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November 29, 2007

H.R. 1876: Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act of 2007

H.R. 1876: Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act of 2007

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income of individual taxpayers discharges of indebtedness attributable to certain forgiven residential mortgage obligations.

4/17/2007--Introduced.
Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act of 2007 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from gross income amounts attributable to the discharge of certain residential mortgage obligations.
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November 27, 2007

CONTRACTS, INJURY AND TORT LAW, INSURANCE LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

CONTRACTS, INJURY AND TORT LAW, INSURANCE LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE
Bjork v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. D049449
In suit to recover under homeowner's insurance policies issued to plaintiff's mother, against whom plaintiff obtained a $4.5 million judgment for negligence in failing to prevent plaintiff's father from sexually molesting her, summary judgment for insurer is affirmed as the terms of the applicable policies exclude coverage for the mother's personal liability as plaintiff was a resident of her mother's home at the time she was injured by the alleged molestation. Read more...   PDF version
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Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse

Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse
Breakthroughs Newsletter
 
November 2007
 
This year's sixth edition of Breakthroughs has just been
posted on the Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse (RBC)
website. In this issue, you'll read about transforming
decommissioned military bases, Colorado's actions to
support affordable housing, and historic preservation. 
 
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November 26, 2007

San Francisco-based Public Architecture, a nonprofit advocate for pro bono design

San Francisco-based Public Architecture, a nonprofit advocate for pro bono design, recently launched the second phase of its program "The 1%," which started in 2005 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The 1% program was created to challenge architecture and design firms to pledge 1 percent of their billable hours to pro bono work. More than 200 design and architecture firms have signed on.

Now the program features a matchmaking website—www.theonepercent.org—that connects nonprofit organizations in need of design assistance with architecture and design firms offering their time. Hundreds of groups seeking pro bono design work have contacted Public Architecture over the past two years, but there was nothing set up to address their inquiries. Theonepercent.org is a clearinghouse allowing nonprofits and firms to register themselves in The 1% program, identify the type of services they are seeking or offering, and connect with each other.

Public Architecture also has released a print booklet that corresponds

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VA HOME LOAN PROGRAM

VA HOME LOAN PROGRAM

Cert. #C6689 – General Real Estate

4 hrs. Continuing Education Credit

December 12, 2007

9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

This continuing education training is for lenders and real estate professionals.

Topics to be covered in the training session include:

          • VA Loan Guaranty
          • Loan Limits
          • Types of Loans and Requirements
          • Eligibility/ACE and Certificates of Eligibility
          • Occupancy
          • Income and Credit Guidelines
          • Allowable fees and charges
          • Portal/TAS and E-Appraisal
          • Specially Adapted Housing (SAH)
          • LAPP
          • Eligible Properties
          • Appraisal Process

This continuing education training will be at the VA Regional Loan Center located at 3333 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ.  Click here for directions to the training site.  A Training Certificate will be issued to all participants.  Registration is required due to limited seating.

TO REGISTER, OR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS CONCERNING THIS TRAINING OR NEED ANY OTHER ASSISTANCE, PLEASE CONTACT THE PHOENIX VA REGIONAL LOAN CENTER AND ASK FOR THE TRAINING COORDINATOR:

TOLL FREE

1-888-869-0194 x 3048

VA WEBSITE                                               E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR RESERVATIONS
www.vba.va.gov/ro/phoenixlgy/index.htm         reservations.vbapho@va.gov                      

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HR 3915 Title VII-Appraisal Activities

TITLE VII--APPRAISAL ACTIVITIES

 

SEC. 701. PROPERTY APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS.

    Section 129 of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1639) is amended by inserting after subsection (u) (as added by section 303(f)) the following new subsection:`(v) Property Appraisal Requirements-`(1) IN GENERAL- A creditor may not extend credit in the form of a mortgage referred to in section 103(aa) to any consumer without first obtaining a written appraisal of the property to be mortgaged prepared in accordance with the requirements of this subsection.`(2) APPRAISAL REQUIREMENTS-`(A) PHYSICAL PROPERTY VISIT- An appraisal of property to be secured by a mortgage referred to in section 103(aa) does not meet the requirement of this subsection unless it is performed by a qualified appraiser who conducts a physical property visit of the interior of the mortgaged property.`(B) SECOND APPRAISAL UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES-`(i) IN GENERAL- If the purpose of a mortgage referred to in section 103(aa) is to finance the purchase or acquisition of the mortgaged property from a person within 180 days of the purchase or acquisition of such property by that person at a price that was lower than the current sale price of the property, the creditor shall obtain a second appraisal from a different qualified appraiser. The second appraisal shall include an analysis of the difference in sale prices, changes in market conditions, and any improvements made to the property between the date of the previous sale and the current sale.`(ii) NO COST TO CONSUMER- The cost of any second appraisal required under clause (i) may not be charged to the consumer.`(C) QUALIFIED APPRAISER DEFINED- For purposes of this subsection, the term `qualified appraiser' means a person who--`(i) is certified or licensed by the State in which the property to be appraised is located; and`(ii) performs each appraisal in conformity with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, and the regulations prescribed under such title, as in effect on the date of the appraisal.`(3) FREE COPY OF APPRAISAL- A creditor shall provide 1 copy of each appraisal conducted in accordance with this subsection in connection with a mortgage referred to in section 103(aa) to the consumer without charge, and at least 3 days prior to the transaction closing date.`(4) CONSUMER NOTIFICATION- At the time of the initial mortgage application, the consumer shall be provided with a statement by the creditor that any appraisal prepared for the mortgage is for the sole use of the creditor, and that the consumer may choose to have a separate appraisal conducted at their own expense.`(5) VIOLATIONS- In addition to any other liability to any person under this title, a creditor found to have willfully failed to obtain an appraisal as required in this subsection shall be liable to the consumer for the sum of $2,000.'.

 

SEC. 702. UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE PRACTICES AND ACTS RELATING TO CERTAIN CONSUMER CREDIT TRANSACTIONS.

    (a) In General- Chapter 2 of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1631 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 129C (as added by section 601) the following new section:

 

`SEC. 129D. UNFAIR AND DECEPTIVE PRACTICES AND ACTS RELATING TO CERTAIN CONSUMER CREDIT TRANSACTIONS.

    `(a) In General- It shall be unlawful, in providing any services for a consumer credit transaction secured by the principal dwelling of the consumer, to engage in any unfair or deceptive act or practice as described in or pursuant to regulations prescribed under this section.`(b) Appraisal Independence- For purposes of subsection (a), unfair and deceptive practices shall include--`(1) any appraisal of a property offered as security for repayment of the consumer credit transaction that is conducted in connection with such transaction in which a person with an interest in the underlying transaction compensates, coerces, extorts, colludes, instructs, induces, bribes, or intimidates a person conducting or involved in an appraisal, or attempts, to compensate, coerce, extort, collude, instruct, induce, bribe, or intimidate such a person, for the purpose of causing the appraised value assigned, under the appraisal, to the property to be based on any factor other than the independent judgment of the appraiser;`(2) mischaracterizing, or suborning any mischaracterization of, the appraised value of the property securing the extension of the credit;`(3) seeking to influence an appraiser or otherwise to encourage a targeted value in order to facilitate the making or pricing of the transaction; and`(4) failing to timely compensate an appraiser for a completed appraisal regardless of whether the transaction closes.`(c) Exceptions- The requirements of subsection (b) shall not be construed as prohibiting a mortgage lender, mortgage broker, mortgage banker, real estate broker, appraisal management company, employee of an appraisal management company, or any other person with an interest in a real estate transaction from asking an appraiser to provide 1 or more of the following services:`(1) Consider additional, appropriate property information, including the consideration of additional comparable properties to make or support an appraisal.`(2) Provide further detail, substantiation, or explanation for the appraiser's value conclusion.`(3) Correct errors in the appraisal report.`(d) Rulemaking Proceedings- The Board, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration Board, and the Federal Trade Commission--`(1) shall, for purposes of this section, jointly prescribe regulations defining with specificity acts or practices which are unfair or deceptive in the provision of mortgage lending services for a consumer credit transaction secured by the principal dwelling of the consumer or mortgage brokerage services for such a transaction and defining any terms in this section or such regulations; and`(2) may jointly issue interpretive guidelines and general statements of policy with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the provision of mortgage lending services for a consumer credit transaction secured by the principal dwelling of the consumer and mortgage brokerage services for such a transaction, within the meaning of subsections (a), (b), and (c).`(e) Penalties-`(1) FIRST VIOLATION- In addition to the enforcement provisions referred to in section 130, each person who violates this section shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each day any such violation continues.`(2) SUBSEQUENT VIOLATIONS- In the case of any person on whom a civil penalty has been imposed under paragraph (1), paragraph (1) shall be applied by substituting `$20,000' for `$10,000' with respect to all subsequent violations.`(3) ASSESSMENT- The agency referred to in subsection (a) or (c) of section 108 with respect to any person described in paragraph (1) shall assess any penalty under this subsection to which such person is subject.'.(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for chapter 2 of the Truth in Lending Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 129C (as added by section 601) the following new item:`129D. Unfair and deceptive practices and acts relating to certain consumer credit transactions.'.

 

SEC. 703. APPRAISAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF FIEC, APPRAISER INDEPENDENCE, AND APPROVED APPRAISER EDUCATION.

