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March 31, 2010


Appraisals http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/us_fas_realestateoutlook_032210.pdf

Executives were also asked about their company's approach to appraising commercial properties in their portfolios. Regarding the frequency of appraisals, 52% of real estate companies said they appraised their properties annually or more often, while another 22% appraised them every two years, and the remainder less often. Tenants did not appraise their properties as frequently. Only 37% of tenants appraised their commercial properties annually or more often, while 18% appraised them every two years.

By far the most common reason for property appraisals was for financial reporting, cited by roughly 60% of both tenants and real estate companies. Regarding other uses of appraisals, there were significant differences between tenants and owners. The next most common reasons for appraisals among tenants were due diligence (45%) and property tax appeals (42%). For real estate companies, on the other hand, financing was cited by 51% of executives, while due diligence, property tax appeals, and internal planning were only cited by 28% of executives.

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Recovery to take timeReal Estate Outlook
Recovery to take time

Although there are indications the economy is improving, most executives are pessimistic about the outlook for the commercial real estate market in 2010. While many expect commercial property values and rents to continue to decline over the near term, some companies see this as an opportunity to buy properties at bargain prices.

Deloitte's Real Estate Outlook found that roughly three-quarters of executives expect both commercial property values (76 percent) and asking rents (73 percent) to continue to fall in 2010, according to a recent online survey of more than 325 executives. In fact, 63 percent of executives predict that a full recovery of the market will require two to three years, while 29 percent believe it will take four years or longer. Only 8 percent anticipate a full recovery within the next year.

Since a full recovery will take time, many executives seek cost reduction opportunities. Deloitte's 2010 Lease Administration Benchmarking Survey found that roughly two-thirds of tenants that conducted lease audits said that they had resulted in cost reductions, while about half of the owners who conducted lease reviews said they had resulted in increased expense recovery.

To gain insights into the commercial real estate market, download Deloitte's Real Estate Outlook. In addition, to learn more about how executives effectively manage lease portfolios, download the 2010 Lease Administration Benchmarking Survey report. Please email us should you want to discuss the results with a member of our team.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries
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March 30, 2010

Making business decisions is just common-sense, when you have the facts!

Hello ,
With apartment complexes and multifamily projects, some property management companies calculate between 25 and 45 percent for vacancy, repair, and overhead costs. Others apply 40 to 50 percent.
Every market is different, so do your homework.
A rate of 20 to 40 percent would cover most single-family homes, condos, town houses, and duplexes, while 40 to 50 percent would cover apartment buildings. So remember to budget for the maintenance/repairs you intend to do and the possibility of time that passes without income.
Make sure you build in a cushion when you set rent prices, and estimate a vacancy and repair rate that is realistic—more than 25 percent.
Making business decisions is just common-sense, when you have the facts!
for our free 90-minute webinar on Tuesday, April 20th at 8:00pm Eastern Standard Time. You Will Learn…
  • The 10 biggest mistakes people make in running a real estate business.
  • The best legal form for your business. WARNING: 90% of real estate investors get this wrong!
  • How to pay for your children's college education (or wedding) in pre-tax dollars.
  • How to increase the amount of your depreciation, if you decide to rent your home to others.
  • How to write land and fully depreciated assets off on your tax return.
  • How to write off more than the $25,000 limit for passive losses on your tax return.
  • How the 80/20 rule will double your profits within 30 days!
  • Plus, much more!
Next: So, how do you find a good location, location, and location?
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March 28, 2010

Pier Review of Office Appraisal by A. Brennon Chadwick, III, mai

Pier Review of Office Appraisal by A. Brennon Chadwick, III, mai


We will be discussing the many errors in this appraisal. Please participate and show us how smart you are. I will be making numerious comments as we proceed. Thanks!


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March 26, 2010

California Practitioner Liaison Meetings and Seminars

California Practitioner Liaison Meetings and Seminars


If you live near a state line, please look for meetings in nearby cities of the bordering state.

Check out the Nationwide link for additional events. These events include phone forums held at multiple times to accommodate practitioners nationwide.


Meeting: CSEA Orange County Chapter Dinner Meeting
Date(s): March 16, 2010
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Phoenix Club, 1340 S Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806
Contact: Russell Fox; Phone: (714) 225-7877; E-mail: rcfox@claytonservices.com.
Event Information: The Orange County CSEA will be holding their monthly dinner meeting at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California. The Internal Revenue Service will be presenting information regarding the Practitioner Review and tax law updates.
Sponsored by: The Orange County Chapter CSEA


Meeting: 2010 North Orange County Business Expo
Date(s): March 26, 2010
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Location: California State University, Fullerton Titan Student Union, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA
Contact: Theresa Harvey; Phone: (714) 871-3100; E-mail: THarvey@fullertonchamber.com
Event Information: Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; Parking $8.

FREE admission to:

*Workshops: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Expo and Job Fair: 1:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., $35
Featuring keynote speaker, Jan Norman, Orange County Register small-business columnist, "Small-Business Guide to Success in a Stormy Economy"

*9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Workshops:

  • Financial Recording Keeping
    Presenter: Nancy LeBlanc, Internal Revenue Service
  • Successful Marketing Campaigns Using Social Media
    Presenter: Rayanne Thorn, A Thorn's Point
  • Establishing and Maintaining Banking Relationships
    Presenter: Farmers & Merchants Bank

*10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Workshops:

  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor
    Presenters: Dan Breece, Internal Revenue Service
    Michelle McElrea, EDD
  • Finding the Right Employees for the Job
    Presenter: Chris Strom, Orange County Business Service Center
  • Finding Capital for Your Growing Business
    Presented by: Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, Placentia and Yorba Linda Chambers of Commerce

Sponsored in part by: Farmers & Merchants Bank, Fullerton Community Bank,
MG Disposal, Pacific Credit Union and Southern California Edison
Sponsored by: Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, Placentia and Yorba Linda Chambers of Commerce


Meeting: Everything You Wanted to Know About the EA Exam
Date(s): Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Location: Online-Self Study
Contact: CSEA; Phone: (916) 366-6646; E-mail: info@csea.org
Sponsored by: California Society of Enrolled Agents

Meeting: Getting Your Business Act Together; You Can Still Reduce Your Business Taxes
Date(s): Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Location: Online-Self Study
Contact: Just click on the Self Study title to download the information FREE.
Sponsored by: Intuit

Meeting: QuickBooks Basics - The Top 15 Bookkeeping Errors Small Business Owners Make
Date(s): Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Location: Online-Self Study
Contact: Just click on the Self Study title to download the information FREE.
Sponsored by: Intuit


Meeting: Tax Preparation Tips for Gift Tax Preparers
Date(s): May 6, 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Grosvenor Hotel, 380 South Airport Blvd. South, San Francisco, CA 94080
Contact: Don Gundry; Phone: (650) 573-5800 ext. 302; E-mail: GoldenGateEA@aol.com
Event Information: The California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA) Golden Gate Chapter is hosting the IRS as their guest speaker for their May chapter dinner meeting. Kyle Martin, Estate and Gift Tax Group Manager, will be presenting practical and timely information on Tax Preparation Tips for Gift Tax Preparers. The cost of the event will include dinner, and CPE credit is available. Networking begins at 6:00 p.m. with dinner served at 6:45 p.m. and the one-hour presentation at 7:30 p.m. For more information and to register for this event, please visit the CSEA Golden Gate Chapter Web site. Any fees charges are by the hosting organization and not the Internal Revenue Service.
Sponsored by: California Society of Enrolled Agents - Golden Gate Chapter

Rate the Small Business and Self-Employed Web Site

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8th Circuit: Federal Takings Lawsuit Not Ripe

8th Circuit: Federal Takings Lawsuit Not Ripe

Posted: 25 Mar 2010 10:04 AM PDT

In granting a special zoning exemption to Shelter House, Iowa City allowed it to build a homeless shelter on land next to Mr. and Mrs. Dahlen's mobile home park. After losing their challenge to the zoning exemption, the Dahlens filed suit in federal court alleging the exemption violated their due process rights.

That claim was abandoned when the Dahlens amended their complaint to allege that they owned a portion of the Shelter House property by adverse possession, and the city's approval of a site plan for the homeless shelter was an uncompensated taking of their property. The District Court dismissed the amended complaint because it was not ripe under Williamson County Regional Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985).

In Dahlen v. Shelter House, No. 09-1909 (8th Cir. Mar. 24, 2010), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit agreed. The Dahlens asserted Williamson County was not applicable and they did not need to seek just compensation through a state court inverse condemnation lawsuit. Slip op. at 4. Instead, they argued that the taking was private because it was accomplished "without a justifying public purpose" as defined by Iowa's eminent domain statutes, and thus resort to Iowa's courts was unnecessary. Slip op. at 4-5.

The court rejected this argument on the grounds it was "attempting to bootstrap [a] Iowa statutory claim into a federal constitutional claim." Slip op. at 6. The remainder of the opinion goes on to justify the result and ends up taking a detour through the doctrinal wilderness, although we cannot quite trace the genesis of the detour.

Was it the property owners' insistence this was a "takings" claim and not a substantive due process claim, if, as they argued, allowing a homeless shelter on their property served no public use under Iowa's eminent domain law? After Lingle  v. Chevron  U.S.A. Inc., 544 U.S. 528 (2005), regulatory takings remedies focus for the most part on just compensation, and the claim that the government action fails to "substantially advance a legitimate state interest" and is invalid finds a doctrinal home in due process, not "takings." The city in this case was not claiming to exercise its eminent domain power to affirmatively take what the Dahlens claimed was their land, and the "taking" alleged was only a de facto taking. So it is difficult to see how an Iowa statute that limits the exercise of eminent domain is even applicable. Instead, through the zoning power, the city granted Shelter House a zoning exemption.

The court's opinion hardly added clarity when it came up with this gem, in dicta:

We ultimately reject their claim that violations of state eminent domain statutes necessarily give rise to federal constitutional claims.

