REALTORS® Helping REALTORS® - Duluth Area Flood
Imagine what your life would be like tomorrow if your home, your car and all of your personal possessions were swept away in a flood. This is the nightmare some REALTORS® are facing in many parts of NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin.
YOU CAN HELP
MNAR is working in coordination with the Duluth Area Association of REALTORS® Foundation and is asking you for a contribution to assist your fellow REALTOR® members through this terrible situation. 100% of the money collected will be directed to Minnesota and Wisconsin REALTORS®. Your contribution will be used by a REALTOR® during this terrible time.
To make a contribution, please mail your check to:
Duluth Area Association of REALTORS® Foundation
4031 Grand Ave
Duluth, MN 55807
Or visit daar.com/Foundation.html.
Make checks payable to Duluth Area Association of REALTORS® Foundation.
If you have further questions, please contact Chris Galler at email@example.com.
July 2012 MNAR RESOURCE Now Available!
In the July MNAR RESOURCE, you will find:
- Letter from 2012 MNAR President June Wiener
- Minnesota's Economy At-A-Glance
- 2012 MNAR Forms Revisions
- Professionalism Q & A
- Commercial Federal Legislative Update
- Code of Ethics Q & A
- Legislative Update
- May 2012 Statewide Housing Report
- Appraisals in Declining and Recovering Markets
- Legal Hotline Q & A
- Tech Tips
- Member Benefits Survey
- Report from NAR Mid-Year Meeting Board of Directors
- Environmental Issues
- Member Profile
- MNAR Committee Reports
- July Calendar
- MN-RPAC Update
View the July 2012 RESOURCE at:
2012 Legislative Update Now Available
Your MNAR Lobbyists work diligantly as your legislative watchdog tracking bills that affect you, your business and your clients.
This comprehensive summary of the 2012 Legislature's actions will get you up to speed on new legislation, as well as bills that were stopped.
View the 2012 Legislative Update at viewer.zmags.com/publication/10fa0be6.
MNAR Seeks Committee Candidates
All applications are due by August 31, 2012
Board of Directors: If you are interested in serving on the MNAR Board of Directors, you can be appointed through your Local REALTOR® Association. Our new fiscal year 2013 Board will be seated in October. Please Contact your Local Association President or call your Association Office to find out the local process for these appointments.
Executive Committee: This Committee acts in intervals between the Board meetings on personnel, strategic planning and other managerial issues and is subject to the control and direction of the Board. They meet approximately four times per year and all members of the Executive Committee automatically serve on the MNAR Board of Directors. In fiscal year 2013, there are openings from Regions 1, 3, 5 and 6. Appointments will be made by the Board of Directors at their October 17th meeting, with the term to commence immediately upon selection. Apply here.
Finance Committee: The main focus of this Committee is to set the yearly budget and oversee its implementation. This Committee helps determine what functions and programs will be funded for the next fiscal year. The budget established by this Committee, including the annual dues, is forwarded to the MNAR Board for final approval. Members interested in serving on this Committee must understand profit and loss statements and have financial knowledge or background. This Committee meets one time a year in early May. The slate of candidates will be forwarded to the Executive Committee for final selection. Apply here.
Forms Committee: The objective of the MNAR Forms Committee is to create and evaluate recommended forms for use by our REALTOR® membership. Appointments will be made from the applications received. Apply here.
In addition to its regular Committee, the Forms Committee is also seeking volunteers to serve on its Commercial Forms Sub Committee and Land Forms Sub Committee. Both Sub Committees will meet at least once during the year to review the Forms and make any necessary modifications. If you have experience in either of these areas, please apply!
Governmental Affairs Committee: This Committee monitors and recommends legislation and public policies affecting the real estate industry. They meet approximately five times per year. If your are interested in serving, please apply here.
Nominating Committee: Members of this Committee meet twice a year to approve candidates for the positions of President-Elect and Treasurer plus the MNAR representatives to the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. The slate of candidates is forwarded to the MNAR Board for final selection to these positions. Apply here.
Professional Standards Committee: The objective of this Committee is to promote honesty, integrity, fairness and competence and to resolve controversies on the basis of informed judgment of one's peers. Applicants must be a REALTOR® member for a minimum of three years and will be required to attend an MNAR training program in December or January to serve on the Committee. Appointments will be made from the applications received. Apply here.
MNAR Seeking Candidates for the 2012 REALTOR® of the Year Award
The MNAR REALTOR® of the Year will be announced at the MNAR Leadership Reception in October. The winner will receive $1,000 to offset expenses to attend the NAR Convention in Orlando, where the National Association of REALTORS® will recognize our recipient along with REALTORS® of the Year from other states.
You can submit as many candidates as you feel are qualified. The MNAR Management Team may also submit candidates. The criterion for the MNAR REALTOR® of the Year heavily stresses State Association involvement over the last twelve months. Therefore, if you expect your nominee(s) to receive strong consideration for the MNAR REALTOR® of the Year, he/she should be able to document State Association Involvement.
