms of the consent order, Freedom must pay a civil money penalty of $1.75 million and take steps to improve its compliance management to prevent future violations.

Read the consent order with all the details: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_freedom-mortgage-corporation_stipulation_2019-06.pdf

[source: CFPB press release]

 

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

First American Title/Financial Corp. May Have Leaked 885 Million Customer Records

Title company faces class action lawsuit for its apparent negligence

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(May 29, 2019)

A class-action lawsuit is already filed in California after Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity expert, reported 885 million First American files were available without authentication to anyone with a web browser. The data allegedly included bank account numbers, social security numbers, and financial and tax records.

First American was ultimately notified by Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity, who was contacted by a real estate developer in Washington state who said he’d had little luck getting a response from the company when told by him that a portion of its Web site (firstam.com) was leaking tens if not hundreds of millions of records. He said anyone who knew the URL for a valid document at the Web site could view other documents just by modifying a single digit in the link. Brian Krebs posted on his web site, “KrebsOnSecurity confirmed the real estate developer’s findings, which indicate that First American’s Web site exposed approximately 885 million files, the earliest dating back more than 16 years. No authentication was required to read the documents.” *

In their complaint**, Gibbs Law Group alleges, “First American made it incredibly easy for the public to access this private information by failing to implement even rudimentary security measures. Suppose that you are a First American customer. The company provides you with a URL to access your documents on its website. That URL might end in “DocumentID= 000000075.” Now suppose you want to access someone else’s personal file. Type the same URL but alter the Document ID number by one digit—say, “DocumentID=000000076”—and someone else’s personal file will appear. Change the numbers again (and again), and you will reveal still more personal files.”

* Read the entire Brian Krebs posting available on his website here: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/05/first-american-financial-corp-leaked-hundreds-of-millions-of-title-insurance-records/

** Class action lawsuit Gritz v. First American Financial Corp., 19-cv-01009, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark.

National Association of REALTORS® Moves to Dismiss Price-Fixing Lawsuit

Class action lawsuit claims real estate broker franchisors and National Association of Realtors conspire to require home sellers to pay buyer broker fees

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(May 23, 2019)

CHICAGO (May 18, 2019) – The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) moved to dismiss the Moehrl v. NAR lawsuit on the basis that the complaint misrepresents NAR rules for the operation of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs), which have long been recognized by the courts across the country as protecting consumers and creating competitive, efficient markets that benefit home buyers and sellers. The filing was made in federal court in Chicago.

“In today’s complex real estate environment, REALTORS® and Multiple Listing Services promote a pro-consumer, pro-competitive market for home buyers and sellers, contrary to the baseless claims of these class action attorneys,” said John Smaby, President of NAR. “Our filing today shows the lawsuit is wrong on the facts, wrong on the economics and wrong on the law.”

NAR’s brief points out that, as the centerpiece of their case, the seven class action law firms who represent one plaintiff have resorted to fundamentally mischaracterizing NAR’s rules. That mischaracterization, according to the NAR’s filing, led the class action attorneys to “dream up” purportedly anticompetitive rules that simply do not exist in NAR’s Handbook or Code of Ethics. In reality, NAR rules specifically direct listing brokers to determine – in consultation with their clients – the amount of compensation to offer buyers’ brokers in connection with their MLS listings. Furthermore, under NAR rules, a buyer’s broker is free to negotiate a commission from the listing broker that is different from what appears in the MLS listing. Neither NAR nor any MLS has any say in setting broker commissions.

Ultimately, these rules create a system of highly competitive markets where consumers receive superior service.

Beyond misreading the facts, NAR’s filing to dismiss demonstrates the shaky legal grounds of the plaintiff’s case, pointing out that the lawsuit disregards legal precedents that have upheld the pro-competitive benefits represented by the MLS system. For example, past court rulings have noted that NAR rules provide a more transparent marketplace, and encourage REALTORS® to share listing information and cooperate in the sale of real estate.

In fact, when considering the structure of commission payments, NAR’s filing notes that listing brokers’ offers of commission to buyers’ brokers on MLSs has been shown to actually increase the number of potential buyers. “When a seller elects to permit their brokers to pay compensation to the buyer’s broker, it frees up buyer cash thereby potentially increasing the number of buyers able to bid for that home and the amount of funds available for the purchase price,” the filing states.