Slip op. at 6. A federal court has no interest when a state may be violating its own statutes and that violation impacts property rights? That's not right. We think the court really should have said this:

The city did not violate Iowa's eminent domain statutes which limit exercises of the condemnation power to public uses. The city did not exercise its eminent domain power to attempt to affirmatively take the Dahlens's property, it exercised its zoning power to grant Shelter House a zoning exemption. If the exercise of the city's zoning power did not "substantially advance a legitimate state interest," see Lingle, it may have violated the Dahlens's due process rights, and ripening a claim under Williamson County is unnecessary. The Dahlens, however, removed the due process claim when they amended their complaint.

If you are interested, here are the main briefs filed by the parties:

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

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March 25, 2010

BOMA International Testifies Before Congress on Commercial Building Maintenance

BOMA International Testifies Before Congress on Commercial Building Maintenance 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE http://www.boma.org/news/pressroom/Pages/press032410.aspx

(WASHINGTON—March 24, 2010) The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International testified before Congress today on commercial building maintenance in a hearing titled “Capital Crisis Management: Maintaining Federal Real Estate with the Dwindling Federal Building Fund.” As the committee considers how to allocate funds for the maintenance of federal buildings managed by the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA), BOMA was called to testify on building maintenance best practices in private sector commercial buildings. Richard W. Greninger, managing partner, Carr Services, represented BOMA International before the hearing of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Greninger described to Chairman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and members of the subcommittee the type of maintenance plans commercial buildings in the private sector have in place to maximize equipment life and optimize building operations, and stressed the importance of preventive and predictive maintenance. “Buildings are designed and built to last for decades,” said Greninger. “But in order to keep the building in good repair, keep systems running at their optimal performance levels and attract and retain quality tenants, buildings must have a management plan in place and adequately budget for repairs and maintenance.”

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The Appraisal Subcommittee Launches Redesigned Website


The Appraisal Subcommittee Launches Redesigned Website

The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) launched a new website today that greatly enhances the availability of ASC information to the public. The website at http://www.asc.gov has a new design, added content, improved organization, and enhanced features and architecture to enable ease of use and navigation. The website also includes new ways to highlight timely and important news. To take advantage of the website's technologies and capabilities, it is best viewed with Internet Explorer 8.0, or the latest version of your web browser.

The new website has improved search functionality for both authenticated State regulators and non-authenticated users. Authenticated users now have the ability to update an appraiser’s record on the ASC’s National Registry in real-time. Historical views of an appraiser’s credentials will provide financial institutions and other users of appraiser services with more complete information for determining an appraiser’s eligibility to perform an appraisal. Another new feature allows remote applications to perform queries against the National Registry database.

Comments and suggestions regarding the website can be sent to the ASC by using the form provided at the Contact Us link found at the bottom of the website’s home page.

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CEQA Air impacts are to be measured against existing physical conditions not existing permitted level of operations for emitter.

View the entire entry:

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March 24, 2010

Real Estate Owners May Lose Capital Gains Tax Shelter


Real Estate Owners May Lose Capital Gains Tax Shelter

By Julia Caputo Stift
March 3, 2010
Currently real estate owners can avoid paying state and federal capital gains taxes on profits from the sale of real estate if they reinvest or exchange the investment funds under Federal Tax Codes.  The so-called 1031 exchanges and 1033 conversions, however, may no longer protect property owners from state capital gains taxes if the California legislature passes AB 2640. If enacted, the bill would take effect retroactively as of 1/1/10.
AB 2640 introduces legislation intended to address the California budget deficit by increasing tax revenues by eliminating certain advantageous characterizations, which can be accomplished with a majority vote of the California legislature, whereas the imposition of new taxes requires the vote of super majorities of the legislature and the Governor's signature. 

This proposal would have major repercussions for California real estate owners.  While transactions that qualify under Section 1031 or 1033 of the Federal Tax Code would continue to be exempt from the federal income tax on capital gains (generally a maximum 15%), such transactions would no longer be exempt from state taxation equal to approximately 10% of the gain.  There are unanswered questions as to whether the affected owners may have access to the exchange funds to pay the proposed California tax.

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Regulatory Takings - The Ninth Circuit to Revisit its Guggenheim Opinion

Regulatory Takings - The Ninth Circuit to Revisit its Guggenheim Opinion

By Rick E. Rayl and Bradford B. Kuhn

Last fall, we reported on the Ninth Circuit's decision in Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, a regulatory takings case that generated considerable interest.  We noted that regulatory takings claims were typically fairly described as "all bark and no bite," but that Guggenheim demonstrates that regulatory takings litigation can have teeth (the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the City of Goleta to pay just compensation to the owner of a mobile home park due to a rent control ordinance's constituting a regulatory taking). 

Well, perhaps the three judge panel that decided Guggenheim "barked" too soon: the Ninth Circuit has now issued an order granting an en banc hearing of the Guggenheim case.  This means that a large portion of the Ninth Circuit panel (11 judges) will re-hear the case, and potentially reach a different conclusion.  In the meantime, the September 2009 Guggenheim opinion is no longer citable as legal precedent. 


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Supreme Court of California, March 15, 2010

Supreme Court of California, March 15, 2010
Communities for a Better Env't v. S. Coast Air Quality Mgmt. Dist. , No. S161190
In plaintiffs' suit against ConocoPhillips and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (District), for failing to prepare an EIR before approving a refinery project, judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed as neither the statute of limitations, nor principles of vested rights, nor the CEQA case law on which ConocoPhillips and the District rely, justified employing as an analytical baseline for a new project the maximum capacity allowed under prior equipment permits, rather than the physical conditions actually existing at the time of analysis. Therefore, the District abused its discretion in determining the project at issue would have no significant environmental effects compared to a baseline of maximum permitted capacity. Read more...

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March 22, 2010

Live Blog Of New Jersey Supreme Court Oral Argument In Klumpp v. Borough of Avalon (The "Bizarre Condemnation")

Live Blog Of New Jersey Supreme Court Oral Argument In Klumpp v. Borough of Avalon (The "Bizarre Condemnation")

Posted: 21 Mar 2010 10:17 PM PDT

Technology permitting, we are live blogging today's oral arguments in in Klumpp v. Borough of Avalon, No. A-49-09 (certification granted Nov. 10, 2009).

That's the case in which the New Jersey Supreme Court is reviewing the decision from the Appellate Division which held that the government can assert inverse condemnation in order to take property without compensation. (If that leaves you scratching your head, you are not alone -- the New Jersey Law Journal called the decision "a bizarre condemnation." More about the case here, including links to the Appellate Division's per curiam opinion and the merits and amici briefs.

The court's web site states the issue simply:

May a municipality occupy a property and obtain title through inverse condemnation without initiating condemnation proceedings under the Eminent Domain Act, N.J.S.A. 20:3-1 to -50?

Arguments are set to begin at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 22, 2010 in Trenton. Although we are on the road, we're not on the road in New Jersey. But through the miracle of technology, we look forward to following along via the court's live webcast site.

At about 10:55 a.m., we will go live in the window below. Hope you can be here and follow along. This argument should be interesting.

<p><a href="http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=548d606d21" >N.J. S.

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March 18, 2010

California Court Of Appeal: Takings Claims Brought Too Early, Too Late, And No Damages For Violations Of The Right To Petition (Inter Alia)

California Court Of Appeal: Takings Claims Brought Too Early, Too Late, And No Damages For Violations Of The Right To Petition (Inter Alia)

Posted: 18 Mar 2010 01:15 AM PDT

The latest skirmish in California's mobile home rent control wars, this time from the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, in two cases out of San Diego county, MHC Financing Ltd. P'ship v. City of Santee, No. D053345 (Mar. 15, 2010).

The cases present a convoluted series of facts and procedural twists which we are not going to rehash, but recommend that you read yourself. It's a long opinion (50 pages), but it's worth delving into the details. The court held:

  • First, the property owner "sustained no legally remediable injury" from the retroactive application of a mobile home rent control ordinance which the city adopted to correct errors in an earlier-adopted mobile home rent control ordinance (the erroneous ordinance was based on the original version of a proposed initiative ordinance, and not the modified initiative ordinance which was certified by petition) (slip op. at 15-19).
  • Damages are not an available remedy for violations of the right to petition under the California Constitution (slip op. at 21-28).
  • The "as applied" takings challenge was not ripe under Williamson County's "final decision" requirement because the property owner had not submitted an application for a rent adjustment as allowed by the city's rent control ordinance  (slip op. at 30-34).
  • The facial takings and substantive due process challenges were brought more than two years after the ordinance had been adopted, and the statute of limitations had therefore expired (slip op. at 34-37).
  • The claim for equitable indemnity failed because that doctrine is limited to one tortfeasor being indemnified by another tortfeasor  when they are jointly and severally liable to a third party. Here, the property owner claimed that the city was directly liable to it for damages it allegedly owed to third parties. The court determined this was not a proper claim for equitable indemnity (slip op. at 37-39).  
  • The trial court property sustained the city's demurrer (a motion to dismiss, for all you non-Californians) to other claims on a number of grounds: (1) the claim the taking of the property was a private taking was brought too late (slip op. at 40-41); and (2) there was no physical taking (which is based on a government requirement to allow third parties to enter one's land) because the mobile home park operators "voluntarily rented their land" (slip op. at 43) (citing Yee v. City of Escondido, 503 U.S. 519, 527 (1992)).
  • Finally, the court reversed summary judgment for the city on one of its affirmative claims against the property owner, restitution. The city claimed that the property owner owed mobile home park tenants restitution for the rent it overcharged them while a lower court order (subsequently reversed) was in effect. The court upheld the property owner's assertion that the city lacked standing to seek restitution on behalf of others (slip op. at 46-47).
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March 17, 2010

Issue Number: N-2010-18

Issue Number:    N-2010-18

Inside This Issue

Notice 2010-18 assists State Housing Credit Agencies in determining how to reduce the low-income housing tax credit ceiling under § 42(h)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code when credits are exchanged for funds pursuant to section 1602 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.  The Notice also provides guidance concerning the affect of section 1602 funds on building basis and taxpayer income.     