The application form can be found here. All entries must be submitted on the REALTOR® of the Year form. Deadline for applications is August 31, 2012.
Honoring Political Involvement
Ed Anderson Award Applications Due by August 31st
With all the time constraints placed upon us in today's busy world, finding time to become politically active in order to benefit your industry is very honorable. That was the genesis and inspiration behind the Ed Anderson Political Achievement Award. An award designed to honor Minnesota REALTORS® who have contributed time, knowledge and resources to the preservation of the real estate industry.
If you know of a Minnesota REALTOR® who is active in politics and works to better the industry through their involvement, please submit an application on their behalf so they can be considered for the 2012 Ed Anders Award. Nominate someone here.
Member Benefits Survey
At the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® we offer a variety of Member Benefits/Member Services. In an effort to review which services are useful to you and your business, we are asking you to participate in a five question survey. You will find the list of products/services we currently offer below. Take a look and then click on the link to take our quick survey!
- Pearl — Errors & Omissions
- Legal Hotline
- Liberty Mutual — Auto and Home Insurance
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Focus Financial — Financial Planning
- UPS Discounts
- Excel Energy Discount Ticket Offer
- Mutual of Omaha — Insurance/Financial
- Disability Insurance
Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7PR9KNK to complete the survey. Thank you for your input!
mvp+ program July 1 Offer:
YOUR ACTION: Sign up for any one online CIPS Course by July 15.
YOUR REWARD:Global Perspectives in Real Estate: Countries Collection – Download – FREE!
Details: Sign up for any one online Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) course, through REALTOR® University to learn about this growing buyer segment that is purchasing real estate in every U.S. state. New to CIPS? Take the prerequisite course, Global Real Estate: Local Markets. The curriculum will help you identify the international buyers coming to your area, create business plans for networking and marketing to them, and provide an understanding of how cultural and business practices differ around the world.
As part of the MVP program, when you sign up for a CIPS course online between July 1-15, you will receive a free copy of Global Perspectives in Real Estate: Countries Collection download. Click the ACT NOW button to sign up.
Commercial Real Estate Lending: Lawmakers Raise Concerns on PCCRA and QRM - On June 19, 2012, twelve members of Congress, led by Sens. Hagan (D-NC) and Crapo (R-ID), issued a letter expressing concern to six banking agencies regarding their proposed risk retention regulations. One of the proposed rules would require securitizers to set aside the profits from sales of securities in a “premium capture cash reserve account” (PCCRA). Specifically, the lawmakers raised concerns that this provision would greatly reduce the securitization market for many asset classes, thereby reducing a vital source of capital for the commercial real estate industry. The letter also voiced disappointment over the agencies’ rigid Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) proposal, which would require lenders that securitize mortgage loans to retain five percent credit risk in the security if the mortgages have less than an eighty percent loan-to-value ratio. In most instances, this would require a twenty percent down payment from the borrowers. These restrictions would increase consumer costs and reduce access to affordable credit. Given the potential negative economic consequences on commercial and residential real estate credit markets, lawmakers urged the banking agencies to reconsider the PCCRA and QRM proposals. Read the Letter
Government - Sponsored Enterprises: Fannie Mae Issues Guidance on Private Transfer Fee Covenants - Fannie Mae issued Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2012-05. The Guide states that effective July 16, 2012, Fannie Mae will not purchase or securitize mortgages on properties encumbered by private transfer fee (PTF) covenants that were created on or after February 8, 2011. Lenders must establish policies and procedures to ensure that the loans it delivers to Fannie Mae, whether or not the loans were originated by the lender, are not secured by properties encumbered with a private transfer fee that is unacceptable under regulation. In March, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a final rule on private transfer fees advocated for by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR generally opposes private transfer fees and has advocated they be prohibited since early 2010. In a series of letters to FHFA, NAR argued that private transfer fees increase the cost of homeownership and do little more than generate revenue for developers or investors and typically provide no benefit to homebuyers. NAR did acknowledge that such fees may be appropriate and supports the exception in the final rule for some organizations, such as homeowners associations, where there is a direct benefit to the homeowner, the fees are reasonable, and there is full disclosure. View the Scorecard. Read the FHFA Strategic Plan
Government-Sponsored Enterprises Reform: NAR Submits Comments on FHFA Strategic Plan - On June 13, 2012, NAR President Moe Veissi submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs)) on its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017 that incorporates the strategic plan for the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FHFA sent to Congress in February 2012. NAR outlined several suggestions in response to FHFA’s strategic goals:
- Regulatory policies and supervisory guidance intended to improve the GSEs’ risk management and operating standards should also ensure the continued availability of mortgage finance.
- The GSEs should take every feasible action to keep families in their homes with a loan modification and broaden opportunities for consumers to refinance. These home retention initiatives mitigate losses to both the GSEs and taxpayers, and provide stability to local housing markets.
- Renewing and increasing the focus on foreclosure alternatives such as loan modifications and short sales will minimize the need for more taxpayer dollars being used to support the GSEs.