    (a) Consumer Protection Mission-(1) PURPOSE- A purpose for the establishment and operation of the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Financial Institutions Examination Council (hereafter in this section referred to as the `Appraisal Subcommittee') shall be to establish a consumer protection mandate.(2) FUNCTIONS OF APPRAISAL SUBCOMMITTEE- It shall be a function of the Appraisal Subcommittee to protect the consumer from improper appraisal practices and the predations of unlicensed appraisers.(3) THRESHOLD LEVELS- In establishing a threshold level under section 1112(b) of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (12 U.S.C. 3341(b)), each agency shall determine in writing that the threshold level provides reasonable protection for consumers who purchase 1-4 unit single-family residences.(b) Annual Report of Appraisal Subcommittee- The annual report of the Appraisal Subcommittee under section 1103(a)(4) of Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 shall detail the activities of the Appraisal Subcommittee, including the results of all audits of State appraiser regulatory agencies, and provide an accounting of disapproved actions and warnings taken in the previous year, including a description of the conditions causing the disapproval.(c) Open Meetings- All meetings of the Appraisal Subcommittee shall be held in public session after notice in the Federal Register.(d) Regulations- The Appraisal Subcommittee may prescribe regulations after notice and opportunity for comment. Any regulations prescribed by the Appraisal Subcommittee shall (unless otherwise provided in this section or title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989) be limited to the following functions: temporary practice, national registry, information sharing, and enforcement. For purposes of prescribing regulations, the Appraisal Subcommittee shall establish an advisory committee of industry participants, including appraisers, lenders, consumer advocates, and government agencies, and hold regular meetings.(e) Field Appraisals and Appraisal Reviews- All field appraisals performed at a property within a State shall be prepared by appraisers licensed in the State where the property is located. All Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice-compliant appraisal reviews shall be performed by an appraiser who is duly licensed by a State appraisal board.(f) State Agency Reporting Requirement- Each State with an appraiser certifying and licensing agency whose certifications and licenses comply with title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 shall transmit reports on sanctions, disciplinary actions, license and certification revocations, and license and certification suspensions on a timely basis to the national registry of the Appraisal Subcommittee.(g) Registry Fees Modified-(1) IN GENERAL- The annual registry fees for persons performing appraisals in federally related transactions shall be increased from $25 to $40. The maximum amount up to which the Appraisal Subcommittee may adjust any registry fees shall be increased from $50 to $80 per annum. The Appraisal Subcommittee shall consider at least once every 5 years whether to adjust the dollar amount of the registry fees to account for inflation. In implementing any change in registry fees, the Appraisal Subcommittee shall provide flexibility to the States for multi-year certifications and licenses already in place, as well as a transition period to implement the changes in registry fees.(2) INCREMENTAL REVENUES- Incremental revenues collected pursuant to the increases required by this section shall be placed in a separate account at the United States Treasury, entitled the Appraisal Subcommittee Account.(h) Grants and Reports-(1) IN GENERAL- Amounts appropriated for or collected by the Appraisal Subcommittee after the date of the enactment of this Act shall, in addition to other uses authorized, be used--(A) to make grants to State appraiser regulatory agencies to help defray those costs relating to enforcement activities; and(B) to report to all State appraiser certifying and licensing agencies when a license or certification is surrendered, revoked, or suspended.(2) LIMITATION ON OBLIGATIONS- Obligations authorized under this section may not exceed 75 percent of the fiscal year total of incremental increase in fees collected and deposited in the Appraisal Subcommittee Account pursuant to section 703(g) of this Act.(i) Criteria-(1) DEFINITION- For purposes of this section and title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (notwithstanding section 1116(c) of such title), the term `State licensed appraiser' means an individual who has satisfied the requirements for State licensing in a State or territory whose criteria for the licensing of a real estate appraiser currently meet or exceed the minimum criteria issued by the Appraisal Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation for the licensing of real estate appraisers.(2) MINIMUM QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS- Any requirements established for individuals in the position of `Trainee Appraiser' and `Supervisory Appraiser' shall meet or exceed the minimum qualification requirements of the Appraiser Qualifications Board of The Appraisal Foundation. The Appraisal Subcommittee shall have the authority to enforce these requirements.(j) Monitoring of State Appraiser Certifying and Licensing Agencies- The Appraisal Subcommittee shall monitor State appraiser certifying and licencing agencies for the purpose of determining whether a State agency's funding and staffing are consistent with the requirements of title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, whether a State agency processes complaints and completes exams in a reasonable time period, and whether a State agency reports claims and disciplinary actions on a timely basis to the national registry maintained by the Appraisal Subcommittee. The Appraisal Subcommittee shall have the authority to impose interim sanctions and suspensions.(k) Reciprocity- A State appraiser certifying or licensing agency shall issue a reciprocal certification or license for an individual from another State when--(1) the appraiser licensing and certification program of such other State is in compliance with the provisions of this title; and(2) the appraiser holds a valid certification from a State whose requirements for certification or licensing meet or exceed the licensure standards established by the State where an individual seeks appraisal licensure.(l) Consideration of Professional Appraisal Designations- No provision of section 1122(d) of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 shall be construed as prohibiting consideration of designations conferred by recognized national professional appraisal organizations, such as sponsoring organizations of The Appraisal Foundation.(m) Appraiser Independence-(1) PROHIBITIONS ON INTERESTED PARTIES IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION- No mortgage lender, mortgage broker, mortgage banker, real estate broker, appraisal management company, employee of an appraisal management company, nor any other person with an interest in a real estate transaction involving an appraisal shall improperly influence, or attempt to improperly influence, through coercion, extortion, collusion, compensation, instruction, inducement, intimidation, non-payment for services rendered, or bribery, the development, reporting, result, or review of a real estate appraisal sought in connection with a mortgage loan.(2) EXCEPTIONS- The requirements of paragraph (1) shall not be construed as prohibiting a mortgage lender, mortgage broker, mortgage banker, real estate broker, appraisal management company, employee of an appraisal management company, or any other person with an interest in a real estate transaction from asking an appraiser to provide 1 or more of the following services:(A) Consider additional, appropriate property information, including the consideration of additional comparable properties to make or support an appraisal.(B) Provide further detail, substantiation, or explanation for the appraiser's value conclusion.(C) Correct errors in the appraisal report.(3) PROHIBITIONS ON CONFLICTS OF INTEREST- No certified or licensed appraiser conducting an appraisal may have a direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise, in the property or transaction involving the appraisal.(4) MANDATORY REPORTING- Any mortgage lender, mortgage broker, mortgage banker, real estate broker, appraisal management company, employee of an appraisal management company, or any other person with an interest in a real estate transaction involving an appraisal who has a reasonable basis to believe an appraiser is violating applicable laws, or is otherwise engaging in unethical conduct, shall refer the matter to the applicable State appraiser certifying and licensing agency.(5) REGULATIONS- The Federal financial institutions regulatory agencies (as defined in section 1003(1) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act of 1978) shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection.(6) PENALTIES- Any person who violates any provision of this subsection shall be subject to civil penalties under section 8(i)(2) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act or section 206(k)(2) of the Federal Credit Union Act, as appropriate.(7) PROCEEDING- A proceeding with respect to a violation of this subsection shall be an administrative proceeding which may be conducted by a Federal financial institutions regulatory agency in accordance with the procedures set forth in subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code.(n) Approved Education- The Appraisal Subcommittee shall encourage the States to accept courses approved by the Appraiser Qualification Board's Course Approval Program.

 

SEC. 704. STUDY REQUIRED ON IMPROVEMENTS IN APPRAISAL PROCESS AND COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS.

    (a) Study- The Comptroller General shall conduct a comprehensive study on possible improvements in the appraisal process generally, and specifically on the consistency in and the effectiveness of, and possible improvements in, State compliance efforts and programs in accordance with title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989. In addition, this study shall examine the existing de minimis loan levels established by Federal regulators for compliance under title XI and whether there is a need to revise them to reflect the addition of consumer protection to the purposes and functions of the Appraisal Subcommittee.(b) Report- Before the end of the 18-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit a report on the study under subsection (a) to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate, together with such recommendations for administrative or legislative action, at the Federal or State level, as the Comptroller General may determine to be appropriate.

 

SEC. 705. CONSUMER APPRAISAL DISCLOSURE.

    (a) In General- Chapter 2 of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1631 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 129D (as added by section 702) the following new section:

 

`SEC. 129E. CONSUMER APPRAISAL DISCLOSURE.

    `In any case in which an appraisal is performed in connection with an extension of credit secured by an interest in real property, the creditor or other mortgage originator shall make available to the applicant for the extension of credit a copy of all appraisal valuation reports upon completion but no later than 3 business days prior to the transaction closing date.'.(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for chapter 2 of the Truth in Lending Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 129D (as added by section 702) the following new item:`129E. Consumer appraisal disclosure.'.

Passed the House of Representatives November 15, 2007.

Attest:

Clerk.

 

110th CONGRESS

 

1st Session

 

H. R. 3915http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-3915
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November 25, 2007

FannieMae 11-07 declining values

Download file
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Subject: Fwd: Fannie Mae: Training in California

Thanks!

Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB
Bachelor of Science in Real Estate, CSULA,

State Certified General Appraiser
Real Estate Broker

ASTM E-2018 Commercial Real Estate Inspector
HUD 203k Consultant
HUD Real Estate Appraiser/Reviewer

The Harris Company, Real Estate Appraisers/Consultants
5780 West Centinela Avenue, Bldg 1, Suite 408
Los Angeles, CA. 90045 
310-337-1973 Office and Fax

310.251.3959 Cell

WebSite:

http://www.harriscompanyrec.com

Ranked Number One on Google:

 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&newwindow=1&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US&q=commercial+appraiser+los+angeles

Get In The "LOoP," a Real Estate Services Directory and Custom Search Engine:

http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=000747579154309164948%3Annakvu69iqy or: http://www.harriscompanyrec.com/Custom_Search_Results_CSE 

Curriculum Vitae Posted on The Expert Witness Network website:

 http://www.witness.net/data/CDHarris.doc 

Mobile email:

3102513959@mobile.mycingular.com

Apprsiaers Talk Back:

http://www.hwforums.com/2191/

West Legal Directory Profile:

IT’S THE LAW-Designation Discrimination is Illegal [FIRREA, Sec. 564.6]:  Professional Association Membership

http://www.orea.ca.gov/html/fed_regs.shtml#Statement7 Membership in an appraisal organization:  A State Certified General Appraiser may not be excluded from consideration for an assignment for a federally related transaction by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization.

CONFIDENTIALITY/PRIVILEGE NOTICE: This transmission and any attachments are intended solely for the addressee. The information contained in this transmission is confidential in nature and protected from further use or disclosure under U.S. Pub. L. 106-102, 113 U.S. Stat. 1338 (1999), and may be subject to consultant/appraiser-client or other legal privilege. Your use or disclosure of this information for any purpose other than that intended by its transmittal is strictly prohibited and may subject you to fines and/or penalties under federal and state law. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please destroy all copies received and confirm destruction to the sender via return transmittal.

-----Original Message-----
From: Curtis Harris [mailto:harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net]
Sent:
Sunday, November 25, 2007 2:14 PM
To: Curtis
Subject: Fwd: Fannie Mae: Training in
California

Vendor Desk <vendor_desk@fanniemae.com> wrote:

Subject: Fannie Mae: Training in California
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 15:49:59 -0500
From: "Vendor Desk" <vendor_desk@fanniemae.com>

This is an automated message - please do not reply to this address.  Reply to l@fanniemae.com

Training -  Los Angeles Airport
West Century Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045-5463
phone
Email:

Robin Gabriel and I will be in Los Angeles on December 12 and 13. There will be two meeting times to keep the number of attendees to a reasonable level but the information conveyed will be the same.

