Attorney Richard D. Vetstein reviews the headlines of real estate law for 2010 and looks ahead to the ongoing stories of 2011.
#5. The Great Flood of 2010. Ah, who can forget the flooding in the spring of 2010. I sure remember bailing out my flooded basement every 30 minutes through the night, into exhaustion. Good times… FEMA declared a “major disaster” and the IRS granted taxpayers in 7 counties an extension to file their taxes.
#4. The Obama HAFA Short Sale Program. The Obama short sale program, announced at the end of 2009, was aimed to speed up short sales of homes and other loan modification alternatives to stem the rising tide of foreclosures. However, by all accounts, however, the HAFA program has been a dismal failure.
#3. On Jan. 1, new RESPA rules went into effect, significantly changing the way lenders disclose settlement services, in particular closing attorneys’ fees, and title insurance.
Read more: New RESPA Rules 2010: Disclosure of Settlement Services, Closing Attorneys’ Fees, And Title Insurance .
#2. My posts on the Massachusetts Offer to Purchase and the standard form Purchase and Sale Agreement, were very popular. An indicator of the recovery of the Massachusetts real estate market perhaps? Or not?
#1–Fannie Mae & FHA Condominium Regulations: The new guidelines had condominium developers and associations, buyers and sellers in a tizzy, as Fannie and FHA imposed much tougher pre-sale requirements, condominium financial guidelines and the imposition of unit owner HO-6 insurance policies, among other requirements.
• The Catch-22 Impact of New Fannie Mae Condominium Regulations.
• New FHA Condominium Lending Guidelines Sure To Slow Financing and Chill Sales
• HO-6 Policies Required By Fannie Mae & FHA
Honorable Mention: With Old Man Winter upon us, my post on the changes in Massachusetts snow removal law has been very popular of late: Massachusetts Property Owners Now Have Legal Responsibility To Shovel Snow & Ice.
What to expect in 2011:
Final ruling in the Ibanez Foreclosure Case
Early 2011 should bring the final word from the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court on the very controversial foreclosure case of U.S. Bank v. Ibanez which invalidated foreclosures across the state for sloppy paperwork. Thousands of property owners and their ownership rights to their homes hang in the balance. Click Here For Our Entire Series Of Post On the Ibanez Case.
Fate of real estate attorneys
Year 2011 should also bring the final word in the The Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts, Inc. (REBA) v. National Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (NREIS) case. This case pits Massachusetts real estate closing attorneys versus out of state non-attorney settlement service providers which are attempting to perform “witness or notary” closings here in Massachusetts. At stake is merely the billion dollar Massachusetts real estate closing industry.
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