- FHFA should not overly contract the role, or the underwriting standards, of the GSEs, to the point of essentially removing the government’s involvement in the secondary mortgage market. This will offer no incentive for market participants to reach out to those creditworthy consumers who may not meet extremely high, purely private sector lender underwriting standards that seek to virtually eliminate risk.
- FHFA’s effort to bring back stability and confidence in the housing finance system is important to a continued recovery in America’s housing markets.
NAR believes providing creditworthy consumers with reasonable access to mortgage capital, bolstering refinancing, loan modification and short sale efforts, and ensuring that the future of housing finance includes a robust secondary mortgage marketplace will significantly improve the agency’s success in achieving its goals. Read NAR's Comment Letter
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA): NAR Testifies Before House Financial Services Subcommittee on RESPA/TILA Harmonization - On Wednesday, June 20, 2012, NAR 2012 President Moe Veissi testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity on the forthcoming Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rulemaking on RESPA/TILA harmonization. Veissi urged the CFPB to focus on the initial disclosures, the Good Faith Estimate and the Truth in Lending disclosure and to avoid wholesale changes to the settlement process. Veissi described the potential for disruption as well as increased cost to consumers of making major changes in an attempt to fundamentally change the settlement statement or HUD-1, to include Truth in Lending rules and disclosures. Veissi noted the 2010 HUD changes to RESPA cost both the industry and consumers significant sums and did nothing to reduce settlement costs. In fact, according to one study, they have increased by 17% since then. The CFPB is expected to release a proposed rule on or before July 21, 2012. Read NAR's Testimony
Realtor Insider DC News and Events: NAR Meets With CFPB - On June 19, 2012, NAR President Moe Veissi met with Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to discuss a wide range of topics including the Qualified Mortgage (QM) and RESPA/TILA rulemakings, as well as upcoming rulemakings covering servicing standards and loan officer compensation. Mr. Veissi noted that NAR supports a QM definition that establishes strong consumer protections and incorporates important ability-to-repay standards but asked that the CFPB ensure that the rule doesn’t unduly reduce mortgage credit availability or increase its costs. Director Cordray indicated that the CFPB is mindful of how these pending rules will effect credit availability to all creditworthy borrowers. Mr. Veissi also expressed support for the implementation of servicing standards that will lead to improvements in servicer outreach to families that are at risk of losing their homes. Director Cordray recognized the important role REALTORS® play in housing sector and requested continued communication between NAR and the CFPB.
Rural Housing Programs: Senate Passes Rural Housing Amendment - As part of the Farm Bill (S.3240), the Senate passed an amendment by Senators Nelson (D-NE) and Johanns (R-NE) that will grandfather communities currently eligible for rural housing programs, and increase the population threshold for those communities to 35,000. Due to the 2010 census, many communities are losing eligibility for rural housing programs because their populations have grown. Congress set the definition of "rural" in 1974, and it has not been updated. The amendment will grandfather existing communities through the next census. The House is expected to mark-up their version of the Farm bill this summer. Read NAR's Letter on Rural housing
View the full Washington Report.
IRS News for Business
SCAM ALERT: Scam e-mails are targeting military members, retirees and civilian employees, purportedly coming from the Defense Finance and Accounting Services. The emails indicate that individuals who are receiving disability compensation from the VA may be able to obtain additional funds from the IRS. These emails are not issued by DFAS. Do not send your personal information or copies of your tax returns to the individual listed in the email.
For reporting on Form 1099-K, use the date of the reportable payment transaction. For payment card transactions, use the date the merchant accepted the payment card. For third-party network transactions, use the date the merchant accepted payment through a third-party payment network. For more information about Forms 1099-K and other payment card issues, visit the Third Party Reporting Information Center.
IR 12-60 Individuals and businesses are encouraged to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps.
Notice 12-40 provides guidance on the effective date of the $2,500 limit on salary reduction contributions to health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs).
Pub. 1779, Independent Contractor or Employee Brochure (Rev. March 2012)
This is a handy tool to estimate retirement savings. The Ballpark E$timate (ChooseToSave.org)
Holy Bat Show! “Batman Live” is coming to the Xcel Energy Center this September. Discount tickets on select performances are now available when ordering at https://secure.xcelenergycenter.com/GT/default.asp?Group=Minne91580. Feel free to visit http://www.batmanlive.com/home.php for a quick video of the show.
Free Expo Passes for You, Your Customers, Clients, Prospects, Family and Friends!
The Expo Guys are happy to supply you with plentiful "Admit 2 Free" EXPO Passes for you and your employees, friends and families. These passes allow them to attend our up-coming expos and seminars FREE of charge.
These FREE Passes are available in quantity, for as many as you request, while supplies last.
Download the order form, and fax back to (952) 929-9510.
Tickets for the following events are available:
HEALTHY LIFE EXPO:
October 20-21, 2012 @ Minneapolis Convention Center
For more information, visit www.MediaMaxEvents.com.