Notice 2010-18 will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2010-14 on April 5, 2010.

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March 16, 2010

About The Eminent Domain Pamphlet




Complements of : Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB

The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Consultants

310.337.1973, harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net

About The Eminent Domain Pamphlet

SB 698 which went into effect on January 1, 2008, requires that every property owner who is the subject of an eminent domain action must be given an “informational pamphlet” outlining the property owner’s rights under the Eminent Domain Law of California.
This pamphlet has been put together through the efforts of the
following organizations:


League of California Cities


California State Association of Counties


Association of California Water Agencies


California Special Districts Association


California Redevelopment Association

Eminent Domain – Information Pamphlet (SB 698)


I.          Introduction


Eminent domain is the power of the government to purchase private property for a "public use" so long as the property owner is paid "just compensation."  Whenever possible, [condemning agency] tries to avoid use of the eminent domain power, exercising it only when it is necessary for a public project.  The decision to acquire private property for a public project is made by the [condemning agency] only after a thorough review of the project, which often includes public hearings. 


This pamphlet provides general information about the eminent domain process and the rights of the property owner in that process.[1] 


  • What is a "public use"?


A "public use" is a use that confers public benefits, like the provision of public services or the promotion of public health, safety, and welfare.  Public uses include a wide variety of projects such as street improvements, construction of water pipelines or storage facilities, construction of civic buildings, redevelopment of blighted areas, and levee improvements to increase flood protection.   Some public uses are for private entities, such as universities, hospitals and public utilities, which serve the public.


  • What is "just compensation"?


Just compensation is the fair market value of the property being acquired by the government.  The state law definition of fair market value is "the highest price on the date of valuation that would be agreed to by a seller, being willing to sell but under no particular or urgent necessity for so doing, nor obliged to sell, and a buyer, being ready, willing, and able to buy but under no particular necessity for so doing, each dealing with the other with full knowledge of all the uses and purposes for which the property is reasonably adaptable and available."


II.        The Eminent Domain Process and the Property Owner's Rights


The eminent domain process begins with a public use project.  When selecting a project location, the goal is to render the greatest public good and the least private injury or inconvenience.  If it is determined that all or a portion of your property may be necessary for a public use project, the [condemning agency] will begin the appraisal process to determine the property's fair market value. 



  • How is the fair market value of my property determined? 


The [condemning agency] will retain an independent, accredited appraiser familiar with local property values to appraise your property.  The appraiser will invite you to accompany him or her during an inspection of your property.  You may give the appraiser any information about improvements and any special features that you believe may affect the value of your property.  It is in your best interest to provide the appraiser with all the useful information you can in order to ensure that nothing of value will be overlooked.  If you are unable to meet with the appraiser, you may wish to have a person who is familiar with your property meet with the appraiser instead.


After the inspection, the appraiser will complete an appraisal that will include the appraiser's determination of your property's fair market value and the information upon which the fair market value is based.  The appraiser will provide the [condemning agency] with the appraisal.  The [condemning agency] will then make a written offer to purchase the property.  The offer will also include a summary of the appraisal.  The offer will be for no less than the amount of the appraisal.




  • Can I have my own appraisal done?


Yes.  (we strongly suggest) You decide to obtain your own appraisal of the property in negotiating the fair market value with the [condemning agency].  At the time of making its initial offer to you, the [condemning agency] must offer to reimburse you the reasonable costs, not to exceed $5,000, of an independent appraisal of your property.  To be eligible for reimbursement, the independent appraisal must be conducted by an appraiser licensed by the State Office of Real Estate Appraisers. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: THE HARRIS COMPANY, FORENSIC APPRAISERS AND CONSULTANTS, 310.337.1973, harris_curtis@sbcglobal.net .



  • What factors does the appraiser consider in determining fair market value?


Each parcel of real property is different and, therefore, no single formula can be used to appraise all properties.  Among the factors an appraiser typically considers in estimating fair market value are:

    • The location of the property;
    • The age and condition of improvements on the property;
    • How the property has been used;
    • Whether there are any lease agreements relating to the property;
    • Whether there are any environmental issues, such as contaminated soil;
    • Applicable current and potential future zoning and land use requirements;
    • How the property compares with similar properties in the area that have been sold recently;
    • How much it would cost to reproduce the buildings and other structures, less any depreciation; and
    • How much rental income the property produces, or could produce if put to its highest and best use.


  • Will I receive a copy of the appraisal?


The [condemning agency] is required to provide you with its purchase offer, a summary of the appraiser's opinion, and the basis for the [condemning agency]'s offer.  Among other things, this summary must include:

o       A general statement of the [condemning agency]'s proposed use for the property;

o       An accurate description of the property to be acquired;

o       A list of the improvements covered by the offer;

o       The amount of the offer; and

o       The amount considered to be just compensation for each improvement which is owned by a tenant and the basis for determining that amount.


However, the [condemning agency] is only required to show you a copy of the full appraisal if your property is an owner-occupied residential property with four or fewer residential units.  Otherwise, the [condemning agency] may, but is not required, to disclose its full appraisal during negotiations (though different disclosure requirements apply during the litigation process if the issue of fair market value goes to court).


  • Can I have my own appraisal done?


Yes.  You may decide to obtain your own appraisal of the property in negotiating the fair market value with the [condemning agency].  At the time of making its initial offer to you, the [condemning agency] must offer to reimburse you the reasonable costs, not to exceed $5,000, of an independent appraisal of your property.  To be eligible for reimbursement, the independent appraisal must be conducted by an appraiser licensed by the State Office of Real Estate Appraisers.


  • What advantages are there in selling my property to the [condemning agency]?


A real estate transaction with the [condemning agency] is typically handled in the same way as the sale of private property.  However, there may be a financial advantage to selling to the [condemning agency].


    • You will not be required to pay for real estate commissions, title costs, preparation of documents, title policy or recording fees required in closing the sale.  The [condemning agency] will pay all these costs.


    • Although the [condemning agency] cannot give you tax advice or direction, you might also be eligible for certain property and income tax advantages.  You should check with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for details or consult your personal tax advisor. 


  • If only a portion of my property is taken, will I be paid for the loss to my remaining property?


In general, when only a part of your property is needed, every reasonable effort is made to ensure you do not suffer a financial loss to the "remainder" property.  The [condemning agency] will pay you the fair market value of the property being taken as well as compensation for any loss in value to your remaining property that is not offset by the benefits conferred by the project.  The compensation for the loss in value to your remaining property is often referred to as "severance damages."


Also, if any remaining part is of such a size, shape, or condition as to be of little market value, the [condemning agency] will offer to acquire that remaining part (or remnant) from you, if you so desire.


  • Will I be compensated for loss of goodwill to my business?


If you are the owner of a business that is conducted on the property being acquired, you may have a right to compensation for lost business goodwill if the loss is caused by the acquisition of the property.  "Goodwill" consists of the benefits that accrue to a business as a result of its location, reputation for dependability, skill or quality, and any other circumstances resulting in probable retention of old or acquisition of new patronage.  


  • What will happen to the loan on my property?


Where the [condemning agency] is acquiring the entire property, generally the compensation payable to the owner is first used to satisfy outstanding loans or liens as in a typical real estate transaction.  Where less than the entire property is being acquired, whether outstanding loans or liens are paid from the compensation will depend on the particular facts and circumstances.


  • Do I have to sell at the price offered?


No.  If you and the [condemning agency] are unable to reach an agreement on a mutually satisfactory price, you are not obligated to sign an offer to sell or enter into a purchase agreement. 


  • If I agree to accept the [condemning agency]'s offer, how soon will I be paid?


If you reach a voluntary agreement to sell your property or an interest in the property to the [condemning agency], payment will be made at a mutually acceptable time.  Generally, this should be possible within 30 to 60 days after a purchase/sale contract is signed by all parties. 


  • What happens if we are unable to reach an agreement on the property's fair market value?


The [condemning agency], to the greatest extent practicable, will make every reasonable effort to acquire your property by negotiated purchase.  If, however, the negotiations are unsuccessful, the [condemning agency] may either file an eminent domain action in a court located within the same county where your property is located or it may decide to abandon its intention to acquire the property.  If the [condemning agency] abandons its intention to acquire, it will promptly notify you.


If the [condemning agency] proceeds with eminent domain, the first step is for [condemning agency] staff to request authority from the [legislative body] to file a condemnation action.  The approval from the [legislative body] is called a "Resolution of Necessity."  In considering whether condemnation is necessary, the [legislative body] must determine whether the public interest and necessity require the project, whether the project is planned or located in the manner that will be most compatible with the greatest public good and the least private injury, and whether your property is necessary for the project.  You will be given notice and an opportunity to appear before the [legislative body] when it considers whether to adopt the Resolution of Necessity.  You may want to call an attorney or contact an attorney referral service right away.  You or your representatives can raise any objections to the Resolution of Necessity and the condemnation either orally before the [legislative body] or in writing to the [legislative body]. 


If the [legislative body] adopts the Resolution of Necessity, the [condemning agency] can file a complaint in court to acquire title to the property upon payment of the property's fair market value.  The [condemning agency] is the plaintiff.  Anyone with a legal interest in the property, generally determined from a title report on the property (including tenants or mortgage holders), are named as defendants.  Often, the [condemning agency] will also deposit the amount the [condemning agency] believes is the "probable amount of compensation" with the State Treasurer where the complaint is filed.  A deposit must be made if the [condemning agency] is seeking to acquire possession of the property before agreement is reached on the fair market value.


  • Can the [condemning agency] acquire possession of my property before the property’s fair market value is determined in the eminent domain lawsuit?


