September 2012 RESOURCE Newsletter Now Available!
The September RESOURCE is now available to view. This issue includes:
- Minnesota's Economy At-A-Glance
- Forms Q & A
- Code of Ethics Q & A
- Professionalism Q & A
- Temporary SBA 504 Refinancing Program Provides Capital for Small Businesses
- Legal Hotline Q & A
- Legislative Update
- July Housing Report
- Congressional Hearing Provides Opportunity to Clarify Purpose
- Tech Tips
- Are we at a normal market yet?
- REALTOR® Safety
- HUD News
- Environmental Issues
- Committee Reports
- Negotiate with Power & Confidence
- RPAC Update
- Upcoming Education and Events
View the September issue now!
Special Debut Now Open to ALL Licensees - Sign up for one component of the 2012-13 DOC Required Module
The 2012-13 continuing education Module, required of ALL licensees by June 30, 2013, consists of two separate 3.75 hour components:
• Contracts; AND
• MN Distressed Properties
Successful completion of BOTH components is required to satisfy the 7.5 hour module. The DOC requires that BOTH components be taken by the SAME PROVIDER in the same setting (i.e., both in-class or both on-line). The required module cannot be uploaded to Pulse Portal until BOTH components have been completed and a passing grade received on both required exams.
As part of a special debut, you can choose from several convenient locations throughout the state to sign up for your first component:
- Wednesday, September 5, Mystic Lake Casino — 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake Component: Contracts taught by Don Smith
- Thursday, September 6, Grand Casino Hinckley — 777 Lady Luck Drive, Hinckley Sign up for one component (being offered simultaneously).
- Component: Contracts taught by Lynn Leegard OR
- Component: MN Distressed Property taught by John Anderson
- Thursday, September 13, Minneapolis Airport Marriott — 2020 American Blvd East, Bloomington Component: Contracts taught by Brad Boyd
- Friday, September 14, Le St.-Germain Suite Hotel (formerly the Radisson) 404 W. St. Germain, St. Cloud Component: Contracts taught by Wayne Gilbert
- Wednesday, September 19, Bigwood Event Center — 925 Western Avenue, Fergus Falls Component: MN Distressed Property taught by Chris Prescott
- Thursday, September 20, Minneapolis Marriott Northwest (formerly the Northland Inn) 7025 Northland Drive North, Minneapolis Component: MN Distressed Property taught by Jim Dattalo
Cost is $45 for MN REALTOR® Members and $60 for Non-Members. Go to www.mnrealtor.com to register.
New Help on Short Sales
NAR President Moe Veissi praises new help for struggling homeowners. The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Tuesday announced measures to make “short sales” of underwater homes easier for homeowners, including extending help to people who have financial difficulties but haven’t missed mortgage payments. Watch NAR's President Moe Veissi's Video.
CFPB Issues Proposed Rule on Mortgage Servicing - On Aug. 10, 2012, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rule covering a number of mortgage servicing topics.
The proposed rule covers several servicing areas including monthly disclosures to borrowers about their mortgage status, warnings on interest rates increases, and requirements on providing borrowers with information and options to avoid foreclosure in early delinquency stages.
On July 9, NAR submitted comment to the CFPB on its outline of proposals for future mortgage servicing rulemaking. NAR supported the CFPB’s proposals for requiring early intervention by servicers to help delinquent borrowers, the development of a single point of contact for borrowers requesting a loan modification or short sale, and firm deadlines for accurate payoff balance information.
NAR is analyzing the proposed rule and will be providing comments. The CFPB is accepting comment on the proposed rule until Oct. 9, 2012.
NAR's Comment Letter to the CFPB
FHFA Announces New Short Sale Guidance - On August 21, 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be issuing new guidelines to enhance and streamline the short sale process.
Servicers of Fannie and Freddie loans will be allowed to approve short sales for borrowers with severe financial hardship with limited documentation, provide borrowers who are current on their loan the option for a short sale if they face a financial hardship such as divorce, long distance employment transfer, or a severe disability, and provide valuation guidance to real estate agents early on in the short sale process.
Servicers are required to implement the changes by Nov. 1, 2012.
Department of Revenue warns taxpayers of potential scam
What: The Minnesota Department of Revenue is warning taxpayers of a new scam that targets their personal or banking information. A group, referring to itself as “Alliance,” calls taxpayers and claims to be “Minnesota Internal Service Representatives.” Alliance claims there is a large refund waiting for the taxpayer. Alliance says it can send the fake refund if the taxpayer provides bank account details and pays a small penalty fee. The group may also know Social Security numbers and other personal taxpayer information.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue never charges a fee for sending refunds and does not call taxpayers asking for personal information before sending out refunds. Click here to report a suspicious email or phone call.
How to report suspicious emails and phone calls
The MN Association of REALTORS® is teaming up again with Sun Country Airlines, the Hometown Airline, to offer REALTORS® a discount on travel to Orlando to attend the 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo. Use the promotion code “MNAR15” on Sun Country Airlines’ website www.suncountry.com to receive 15% off their lowest applicable fare. The discount is valid for all flights between Minneapolis and Orlando from November 6, 2012 until November 16, 2012.
The discount applies to coach class, but not First Class. Affordable upgrades are available during check-in. The discounted flights can be combined with outbound/return flights outside of the promotion dates, but only the flights segments within the promotion period are discounted. The discount can be used for both one-way and round-trip reservations. The special REALTOR® discount cannot be combined with other discounts, promotions, UflyRewardsPlus fares, Sun Country Vacations Cruise/Hotel packages, vouchers or gift certificates. It is not retroactive and cannot be applied to existing reservations. Standard Sun Country Airlines change fees, bag fees, etc. and all other policies apply.