The meetings will be as follows:

Wednesday, December 12 - 9:00 to 12:00
Thursday, December 13 - 
9:00 to 12:00

This will be an informal meeting to discuss what we see happening in your markets along with average marketable condition, repair estimates, key information on the appraisal forms, time adjustments, using REO comparables, absorption rates and  any questions you have.

We have capacity if someone in your office would like to attend. It is very important you respond to the email address below if you can attend the meeting by Monday, November 19.  We look forward to meeting you and answering your questions at these very important sessions. 

If you can attend, please send an email with YES, your company name & state and which meeting you will attend in the header line to l@fanniemae.com

Regards,


Fannie Mae/National Property Disposition Center 
Valuation Manager

This e-mail and its attachments are confidential and solely for the intended addressee(s). Do not share or use them without Fannie Mae’s approval. If received in error, contact the sender and delete them.



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Announcement 07-11, Collateral Valuation Practices and Declining ...

PDF]

Announcement 07-11, Collateral Valuation Practices and Declining ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
Announcement 07-11. July 13, 2007. Amends these Guides: Selling ... Fannie Mae that are secured by properties located in declining markets. ...
https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/guides/ssg/annltrs/pdf/2007/0711.pdf - Similar pages - Note this

2007 Lender Announcements and Letters

Fannie Mae's Single-Family Selling and Servicing Guides are updated ... 07-11, 7/13/07, Collateral Valuation Practices and Declining Markets, Selling, PDF ...
https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/guides/ssg/2007annlenltr.jsp - 25k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this
[ More results from https://www.efanniemae.com ]
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Commercial Real Estate Index Levels Out in Third Quarter

 
Commercial Real Estate Index Levels Out in Third Quarter
Commercial real estate market activity is expected to level out, suggesting stable business opportunities for commercial practitioners in the months ahead, according to a forward-looking index for the commercial real estate sectors published by the National Association of Realtors®.  Read more...
http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/3rd_qtr_commercial_real_estate_index.html?&WT.mc_t=LS112107&WT.mc_n=Comm

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November 24, 2007

CONSTRUCTION, INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

CONSTRUCTION, INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW
Millard v. Biosources, Inc., No. D049737
In case involving HVAC subcontractor's employee who was injured after the lights went out on the job, summary judgment for defendant general contractor is affirmed over plaintiff's claims that: 1) precedent did not bar his action as defendant retained control of the electrical work; 2) defendant owed a duty to him under Labor Code section 6304.5; 3) defendant's failure to exercise control of safety on the jobsite affirmatively contributed to plaintiff's injuries; 4) defendant failed to fulfill an assumed duty to determine the reason the lights went off previously; and 5) it should have been determined whether a cause of action for negligence per se was included in the action. Read more...   PDF version

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November 23, 2007

TG Oceanside, L.P. v. City of Oceanside, No. D049387

GOVERNMENT LAW, LANDLORD TENANT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE
TG Oceanside, L.P. v. City of Oceanside, No. D049387
Judgment issuing a petition for peremptory writ of administrative mandamus in favor of mobile home park owner who challenged defendants' decision to deny it a rent increase and won an increase is reversed where the evidence presented by plaintiff on its special adjustment application did not serve to rebut an evidentiary presumption that existing rent adjustment formulas contained within defendant city's rent control ordinance provide a fair return. Read more...   PDF version

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November 22, 2007

Zoning Traning

Public Outreach Training,  City of Los Angeles

ZIMAS Training:

http://zimas.lacity.org/AnnouncementLinks/Public%20Outreach%20Trainning%20dec07.pdf

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November 21, 2007

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SECTORS REMAIN ON SOUND COURSE

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SECTORS REMAIN ON SOUND COURSE
Commercial real estate sectors continue to perform well with sound market fundamentals, according to a commercial market update and forecast presented at a forum on commercial business trends at the 2007 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nov. 13. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, expects vacancy rates to trend down in most commercial markets next year and said recent disruptions in the mortgage market have not had a similar impact on the commercial sectors. At the same time, Yun said confidence issues have been a factor in some of the cancelled or postponed transactions. “Not all commercial investors are immune to the psychological effects of Wall Street gyrations or credit concerns, but they should take heart in that pension funds have been increasing their allocation in commercial sectors,” he said. For more, visit this page.

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New Law Prohibits Landlord Inquiries about Citizenship

New Law Prohibits Landlord Inquiries about Citizenship
Regardless of what their personal views about the immigration debate may be, California landlords need to know that, effective January 1, 2008, neither they nor their agents may, "Make any inquiry regarding or based on the immigration or citizenship status of a tenant, prospective tenant, occupant or prospective occupant."
Full Story: http://realtytimes.com/rtapages/20071121_newlawcitizen.htm

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November 19, 2007

CalHFA Homeownership Update

CalHFA Homeownership Update

With many changes in today’s housing market, CalHFA is a sound, responsible solution for your low to moderate income homebuyers. We will continue to achieve this by providing safe, affordable, easy-to-use home loan programs.  Low income families are finding it increasingly difficult to qualify for home loans due to the high housing costs.  Fortunately, they can use CalHFA's 100% financing, subordinate loans and other down payment assistance through the Affordable Housing Partnership Program, to have a better chance at the dream of homeownership.

More Down Payment Assistance!

The California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) is a great tool for first-time homebuyers. This program has recently been augmented with $100 million from Proposition 1C, the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006.  CHDAP offers a deferred payment junior loan at 3% simple interest rate.  The loan amount can go up to three percent (3%) of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is less. 

If the property is located in an infill opportunity zone, transit village development district or transit-oriented development plan area, the loan can go up to 5% of the sales price or appraised value, whichever is less.  This loan may be used for down payment or closing costs and may be combined with a CalHFA or non-CalHFA conventional or government first mortgage loan.  All non-CalHFA conventional loans utilizing the CHDAP are now credit underwritten by CalHFA’s Mortgage Insurance Division.

What’s Happening: 

 

  • We now have a quick reference to our various loan programs on the web site.
  • CalHFA now offers a list of California developers offering Affordable Housing.
  • A first-time homebuyer exemption is now available for Veterans.  You can read more about a Navy SEAL who used this loan in our latest issues of Housing Matters.
  • HIRAP Hiatus:  Due to our effective nonprofit home counseling partners, the HIRAP Program funds have been fully utilized and are not available at this time.

We now have lower monthly Mortgage Insurance rates on Conforming 35-Year IOP loans.

 

Did you know? 

 

  • Using Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter “My Community Mortgage (MCM)” for all CalHFA conventional first mortgages will result in flexible findings for your first-time home buyer.
  • CalHFA purchases FHA 203 (b) insured first mortgages for first time homebuyers at 100% LTV with the CalHFA Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) down payment assistance program.
  • Temporary interest rate buydowns are acceptable no more than 1% per year up to a maximum of 3 years.
  • CalHFA’s first mortgage loans are assumable by CalHFA eligible homebuyers.
  • CalHFA’s Mortgage Insurance Division will allow four trade sources with a twelve month satisfactory payment record, in lieu of a FICO score.

 

 

Loan Turnaround Time:

In our recent survey of Loan Officers, one of the most frequent questions was how Loan Officers and Processors can help decrease processing time for loan files.  CalHFA is committed to quick turnaround review times.  Although, heavy loan volumes may dictate review times, the process slows down when we receive an incomplete or inaccurate file.  Here are some easy things you can do to help us speed up the processing of loan applications:

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

About CalHFA News

CalHFA Homeownership E-News, a semi-annual electronic publication, is available free to CalHFA partners

If you would like to unsubscribe from any of the CalHFA E-News lists, please use this link 

Please DO NOT REPLY to this email message, this email box is not monitored and therefore responses to your questions may be delayed. If you have questions or comments, please direct them to our Marketing email at marketing@calhfa.ca.gov   - Thank you.

*"HomeOpeners" is a registered trademark of Genworth Mortgage Holdings, LLC.

 

 



CALIFORNIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY


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November 17, 2007

Expert Shares Tips for Mastering 1031 Exchanges

Daily Real Estate News  |  November 13, 2007Expert Shares Tips for Mastering 1031 Exchanges
Why bother becoming an expert on 1031 exchanges? For starters, using a like-kind exchange instead of selling the property outright will almost certainly save your seller big bucks in taxes, says Jim Miller, vice president and southwest regional manager of IPX 1031, Phoenix.

In addition, 1031 exchanges are a great estate-planning tool because heirs can receive a stepped-up basis and have any deferred taxes on the property forgiven by the Internal Revenue Service.

But be careful that you don’t try to count the sofa as part of the relinquished property’s value, Miller told a group attending the REALTORS® Land Institute class on 1031 exchanges earlier this week in Las Vegas.

As the name implies, like-kind exchanges must be of similar property, so a sofa or other furnishings in a condo held for investment and rented out couldn’t be counted as part of the property value when it’s exchanged since furnishings are personal property.

“If the personal property is valuable enough, you can do a separate exchange for other personal property, but if it’s just a small amount, take the value of the furnishings as a boot and pay the taxes on it,” Miller said. “It probably isn’t worth paying an attorney to do a second exchange.”

What’s the Boot?

The term “boot” refers to any non-like-kind property that is exchanged, Miller said. Boot, which is most often in the form of cash, can result when the value of the piece of real property being relinquished is greater than the value being acquired.

“Receiving a boot in a like-kind exchanges doesn’t disqualify the exchange, it only introduces a taxable gain to the transaction,” Miller said. Only the gain that results from cash and unlike property is taxable.

These amounts cannot exceed the amount of the gain recognized if the property was sold in a taxable transaction.

How to Calculate the Gain

To calculate taxable gain, a property seller should begin with the price of the relinquished property and then subtract the adjusted basis of the property. This amount is the realized gain.
The adjusted basis is the purchase price of the relinquished property plus any capital improvements to the property, less any depreciation. The basis amount carries over to become the basis of the replacement property.

While 1031 exchanges cannot be used for residential property that is used as a primary residence or a vacation home that is used by the owners for more than 14 days per year, it provides a great strategy for deferring taxes on highly depreciated properties.

The REALTORS® Land Institute course, which covers all principal aspects of 1031 exchanges, is taught several times a year at throughout the country. Schedules are available on RLI’s Web site.