In some cases, the [condemning agency] may decide it needs possession of the property before the property's fair market value is finally determined.  In such a case, the [condemning agency] must apply to the court for an "order for possession" to allow it to take possession and control of the property prior to resolution of the property's fair market value.  The [condemning agency] is required to schedule a hearing with the court on the proposed order for possession and to give you notice of the hearing.  Notice must generally be sent at least 90 days before the hearing date if the property is occupied and 60 days before the hearing date if the property is unoccupied.  A judge will decide whether the order for possession should be granted. As noted above, the [condemning agency] must deposit with the State Treasurer the probable amount of just compensation in order to obtain possession of the property.


  • Can I oppose the motion for an order for possession?


Yes.  You may oppose the motion in writing by serving the [condemning agency] and the court with your written opposition within the period of time set forth in the notice from the [condemning agency].




·        Can I rent the property from the [condemning agency]?


·        If the [condemning agency] agrees to allow you or your tenants to remain on the property after the [condemning agency] acquires possession, you or the tenants will be required to pay a fair rent to the [condemning agency].  Generally, such rent will not be more than that charged as rent for the use of a property similar to yours in a similar area.


  • Can I withdraw the amount deposited with the State Treasurer before the eminent domain action is completed, even if I don't agree that the amount reflects the fair market value of my property?


Yes.  Subject to the rights of any other persons having a property interest (such as a lender, tenant, or co-owner), you may withdraw the amount deposited with the State Treasurer before the eminent domain action is completed.  If you withdraw the amount on deposit, you may still seek a higher fair market value during the eminent domain proceedings, but you may not contest the right of the [condemning agency] to acquire the property, meaning you cannot contest that the acquisition of your property is for a public purpose or is otherwise improper.


You also have the right to ask the court to require the [condemning agency] to increase the amount deposited with the State Treasurer if you believe the amount the [condemning agency] has deposited less than the "probable amount of compensation." 


·        Can I contest the condemning agency's acquisition of the property?


·        Yes.  Provided you have not withdrawn the amount deposited, you can challenge in court the [condemning agency]'s right to acquire or condemn the property.


  • What happens in an eminent domain trial?


The main purpose of an eminent domain trial is to determine the fair market value of your property, including compensable interests such as lost business goodwill caused by the taking or severance damages.  The trial is usually conducted before a judge and jury.  You (and any others with interests in the property) and the [condemning agency] will have the opportunity to present evidence of value, and the jury will determine the property's fair market value.  In cases where the parties choose not to have a jury, the judge will decide the property's fair market value.  Generally, each party to the litigation must disclose its respective appraisals to the other parties prior to trial.


If you challenge the [condemning agency]'s right to acquire the property, the eminent domain trial will also determine whether or not the [condemning agency] has the legal right to acquire the property.  In such cases, the judge (not the jury) will make this determination before any evidence is presented concerning the property's fair market value.


At the end of the trial, the judge will enter a judgment requiring the [condemning agency] to pay fair market value. Once the [condemning agency] pays the amount listed in the judgment, the judge will enter a final order of condemnation. The [condemning agency] will record the final order with the County Recorder, and title to the property will then pass to the [condemning agency.]


·        Am I entitled to interest?


·        Anyone receiving compensation in an eminent domain action is generally entitled to interest on that compensation from the date the condemning agency takes possession of the property until the person receiving the compensation has been fully paid.  The rate and calculation of the interest is determined under formulas in State law.



·        Will the [condemning agency] pay my attorneys' fees and costs.


·        In an eminent domain action, you are entitled to be reimbursed by the condemning agency for your court costs such as court filing fees.  In some circumstances, you may also be entitled to be reimbursed by the condemning agency for your attorneys' fees in the lawsuit.  Whether you will be entitled to receive reimbursement for your attorneys' fees will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the case and the offers and demand for compensation made in the action.


  • Will I receive assistance with relocation?


Any person, business, or farm operation displaced as a result of the property acquisition is typically entitled to relocation advisory and financial assistance for eligible relocation expenses, such as moving expenses.  The amount of relocation compensation is determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with prescribed law.  Relocation benefits are handled separate and apart from the determination of the property's fair market value and are not part of the eminent domain process.


III.       Contact Information


We are available to answer your questions and to assist you in understanding the acquisition program and the eminent domain process.  Should you desire further information, please contact the [The Harris Company, Forensic Appraisers and Consultants] at (310) 337-1973 or your Acquisition Agent, [Curtis D. Harris, BS, CGREA, REB.].  

[1] This pamphlet reflects the current law as of January 1, 2008.  However, the information in this pamphlet is not, nor should it be construed as, legal advice.  You should consult with qualified legal counsel regarding your specific situation rather than relying on this pamphlet as legal advice.

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March 15, 2010

EPA Makes Chemical Information More Accessible to Public

Dale Kemery

March 15, 2010

EPA Makes Chemical Information More Accessible to Public
For the first time, TSCA chemical inventory free of charge online

WASHINGTONAs part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s strong commitment to increase information on chemicals, for the first time, EPA is providing web access, free of charge, to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory. This inventory contains a consolidated list of thousands of industrial chemicals maintained by the agency.  EPA is also making this information available on Data.Gov, a website developed by the Obama Administration to provide public access to important government information. 
This action represents another step to increase the transparency of chemical information while continuing to push for legislative reform of the 30 year old TSCA law.

“Increasing the public’s access to information on chemicals is one of Administrator Jackson’s top priorities,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “The American people are entitled to easily accessible information on chemicals, and today’s action is part of a series of ongoing steps that EPA is taking to empower the public with this important information.”

Until now, the consolidated public portion of the TSCA Inventory has only been available by purchase from the National Technical Reports Library or other databases.  By adding the consolidated TSCA Inventory to the Agency’s website and to Data.Gov, EPA is making this information readily available to the public at no cost. 

Currently, there are more than 84,000 chemicals manufactured, used, or imported in the U.S. listed on the TSCA Inventory. However, EPA is unable to publicly identify nearly 17,000 of these chemicals because the chemicals have been claimed as confidential business information under TSCA by the manufacturers.  Under Administrator Jackson’s leadership, EPA has already begun a series of aggressive steps to provide greater transparency on chemical risk information, including an announcement in January that signaled EPA’s intent to reduce a certain type of confidentiality claim, or Confidential Business Information (CBI) claim, on the identity of chemicals

In the coming months, EPA will take further steps to increase transparency and make more information available to the public, including adding TSCA facility information, and the list of chemicals manufactured to the Facility Registry System (FRS). FRS is an integrated database that provides the public with easier access to EPA’s environmental information and better tools for cross-media environmental analysis. The addition of TSCA facility and chemical databases to FRS will provide the public with information on the facilities in their communities using industrial chemicals.

For information about EPA’s increasing transparency on chemical risk information see http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/bd4379a92ceceeac8525735900400c27/631cf22eb540c4db852576b2004eca47!OpenDocument
For access to the entire TSCA Inventory, please visit

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Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.



View all news releases related to pesticides and toxic chemicals


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Bank's Behavior in Foreclosure Leads to Fine

Bank's Behavior in Foreclosure Leads to Fine
New York Law Journal

A judge in Suffolk County, N.Y., has ordered Wells Fargo bank to pay $155,000 for its "willful and wanton" attempt to oust a homeowner by going into the house without permission and changing the locks. New York Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Spinner said in a ruling last week that Wells Fargo had "perpetrated a trespass" against homeowner Steven Tyson by dispatching agents to his home to change the locks without notice.

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FHA Education Session for Appraisers comes to Atlanta, GA:

FHA Education Session for Appraisers comes to Atlanta, GA:



April 21, 2010 - Atlanta, GA. FHA Education Session. This live course offers instructions on most recent changes and updates to FHA procedures and guidelines for FHA Appraisers. The topics discussed will include; Appraiser Portability, Appraiser Independence, Appraiser Sanction Process, Declining markets and 1004MC form, Case Transfer Responsibilities, HUD REO Appraisals, MPR/MPS-Property Inspections, and other related topics. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.addRegisterEvent&eventId=411&update=N 






HUD Announcement of Lender Portal Training:



The Department has centralized its Mortgagee compliance functions into a single point of contact, designated as the Mortgagee Compliance Manager (MCM).  The Mortgagee Compliance Manager implements the first phase of the new M&M III environment. The MCM was awarded to Michaelson, Connor & Boul, Inc. (MCB) whose office will be located in Oklahoma City. The MCM will be responsible for pre-and-post conveyance activity, including: verification and approval of reimbursable expenses for preservation and protection; title reviews; request for time extensions; inspection audits; and ensuring conveyed properties meet FHA standards. 



With the consolidation of Mortgagee compliance functions, HUD would like to introduce the department’s new on-line, web-based Internet Portal, P260.  This portal will eliminate the need for Mortgagees to submit paper requests for pre-and-post conveyance activities to HUD.  Lenders are required to attend one of the training sessions since the use of  the P260 system is required under the new MCM structure.  You may sign-up at: http://support.yardi.com/hudtraining_mm3_lenders.asp



HUD has provided several opportunities for your organization to become familiar with this new web-based tool. Mortgagee user training on the new P260 system will be held on the dates listed below.  All training sessions will be held at:11:00am (PST), 12:00pm (MST), 1:00pm (CST), 2:00pm (EST).


Week 1:  March 11th & 12th


Week 2:  March  16th, 17th, 18th


Week 3:  March 24th and 25th



In addition to registration information, this website also provides Portal User Guides and training videos which recap the online training webinars. 



Each lender must designate a “SuperUser” within their organization who will be responsible for setting up P260 access for staff handling pre-and post conveyance activities.  




The effective date of the requirements for the MCM and P260 Portal presented in this communication  will be April 7, 2010.  Further information regarding the MCM and P260 Portal will be announced via Mortgagee Letter(s) which will be published shortly.