64th Fall Parade of Homes Starts September 8
Spring 2012 Parade of Homes Press Kit -
You'll find Logos and Graphics and Photos to download.
Individual Press Releases & Graphics:
- Overview: General Information about the Parade of Homes.
- Fact Sheet: All the facts in a quick, bulleted format.
- Real Families: Our Guidebook cover story features four families who share their home buying experiences.
- Three Green Dream Homes: This fall's Million-dollar Dream Homes are all MN Green Path Certified and ask visitors for a $5.00 donation to support the work of our BATC Foundation.
- BATC Foundation: Making a difference one home at a time.
- Energy Efficient Home Tour: Over 100 homes on the tour have been independently tested.
- MN Green Path: This green building program makes good sense for Minnesota home buyers.
- Trends: Four top new home trends to see on the tour.
- New Logo and Website: Parade of Homes logo and Web site gets a makeover.
The Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) has issued the following document:
Second Exposure Draft of proposed changes for the 2014-15 edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
This exposure draft includes:
- Revisions to Reporting and Communication Requirements
- Reporting Options
- Retirement of STANDARDS 4 and 5
- Other revisions and additions as needed to ensure clarity and relevance
Issued on August 28, 2012
Written comments requested by October 5, 2012
Send Comments to ASBComments@appraisalfoundation.org
Homes for All Documentary
Minnesota's affordable housing communities are an essential part of the state's economic and social health. Join us for an in-depth conversation with residents, experts and community leaders that will show you the many ways Minnesotan's benefit when we're able to provide homes for all. Produced by MN Housing Partnership, Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers and MN Community Land Trust Coalition.
This program will air on the following dates and times on Twin Cities Public Television:
September 30th @ 9:00PM
October 7th @ 3:00AM, 9:00AM and 3:00PM
Dear Spare Key Friends,
As you may know, this year Spare Key celebrates 15 years of helping Minnesota families with seriously ill or critically injured children with a mortgage payment. With nearly 1,500 Minnesota families receiving a mortgage payment from Spare Key, totaling nearly $1.8 million, you have helped us help thousands of Minnesotans "Bounce and Not Break".
This year's Spare Key Golf Tournament is going to be a special opportunity to give even more families the "Gift of Time" at a wonderful course with lots of great people and supporters of Spare Key.
Space for the tournament is starting to fill-up and we want to be sure you don't miss out on the opportunity to play one of the best courses in the state, helping to raise funds and awareness for a great cause -- Spare Key.
On Tuesday, September 18th registration begins at 10:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. at Willingers Golf Club. The cost for the tournament are as follows:
* Golf Foursome - $600.00
* Golf Individual - $150.00
* Dinner Reception Only - $50
To register online, you may to the following link: https://www.blacktie-minnesota.com/online_sales/rsvp_ticket_purchase.cfm?rsvpid=581
If you prefer to call and make a reservation, please contact Adrienne at (952) 406-8872.
If you'd rather send us your registration, please feel free to mail it to:
2021 East Hennepin Avenue, Suite 475
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55313
Or, if you want, fax us your registration reservation at: (952) 406-8874
There also remain a limited number of Hole Sponsorships available, as well. If you would care to learn more about those, please contact Erich Mische directly at (952) 406-8872.
IRS News for Business
Additional Medicare Tax withholding (but not matching) goes into effect in 2013 for higher wage earners. Frequently Asked Questions
The Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to guard against being misled by individuals trying to collect money to settle bogus IRS tax liens. The latest scam, which comes through the mail and looks official, purports to be an IRS Notice of Tax Lien. The fake notice includes a toll-free telephone number that does not connect to the IRS. The scam requests money to settle unpaid back taxes to avoid IRS enforcement action.
Disaster assistance videos are available on the following topics at http://www.irsvideos.gov/
Starting and Operating Charities for Disaster Relief
Disaster Loss Deductions
IRS Disaster Assistance
Planning for Business Continuity after a Disaster
Reconstructing Records after a Disaster
IRS shares links to a broad range of information from other federal, state and local agencies all in one spot.
IRS.gov tax centers make it easy to find information for specific industries and professions.
The IRS YouTube channels provide short, informative videos on various tax-related topics in English, American Sign Language and a variety of foreign languages.
IRS.gov has information on choosing, operating and maintaining retirement plans for small businesses.
Because a taxpayer enrolled in EFTPS can view federal tax deposits and payments made on its behalf by reporting agents, taxpayers will be able to verify that a reporting agent has, in a timely manner, made those deposits and payments.
Notice 12-40 Health flexible spending arrangements not subject to $2,500 limit on salary reduction contributions for plan years beginning before 2013; comments are requested on potential modification of use-or-lose rule.
Notice 12-46 covers notice requirements under section 101(j) of ERISA for funding-related benefit limitations in single-employer defined benefit pension plans.
The Prairie Family Business Conference will be held on September 18th, 2012 in Moorhead, MN at Concordia College. The Prairie Family Business Association serves businesses in the upper Midwest. REGISTER
The SBA tells you about Turning Your Mobile Device into a Cash Register.
The SBA offers Online government contractor training
The Small Business Administration has a virtual campus with free courses, workshops and resources to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Did you know that the government sells and auctions a wide range of items, from books and souvenirs to houses and cars? Learn more about what the government sells.
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
HOME IMPROVEMENT & DESIGN EXPO
October 20-21, 2012 @ Minneapolis Convention Center
October 27, 2012 @ National Sports Center, Blaine
November 3, 2012 @ Maple Grove Community Center
For more information, visit www.MediaMaxEvents.com.