— REALTOR® Magazine Online



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"NO" to Section 203(k) in H.R.3837

"NO" to Section 203(k) in H.R.3837 ----------------- >

View Current Signatures   -   Sign the Petition

 


 

To:  U.S. Congress

We believe to be true that Section 203(k) in H.R.3837 will invalidate 12 U.S.C. 3351(d) which states: (not to)"exclude a certified or licensed appraiser for consideration for an assignment solely by virtue of membership or lack of membership in any particular appraisal organization". We regard this as a restraint of trade and in violation of existing antitrust laws; therefore we must oppose the passing of such legislation.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

 

The "NO" to Section 203(k) in H.R.3837 Petition to U.S. Congress was created by Real Estate Professionals Free Trade Union and written by Craig H. Butterfield (info@appraisalunion.org).  This petition is hosted here at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service. There is no endorsement of this petition, express or implied, by Artifice, Inc. or our sponsors. For technical support please use our simple Petition Help form.

 

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November 15, 2007

House Passes Tax Increase on Commercial Real Estate/FCC Issues Ban On Exclusive Contracts Between Video Service Providers And Apartment Building Owners

House Passes Tax Increase on Commercial Real Estate

On a predominately party-line vote of 216 to 193, the House of Representatives approved the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007 (H.R. 3996) that would more than double the tax rate on investment managers’ carried interests—and permanently and fundamentally alter the taxation and return of many real estate transactions—to help pay for a one-year Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) “patch” for middle-income taxpayers.  The carried interest tax hike would affect millions of Americans in partnerships of all types and sizes.  Carried interest is the compensation given to the general partner at the end of a successful real estate deal for the intangible assets, assumption of significant risk, and their intellectual capital as part of arranging and operating the real estate venture.  Currently, carried interest is taxed like a capital gain at the 15 percent rate.  The House-passed bill changes its tax treatment to that of ordinary income, which for most would be a 35 percent rate.

The bill also proposes additional tax relief for individuals and would extend for one year a number of expiring individual and business tax provisions (including BOMA-supported 15-year leasehold improvement depreciation and brownfields expensing).  These provisions were also part of a much larger tax bill introduced by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) deemed the “mother of all tax reforms” that will be considered in 2008.

Throughout the fall and leading up to the vote, BOMA International actively opposed changing the way in which carried interest is taxed.  BOMA, along with other real estate groups, canvassed Capitol Hill offices warning that the proposed change could lead to many unintended consequences for the industry, the economy and underserved communities by stifling entrepreneurial risk-taking, lowering property values and tax revenues at the local level, and encouraging real estate owners to borrow more money to avoid taking on equity partners.

The legislation will face an uphill battle in the Senate where the slim Democratic majority will have a difficult time finding 60 votes to pass the bill as currently drafted and avoid Republican filibuster.  Additionally, the Bush Administration has stated that it would veto the House bill if it made it to the President’s desk.  Contact your Senators today and tell them you object to this increase on commercial real estate by visiting the BOMA Legislative Action Center.

For more information, contact Jason Todd at jtodd@boma.org or (202) 326-6356.

Return to Headlines


FCC Issues Ban On Exclusive Contracts Between Video Service Providers And Apartment Building Owners

Late last month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to ban exclusive access contracts between video service providers and apartment building owners, declaring the move will help foster more competition in the market for delivery of multichannel video programming and increase choice and programming for consumers residing in multiple dwelling units (MDUs) and other real estate developments. 

In banning such contracts, the FCC sided with large incumbent local exchange companies (ILECs) believing their recent entry into the video marketplace offered the potential for greater competition and lower cable prices.  ILECSs, such as Verizon, argued that exclusive agreements between apartment building owners and existing cable providers were impeding competition. BOMA International worked with other real estate trade groups to oppose this new policy, as we think it will have the opposite effect, depriving property owners of a valuable tool for negotiating the best possible deal for residents in terms of cost, customer service, and products.

For more information, contact Jason Todd at jtodd@boma.org or (202) 326-6356.

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Ste. Marie v. Riverside County Reg'l Park & Open Space Dist. , No. E041312

GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE
Ste. Marie v. Riverside County Reg'l Park & Open Space Dist. , No. E041312
In case involving an option agreement to sell property to a community college district for construction of a college campus, summary judgment for plaintiff registered voter prohibiting conveyance of the property is affirmed over primary claim that the transfer limitations set forth in Public Resources Code section 5540 have no bearing upon defendant's proposed transfer of the property as that property was not "actually dedicated" for park and open-space purposes, as purportedly required by the statute. Read more...   PDF version

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November 14, 2007

"Basics of Underwriting" Training Now Available

"Basics of Underwriting" Training Now Available

With the housing and mortgage markets facing trying times, your underwriters play a particularly important role in ensuring that you are originating high-quality mortgages that will stand the test of time. Fannie Mae offers a wide range of training resources that will help your underwriting staff originate investment-quality mortgages – including a new series of six recorded tutorials on the "Basics of Underwriting" and two full-length publications for underwriters.

 

 

Six New Recorded Tutorials on Underwriting Basics

Even if you use an automated underwriting system such as Desktop Underwriter, your staff will benefit from this series of six new recorded tutorials on underwriting basics. These free online presentations explain how to analyze the borrower's income, assets and liabilities, and traditional and nontraditional credit, as well as how to analyze appraisal reports to ensure the property provides adequate security for the mortgage.

To access these recorded tutorials, which are available 24/7 from your home or office, click the Training & Education tab on eFannieMae.com, select Originating & Underwriting, then Web Seminars.
Underwriting Pre-Recorded Seminars

 

 

New Cornerstone Publications

Underwriting Residential Mortgages and Mortgage Quality Assurance are two titles in our updated Cornerstone series of publications, which are now available for purchase online. These books are designed to ensure that your underwriters perform a comprehensive assessment of the risk factors associated with each mortgage you originate.

To view detailed descriptions of these full-length publications, click the Training & Education tab on eFannieMae.com, then select Publications.
Underwriting Resources

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November 13, 2007

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CONSTRUCTION, GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CONSTRUCTION, GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE
Crown Point Dev., Inc. v. City of Sun Valley, No. 06-35189
A decision finding that plaintiff-developer could not state a claim for relief based on the allegedly arbitrary and irrational denial of a permit application is reversed and remanded for further proceedings where, contrary to the ruling below and in light of other Supreme Court rulings, Armendariz v. Penman, 75 F.3d 1311 (9th Cir. 1996) (en banc), does not entirely foreclose the developer's substantive due process theory. Read more...

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November 11, 2007

New FHA Training around the nation:

New FHA Training around the nation:

November 14, 2007 - Greensboro, NC. FHASecure Initiative Briefing for Mortgage Industry Professionals. The FHA Atlanta Homeownership Center invites you to attend an overview & discussion of the FHASecure Initiative. No registration or fee required. See information on-line. More info at:  http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/events/aga111407.pdf

November 14-16, 2007 - San Diego, CA. National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) Annual Meeting & Expo. Come hear FHA Commissioner Montgomery speak about FHA’s fastest growing product.  Conference topics include: Capital markets and equity investor interest in the reverse mortgage sector, Ginnie Mae’s new HECM securitization program, analytics and factors that drive loan pricing, and new technologies that are being developed to help reverse mortgage lenders operate more efficiently. For more information, visit http://www.nrmlaonline.org/expo2007/

November 27, 2007 – Sterling, CO. How to become a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency. FREE ½ day training for Non Profit Agencies that are interested in becoming a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Topics covered include the application process, IRS status, & required experience. Registration required.  More info at: http://www.hud.gov/event_registration/index_2.cfm?eventID=762

November 27-28, 2007 - Washington DC. HUD/EPA satellite environmental training. The training is recommended for staff & consultants responsible for the preparation of environmental reviews for HUD supported projects. For more information & registration please email: donna.clarke@hud.gov

December 5, 2007 – Denver, CO. The FHA Appraisal. FREE one-day class for appraisers & lenders will discuss FHA appraisal requirements including the recently adopted Fannie Mae appraisal forms & the new FHA Appraisal Protocol as well the review of FHA property appraisals. Register online. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/event_registration/index_2.cfm?eventID=769

December 6, 2007 - Rolling Meadows, IL. Originating FHA Loans Training. Sponsored by the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association. Registration required, fee. More info at: http://www.imba.org/

December 11, 2007 - Phoenix, AZ. FHA Programs Update & HECM Training For FHA Mortgage Professionals. Sponsored by The FHA Santa Ana Homeownership Center, The HUD Phoenix Field Office, & the National Association of Professional Mortgage Women. Registration required, fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/events/saz121107.pdf

January 15, 2008 – Denver, CO. The FHA Appraisal. FREE one-day class for appraisers & lenders will discuss FHA appraisal requirements including FHA Appraisal Protocol and the review of FHA property appraisals. Approved for seven (7) hours of Continuing Education Credit from the State of Colorado. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/event_registration/index_2.cfm?eventID=774

February 20-21, 2008 - Oklahoma City, OK. Early delinquency servicing activities and HUD's Loss Mitigation program training for HUD-approved mortgagees, HUD-approved Housing Counselors, and Nonprofit Housing Counselors. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/training.cfm

May 14-15, 2008 - Oklahoma City, OK. Early delinquency servicing activities and HUD's Loss Mitigation program training for HUD-approved mortgagees, HUD-approved Housing Counselors, and Nonprofit Housing Counselors. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/training.cfm

August 20-21, 2008 - Oklahoma City, OK. Early delinquency servicing activities and HUD's Loss Mitigation program training for HUD-approved mortgagees, HUD-approved Housing Counselors, and Nonprofit Housing Counselors. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/training.cfm

Online FHA Processing Training Class for Mortgage Processors, Underwriters & Originators. Sponsored by the IRC. Live, instructor led online FHA training classes to students nationwide. Registration required, fee. More info at: http://www.fha-training.org/

For more information on, and to register for these training opportunities please visit: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/events/events.cfm AND

New FHA Final rule:

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Parts 3280 and 3285 [Docket No. FR-4928-F-02] RIN 2502-AI25
 TITLE: Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards 

 AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing--Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

 

ACTION: Final rule.

 

DATES: Effective Date: The effective date for this final rule will be October 20, 2008.

 

 

 

SUMMARY: This final rule establishes new Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards (Model Installation Standards) for the installation of new manufactured homes

 

 and includes standards for the completion of certain aspects necessary to join all sections of multi-section homes… 

 

 

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William W. Matchneer III, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Affairs and  Manufactured Housing, Office of 

 

Manufactured Housing Programs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Room 9164, Washington, DC 20410; telephone number (202)

 

708-6401 (this is not a toll-free number). Hearing-or speech-impaired individuals may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay

 

 Service at (800) 877-8339.