Please forward this e-mail to appropriate Preservation, Conveyance and Foreclosure contacts within your organization if they did not receive this communication.


NSC can answer any questions you may have.  Feel free to contact William Collins – GTR (405) 609-8466, william.i.collins@hud.gov;  Amy Foster – GTM (405) 609-8487, amy.d.foster@hud.gov; or  Kathi Cheatham – GTM (405) 609-8489, nancy.cheatham@hud.gov.



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March 10, 2010

Download Important Foreclosure Listing Information Today
Foreclosure Listings on REALTOR.com®, in your MLS, are now clearly marked with a Foreclosure Badge:

Agents and consumers can now easily find foreclosure listings in your MLS and nationwide
Agents' foreclosure listings are automatically promoted on the #1 real estate website with 7 million visitors per month- REALTOR.com®1
REALTOR.com® provides this information for FREE, while most real estate sites charge
for it
Buyers and investors now have one more reason to visit REALTOR.com® giving all listings more exposure
Make sure you know how the REALTOR.com® Foreclosure Badge works:
download and share this FREE FAQs Document today.
 Make More Money from Foreclosures!
Call 1-877-568-1491 to Find Out How You Can Get More Foreclosure Business

REALTOR.com can help you make more money from lucrative foreclosure opportunities, which make up a large share of listing inventory in today's market. Find out how you can get more foreclosure buyers and sellers contacting you from the #1 real estate website with 7 million monthly visitors!
Call 1-877-568-1491
and ask about the Featured Home™ & Featured Community™ foreclosure programs. Availability is limited and some markets may be sold out.
 1 comScore MediaMetrix, January 2010 

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Two New FHA Mortgagee Letters:




Two New FHA Mortgagee Letters:







March 8, 2010








SUBJECT: HUD REO Appraisal Validity Period and Second Appraisals



This Mortgagee Letter (ML) announces the validity period for appraisals utilized to establish the listing price on HUD’s Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. In addition, this Mortgagee Letter also announces conditions for which a second appraisal may be ordered for purchasers of REO properties utilizing FHA financing…







March 8, 2010








SUBJECT: Tier Ranking Scores – Incentive Round 38



This Mortgagee Letter announces the FHA servicing lenders’ Tier Ranking Scores for Round 38. They were calculated using established criteria for HUD’s Tier Ranking System (TRS), based on activity during the Performance Period from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009. Tier Ranking Scores determine if a lender is eligible for additional incentives for calendar year 2010…



To read these mortgagee letters and any attachments in their entirety, please visit: http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/letters/mortgagee/ view the 2009 letters and click on the letter of your choice. Mortgagee Letters from previous years can be found on the same page.






New FHA training and events around the nation:



New FHA Webinars: Register today to reserve your place, these webinars will fill up fast.



March 18, 2010 - Free Webinar: HUD's Loss Mitigation Program. The webinar will feature an overview of HUD's Loss Mitigation Program. Learn More About: Imminent Default, Forbearance Agreement, 90-Day Review & Program Requirements. 11:00AM - 12:00PM Pacific Time. Registration required, no fee. More info at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/893489867



March 24, 2010 - Free Webinar: Underwriting the Appraisal Webinar. This FREE Webinar will provide an overview of determining property acceptability for FHA insured financing. Registrants must have internet access. 9:00AM to 11:00AM Mountain Time. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.addRegisterEvent&eventId=393&update=N


March 30, 2010 - FREE Webinar: Endorsement/Lender Insuring Webinar. Great overview for lenders who want to become an LI Lender or just a refresher for any current LI Lenders. Registrants must have internet access. 9:00AM to 11:00AM Mountain Time. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.addRegisterEvent&eventId=394&update=N


New dates added for Think FHA webinars from March through April available to C.A.R. members. One-hour sessions, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. PST, covering a variety of FHA programs and policies. Sponsored by HUD & the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Registration required and only available to C.A.R. members, no fee. For dates and more info visit: http://www.car.org/education/webinars/FHA/



Electronic Class (EClass) on FHA Loss Mitigation & Servicing System: The EClass System provides additional training on FHA's Loss Mitigation Programs, including FHA's Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP), as well as continuing education on loss mitigation & servicing issues that have generated the most industry questions & requests for further training. The EClass System is designed to provide web-based training to HUD-Approved Servicers, HUD-Approved & Non Profit Housing Counseling Agencies. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/training.cfm






FHA live training and events:



March 17, 2010 - Atlanta, GA. FHA Endorsement Training. Course covers endorsement processing guidelines from the initial case number assignment through issuance of mortgage insurance certificates (MIC); including examples & instructions for accessing FHA Connection, use of case query, ordering case numbers, ‘holds’ tracking, borrower validations, updating an existing case, insurance applications, N.O.R.s, MIC corrections, case transfers & case cancellations. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.addRegisterEvent&eventId=356&update=N



March 29, 2010  - Philadelphia, PA. FHA Update Seminar. FHA’s Philadelphia Homeownership Center is conducting a one-day seminar for lenders that covers upcoming & recent changes to FHA programs including: lender approval requirements, appraisals, flipping rule, MIP, streamline refinance loans, & more. The presentation will also include Neighborhood Watch & FHA’s lender monitoring. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.addRegisterEvent&eventId=400&update=N



March 30, 2010 - Denver, CO. The FHA Appraisal. Free one-day class for appraisers & lenders will discuss FHA appraisal requirements including FHA Appraisal Protocol, Mortgagee Letters, 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/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.addRegisterEvent&eventId=395&update=N 



March 31, 2010 - Denver, CO. FREE one-day Underwriter Training topics to include: FHA Updates, Refinances, REO calculations, Maximum LTV calculations, Mortgage Insurance, Settlement costs (RESPA), TOTAL Scorecard, and a brief overview of Credit, Liabilities, Income, and Assets. 8:30AM to 4:30PM Mountain Time. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.registerEvent&eventId=401&update=N



April 20-22, 2010 - Philadelphia PA. National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association 2010 Road show. Join us at this year's NRMLA Road show as we dig deeply into the information we all need to know & all need to share, whether you're a HECM originator, lender, business owner, counselor or service provider. Industry experts & senior staff from FHA's Philadelphia Homeownership Center will tackle key topics impacting your business. Registration required, fee. More info at: http://www.nrmlaonline.org/



May 3 - 7, 2010 - Phoenix, AZ. NeighborWorks Training Institute. Join your peers and field experts for over 90 courses in community development and affordable housing. Registration required, fee, Scholarships available for HUD-Approved housing counseling agencies. More info at: http://nw.org/network/training/upcoming/PHX_NTI10.asp



NeighborWorks also has Limited Tuition & Lodging Scholarships Available for their Place Based Training courses for HUD approved housing counselors. Place-based trainings are currently available for affordable housing, homeownership, foreclosure and stabilization-related topics. To apply for a scholarship to a sponsored place-based training, visit NeighborWorks calendar for dates, locations and info: http://www.nw5.org/training/  



May 18-19, 2010 - Oklahoma City, OK. Early Delinquency Servicing & Loss Mitigation Program Training for HUD-Approved mortgagees, HUD-approved Housing Counselors & Nonprofit Housing Counselors. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/training.cfm



August 24-25, 2010 - Oklahoma City, OK. Early Delinquency Servicing & Loss Mitigation Program Training for HUD-Approved mortgagees, HUD-approved Housing Counselors & Nonprofit Housing Counselors. Registration required, no fee. More info at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/nsc/training.cfm






FHA's Lender Insurance Program:



FHA's Lender Insurance Program (LI) enables high-performing lenders to endorse FHA mortgage loans for insurance without a pre-endorsement review by HUD. This expedited procedure is part of HUD's overall effort to make the processing of FHA loans easier and more cost-efficient so that lenders will be better able to offer FHA-insured loans and expand the availability of affordable financing for potential homebuyers. More information at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/lender/lendins.cfm



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March 09, 2010

Agents Beware
What does the CAR contract really say?
-Who Should Attend?
-Any Agent who thinks...
-it is necessary to understand the contract well enough
-to explain it to their client BEFORE they sign it
-Thurs. March 11th, 11 till 1 Citrus Valley Assoc. 655 W. Arrow Hwy, San Dimas
Key Learning Points
Identify areas that get agents and clients into legal trouble
Learn how to correctly explain the most difficult paragraphs
How to use the contract to pick up buyers and more listings
Learn how to write an effective counter offer... And much, much more
WHEN: March 11th, 2010 11:00 am till 1:00 pm
WHERE: Citrus Valley Assoc. 655 W. Arrow Hwy, San Dimas
COST: No Charge with a FREE lunch! (Limited space)
TO RSVP: Email jj@USAuctionAdvantage.com
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Additional Standard Deduction for Real Estate Taxes

Additional Standard Deduction for Real Estate Taxes

The IRS wants taxpayers who pay state or local real estate taxes but don’t qualify to itemize their tax deductions, to know that they may qualify for an increased standard deduction. This is the last year that the higher standard deduction for real estate taxes is available.

Here are six things you need to know about the higher standard deduction for real estate taxes:

  1. The additional deduction amount is equal to the amount of real estate taxes paid, or $500 for single filers or $1,000 for joint filers, whichever is less.
  2. The taxes must be imposed on you.
  3. You must have paid the taxes during your tax year.
  4. The taxes must be levied for general public welfare on the assessed value of the real property and charged uniformly on all property under the jurisdiction of the taxing authority. Many states and counties also impose local benefit taxes for improvements to property, such as assessments for streets, sidewalks and sewer lines. These taxes usually cannot be deducted.
  5. Real estate taxes paid on foreign or business property do not qualify for the increased standard deduction.
  6. You must file a Form 1040 or 1040A and attach Schedule L, Standard Deduction for Certain Filers, to claim the increased deduction. When claiming the higher standard deduction for real estate taxes, be sure to check the box on line 40b of Form 1040 or line 24b of Form 1040A.

