Title Companies Archives

Legal Update for Real Estate Professionals from Harry Borders

PRIVITY OF CONTRACT:

Who Is Making Repairs For Your Buyer?

The #1 post closing question we get asked is this: “the sellers agreed to repair the (roof, electrical, plumbing, etc.) and now we’ve moved in and the (roof, electrical, plumbing, etc.) isn’t fixed.  Can we go back to the seller and make them do the work properly?”

Under MOST situations, the answer is NO!!!

Huh? You mean it’s ok the seller didn’t have the work properly done as they agreed they would do?  Yep, that’s exactly what we’re saying.  And here’s why.

In Kentucky there’s a legal concept called “privity of contract.” Privity of contract says if I didn’t enter into a contract with a contractor directly, and if the contractor does a crummy job, the contractor is not liable to me.

Therefore, when a buyer requests a seller to make certain repairs after the home inspection, the way most agents handle the situation, there would NOT be privity of contract because the seller picks the contractor, not the buyer.

In addition, when a buyer allows the seller to pick the contractor, we know the seller will likely pick World’s Cheapest Contractor, LLC to do the work.  This only increases the odds the buyer will have an issue after closing.

So, how do we fix this? 

We’d love to say “insist on your buyer picking the contractor,” but we don’t think that’s realistic.  Instead, as a selling agent, we’d suggest when you’re dealing with Big Ticket Items (roof, HVAC, basement, structural issues, electric, plumbing), you reach out to the listing agent BEFORE making a repair request and ask them who they are likely to use for this work. If you are comfortable the person doing the work is qualified, in the repair request specifically state the seller shall use [insert name of qualified contractor listing agent suggested] and state specifically “buyer’s name shall appear along side the seller’s name on the invoice.”  If you are NOT comfortable with the contractor they suggest, you need to write in the repair request the contractor your buyer would like to use for the work.  In this case, you will still need to add “buyer’s name shall appear along side the seller’s name on the invoice.”

When the buyer’s name appears on the invoice, we now have privity of contract.

If an issue pops up after closing, the buyer can now go back to the contractor to insist the contractor take care of the problem. And at the same time, we’re now using a contractor we feel good about.

Another alternative would be to have the seller give the money for all repairs directly to buyer, but this should NEVER happen without the buyer’s lender’s consent.  Of course, in a cash closing, it’s fine to give money directly to the buyer, but not if there’s a lender involved.

We hope your summer has been fun and productive and we hope to see you soon at a closing table!

Harry Borders

Borders & Borders Attorneys:
Borders & Sons
 
 
 
 
John, David, and Harry

Since the early 1970s, our firm has practiced primarily in the field of real estate law. We represent banks and mortgage companies, real estate investors, builders and individual buyers and sellers in a variety of transactions related to residential and commercial real estate in Kentucky and Indiana. Our primary area of practice is real estate closings.   However, our attorneys also practice in other areas of law as well.

FHFA Streamlines Short Sale Standards for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The program attempts to remove barriers created by some subordinate lien holders by limiting subordinate-lien payments to $6,000. This maneuver essentially cuts off any attempts by second-lien holders to negotiate for larger payoff amounts.

New short sale requirements for servicers proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency are giving financial firms a battle strategy for dealing with reluctant subordinate-lien holders who attempt to delay short sales on points of negotiation.

Some parties in short sales are able to delay the process by Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

I Could Not Believe It.

Is This Really True?

It Is In The Planning Stages Now

The Federal Transaction Tax!

President Obama’s finance team and Nancy Pelosi are recommending a 1% transaction tax on all financial transactions.

It is true.

The bill is HR-4646 introduced by US Rep Peter deFazio D-Oregon and US Senator Tom Harkin D-Iowa.

Their plan is to sneak it in after the November election to keep it under the radar.
See what Nancy has to say about this wonderful idea!  http://tinyurl.com/24dn5ud

It’s only 1%! This is a 1% tax on all transactions to or from any financial institution i.e. Banks, Credit Unions, Mutual funds, Brokers, etc.

Any deposit you make will have a 1% tax charged.

Any withdrawal you make, 1% tax.

Any transfer within your account, a transfer to or from savings and checking, will have a 1% tax charged.

Any ATM transaction, withdrawal or deposit, 1% tax.

If your pay check or your Social Security is direct deposited, 1% tax.

If you carry a check to your bank to deposit, 1% tax.

If you take cash in to deposit, 1% tax.

If you receive any income from a bond or a dividend from stock, 1% tax.

Any Real Estate Transaction, 1% tax.

This is from the man who promised that if you make under $250,000 per year, you will not see one penny of new tax! Remember, he is completely honest and trustworthy.
Keep your eyes and ears open.