 

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November 10, 2007

Michel v. Palos Verdes Network Group, Inc. (2007) , Cal.App.4th

Do Another California Case Law Search
Cases Citing This Case

Michel v. Palos Verdes Network Group, Inc. (2007) , Cal.App.4th [No. B183165. Second Dist., Div. Eight. Nov. 1, 2007.]

CARL MICHEL et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. PALOS VERDES NETWORK GROUP, INC. et al., Defendants and Respondents.

(Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. YC044575, Lois A. Smaltz, Judge.)

(Opinion by Rubin, J., with Cooper, P. J., and Flier, J., concurring.)

COUNSEL

[No. B183165. Second Dist., Div. Eight. Nov. 1, 2007.]

Trutanich Michel, Victor J. Otten and Brigid J. Joyce, for Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, Robert Cooper, for Defendant and Respondent, Larry Moore & Associates Realtors, Inc. {Slip Opn. Page 2}

OPINION

RUBIN, J.-

Carl and Sydne Michel appeal from the nonsuit of their cause of action for negligent nondisclosure and the associated judgment for the defense after a trial against their real estate broker, Larry Moore & Associates Realtors, Inc. We reverse and remand as to the negligent nondisclosure cause of action only; otherwise, we affirm the judgment.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Mike Kirkpatrick was a real estate agent working for respondent Larry Moore & Associates Realtors, Inc. (Moore, or respondent), a licensed real estate broker. Sometime around the beginning of 2000, he inspected a home in Rolling Hills Estates owned by a friend's parents. Hoping to become the listing agent if the parents decided to sell their house, he took notes of the property's defects, including possible water leaks, cracked interior walls, and damage to the pool. If he won the listing, he planned to use his notes to identify needed repairs and possible disclosure to potential buyers.

About six months later in June 2000, the house was on the market. Kirkpatrick, who had not received the sellers' listing, showed the house to appellants Carl and Sydne Michel, who were represented by agent Nicola Lagudis, a colleague of Kirkpatrick also working for respondent Moore. During the home tour, Kirkpatrick did not point out any of the defects from his notes. Appellants were under the misimpression that Kirkpatrick represented the sellers. Actually, he was acting as an associate of their expert, Lagudis. In fact, a Fred Sands office had the sellers' listing. Based on that misimpression, appellants gave Kirkpatrick a written offer to buy the house. Several weeks later after receiving no reply to their misdirected offer to Kirkpatrick, appellants revisited the property and submitted a new offer to the Fred Sands agent.

Appellants and the sellers shortly thereafter agreed on the terms of sale and entered escrow. At the end of July, appellants' agent Lagudis visually inspected the property and gave appellants her obligatory transfer disclosure statement ("TDS"). Jibing with Kirkpatrick's notes some seven months earlier about cracks in the walls, the TDS noted cracks had been patched and painted. The TDS did not, however, disclose other {Slip Opn. Page 3} defects listed in Kirkpatrick's notes. (We discuss the differences between the TDS and Kirkpatrick's notes, which are central to this appeal, later in this opinion.)

One of Kirkpatrick's tasks as respondent's "transaction coordinator" was reviewing the sales files of respondent's agents to ensure a sale's paperwork was in order before escrow closed. Accordingly, Kirkpatrick reviewed Lagudis's TDS to appellants. Although mindful of his notes as he reviewed the TDS, he did not tell Lagudis about them, nor did he augment her TDS with anything from those notes. Appellants thus never knew the contents of Kirkpatrick's notes before escrow closed.

Starting with the first winter rains about a month after appellants moved into their new home, cracks emerged in interior walls, which appellants repeatedly patched. Around that time, appellants started remodeling their backyard and pool. To do so, they needed a permit, which required a soil engineer to inspect their property. The engineer discovered poor top soil and fill had caused significant instability and ground movement on the property. He found the movement had tilted the house's foundation about 3.5 inches from level, which in his opinion caused the repeated cracks in the walls. To stabilize the house, he recommended placing caissons under its foundation down to solid bedrock.

Upset by the engineer's report, appellants met with Kirkpatrick in January 2001. They told him about the soil instability and cracks in the walls, which would likely cost about half a million dollars to fix. Kirkpatrick replied he had seen during his inspection before the house was put on the market cracks big enough to slip a coin into. fn. 1 Hearing about his notes for the first time, appellants asked for a copy, which Kirkpatrick gave them.

In September 2002, appellants sued respondent Moore. fn. 2 They alleged causes of action for violation of Civil Code section 2079 for Moore's failure to competently inspect {Slip Opn. Page 4} the property. fn. 3 They also alleged a cause of action for fraudulent concealment for the failure of Lagudis's TDS to disclose defects known by respondent. And, finally, they alleged a cause of action for negligent nondisclosure in respondent's not telling appellants about problems respondent knew about the property.

The case went to trial. Before appellants' opening statement, respondent moved for a judgment of nonsuit on appellants' cause of action for negligent nondisclosure. Respondent argued California law required that respondent's negligence involve an affirmative assertion, but negligence in failing to disclose a fact was not actionable. The court granted respondent's motion. fn. 4 Trial proceeded only on appellants' causes of action for violation of Civil Code section 2079 (§ 2079) and fraudulent concealment.

The jury returned a verdict for respondent on both causes of action. Rejecting the claim under section 2079, the jury found respondent did not fail to conduct a reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection of the property, and did not fail to disclose to appellants any material fact about the property that an investigation would reveal. Similarly rejecting the claim for fraudulent concealment, the jury found respondent did not conceal or suppress any material fact from appellants. The court entered judgment for respondent. This appeal followed. {Slip Opn. Page 5}

STANDARD OF REVIEW

In reviewing a judgment of nonsuit, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to appellants. We affirm only if we find as a matter of law that appellants could not have prevailed at trial even if the jury had accepted all their evidence as true and resolved all factual conflicts in their favor. (Nally v. Grace Community Church (1988) 47 Cal.3d 278, 291; Curtis v. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 796, 800.)

DISCUSSION

Stated in a nutshell, appellants claim respondent is liable for not telling them before they bought their home about Kirkpatrick's walk-through and notes. The trial court let two causes of action go to the jury: a statutory cause of action for violating Civil Code section 2079, and a common law cause of action for fraudulent concealment. The court instructed the jury that under section 2079 "a real estate broker has a duty to the prospective purchaser of a residential real property to conduct a reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection of the property offered for sale and to disclose to a prospective purchaser all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property that an investigation would reveal." fn. 5 It further instructed for fraudulent {Slip Opn. Page 6} concealment that appellants must show respondent intentionally concealed facts with the intent to defraud them. The court did not, however, permit appellants' cause of action for negligent nondisclosure go to the jury.

The court's dismissal of appellants' cause of action for negligent nondisclosure was error because it involved elements different from appellants' section 2079 and fraudulent concealment causes of action. (Karoutas v. HomeFed Bank (1991) 232 Cal.App.3d 767, 771 [recognizing negligent nondisclosure where bank did not disclose soil instability to buyer purchasing property after bank foreclosed on the property].) For those latter two causes of action submitted to the jury, Lagudis may very well have been competent in her visual inspection of the property in preparing her TDS for appellants AND Kirkpatrick may very well have had no fraudulent intent in not telling appellants about his inspection and notes before escrow closed --circumstances justifying the jury's verdict for respondent on the section 2079 and fraud causes of action -- but that does not mean respondent did not injure appellants by not telling them before they bought their house about Kirkpatrick's notes.

A broker has a fiduciary duty to its client. (Civ. Code, § 2079.24; Field, supra, 63 Cal.App.4th at p. 25 ["a broker's fiduciary duty to his client requires the highest good faith and undivided service and loyalty."].) The fiduciary duty is greater than the negligence standard of due care under section 2079. (§ 2079.2 [standard of care is of a "reasonably prudent real estate licensee"].) Thus a broker can be professionally competent under section 2079 without satisfying the greater duty of a trusted fiduciary. As Field, supra, explained, "the fiduciary duty owed by brokers to their own clients is substantially more extensive than the nonfiduciary duty codified in section 2079." (Field at p. 25.) {Slip Opn. Page 7}

A fiduciary must tell its principal of all information it possesses that is material to the principal's interests. (L. Byron Culver & Associates v. Jaoudi Industrial & Trading Corp. (1991) 1 Cal.App.4th 300, 304; 5 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, § 794, p. 1149; 2 Miller & Starr, Cal. Real Estate (3d ed. 2000), §§ 3.25, p. 120, 3:27, p. 149, 4:17, p .41.) A fiduciary's failure to share material information with the principal is constructive fraud, a term of art obviating actual fraudulent intent. (Civ. Code, § 1573.) As Assilzadeh v. California Federal Bank (2000) 82 Cal.App.4th 399, explains:

"a real estate agent, as a fiduciary, is ' ". . . liable to his principal for constructive fraud even though his conduct is not actually fraudulent. Constructive fraud is a unique species of fraud applicable only to a fiduciary or confidential relationship." [Citation.] [¶] "[A]s a general principle constructive fraud comprises any act, omission or concealment involving a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust or confidence which results in damage to another even though the conduct is not otherwise fraudulent. Most acts by an agent in breach of his fiduciary duties constitute constructive fraud. The failure of the fiduciary to disclose a material fact to his principal which might affect the fiduciary's motives or the principal's decision, which is known (or should be known) to the fiduciary, may constitute constructive fraud." ' " (Id. at p. 415; Salahutdin v. Valley of California, Inc. (1994) 24 Cal.App.4th 555, 562 [same].)

Appellants' negligent nondisclosure/constructive fraud theory relieved them of the burden of needing to prove respondent intended to defraud them, a much easier row to hoe than proving actual intent to defraud for fraudulent concealment.

Respondent argues no difference exists between appellants' causes of action for negligent nondisclosure and violation of section 2079 because, in respondent's view, the statute codifies a claim for common law negligence. Hence, respondent concludes, the {Slip Opn. Page 8} jury's rejection of appellants' cause of action for violation of section 2079 necessarily decided in respondent's favor the question of respondent's common law negligence. Respondent's conclusion does not follow because it rests on a flawed premise. Section 2079 codifies a negligence standard of care for one particular task that the law imposes on brokers -- the obligation (by a seller's agent) to visually inspect the property and disclose the results of that inspection to the buyer. Appellants' cause of action for negligent nondisclosure rests, in contrast, on respondent's fiduciary duty to disclose material information within its possession. It was immaterial how the fiduciary obtained the information; it has a duty to disclose the information to its principal. Appellants' two causes of action were not the same: As Field, supra, 63 Cal.App.4th 18, observed, "the fiduciary duty owed by brokers to their own clients is substantially more extensive than the nonfiduciary duty codified in section 2079." (Id. at p. 25.)