For more information, see Form 1040 or 1040A Instructions and Schedule L instructions. The forms and instructions can be downloaded at IRS.gov or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).



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March 07, 2010


A recent addition to our Appraisal Practice is incorporation of the American
Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) E-2018 Commercial Inspection Protocol
into each and every Multi Family Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Appraisal
Report, upon request.  The purpose of this protocol is to define a good commercial
and customary practice in the United States of America for conducting a baseline

Property Condition Assessment (PCA)
Property Condition Assessment (PCA) of the improvements located on a parcel
of residential, commercial, or industrial real estate.  The process is performed by a
walk-through survey/inspection, and conducting research, as outlined within the
ASTM E-2018 guide.  The goal is to identify and communicate physical
deficiencies to a user.  Physical deficiencies are the presence of conspicuous
defects or material deferred maintenance on a subject property’s material systems,
components, or equipment as observed during the field observer’s walk-through
survey/inspection.  This standard specifically excludes deficiencies that may be
remedied with routine maintenance, miscellaneous minor repairs, normal operating
maintenance, and de minims conditions that generally do not represent material
physical deficiencies of the property.   (
Sample RFP)

The scope of the standard includes a document review, independent research,
and personal interviews which augment the walk-through survey/inspection.  The
work product resulting from completing a PCA in accordance with the
2018 standard
is a Property Condition Report (PCR).  The PCR incorporates
the information obtained during the Walk-Through Survey, the Document Review
and Interviews, and includes opinions of probable costs for suggested remedies of
the physical deficiencies identified.  The objective of the walk through inspection is
to visually observe the subject property so as to obtain information on material
systems and components for the purposes of providing a brief description,
identifying physical deficiencies to the extent that they are observable, and obtain
information needed to address issues in the PCR.  The purpose of the document
review and interviews is to assist with the consultant’s understanding of the subject
property and identification of physical deficiencies.  Our goal, once again, is to be
the leader in our industry by continuously improving our work product.

ASTM E2018

Significance and Use


UseThis guide is intended for use on a voluntary basis by parties who desire to obtain a baseline PCA of commercial real estate. This guide also recognizes that there are varying levels of property condition assessment and due diligence that can be exercised that are both more and less comprehensive than this guide, and that may be appropriate to meet the objectives of the user. Users should consider their requirements, the purpose that the PCA is to serve, and their risk tolerance level before selecting the consultant and the level of due diligence to be exercised by the consultant. The user should also review or establish the qualifications, or both, of the proposed field observer and PCR reviewer prior to engagement. A PCR should identify any deviations or exceptions to this guide. Furthermore, no implication is intended that use of this guide be required in order to have conducted a property condition assessment in a commercially prudent and reasonable manner. Nevertheless, this guide is intended to reflect a reasonable approach for the preparation of a baseline PCA.

Clarification of Use:

Specific Point in TimeA user should only rely on the PCR for the point in time at which the consultant's observations and research were conducted.

Site-SpecificThe PCA performed in accordance with this guide is site-specific in that it relates to the physical condition of real property improvements on a specific parcel of commercial real estate. Consequently, this guide does not address many additional issues in real estate transactions such as economic obsolescence, the purchase of business entities, or physical deficiencies relating to off-site conditions.

Who May ConductThe walk-through survey portion of a PCA should be conducted by a field observer, and the PCR should be reviewed by a PCR reviewer; both qualified as suggested in X1.1.1.1 and X1.1.1.2, respectively.

PrinciplesThe following principles are an integral part of this guide. They are intended to be referred to in resolving ambiguity, or in exercising discretion accorded the user or consultant in conducting a PCA, or in judging whether a user or consultant has conducted appropriate inquiry or has otherwise conducted an adequate PCA.

Uncertainty Not EliminatedNo PCA can wholly eliminate the uncertainty regarding the presence of physical deficiencies and the performance of a subject property's building systems. Preparation of a PCR in accordance with this guide is intended to reduce, but not eliminate, the uncertainty regarding the potential for component or system failure and to reduce the potential that such component or system may not be initially observed. This guide also recognizes the inherent subjective nature of a consultant's opinions as to such issues as workmanship, quality of original installation, and estimating the RUL of any given component or system. The guide recognizes a consultant's suggested remedy may be determined under time constraints, formed without the aid of engineering calculations, testing, exploratory probing, the removal or relocation of materials, design, or other technically exhaustive means. Furthermore, there may be other alternative or more appropriate schemes or methods to remedy a physical deficiency. The consultant's opinions generally are formed without detailed knowledge from those familiar with the component's or system's performance.

Not Technically ExhaustiveAppropriate due diligence according to this guide is not to be construed as technically exhaustive. There is a point at which the cost of information obtained or the time required to conduct the PCA and prepare the PCR may outweigh the usefulness of the information and, in fact, may be a material detriment to the orderly and timely completion of a commercial real estate transaction. It is the intent of this guide to attempt to identify a balance between limiting the costs and time demands inherent in performing a PCA and reducing the uncertainty about unknown physical deficiencies resulting from completing additional inquiry.

Representative ObservationsThe purpose of conducting representative observations is to convey to the user the expected magnitude of commonly encountered or anticipated conditions. Recommended representative observation quantities for various asset types are provided in Annex A1; however, if in the field observer's opinion such representative observations as presented in Annex A1 are unwarranted as a result of homogeneity of the asset or other reasons deemed appropriate by the field observer, the field observer may survey sufficient units, areas, systems, buildings, etc. so as to comment with reasonable confidence as to the representative present condition of such repetitive or similar areas, systems, buildings, etc. To the extent there is more than one building on the subject property, and they are homogeneous with respect to approximate age, use, basic design, materials, and systems, it is not a requirement of this guide for the field observer to conduct a walk-through survey of each individual building's systems to describe or comment on their condition within the PCR. The descriptions and observations provided in the PCR are to be construed as representative of all similar improvements.

User-Mandated Representative ObservationsA user may mandate the representative observations required for a given property or a particular building system. Such representative observations may be more or less than this guide's recommended representative observations as provided in Annex A1.


Extrapolation of FindingsConsultant may reasonably extrapolate representative observations and findings to all typical areas or systems of the subject property for the purposes of describing such conditions within the PCR and preparing the opinions of probable costs for suggested remedy of material physical deficiencies.


Level of Due Diligence is VariableNot every property will warrant the same level of property condition assessment. Consistent with good commercial and customary practice, the appropriate level of property condition assessment generally is guided by the purpose the PCA is to serve; type of property; age of the improvements; expertise and risk tolerance level of the user; and time available for preparing the PCR and reviewing the opinions to be contained in the PCR.

Prior PCR UsageThis guide recognizes that PCRs performed in accordance with this guide may include information that subsequent users and consultants may want to use to avoid duplication and to reduce cost. therefore, this guide includes procedures to assist users and consultants in determining the appropriateness of using such information. In addition to the specific procedures contained elsewhere in this guide, the following should be considered:

Use of Prior PCR InformationInformation contained in prior property condition reports may be used by the consultant if, in the consultant's opinion, it is relevant; however, users and consultants are cautioned that information from prior property condition reports should only be used if such information was generated or obtained through procedures or methods that met or exceeded those contained in this guide. Such information should serve only as an aid to a consultant in fulfilling the requirements of this guide and to assist the field observer in the walk-through survey, research, and the field observer's understanding of the subject property. Furthermore, the PCR should identify the previously prepared property condition report if information from the prior report was used by the consultant in preparing the PCR.

Comparison with a Previously Prepared PCRIt should not be concluded or assumed that a previous PCR was deficient because the previous PCA did not discover a certain or particular physical deficiency, or because opinions of probable costs in the previous PCR are different. A PCR contains a representative indication of the property condition at the time of the walk-through survey and is dependent on the information available to the consultant at that time. Therefore, a PCR should be evaluated on the reasonableness of judgments made at the time and under the circumstances in which they are made. Experience of the field observer, the requirements of the previous PCRs client or the purpose of the previous PCR, time available to the consultant to complete the PCR, hindsight, new or additional information, enhanced visibility as a result of improved weather or site conditions, equipment visibility as a result of improved weather or site conditions, equipment not in a shutdown mode, and other factors influence the PCA and the opinions contained in the PCR.

Conducting Current Walk-Through SurveysExcept as provided in 3.5.1, prior property condition reports should not be used without verification. At a minimum, for a PCR to be consistent with this guide, a new walk-through survey, interviews, and solicitation and review of building and fire department records for recorded material violations should be performed.

Actual Knowledge ExceptionIf the user or consultant conducting a PCA has actual knowledge that the information from a prior property condition report is not accurate, or if it is obvious to the field observer that the information is not accurate, such information from a prior property condition report should not be used.

Contractual IssuesThis guide recognizes that contractual and legal obligations may exist between prior and subsequent users of property condition reports, or between clients and consultants who prepared prior property condition reports, or both. Consideration of such contractual obligations is beyond the scope of this guide. Furthermore, a subsequent user of a prior PCR should be apprised that it may have been prepared for purposes other than the current desired purpose of the PCR and should determine the contractual purpose and scope of the prior PCR.

Rules of EngagementThe contractual and legal obligations between a consultant and a user (and other parties, if any) are outside the scope of this guide. No specific legal relationship between the consultant and the user was considered during the preparation of this guide.

1. Scope


1.1 PurposeThe purpose of this guide is to define good commercial and customary practice in the United States of America for conducting a baseline property condition assessment (PCA) of the improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate by performing a walk-through survey and conducting research as outlined within this guide.

1.1.1 Physical DeficienciesIn defining good commercial and customary practice for conducting a baseline PCA, the goal is to identify and communicate physical deficiencies to a user. The term physical deficiencies means the presence of conspicuous defects or material deferred maintenance of a subject property's material systems, components, or equipment as observed during the field observer's walk-through survey. This definition specifically excludes deficiencies that may be remedied with routine maintenance, miscellaneous minor repairs, normal operating maintenance, etc., and excludes de minimis conditions that generally do not present material physical deficiencies of the subject property.