“The MLS system is designed to create competitive markets to facilitate the sale of residential property in a way that benefits both buyers and sellers,” said Smaby.

Contrary to the career class action attorneys’ manufactured rules and claims, the plaintiff’s transaction was subject to the same rules as all transactions facilitated via an MLS: commissions are agreed upon up front by the seller and listing broker – independent of NAR – and commissions are negotiable. These rules have been proven to promote competition and ensure that brokers act in the best interests of their clients.

On the basis of these fundamental arguments that refute the plaintiff’s allegations and reading of legal precedent, as well as a failure to demonstrate harm, NAR is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit “with prejudice.”

[Source – NAR Press Release]

DEFENDANT: The National Association of Realtors, Realogy Holdings Corp., HomeServices of America Inc., RE/MAX Holdings Inc., Keller Williams Realty Inc.
CASE NUMBER: 1:19-cv-01610
COURT: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult the appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark

Four Common Listing Agreements Used by Real Estate Agents

Each type of listing agreement allows an agent to market the seller’s property, but they differ when it comes to who else can market it and how the brokerage fee is earned

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(April 4, 2019)

(PORTLAND, Ore.) OnlineEd – Each type of listing contract allows the real estate agent to market a seller’s property, but the agreements will differ when it comes to who else can market the property or how the brokerage fee is earned. In this post, we discuss the open, exclusive agency, exclusive right to sell, and net listings.

Open – The open listing allows the seller to employ any number of agents at the same time. However, the seller will only owe a commission to the agent who sells the property (the procuring cause of the sale). The open listing agreement also allows the seller to sell the property without owing any commission.

Procuring Cause, as defined by the National Association of REALTORS®, is “the uninterrupted series of causal events that leads to a successful transaction.” It is the way to determine disputes about who deserves a real estate commission for causing a sale. 

The open listing agreement is rarely used in residential real estate because there is little motivation for an agent to promote the property; there is no motivation to cooperate with other agents; and the agent is competing directly with the seller to find a buyer.

Exclusive agency – The exclusive agency listing gives one agent the right to sell the property, but no commission is owed if the seller sells the property. The advantage of the exclusive agency listing over the open listing is that competition from other agents for the listing contract is eliminated. However, the listing agent is still competing with the seller when selling the property and is at a disadvantage because the seller can sell the property for less than the broker, and no commission has to be paid to the agent.

Exclusive right to sell – With the exclusive right to sell listing, the seller employs just one agent. The agent earns their commission if the property is sold by another agent, the seller, or the listing agent.

This is the most used type of listing agreement in residential real estate brokerage. Because the listing agent is assured of a commission if the listing sells during the term of the agreement, the agent is likely to spend time, money, and other resources necessary to market the property, thereby resulting in a more timely sale for the seller. With the exclusive right to sell listing, the agent earns the fee when a ready, willing and able buyer is produced who meets the agreed upon terms of sale stated in the listing agreement, whether or not the seller accepts such an offer.

The exclusive right to sell listing agreement also usually contains a due diligence clause. A due diligence clause requires the principal broker to exercise due diligence in attempting to locate a buyer for the property. The agreement will also include a clause that requires the seller to pay the fee if the property is sold to anyone introduced to the property during the listing period, even after the listing has expired. The period for which this fee is due after the listing expires is negotiated with the seller and becomes a part of the contract at the time of the listing agreement. The purpose of the clause is to prevent a buyer who was introduced to the property during the listing period from purchasing the property directly from the seller minus any commission due to the listing agent.

Net – A net listing is a listing agreement that allows the listing agent to keep everything over the minimum (net) price set by the seller, however, there wouldn’t be any fee owed to the agent if the seller sold for the net amount. Some states and many brokerages do not allow the net listing, and its use is discouraged even in states where it is legal because of its potential for misuse.

 

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OnlineEd blog postings are the opinion of the author and not intended as legal or other professional advice. Be sure to consult an appropriate party when professional advice is needed.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers visit www.OnlineEd.com.

All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained from third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

OnlineEd® is a registered Trademark