Respondent further argues that the trial court instructed the jury that respondent was appellants' fiduciary. Thus, according to respondent, the jury necessarily contemplated those fiduciary duties when it delivered its verdict for respondent. Respondents' assertion is unavailing because it ignores the limited scope of the court's fiduciary instruction. The court told the jury that respondent was appellants' fiduciary as the court defined the elements of fraudulent concealment. In defining those elements, the court did not instruct on constructive fraud's connection to fiduciary relationships. Instead, the court told the jury that appellants needed to prove respondent intentionally concealed or suppressed information with the intent to defraud. By imposing the tougher evidentiary challenge of proving actual fraudulent intent, the court derailed appellants from the easier evidentiary route to liability through constructive fraud, which does not require actual fraudulent intent. Thus, the court's fiduciary instruction did not provide appellants the legal benefit to which they were entitled.

Finally, respondent contends Lagudis's TDS covered all the property defects listed in Kirkpatrick's notes. Consequently, in respondent's view, the notes added no new information that could have affected appellants' decision to buy the house, thus releasing respondent from any liability for not disclosing the notes. Comparing the TDS to {Slip Opn. Page 9} Kirkpatrick's notes shows respondent is mistaken because the notes identify defects the TDS did not list. For example, the notes state "pool needs work -- cracks -- missing tiles;" the TDS does not mention the pool. The notes record "sliding doors master bath needs adjusting (hard to slide)," but the TDS does not mention the doors or the master bathroom. The notes observe that a front planter was cracked, but the TDS says nothing about it. The notes identify "discoloration under living room doors (leak?)," but the TDS says nothing similar. The notes state "stucco damage around rear door (water)??", but the TDS only noted cracks in the stucco without referring to the door or mentioning water. The notes record "damage around living room window"; the TDS does not mention the window. The notes state "hardwood floors in fam. room separating," whereas the TDS says the floors were merely "uneven." The notes record "discoloration around toilet (1/2 bath)," but the TDS mentions only the stained floor in the bathroom without connecting it to the toilet. Respondent's contention that the notes and TDS were redundant does not pass muster. A jury might reasonably find that if respondent had disclosed the defects from Kirkpatrick's report, the new information, combined with the TDS material, could have alerted appellants to the soil defect that undermined the foundation's stability.

Respondent also argues that the jury's entry of zero on the verdict form for the amount of appellants' damages shows appellants suffered no injury in not receiving Kirkpatrick's notes. The argument is unpersuasive. The court instructed the jury to calculate appellants' damages if the jurors found in appellants' favor on the section 2079 or fraudulent concealment claims. Having rejected both causes of action, the jury had no reason to calculate damages. Thus, its superfluous entry of "0" in the space marked for damages does not reveal the amount the jury might have awarded if it had reached a verdict in favor of appellants' nonsuited cause of action for negligent nondisclosure. {Slip Opn. Page 10}

DISPOSITION

The judgment is reversed and the matter is remanded for further proceedings only on appellants' cause of action for negligent nondisclosure. In all other respects, the judgment is affirmed. Appellants to recover costs on appeal.

Cooper, P. J., and Flier, J., concurred.

­FN 1. Kirkpatrick denies having said one could insert a coin into the cracks, but in reviewing the trial court's entry of a nonsuit, we must accept appellants' evidence as true.

­FN 2. They sued other defendants, too, but they are not part of this appeal. Appellants settled for $50,000 with the listing agent, Fred Sands Palos Verde Realty and its employees. The court dismissed appellants' cause of action for breach of contract against the son of the sellers who signed the sales documents on sellers' behalf. Appellants have not challenged that ruling on appeal. The sellers also filed for protection under the bankruptcy laws.

­FN 3. The complaint originally pleaded a cause of action for violation of Civil Code section 1102 et seq., but appellants amended without objection that cause of action to allege a violation of section 2079.

­FN 4. As the court later noted, it is "irregular" to grant a motion for nonsuit before a plaintiff's opening statement (Code of Civ. Proc., § 581c, subd. (a) ["Only after, and not before, the plaintiff has completed his or her opening statement . . . the defendant . . . may move for a judgment of nonsuit."].) It is nevertheless not reversible error to grant such a motion prematurely if the motion is otherwise well-taken. (Ritschel v. City of Fountain Valley (2006) 137 Cal.App.4th 107, 114).

­FN 5. The parties' briefs do not discuss whether section 2079 properly applied to respondent. By its terms, section 2079 imposes a duty only from the listing broker who is selling the property to the buyer; it does not impose a duty on the buyer's own broker. It states in pertinent part, "It is the duty of a real estate broker or salesperson . . . to a prospective purchaser of residential real property . . . to [inspect and disclose as more fully described by the statute] . . . if that broker has a written contract with the seller to find or obtain a buyer or is a broker who acts in cooperation with that broker to find and obtain a buyer." (See also Field v. Century 21 Klowden-Forness Realty (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th at 18, 21 [section 2079 obligates seller's broker to conduct reasonable visual inspection for the buyer's protection]; Loken v. Century 21-Award Properties (1995) 36 Cal.App.4th 263, 271 [2079 obligates seller's broker to conduct reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection and disclose to buyer facts such an inspection would reveal].) We find nothing in the record of a written agreement or evidence of Fred Sands and respondent acting in cooperation to find a buyer.

Respondent requested the principal instruction the court gave on section 2079 (Special Instruction No. 5.) The typewritten portion tracks the statutory language indicating its application to sellers' brokers, i.e., one who has "a written contract with the seller . . . ." By deleting some of the printed language, adding handwritten portions, and modifying Special Instruction No. 26 requested by appellants, the parties endeavored without legal success to graft a buyer's broker obligation onto a seller's broker statute.

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ü JERRY DORAN, . D.C. No. ý CV-04-01125-JVS 7-ELEVEN, INC., d/b/a 7-ELEVEN;

FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
ü JERRY DORAN,
Plaintiff-Appellant, No. 05-56439
v. D.C. No. ý CV-04-01125-JVS 7-ELEVEN, INC., d/b/a 7-ELEVEN;
SOUTHLAND CORP., OPINION
Defendants-Appellees. þ
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Central District of California
James V. Selna, District Judge, Presiding
Argued and Submitted
April 16, 2007—Pasadena, California
Filed November 9, 2007
Before: Jerome Farris and Ronald M. Gould, Circuit Judges,
and Kevin Thomas Duffy,* District Judge.
Per Curiam Opinion;
Dissent by Judge Duffy
*The Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, Senior United States District
Judge for the Southern District of New York, sitting by designation.
14761 

OPINION
PER CURIAM:
We review an order of the district court granting summary
judgment to 7-Eleven, Inc. in Jerry Doran’s suit under the
Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”). We affirm the district
court’s summary judgment on certain alleged ADA violations
Doran encountered or of which he had personal
knowledge. However, because the district court erred in concluding
that Doran did not have standing to challenge other
barriers related to his disability and identified in his expert’s
site inspection, we partially vacate the district court’s order
granting summary judgment, and we remand for further proceedings.
I
Doran is a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair for mobility
and travels in a wheelchair-accessible minivan. Doran lives in
Cottonwood, California, but has on several occasions visited
the 7-Eleven store on North Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim,
California. This 7-Eleven store is about 550 miles from his
home. In September 2004, Doran filed suit in the district
court, alleging that the North Harbor 7-Eleven store contained
barriers that denied him full and equal access to the store, that
he had personally encountered barriers at the store, and that
the barriers deterred him from visiting the store. He requested
injunctive relief under Title III of the ADA and injunctive
relief and monetary damages under California law.
In a deposition taken on May 19, 2005, Doran testified that
he had encountered or had knowledge of nine alleged barriersat the 7-Eleven store: (1) that there was no van-accessible
parking nor any sign denoting such parking; (2) that the striping
outlining the disabled parking space was faded; (3) that
there was no sign designating the location of the wheelchair
ramp; (4) that the wheelchair ramp was too steep; (5) that the
store aisles were too narrow; (6) that the entry mat obstructed
entry to the store; (7) that disabled patrons were denied access
to the employees-only restroom; (8) that the floor space was
obstructed by merchandise; and (9) that there were no directional
signs indicating the nearest accessible store entrance.
On June 23, 2005, the magistrate judge issued a discovery
order allowing Doran to conduct a site inspection of the store
but limiting the inspection to barriers that Doran testified he
had encountered or knew about but did not personally
encounter. The district court denied Doran’s motion for
review of the magistrate judge’s ruling. Despite the limited
scope of the discovery order, Doran’s expert inspected the
store and identified barriers, beyond those Doran identified in
his deposition, that would potentially impact mobilityimpaired
individuals. The expert reported that, among other
things, the cashier’s counter and ATM were too high, the condiment
counter required too long of a reach, and the accessible
parking spaces were too sloped.
The district court granted summary judgment to 7-Eleven
on all of Doran’s ADA claims. The court held that Doran did
not have standing to challenge the barriers first identified in
the expert report because Doran neither encountered nor had
personal knowledge of those barriers. As to the nine barriers
that Doran testified he had encountered or had known about,
the district court held either that 7-Eleven had already
removed them or that Doran had failed to provide any evidence
that the alleged barriers violated the ADA. As specifically
relevant to this appeal, the district court held that (1)
Doran produced no evidence that the store aisles were too narrow
under the ADA Accessibility Guidelines or that 7-Eleven
maintained an aisle-width policy that violated
14766 DORAN v. 7-ELEVEN, INC.(2) excluding disabled patrons from the store’s employeesonly
restroom did not violate the ADA. After granting summary
judgment to 7-Eleven on Doran’s federal claims, the
district court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over Doran’s state law claims and dismissed them without
prejudice.
II
Both parties raise standing issues. 7-Eleven argues that
Doran cannot establish that the North Harbor 7-Eleven store
poses an immediate threat of harm to him because it is more
than 500 miles away from his home and that Doran therefore
lacks standing to sue concerning any of the store’s barriers.
Doran, on the other hand, argues that a disabled person has
standing to challenge all of the barriers related to his disability
in a place of public accommodation, not just those he had
encountered or those of which he had personal knowledge.1
The doctrine of standing is based both on prudential concerns
and on constitutional limitations on the jurisdiction of
the federal courts. Bennett v. Spear, 520 U.S. 154, 162 (1997);
Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498 (1975). To determine
whether a dispute presents a case or controversy sufficient to
give us jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution, we
apply a three-element test formulated by the Supreme Court:
First, the plaintiff must have suffered an “injury in
fact”—an invasion of a legally protected interest
which is (a) concrete and particularized, and (b)
actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.
Second, there must be a causal connection between
1The existence of standing is a question of law that we review de novo.
Mortensen v. County of Sacramento, 368 F.3d 1082, 1086 (9th Cir. 2004).
We may affirm summary judgment on any ground supported by the
record. Ground Zero Ctr. for Non-Violent Action v. U.S. Dep’t of the
Navy, 383 F.3d 1082, 1086 (9th Cir. 2004).

