Law & Policy Archive

Live Webcast: Understand Closing Process Changes

By now you’ve heard about the big changes coming to the closing table in the months ahead. Starting soon, the HUD-1 settlement form, the Good Faith Estimate, and the Truth in Lending Act disclosure are going away. They’ll be...
July 1, 2015

Housing Discrimination Doesn’t Need Intent, Supreme Court Says

Much of the country’s attention has been on the United States Supreme Court’s rulings on marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act last week, but the nation’s highest court also handed down an important housing decision that looks at...
July 1, 2015

REALTORS® Press for Relief from Patent Trolls (VIDEO)

As lawmakers on Capitol Hill consider patent-reform legislation, the National Association of REALTORS® has released a video highlighting the urgent need for action to protect real estate and other types of professionals from patent trolls—entities that purchase patents, then...
April 20, 2015

Push to Renew Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Gains Steam in Senate

An effort is under way in the Senate to renew legislation that spares underwater homeowners from having to pay income tax on mortgage debt forgiven by a lender, one of the chief supporters of the tax-relief provision told a...
February 23, 2015

State Marijuana Laws Don’t Protect Your Property

Here’s the thing about marijuana laws: Federal trumps state. So even though 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal pot use — and four states have OK’d recreational use — the federal government still says marijuana...
November 9, 2014

About That FHA Prepayment Penalty . . .

News that FHA will eliminate a prepayment penalty starting next year has been widely reported. It’s a move NAR has been seeking for some time because it will relieve borrowers of a financial hit that’s entirely out of their...
September 11, 2014

Under All Is the Land, But What If It’s Under Water?

If REALTORS® have struggled with the concept of environmentalism, it’s not because they don’t love the environment. Quite the contrary. I spoke to NAR President Steve Brown about it back in September 2013, as he was preparing to begin...
August 6, 2014

3 Surprising Revelations at the REALTOR® Party Convention

I’m a bit floored. There are all kinds of obscure laws — or would-be laws — pertaining to real estate that can throw practitioners for a loop. But three points of discussion came up during Wednesday’s sessions at the...
May 14, 2014

Lawsuits Challenge Independent Contractor Status

Real estate sales associates operating as independent contractors would seem to be a settled area of law, but three lawsuits were filed last year in which associates claimed they were employees and wanted to be compensated as such. They...
March 27, 2014

Marijuana is Starting to Intersect with Real Estate

You don’t think of the changing status of marijuana in many states as having a real estate impact but it does. In the states where medical marijuana is decriminalized (and in Washington and Colorado, where it’s decriminalized even for...
January 6, 2014