1.1.2 Walk-Through SurveyThis guide outlines procedures for conducting a walk-through survey to identify the subject property's physical deficiencies, and recommends various systems, components, and equipment that should be observed by the field observer and reported in the property condition report (PCR).

1.1.3 Document Reviews and InterviewsThe scope of this guide includes document reviews, research, and interviews to augment the walk-through survey so as to assist the consultant's understanding of the subject property and identification of physical deficiencies.

1.1.4 Property Condition ReportThe work product resulting from completing a PCA in accordance with this guide is a Property Condition Report (PCR). The PCR incorporates the information obtained during the Walk-Through Survey, the Document Review and Interviews sections of this guide, and includes Opinions of Probable Costs for suggested remedies of the physical deficiencies identified.

1.2 ObjectivesObjectives in the development of this guide are to: (1) define good commercial and customary practice for the PCA of primary commercial real estate improvements; (2) facilitate consistent and pertinent content in PCRs; (3) develop pragmatic and reasonable recommendations and expectations for site observations, document reviews and research associated with conducting PCAs and preparing PCRs; (4) establish reasonable expectations for PCRs; (5) assist in developing an industry baseline standard of care for appropriate observations and research; and (6) recommend protocols for consultants for communicating observations, opinions, and recommendations in a manner meaningful to the user.

1.3 Considerations Beyond ScopeThe use of this guide is strictly limited to the scope set forth in this section. Section 11 and Appendix X1 of this guide identify, for informational purposes, certain physical conditions that may exist on the subject property, and certain activities or procedures (not an all inclusive list) that are beyond the scope of this guide but may warrant consideration by parties to a commercial real estate transaction to enhance the PCA.

1.4 Organization of This GuideThis guide consists of several sections, an Annex and two (2) Appendixes. Section 1 is the Scope. Section 2 on Terminology contains definitions of terms both unique to this guide and not unique to this guide, and acronyms. Section 3 sets out the Significance and Use of this guide, and Section 4 describes the User's Responsibilities. Sections 5 through 10 provide guidelines for the main body of the PCR, including the scope of the Walk-Through Survey, preparation of the Opinions of Probable Costs to Remedy Physical Deficiencies, and preparation of the PCR. Section 11 provides additional information regarding out of scope considerations (see 1.3). Annex A1 provides requirements relating to specific asset types, and where applicable, such requirements are to be considered as if integral to this guide. Appendix X1 provides the user with additional PCA scope considerations, whereby a user may increase this guide's scope of due diligence to be exercised by the consultant beyond this guide's baseline level. Appendix X2 outlines the ADA Accessibility Survey.

1.5 Multiple BuildingsShould the subject property consist of multiple buildings, it is the intent of this guide that only a single PCR be produced by the consultant to report on all of the primary commercial real estate improvements.

1.6 Safety ConcernsThis guide does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with the walk-through survey. It is the responsibility of the consultant using this guide to establish appropriate safety and health practices when conducting a PCA.


Index Terms

ASTM; physical assessment report; property condition assessment (PCA); property condition report (PCR); Baseline property condition assessment (PCA) process; Commercial developments; Environmental control/fate; PCA (property condition assessment); Property damage/loss/assessment; Walk-through property survey; ICS Number Code 13.040.20 (Ambient atmospheres)

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March 06, 2010

Tax Credit Advisor: March 2010 Preview

Tax Credit Advisor: March 2010 PreviewNMTC

Getting in the Game: Community Bank Makes the Leap to LIHTC Investor

Tax Credit Advisor Content Tax Credit Advisor Content

March 2010 – Wes Blair, senior vice president of Brookline Bank, a community bank in Eastern Massachusetts, looks at investing in low-income housing tax credits a number of years ago and thought the yield was too low. After seeing the higher yields in the past year and working with the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Blair and his bank in December made the leap to first-time investor, closing on a side-by-side equity investment in Shillman House, a 149-unit new mixed-income rental housing development in Framingham. Blair talks about the process that he and the bank went through to get to the point of saying yes...

Learn more about Tax Credit Advisor

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Dallas-Fort Worth commercial property foreclosures surge

Dallas-Fort Worth commercial property foreclosures surge

 Foreclosure postings for several high-profile North Texas properties caused commercial real estate loan default filings to surge this month.The properties scheduled for forced sale by lenders at next month’s foreclosure auctions in Dallas-Fort Worth represent a total of more than $900 million in debt.

About 250 properties, including office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, warehouses and commercial land, are posted for the March sale, according to statistics from Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service.

The two largest foreclosure filings were for the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas, with $183 million in debt, and the Mosaic apartment buildings in downtown Dallas, which had $66.5 million in original mortgages.


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Friday Eminent Domain Round-Up

Friday Eminent Domain Round-Up

Posted: 05 Mar 2010 01:30 PM PST

Here's what we are reading this Friday:

  • Eminent Domain as Central Planning - a report on New York's approach to central economic planning, and how "blight" determinations and eminent domain are key means to the ends.
  • The Blog of LegalTimes summarizes the recent Skyland Mall decision from the D.C. Circuit (which we wrote up here), booting the case from federal court to the D.C. court.
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March 04, 2010

State regulators: Crisp & Cole appraiser can keep license with conditions
KGET 17 Bakersfield Thu, 04 Mar 2010 15:18 PM PST
The decision from the Office of Real Estate Appraisers follows a weeks-long administrative hearing that was held partially in Bakersfield.
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How to properly Pitch and Submit a Loan Request to a Bridge Lender/Fund Manager

As you know banks are barely lending in these uncertain economic times. So the Bridge Lenders/Fund Managers that are still lending are seeing an increase in submissions that are overwhelming them. You must be aware that most Bridge Lenders/Fund Managers are usually a 1 to 5 man operation and are not used to receiving 100 calls a day and 3 to 6 hundred emails a day with scenarios. Though Athas is larger than most Fund managers we still suffer from the same problem. When a Fund Manager gets overwhelmed he usually defaults to saying No to any deal that is poorly presented and let me tell you 50% to 70% of deals presented to our firm are presented poorly. So from a Fund Managers perspective let me guide you to presenting your file in a professional and attractive way thus enhancing the possibility of getting interest in your loan request.


The Preparation Before Presentation

75% of commercial and 25% of residential deals I am pitched are from a broker chain. Let’s face it Brokers in my opinion are the life blood of our industry no matter what the banks are trying to do to them. But deals that are presented to me from a broker on the back side of a broker chain I don’t take very seriously nor do I spend much time on. So if you are in a broker chain…penetrate it professionally and speak directly to the borrower, with permission of all brokers of course. You want to make sure of what the borrowers needs are and there is only one person that can express it to you and that is the borrower. Make sure the borrower is ready for a Bridge Loan. Be candid and upfront with the borrower about what typical bridge loans costs are and what the condition of the capital markets are. Let’s face it borrowers want to avoid getting a Bridge Loan at 9% to 13%, 2-5 points and terms from 1 to 5 years if they can avoid it…don’t blame them! So many brokers submit and procure LOI’s from us just to have a “back up”. Don’t do this for you are not making friends with the Bridge Lender/Fund Manager! Make sure the borrower is ready, if they are not don’t waste your time or the Fund Managers time.


-Know Your File

There is nothing worse than a broker pitching a deal to a lender and the broker truly has no clue. This is a quick step in the direction that will not be fruitful for you and certainly is not a relationship building experience. As a fund manager I must tell you I will go higher LTV’s and farther outside my box for a broker that knows his way around his deal! If you add the fact that I have closed deals with that broker in the pass I am more willing to stretch for that proven relationship. So you as a broker always want to build that relationship and that usually starts with a proper presentation and intimate knowledge of your file.


-Be Prepared to Answer a Myriad of Questions

The Bridge Lender/Fund Manager will have many. Once again I can’t stress enough, know your file. If your loan request is a commercial down, know the total of all income of the project. Also know the type of leases that this property has. Are they full service, modified gross ore triple net leases? If there is credit issues finds out if there are any believable excuses behind it. If the income on the rent roll is more than on their schedule E (rarely a deal killer) be prepared to answer why that is. If there is cash out know what they are going to use it for.




The Presentation

When getting on the phone with the lender he or she will want to ask the questions so they can make sense of the deal that best suits their needs. Don’t tell a story; just answer their questions in a quick and professional way. Don’t hide the negatives about the deal because the lender will look sideways at you and your future deals. So always express the negatives upfront and then follow it up with the positives and sell the positives without telling a 5-20 minute story. If the borrower has other collateral that has lendable equity in it express that to the lender quickly and don’t save it for the last second. If there are special needs of the borrower, like but not limited to, the borrower doesn’t want to sign a personal guarantee, express this to the lender before he makes his decision. If the lender doesn’t like your deal and turns it down don’t get upset or confrontational! If you want to learn why he turned it down don’t give him attitude just ask him why he turned it down so the next time you can learn what he or his fund likes and doesn’t like. If the lender likes your deal then great and be very prepared to email him the file quickly. This is not the time to collect conditions because that takes time and your lender will hear 100 deals after yours that could be better/safer or he will have forgotten your good deal because of all the bad deals he has to listen to. So submit your file immediately after the positive conversation!!!


Prepare to Submit Your Loan Request

OK you have a lender that is interested in your file, don’t blow it by submitting him a crazy discombobulated, and unprofessional file via email! A well submitted package is paramount to keeping you professional image alive and a lender interested in YOUR file over the others! A list of items most lenders will need to make a proper decision are as follows…

-Executive Summary - Yes I know you have already explained this all over the phone conversation but it is paramount that the lender can go back to the executive summary and get the story again.

-PFS or 1003 – It is paramount that your PFS or 1003 be professionally and fully filled out. Nothing is worse than a hand written and barely legible PFS or 1003!