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November 08, 2007

NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO SENDS LETTERS OF NOTICE AND DEMAND TO FREDDIE MAC AND FANNIE MAE

NEW YORK, NY (November 7, 2007) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his office has sent Letters of Notice and Demand, providing notice of the issuance of Martin Act subpoenas and a demand for an Independent Examiner, to the nation’s two largest financiers of home mortgages, Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE). Cuomo also announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have agreed to the demand to retain an Independent Examiner, subject to the Attorney General’s approval, to conduct a total review of all Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) appraisals and mortgages purchased by the companies.

The Martin Act subpoenas sent by Cuomo seek information on the mortgage loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased from banks, including Washington Mutual, the nation’s largest savings and loan. The subpoenas also seek information on the due diligence practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their valuations of appraisals.

Today’s announcement marks the latest expansion of Cuomo’s industry-wide investigation of mortgage fraud. Last week, Cuomo filed suit against First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), and its subsidiary eAppraiseIt, one of the nation’s largest real estate appraisal management companies, for colluding with Washington Mutual to inflate the appraisal values of homes.

“In order to fulfill their duty to consumers and investors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must ensure that Washington Mutual’s mortgages have not been corrupted by inflated appraisals,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Our expanding investigation into the mortgage industry has uncovered that Washington Mutual improperly pressured appraisers to provide inflated values that best served the lender’s interest. Knowing this, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cannot afford to continue buying Washington Mutual mortgages unless they are sure these loans are based on reliable and independent appraisals.”

The subpoenas issued include requests for:

  • Information about all of the mortgage loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have purchased from any bank, including Washington Mutual, and the mortgage-backed securities associated with those loans;
  • Information about due diligence practices of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac;
  • Information about appraisals and valuations by the originating lenders;
  • Policies and procedures related to valuing properties and appraisals.

Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) are two of the largest financiers of home mortgages in the country, and both purchase loans from Washington Mutual. Washington Mutual is the third largest provider of loans to Freddie Mac, selling $24.7 billion in loans in 2007 alone. Washington Mutual is also the fourteenth largest provider of loans to Fannie Mae, selling $7.8 billion in loans in 2007.

“The integrity of our mortgage system depends on independent appraisers,” said Cuomo. “Washington Mutual compromised the fairness of this system by illegally pressuring appraisers to provide inflated values. Every company that buys loans from Washington Mutual must be sure that the loans they purchased are not corrupted by this systemic fraud.”

The lawsuit filed last week details a scheme in numerous e-mails showing First American and eAppraiseIT caved to pressure from Washington Mutual to use appraisers who provided inflated appraisals on homes. E-mails also show that executives at First American and eAppraiseIT knew their behavior was illegal, but intentionally broke the law to secure future business with Washington Mutual. Between April 2006 and October 2007, eAppraiseIT provided over 250,000 appraisals for Washington Mutual.

“I wish I could say I am shocked by the discoveries made by the Attorney General and his staff. Sadly, what allegedly happened between First American and Washington Mutual is not an isolated incident. Rather, it is symbolic of a problem that has plagued the appraisal industry for years,” said Terry Dunkin, President of the Appraisal Institute. “As the allegations against First American show, the mortgage industry’s dirty secret has been that banks exert tremendous pressure to extort appraisers.”

Cuomo’s office has been conducting a nine month investigation into the mortgage industry, which has identified two key areas of concern: appraisals and securitization. On Monday, November 5, Attorney General Cuomo traveled to Washington, D.C. to endorse the Escrow, Appraisal, and Mortgage Servicing Improvements Act (H.R. 3837), sponsored by Representative Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA). This bill will create new protections for consumers and investors and prohibit the improper coercion of appraisers to meet target appraisals.

This investigation is under the direction Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Eric Corngold.

Attachments:

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November 04, 2007

NY ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES FIRST AMERICAN AND ITS SUBSIDIARY FOR CONSPIRING WITH WASHINGTON MUTUAL TO INFLATE REAL ESTATE APPRAISALS

NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2007) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is suing one of the nation’s largest real estate appraisal management companies and its parent corporation for colluding with the largest savings and loan in the country to inflate the appraisal values of homes. 

In a scheme detailed in numerous e-mails, eAppraiseIT (“EA”), a subsidiary of First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF), caved to pressure from Washington Mutual (“WaMu”) (NYSE: WM) to use a list of preferred “Proven Appraisers” who provided inflated appraisals on homes.  The e-mails also show that executives at EA knew their behavior was illegal, but intentionally broke the law to secure future business with WaMu. 

“The independence of the appraiser is essential to maintaining the integrity of the mortgage industry.  First American and eAppraiseIT violated that independence when Washington Mutual strong-armed them into a system designed to rip off homeowners and investors alike,” said Attorney General Cuomo.  “The blatant actions of First American and eAppraiseIT have contributed to the growing foreclosure crisis and turmoil in the housing market.  By allowing Washington Mutual to hand-pick appraisers who inflated values, First American helped set the current mortgage crisis in motion.”

As First American acknowledged in its 2006 annual report, appraisal fraud can damage the entire housing market, including consumers and investors alike.  Consumers are harmed because they are misled as to the value of their homes, increasing the risk of foreclosure and hindering their ability to make sound economic decisions.  Investors are hurt by such fraud because it skews the value and risk of loans that are sold in financial markets.

In April 2006, EA began providing appraisal services for WaMu, which became EA’s biggest client.  Within weeks, WaMu began complaining to EA that its appraisals were not high enough.  WaMu pressured EA to employ exclusively a new panel of appraisers that WaMu hand-selected as “Proven Appraisers.”  This set of appraisers was chosen by WaMu specifically because they inflated property appraisals.  WaMu profited from these higher appraisals because they could close more home loans, at greater values.  Over the course of their relationship, between April 2006 and October 2007, EA provided approximately 262,000 appraisals for WaMu.

Attorney General Cuomo’s investigation uncovered a series of e-mails between executives at EA, First American, and WaMu that show EA officials were willingly violating state and federal appraisal independence regulations to comply with WaMu’s demands:

  • On February 22, 2007, in response to a description of the WaMu “Proven Appraiser” program as one in which “we will now assign all Wamu’s work to Wamu’s ‘Proven Appraisers’… [and] Performance ratings to retain position as a Wamu Proven Appraiser will be based on how many come in on value,” eAppraiseIT’s president told senior executives at First American: “we have agreed to roll over and just do it...
  • On April 4, 2007, eAppraiseIT’s executive vice president stated in an e-mail to First American: “we as an AMC [Appraisal Management Company] need to retain our independence from the lender or it will look like collusion…  eAppraiseIT is clearly being directed who to select.  The reasoning… is bogus for many reasons including the most obvious – the proven appraisers bring in the values.”
  • On April 17, 2007, eAppraiseIT’s president wrote an e-mail to First American explaining why its conduct was illegal: “We view this as a violation of the OCC, OTS, FDIC and USPAP influencing regulation.”
  • E-mail evidence also shows that WaMu pressured EA to inflate appraisals as a condition for doing future business together:
  • On September 27, 2006, First American’s vice chairman reported that a WaMu executive told him: “if the appraisal issues are resolved and things are working well he would welcome conversations about expanding our relationship…”

Attorney General Cuomo continued, “Just as my office stepped in when colleges and loan companies were profiting at students’ expense, this lawsuit and my ongoing investigation into the mortgage industry should send a clear message: companies must play by the rules or they will have to account for their misdeeds.”

Attorney General Cuomo’s lawsuit seeks to end the illegal relationship between First American and EA and WaMu.  It also seeks penalties and disgorgement from First American and EA.  The lawsuit alleges that First American and EA violated appraiser independence laws, which regulate the conduct of real estate appraisers.  The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Christopher Mulvihill, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Trial Counsel Nicole Gueron and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Eric Corngold.

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November 03, 2007

The REALTORS® Commercial Alliance hosts the ONLY Online Convention and Trade Show exclusively for commercial real estate practitioners.

 
  
 You are personally invited to attend Commercial Source 2007, presented by NAR’s REALTORS® Commercial Alliance. This unique online convention opens the door to relevant information and beneficial resources at no cost while allowing you to make the best use of your valuable time. GET CONNECTED
Hear dynamic and inspirational professionals like Sam Zell and Dr. Peter Linneman speak on today’s hot commercial issues for FREE!

Interact with exhibitors including Dell Inc and FedEx to learn about tools to maximize your success and more for FREE!

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Gain valuable information and resources for FREE!

GET INVOLVED
Limited Exhibitor and Sponsorship opportunities are still available. If you have a vendor that you think could benefit from this national exposure or if you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Emily Line at vendorinfo@commercialsource.com or call 312-329-8212 today.

GET REGISTERED
There are already over 20,000 participants registered for this year’s event. Go today to www.commercialsource.com to check out the demo and register for FREE!

2006 COMMERCIALSOURCE.COM FAST FACTS
Attended by more than 14,000 commercial real estate professionals

Over 80,000 visits to Exhibitor Booths

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 The REALTORS® Commercial Alliance hosts the ONLY Online Convention and Trade Show exclusively for commercial real estate practitioners.

Click Below To Check Out The Demo!

 
 NAR is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members in the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Booth space is limited - so contact us TODAY!

  
This advertisement is brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS® REALTORS® Commercial Alliance | 430 N. Michigan Ave.| Chicago, IL 60611

Unsubscribe from CommercialSource.com Conference announcements here.