Folks, Nancy says this would be a minimal tax on the people, but 1 percent every time you pay a bill or make a deposit is not minimal. This would no doubt tax investment transactions as well as bank account transactions.

Excerpt from American Debt Relief

Contact Your U.S. Representative AND U.S. Senator Now

Here is the Link for fill-in-the-blank email to Your U.S. Representative

https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

 


 

 

This is a WHOPPER!

I just got this in the mail from my state’s Realtor Association

Please Pay Close Attention – Don’t Allow Yourself To Get In This Trick Bag

This is a very powerful “eye-opener” for the licensed agent, real estate investor, who is GREEDY and tries to play both ends against the middle.

If you have your license as an agent or broker, and you wish to make money representing buyers and sellers, then wear this hat professionally for the best interest of your client(s).

If you are licensed as an agent or broker, and want to use these resources to buy and sell for your real estate investing business, then follow the law and rules properly.

It all boils down to good old fashion doing business the right way and with 100% full disclosure and document your disclosures.

Read this one and enjoy

==============================================================

Agent buys house from under client’s nose Lawsuit leads to out-of-court settlement

In a recent column, we asked if a person who serves homebuyers and sellers for a living should be held to different guidelines if they are competing to purchase a property.

For example, should the listing be exposed to the market for a certain amount of time (perhaps 48 hours) before a licensed agent can buy a home that somebody else is ready, willing and able to buy?

The question came in light of new research that revealed nearly 43 percent of all members of the National Association of REALTORS® owned at least one rental property.

The responses fell into two main pots:

  1. Readers said agents should be allowed to buy if it was in the best interest of the seller.
  2. Others who responded thought that agents should be allowed to purchase a property as soon as it is listed provided they knowingly had no other active clients who wanted the same home.

A recent Washington state case that was settled out of court (and whose financial terms remain confidential) contained that second caveat. The interesting, complicated affair included a short sale Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

December 12th, 2011

The FHA has established minimum credit score requirements in order to be eligible for FHA financing.

The FHA guidelines specifically exclude from eligibility any borrower with a FICO score below 500.  Theoretically, any borrower with a credit score above 500 can be approved for an FHA loan but realistically, the lower the credit score, the more difficult it becomes to actually obtain FHA loan approval.

Borrowers with a FICO score between 500 to 579 are eligible for FHA-insured mortgage financing but are required to make a 10% downpayment and be able to verify sufficient income.  There are actually very few borrowers that wind up obtaining an FHA mortgage under these requirements.  A low credit score is indicative of a high level of mismatch between a borrower’s debt obligations and income, resulting in late or defaulted loan payments.  Under these circumstances, it is highly unlikely that a potential borrower would be able to accumulate a 10% downpayment.

Borrowers with credit scores above 580 are eligible for maximum FHA financing and are required to make only a 3.5% downpayment.  From a practical standpoint, however, it has become extremely difficult to obtain FHA loan approval unless the borrower’s credit score is above 620.  This is due to the fact that FHA lenders have established their own credit criteria for loan approval which exceeds the FHA guidelines.  Most of the largest banks that make mortgage loans under the FHA lending program require a minimum FICO score of 640.

The FHA and the banking industry have dramatically tightened underwriting criteria for loan approval due to the collapse of housing values and the large number of mortgage defaults. A borrower applying for an FHA mortgage today with a FICO score below 620 has a very low chance of being approved.

At the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, a huge 45% of FHA loans were approved for borrowers with credit scores below 620.  In 2008, the number declined to 33%, in 2009 to 14% and in 2010 to only 4%.  The number of borrowers approved for FHA insured mortgage loans with a credit score below 620 declined to 3% in 2011.

Borrowers with a credit score above 660 have the best chance of being approved for FHA financing as can be seen in the graph below.  In 2011, 70% of all FHA mortgage loans were given to borrowers with a credit score of 660 or higher.

 

from FHA website

WITH most lenders requiring home buyers to put down at least 20 percent — and sometimes, with more expensive properties, an even greater amount — the best gift some people might receive would be help with the down payment.

Under federal tax law, each individual is permitted to give away money or valuables worth up to $13,000 to a single recipient in a calendar year. A married couple could jointly bestow up to $26,000 a year per recipient.

“It really can be $52,000” if the recipient also has a partner, said Mike Maye, the owner of MJM Financial, a financial planning firm in Berkeley Heights, N.J.

