Quick Overview of Real Estate Legislation that is in the works

Commercial Real Estate Agent with Intero Silicon Valley and Rebekah - Two Names You Can Trust!

The California Association of Realtors reviews over 2500 bills each year, with an eye toward protecting your private property rights.

The Directors meet 3 times a year to review the current business and give input on the direction we are going and the legislation we are keeping an eye on.

I know that you though Realtors just drove around in their pretty cars, looking at pretty houses but some of us do a LOT more.

Here are the significant action items that came from our meetings:

The following is a summary of the significant action items approved by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Board of Directors at its Spring 2011 meeting. Some additional information items are included, but do not necessarily represent Association policy. A complete set of minutes is available for review upon request.

Distressed Properties Task Force

1. (Mark to Market)

That C.A.R., in conjunction with NAR, “SPONSOR” legislation that advocates/requires for lenders and investors to reintroduce mark-to-market accounting for certain distressed mortgage backed assets.

2. (Mandatory Response to Short Sale Request)

That C.A.R., in conjunction with NAR, "SUPPORT" H.R. 1498, the Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act.

3. (Safe Harbor)

That C.A.R., in conjunction with NAR, “SPONSOR” legislation to create a safe harbor for servicers and lenders that will protect them from liability to investors when they approve a short sale, so long as note holders/investors are treated at least as well as the servicers’ own portfolios.

4. (Lender Recourse)

That C.A.R., in conjunction with NAR, “SPONSOR” legislation requiring a lender to waive any personal recourse against a borrower when it accepts any consideration for approving a short sale.


1. That C.A.R. “NOT FAVOR” AB 534 (Swanson) which specifies that homeless persons are entitled to the rights set forth under civil rights law.

Land Use and Environmental

1. That C.A.R. take a "WATCH" position on AB 37 (Huffman), a bill that would require utilities to provide alternatives to the installation of Smart Meters.

2. That C.A.R. take a "NOT FAVOR" position on AB 1183 (Berryhill), a bill that makes the Attorney General the only party with standing to challenge a certified Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Professional Standards Committee

1. That C.A.R. advocate a position to NAR that NAR amend Article 17 to give local associations the option to require that their REALTOR® members mediate a dispute before they can arbitrate.

2. That C.A.R. advocate a position to NAR that NAR expand its policy, so that a suspension or expulsion that is imposed by a local A.O.R. for violation of the Code of Ethics or membership duty shall be mandatorily reported to the state association to be reviewed by a panel of state directors, for possible enforcement on a state-wide basis.

Strategic Planning and Finance

1. That $35,000 be approved for a pilot program that would work with a few local areas that want local forms on zipForms. The pilot program would involve local standard forms committees, local attorneys, and AEs from market areas who wish to participate. Once there are a significant number of forms, the libraries would be available on a fee basis, likely based on regional areas to be determined by the market areas.

2. That C.A.R. allocate $25,000 to the AREAA Foundation in support of the organization’s Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund.

3. That C.A.R. allocate up to $25,000 in matching funds from California REALTORS®, AORS, and affiliates to the AREAA Foundation in support of Japanese Earthquake Relief efforts.

4. That C.A.R. allocate $100,000 from the C.A.R. Disaster Relief Fund to assist the Alabama REALTORS® affected by the recent disaster.

5. That the audited Statement of Operating Income and Expenses by program for the twelve months ended December 31, 2010 be approved.

Transaction and Regulatory

1. (GSE Refinance Legislation)

That C.A.R., in conjunction with NAR, "SUPPORT" legislation that temporarily allows all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers to refinance their current mortgages at today's lower interest rates regardless of their current loan-to-value (LTV), but not to include a reduction of principal.

2. That C.A.R. "SUPPORT” SB 53, Calderon, as amended to ensure due process protections for licensees in DRE disciplinary actions and to include a $2500 cap on fines made as part of the DRE citation and fine authority

3. That C.A.R. "SUPPORT" SB 376, Fuller, a bill to allow real estate licensees with a Mortgage Loan Originator endorsement to originate loans secured by personal property manufactured housing.

4. It was reported for information only that direction was given to staff to seek enhanced guidance from C.A.R. Legal, including a Q&A, regarding marijuana-related issues raised in the Lake County AOR letter.

5. It was reported for information only that C.A.R. will continue to “OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED” SB 706, Price, a bill that will make structural changes in the DRE discipline process.


1. That C.A.R. “OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED” SB 653 (Steinberg) to not include service fees or real estate income. SB 653 would authorize the board of supervisors of any county or city and county, by ordinance or resolution, to propose to the voters a tax, including a local personal income tax, a local corporate income tax, and a local sales and use tax.

2. That C.A.R. formally express its appreciation to Helen Parrino for her decades of service to C.A.R., and wish her well on the occasion of her retirement.

That's just what's on the plate today!! We are in a very reactionary time and much of the legislation is an over reaction to lending practices of the past. It's important to remember that financing helps to level the playing field - allowing a more even distribution of real estate wealth - when it is used responsibly. My goal is for you to live a healthy, wealthy and wise life.

Or as Spock says " live well and prosper".

Posted by

Rebekah Owen, MBA

SanJose-RealEstate since 1988



CA 00994952. TX 0555675


Comments (1)

John Michailidis
Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee - Sarasota, FL
Real Property Management of Sarasota & M

An interesting summary of what's in the works for California. Thank you for sharing!

May 27, 2011 07:38 AM