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CommercialDirect

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In This Issue:

- 8 Questions To Ask When Shopping For A Commercial Mortgage
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- 1031 Exchanges: A Powerful Tool to Build & Grow Your Wealth

 
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Topic of the Month
8 Questions To Ask When Shopping For A Commercial Mortgage
Unlike borrowing against your home, financing a commercial property can be a confusing and frustrating experience. There are many borrowing options for commercial real estate buyers and owners...  More

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Understanding the Power and Use of Leverage in The Investment Property Game
Archemedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, once said that with a long enough lever and a place to stand the fulcrum, he would move the world.  Applied in the financial world, leverage refers to the borrowing of capital against the value of an asset...  More

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November 02, 2007

US Geological Survey

Seamless Data Distribution System, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS)



What this Site Offers:
  • Free Data Downloads
  • User Defined Datasets and Area
  • Acquire Data From Different Hosts
  • Elevation Point and Profile Tools
  • Tutorial
  • and much more...

System Status:

Seamless Data Distribution System, Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS)



What this Site Offers:
  • Free Data Downloads
  • User Defined Datasets and Area
  • Acquire Data From Different Hosts
  • Elevation Point and Profile Tools
  • Tutorial
  • and much more...

System Status:

The Seamless Data Distribution System is running.


Posted 06-26-2007: We are currently experiencing intermittent problems with downloads requested in BIL and GridFloat formats. The problem is being investigated by our staff. Since the problem is intermittent, please try your request again if you experience a problem. A more long-term fix for these format problems is currently in development. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience during this time.


News:
Latest Announcements (updated 08-7-2007)

  • New Delivery Method -- Tiled Data Distribution System (TDDS) Starting August 7, 2007, a new delivery method called Tiled Data Distribution System (TDDS) was released for accessing historical imagery. The concept of SDDS is to provide access to the "best available" geospatial data. In the case of High Resolution Orthoimagery data, there are several generations of imagery available. The older "historical" data for High Resolution Orthoimagery will be migrated from SDDS to TDDS. TDDS allows access to the original tiles or chips of imagery from EROS storage systems. The download includes a zip file containing the images files, metadata, and index. There is a new button under the Download section on the left side of the viewer. Refer to the TDDS Tutorial for instructions pertaining to this delivery method.

    The list of data available for TDDS is within the "Products" drop down on the front page called "Tiled Data Distribution System (TDDS) data". Or, go to the Seamless Data Distribution System (SDDS) on the right side of the map interface, under the Display tab, click the arrow next to the category Layer Extent to open the Layer Index group, then click on the Orthoimagery Historical Tiles for the coverage footprint.

  • New Delivery Method -- KML Access to USGS Historical Orthoimagery Not only can you download older orthoimagery datasets using the SDDS viewer interface, you can also preview and download the historical orthoimagery datasets with your own KML-compatible viewer. Click USGS Historical Orthoimagery KML to access the kml file.

  • New Areas of High Resolution Orthoimagery:
    New areas of High Resolution Orthoimagery have been released. To see the new areas, check the "List of High Resolution Orthoimagery" within the "Products" drop-down on the front page of http://seamless.usgs.gov.

    Or, go to the Seamless Data Distribution System (SDDS) on the right side of the map interface, under the Display tab, click the arrow next to the category Layer Extent. A list of layers will appear, find Urban Area Index and State & Local Ortho, click the boxes next to them. This will automatically update the map with the footprints showing areas of coverage. The turquoise polygons show where data is available to view and download. The yellow polygons show where data is "View Only".

  • Important information pertaining to Downloads and Windows XP SP2:
    If you are having trouble downloading data and have recently installed Windows XP SP2 -- See instructions in the General FAQs

  • New Products recently added:
    • New High Resolution Orthoimagery:
      See List of High Resolution Orthoimagery for new areas released 08-07-2007

    • Digital Raster Graphics:
      Digital Raster Graphics are now available as a collarless product. The scales available are 1:24K, 1:100K, and 1:250K. To see coverage areas, at the map interface, open the Layer Index group, then click on the DRG 24K Coverage, 100K, or 250K Coverage Index.
    New Features added:
    • Template Download Tools
      Template download tools have been added to the Seamless Data Distribution System. The tools will allow a customer to clip out the area of interest by using a 7.5m grid, 15 min grid, and National Atlas State Boundaries.
      To find information on how to use the templates go to the "User Instructions (HELP)" on the map interface (last icon under the Documents section, left side). Or read the Tutorial located on the front page or the map interface.

    Map Services:
    • Use in GIS Tools
      For information on how to access seamless data using a map service, use the url http://gisdata.usgs.gov, in your GIS Applications.

    Web Services:
    • Access
      To access seamless data using a web service in your GIS Applications, see http://gisdata.usgs.gov for implementation details.


Media:

To obtain products on media, please contact Customer Services.

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U.S. Department of the Interior  |  U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://seamless.usgs.gov/  |  Maintainer: seamless@usgs.gov  |  Comments and Suggestions
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is running.


Posted 06-26-2007: We are currently experiencing intermittent problems with downloads requested in BIL and GridFloat formats. The problem is being investigated by our staff. Since the problem is intermittent, please try your request again if you experience a problem. A more long-term fix for these format problems is currently in development. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience during this time.


News:
Latest Announcements (updated 08-7-2007)

  • New Delivery Method -- Tiled Data Distribution System (TDDS) Starting August 7, 2007, a new delivery method called Tiled Data Distribution System (TDDS) was released for accessing historical imagery. The concept of SDDS is to provide access to the "best available" geospatial data. In the case of High Resolution Orthoimagery data, there are several generations of imagery available. The older "historical" data for High Resolution Orthoimagery will be migrated from SDDS to TDDS. TDDS allows access to the original tiles or chips of imagery from EROS storage systems. The download includes a zip file containing the images files, metadata, and index. There is a new button under the Download section on the left side of the viewer. Refer to the TDDS Tutorial for instructions pertaining to this delivery method.

    The list of data available for TDDS is within the "Products" drop down on the front page called "Tiled Data Distribution System (TDDS) data". Or, go to the Seamless Data Distribution System (SDDS) on the right side of the map interface, under the Display tab, click the arrow next to the category Layer Extent to open the Layer Index group, then click on the Orthoimagery Historical Tiles for the coverage footprint.

  • New Delivery Method -- KML Access to USGS Historical Orthoimagery Not only can you download older orthoimagery datasets using the SDDS viewer interface, you can also preview and download the historical orthoimagery datasets with your own KML-compatible viewer. Click USGS Historical Orthoimagery KML to access the kml file.

  • New Areas of High Resolution Orthoimagery:
    New areas of High Resolution Orthoimagery have been released. To see the new areas, check the "List of High Resolution Orthoimagery" within the "Products" drop-down on the front page of http://seamless.usgs.gov.

    Or, go to the Seamless Data Distribution System (SDDS) on the right side of the map interface, under the Display tab, click the arrow next to the category Layer Extent. A list of layers will appear, find Urban Area Index and State & Local Ortho, click the boxes next to them. This will automatically update the map with the footprints showing areas of coverage. The turquoise polygons show where data is available to view and download. The yellow polygons show where data is "View Only".

  • Important information pertaining to Downloads and Windows XP SP2:
    If you are having trouble downloading data and have recently installed Windows XP SP2 -- See instructions in the General FAQs

  • New Products recently added:
    • New High Resolution Orthoimagery:
      See List of High Resolution Orthoimagery for new areas released 08-07-2007

    • Digital Raster Graphics:
      Digital Raster Graphics are now available as a collarless product. The scales available are 1:24K, 1:100K, and 1:250K. To see coverage areas, at the map interface, open the Layer Index group, then click on the DRG 24K Coverage, 100K, or 250K Coverage Index.
    New Features added:
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National association of realtors®

National association of realtors®
Home > Library > Power Tools for Commercial-Investment Practitioners

New eBooks: Income property brokerage, networking, winning through mental toughness

Recently added to NAR's Virtual Library eBooks Collection: Master Guide to Income Property Brokerage (Adobe), Effective Networking (audio), The Game Plan: Your Guide to Mental Toughness at Work (Adobe). Also new this month: Negotiating for Dummies (Adobe), Crucial Conversations, (in Adobe and audio fomat). Check out eBooks.realtor.org for these and other titles. NAR members and association staff can borrow up to 3 eBooks, digital audios, and/or videos for FREE. New to NAR's digital library? Just follow the Quick Start Guide...and have your NRDS number ready!

General Growth to develop Echelon retail promenade

General Growth Properties is slated to develop a 300,000-square-foot retail promenade as part of Echelon, an 87-acre resort development in Las Vegas. The project will cost roughly $500 million. "Under the agreement's terms, Boyd Gaming, Echelon's developer, will contribute the above-ground air rights real estate interest necessary to develop the promenade, and the joint venture will then develop the retail promenade." General Growth already has four highly visible retail centers in Las Vegas, including Fashion Show and The Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian.

A Virtual Match Made in Heaven

Commercial real estate's heavy hitters in the U.S. are making online deals these days, particularly with the assistance of RealCapitalMarkets.com, "the country's biggest 'virtual matchmaker' of commercial real estate deal makers." RealCapitalMarkets.com partners up buyers and sellers of properties over $10 million in highly secure 'virtual deal rooms.' According to New York-based Real Capital Analytics, the online service "facilitated well over a quarter of all U.S. sales in that lofty price range in 2006."

RealCapitalmarkets.com is headed by Stephen Alter, a licensed broker who spent many yers in real estate finance as an officer before co-launching the online service in 2000. In November 2005, Inc magazine named the firm as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. due to 305% sales growth in 2004.

Racing Fans, Start Your Engines and Head to Daytona!

International Speedway Corporation recently entered into a 50/50 joint venture with one of the largest developers in the country, Cordish, "to explore a mixed-use entertainment destination development to be named Daytona Live! on the 71 acres ISC owns across from the Daytona International Speedway."

Preliminary designs for the 200,000-square-foot mixed-use entertainment project include a 2,500-seat multi-screen movie theatre, retail, dining, as well as a 160-room hotel and a residential component. According to an ISC spokesperson, the company saw "a strong opportunity to solve office space issues and leverage the unique assets with the Daytona USA museum and speedway across the street."

Red Roof Inns sold for $1.3 Billion

Red Roof Inn economy lodging properties owned by Paris-headquartered Accor S.A., will be sold to a congolomerate involving Westbridge Hospitality Fund L.P. and citigroup Global Markets Holdings Inc. Accor, which acquired Red Roof Inns in 1999 for roughly $1.1 billion, has decided to concentrate on its Motel 6 brand. Accor intends "to increase its 928-property portfolio of Motel 6 destinations with the development of an additional 200 hotels in theU.S. and Canada by 2010."

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