-Credit Report – A recent Credit Report (not that FreeCreditReport.com stuff) or a detailed explanation of what the borrower’s credit is like (must come from the Borrower). That description should touch on FICO’s, mortgage lates, BK’s, Judgments, etc.

-Pictures of property –Believe it or not this is so important! A deal can go from hot to not or more importantly from NOT to HOT from quality pictures of the outside and inside of the property. So have them ready.

-2 years Personal and Corporate (if applicable) Tax Returns – “But I want to go stated” Is a usually response to this request. The Stated days are for the most part over. Every Fund Manager wants to see the Returns. Maybe just for the reason that he wants to make sure they are filing them. A lot of Fund Managers don’t use them and they wind up in the trash can but the fact that you showed them makes us Neanderthal fund managers feel comfortable. Remember Bridge loans can get creative with borrowers that don’t show all their income or show too many expenses………It’s OK to show us the returns!!

-Rent Roll – A clear and concise rent roll that shows tenant’s full name, unit number, monthly rent amount, beginning and end dates of lease is the best!

-Last years or Year to Date Income and Expense Statement- A quick P+L on the property is usually good. Yes we can add back in the mtg expense, depreciation and sometimes a lot of expenses we know the borrower is just writing off to write off.


Submitting Your Loan Request

There are some rules you should follow to submit your loan request. These rules will make your submission stand out from the rest…which in this market is paramount!

-The subject line of the email – Many times you have to email a file broken up into many emails because all the attachments are too big to fit on one email. So the subject line will keep the continuity of your submission. The subject line should have the borrower’s last name or name of the project then the word “Part” then the number of the email. For example Smith – Part #1 next email would be Smith – Part #2 so on and so forth.

-The attachment names – Name each attachment properly so that the lender knows what is in that attachment. Nothing is worse than getting 20 attachments and all of them have crazy names like *0473#-C or something like that. No one wants to go thru 20 attachments to figure out what they are. Once again separate yourself from all the other brokers……….for your better than the rest!

-The attachment size – Be cognizant of the size of the attachment for no email you send out should have more than 5 megabytes of attachments. Just because you can send it doesn’t mean your lender can receive it. Now some lenders can receive very large attachment groupings but just because they can receive it doesn’t mean you can send it. Most email systems have a limitation of 5 to 10 megabytes. Remember some Bridge lenders/fund managers are just small shops and don’t have a large emphasis on technology and might be using a restrictive email carrier that can bounce files just for attachments that are too big and no one is notified.

-Follow up – Call the lender within 1 hour of submitting your file to see if he or she has received all your emails. This serves two purposes, #1 you make sure he received all your emails, #2 the lender knows you proactive and if you don’t get an answer within 24 hours you’re going to follow up again. He or she will defiantly work on your file first!


Tips for Those Who Are New to Bridge Lending

-Stick to “The Good Deals” - What is a good deal? The current answer is a deal that closes! In this marketplace there are so many deals out there that just are never going to get funded or will take a monumental effort just to get a maybe. Examples of these deals are out of country request, land loans, development deals, theme parks, golf courses, retreats, coal mines or precious metal mines, quarries, electrical plants, hospitals, casinos, marinas, ski resorts, biodiesel plants, parking garages or white elephants. These deals you might get a person to say yes to but I would be willing to bet there will be a $25,000 to $250,000 upfront due diligence fee that you will never get back! Good Deals look like the following. Plain vanilla Residential properties, multifamily, mixed use, student housing, fractures condos, office buildings, retail shopping centers, light industrial, warehouse and rehab or finish construction deals of the above properties. Some hard to fund asset classes that are still getting attention are gas stations or any auto related project, small hotels or motels, assisted living facility, daycare centers and restaurants. Try to stick to the “Good Deals” because in this marketplace those are the deals that are actually closing.

-Upfront fees – Now my company does not charge upfront lender fees but sometimes I wish I did. If you get a LOI that is requesting upfront fees make sure the company producing the LOI is legitimate! In this marketplace there are a lot of “upfront fee scammers”. It’s not the end of the world just proceed with caution

-Make sure the LOI is coming from a legitimate source – There are many ways to get a comfort level with your LOI and the company that produced it. Letter of Testimonials are one way. Make sure the person writing the testimonial is a real company and call them. If a lender wants to earn your business they should have testimonials upon their website that shows the broker or borrowers name and number. This way you can verify them. Funding lists are also something you should be able to ask for and more importantly be provided with. Any real lender should be able to provide addresses of properties they have lent on so that you can run a property profile on and see the Trust Deed or mortgage in the name of the lender. Deal plaques, if the “lenders” website does not show deal plaques then they are making no effort at showing you what they funded in the past. Why would a real lender not want this up on their website? Just be careful for unfortunately there are a lot of scammers out there and it is your duty to your borrower to get them involved with a real lender.


Brian O'Shaughnessy


26901 Agoura Road. Suite 250
Calabasas Hills, CA. 91301
P: 877.877.1477 x555
F: 818.647.0175
Recently Closed Loans - Click Here
Customer Testimonials - Click Here


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March 03, 2010

Underwriting the Appraisal Webinar

Underwriting the Appraisal Webinar

Event Date: March 24, 2010

Event Time: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM


Description: The appraisal is the lender's tool for determining if a property meets the minimum requirements and eligibility standards for a FHA-insured mortgage. This FREE Webinar will provide an overview of the responsibilties of the lender and guidance on how to underwrite Fannie Mae appraisal forms. Changes to program requirements will be reviewed to include required repairs, inspections, new construction, manufactured homes, and the new MC1004 form. All times are MST. Registrants will receive an email confirmation prior to the webinar with a web link, a toll-free dial-in number, and instructions for participating. Attendees must have internet access. Registration required.

Location: Webinar

Contact Name: Mark Balaun

Contact email: Mark.a.Balaun@hud.gov

For more information, please call: 800-225-5343


Additional information: Register online using link below.

Additional information on the web available at: http://www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.addRegisterEvent&eventId=393&update=N

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February 04, 2010

February 04, 2010

Appraisal Institute Analysis Shows Two-Thirds of Failed Banks Cited for Appraisal Problems

Arnold%20Credit%20Crunch An analysis conducted by the Appraisal Institute of failed banks shows that nearly two-thirds had been previously cited by federal bank examiners or had ongoing appraisal administration problems, highlighting a significant weakness in many struggling financial institutions.




For a copy of the analysis, visit www.appraisalinstitute.org/newsadvocacy/downloads/key_documents/FDIC_MaterialLossReview_Appraisal.pdf.


Source: Appraisal Institute

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FDIC Office of Inspector General Reports

March 3, 2010

FDIC Office of Inspector General Reports

The following reports were recently posted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Web site: www.fdicig.gov under Publications. In cases where an OIG report includes sensitive or confidential information, the OIG may redact certain information in the report, and the report will be marked as such. In some instances because of the highly sensitive nature of the entire report, the OIG may not make the report publicly available and instead, a brief summary of the report is posted to the Web site. Thank you for your interest in the work of the FDIC OIG. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the OIG. The html version of these reports will be posted as soon as possible.

Material Loss Review of Integrity Bank, Jupiter, Florida

Material Loss Review of Mutual Bank, Harvey, Illinois

The FDIC’s Loan Modification Program
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FDIC Office of Inspector General Reports

March 3, 2010

FDIC Office of Inspector General Reports

The following reports were recently posted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) Web site: www.fdicig.gov under Publications. In cases where an OIG report includes sensitive or confidential information, the OIG may redact certain information in the report, and the report will be marked as such. In some instances because of the highly sensitive nature of the entire report, the OIG may not make the report publicly available and instead, a brief summary of the report is posted to the Web site. Thank you for your interest in the work of the FDIC OIG. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the OIG. The html version of these reports will be posted as soon as possible.

Material Loss Review of Integrity Bank, Jupiter, Florida

Material Loss Review of Mutual Bank, Harvey, Illinois

The FDIC’s Loan Modification Program
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March 02, 2010

The Los Angeles Chapter dinner meeting will be on March 18, beginning at 6 p.m

Los Angeles Chapter dinner meeting will be on March 18, beginning at 6 p.m. The reservation form is attached and also available for download at www.forensic.org.  

FEWA is pleased to announce the online calendar at www.forensic.org is updated with chapter events and reservation forms through April. If you would like information on other chapters’ events, please refer to this calendar.

Speaker:  Drs. Janet & Neal Larson Palmer, speakers at FEWA’s 2010 Conference, President and EVP of Communication Excellence Institute

Dr. Janet Larsen Palmer has over 20 years’ experience as a Professor of Communication (at both Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Arizona State University), a Fortune 500 corporate manager, and a university administrator. Author of three books and many articles, she has consulted on communication with individual executives, universities, and corporations both in the U.S. and Europe. Dr. Palmer has won over 25 national awards for her teaching, research, business leadership, and public service in communication. Active for years in the National Association of Women Business Owners, she recently received a Commendation from the Governor of the State of California for her “outstanding achievements in the business community that have helped inspire many others to reach for the best.” Dr. Palmer has been named Woman of Achievement–Entrepreneur of the Year by the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the YWCA, and she has served as both President of the San Dimas Chamber of Commerce and as California Delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business.

Dr. Neal Larsen Palmer has 20 years’ experience consulting with executives and professionals in corporations and federal, state, and local governments. He has won many speaking awards, and was the top Dale Carnegie instructor in Southern California. Formerly an editor and publisher of technical publications in computer and advanced technology at the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and Project Manager of Eastern European research at the Library of Congress, he also served as Instructor of Management for the University of Redlands, conducting management development programs for corporate and government professionals. A linguist who reads and speaks twelve languages, Dr. Palmer teams with Dr. Janet Larsen Palmer to offer communication consulting for business officers. Additional information is available at www.talk2cei.com.

Networking begins at 5:30, dinner at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Il Fornaio, 24 W. Union St., Pasadena, CA 91103


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