And if the gift-givers wanted to spread even more good cheer into the next calendar year — perhaps distributing some future Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

Fannie Mae Offers Incentives to Real Estate Investor Buyers and REO Buyers’ agents can earn $1,000 bonuses on HomePath sales in 2 states

Fannie Mae is once again offering closing-cost assistance for buyers who close on a home in the mortgage giant’s real-estate owned (REO) inventory, but in most states will not bring back cash bonuses it previously paid to buyers’ agents.

Buyers who put in initial offers on or after April 11, and close on the sale of a Fannie Mae HomePath property by June 30, will be eligible to receive up to Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

FEDERAL Housing Administration mortgages, the government-insured loans that have surged in popularity in recent years, will be getting slightly more expensive this spring.

The F.H.A. announced this month that it was raising the annual mortgage insurance premium for borrowers by a quarter of a percentage point — to 1.1 or 1.15 percent of the loan amount for 30-year fixed-rate loans, and 0.25 or 0.50 for 15-year or shorter-term loans.
The higher premium applies to F.H.A. loans taken out on or after April 18.


The agency called the change a “marginal increase” that would be “affordable for almost all home buyers who would qualify for a new loan.”

But industry experts say that some consumers, especially those considered marginal borrowers, may now be prevented from buying or refinancing a property.
The annual premium for 30-year loans was already changed in November, to 0.85 percent or 0.9 percent; the level used to be 0.50 percent or 0.55 percent. (The annual premium for 15-year or shorter-term loans, previously zero to 0.25 percent, did not change at that time.)
“It’s going to make fewer people qualify” for the loans, said Michael Moskowitz, the president of Equity Now in New York. “It’s the equivalent of a quarter-point increase in interest.”
The increase does not apply to F.H.A. loans already in place, or to F.H.A. reverse mortgages or home-equity conversion (HECM) loans.
According to the housing administration, the new rate structure would raise the cost of a $157,000 mortgage, a typical F.H.A. loan amount, by about $33 a month, or $396 a year.

The agency requires that all borrowers of loans it insures pay the premium.

Consumers with non-F.H.A. loans who put down less than 20 percent are typically required by their lenders to take out private mortgage insurance, to insure the lender against the risk of default.
F.H.A. loans are typically taken out by those who cannot qualify under the stiffer down-payment and credit-score requirements of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the government-controlled buyers of most loans.
The housing agency requires at least 3.5 percent, while Fannie Mae typically requires 5 to 15 percent, or more. Last November, F.H.A. began requiring a minimum credit score of 500, and for credit scores below 580 — a level at which Fannie and Freddie do not back loans — a 10 percent down payment.
Last year, more than 19 percent of all residential mortgages, and more than 30 percent of all home purchases, were made with F.H.A. loans.

In 2005, F.H.A. loans made up just over 4 percent of residential mortgages, and nearly 5.6 percent of home purchases.
Since the mortgage crisis began in 2008, “F.H.A. has been the only haven for borrowers,” said Sean Welsh, a senior loan officer at Campbell Financial Services in West Haven, Conn.
But the agency’s capital reserves have fallen below levels mandated by Congress, which is why the rise in the annual insurance premium was authorized.
Mr. Welsh said the increase, while “not too bad,” was still “additional pain” atop the November change.
F.H.A. loans used to be the province of niche lenders, but in recent years big banks have entered the market in a big way.
In fact, Wells Fargo recently lowered its minimum required credit score for an F.H.A. loan to 500 from 600. The bank also reduced its required debt-to-income ratio, or the amount of a borrower’s gross monthly income that can go toward paying off debt, to 43 percent.

For lower-credit F.H.A. borrowers, the bank raised its minimum down payment to 10 percent.
“We don’t anticipate a significant impact on individual consumers from the mortgage insurance premium hike,” said Tom Goyda, a Wells Fargo spokesman. “F.H.A. is still an important source of funding for first-time home buyers and those who don’t have a lot for a down payment.”

By Lynnley BrowningFor more: http://nyti.ms/eqMIIf

This is NOT New for those who attended the Great Investor Cruise or attend our POWER LUNCH Series.
My CPA, Mike Grinnan shared this troublesome news several months ago.  (another reason to stay tuned to AskMikeButler.com) The most disappointing aspect of this new tax law is the “targeting” of landlords and real estate investors.
The rest of the world has an effective date of Jan 1, 2012; however, real estate investors and rental property owners effective date is Jan 1, 2011. NOW!
Every “anything or anybody” that gets paid more than $600 by you in the calendar or tax year, you must now send them a 1099.
But hold on, this includes utility companies, Home Depot,… Click Here for Full Video/Article (Members Only)

The Power of Rent Talk

Rent Talk System and DVD is an absolute must for every investor and landlord. This is your New Tenant Welcome and Orientation Video. It Works!

 

 

 Page 1 of 6  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »