The Weekly Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. Four “Mines” Threatening the U.S. Economy
2. Updated IRS Form 5405 Now Available
3. NAR Video Explains New GFE and HUD-1 Forms
4. HOT LINE: Assignment of Contract?
5. HOT LINE ADVISORY: Compensation to Teams
6. Upcoming Courses & Events
7. REMINDER: TAR Spring Conference Registration
8. Long-term Rates Drop Again

To ask a TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line question, go HERE.

For other questions about this newsletter, please use the “CONTACT” form HERE.

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1. Four “Mines” Threatening the U.S. Economy

Last week, the chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M (the largest real estate research center in the country) spelled out his predictions and cautions regarding our economic outlook:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
If the U.S. economy is like a vehicle driving a dirt road in Afghanistan, there are four known mines that must be negotiated, the Chief Economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University Mark Dotzour said yesterday.

Speaking to a group of the nation’s largest real estate investors, Dotzour compared the economy to an armored vehicle, well made, equipped and manned by talented operators. But the drivers know there are four land mines ahead that are certain to explode.

“The question is how the vehicle will perform as each mine explodes,” Dotzour told attendees at the 11th Annual Winter Forum on Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing.

“Land mine number one is the budget crisis faced by states, cities and school districts, the result of falling tax revenues,” he said.

“The second land mine is the pervasive contraction of credit occurring in the United States as business loans, mortgage loans and consumer credit continue to fall.

“Land mine number three is the question of what will happen to mortgage rates when the Federal Reserve stops buying all of the new U.S. mortgages at the end of March.”

Dotzour said the final land mine is Congress changing the rules for taxes, capital gains taxes, cap and trade, possible windfall profits taxes and new regulation of financial institutions.

“These land mines have been identified by business owners and investors over many months,” said Dotzour. “The dangers must be confronted before job growth resumes in a meaningful way.”
*** END QUOTE ***

[Source: Real Estate Center, Texas A&M]


2. Updated IRS Form 5405 Now Available

If any of your clients are claiming the Homebuyer Tax Credit, you should let them know that the IRS has just posted an updated Form 5405 to claim that credit.

You can download the form (in PDF format) by using the following link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5405.pdf

The IRS has also posted a brief YouTube video, explaining and promoting the new credit.  You can view it online HERE.

[SOURCE: IRS]


3. NAR Video Explains New GFE and HUD-1 Forms

On November 17, 2008, HUD published a new final rule “To Simplify and Improve the Process of Obtaining Mortgages and Reduce Consumer Settlement Costs.” The rule mandates use of a new Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and HUD-1 which went into effect on January 1, 2010.

Last week, NAR posted a video (just under 12 minutes long) explaining both of the new forms and what they mean for you. You can view the video online HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR]


4. HOT LINE: Assignment of Contract?

QUESTION: I have a contract wherein the buyer’s uncle is funding the purchase. However, the buyer’s uncle wants the deed in his name. Do we have an Assignment of Contract form on the TAR web site?

ANSWER: TAR does not provide a form to assign a contract.  If you have a party to a contract who wishes to assign their interest in the contract, then we would recommend having an attorney draft the proper documents for them. Please bear in mind that in an assignment, the buyer is still bound to purchase the property if the assignee fails to close.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


5. HOT LINE ADVISORY: Compensation to Teams

In last week’s TAR DIGEST, we addressed the issue of teams and TREC rules and regulations affecting them.

PLEASE remember that – as we noted last week – neither Tennessee law nor TREC rules address the issue of teams; ALL licensed team members, therefore, are simply recognized under Tennessee law as licensees subject to the supervision of the principal broker of the office.

Similarly, ALL compensation to licensed team members must flow through and from the principal broker of the office. It would be a direct violation of Tennessee law for ANY licensee (e.g., a member of a team) to receive a commission or part of a commission from anyone other than the principal broker of the office.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


6. Upcoming Courses & Events

Jan. 20: RESPA Really Matters! (4 hours CE). This course is sponsored by TREEF, hosted by the Clarksville Assn. of REALTORS. To register, contact the Clarksville Assn. at: 931-552-3567

Feb. 3: 2009-2010 Core CE Course (4 hours CE). This course is sponsored by TREEF, hosted by the Clarksville Assn. of REALTORS. To register, contact the Clarksville Assn. at: 931-552-3567

Feb. 4 – March 10: GRI 2 – Smart Marketing (16 hours CE). This is an E-Class distance learning course. For more information, go HERE.

Feb. 4, 9, 10: The Divisional Information Exchange Forums and Professional Standards Training sessions are coming in early February.  For more information about these events, go HERE.

Feb. 11: RESPA Really Matters! (4 hours CE). Held at the TAR Office, Nashville. For more information, go HERE.

Feb. 25 – March 31: GRI 3 – Financing the Successful Transaction (16 hours CE). This is an E-Class distance learning course. For more information, go HERE.

March 8-10: 2010 TAR Spring Conference – see below!

April – August: Leadership TAR 2010 – Registration is OPEN for the 2010 Program! For more information about Leadership TAR and registration for each of the three retreats, go HERE.

The complete 2010 schedule of Classroom and E-Class GRI Courses is now online HERE.

How do E-Classes work? These are NOT your typical online courses! To understand how they work, go HERE.

Watch each week’s TAR DIGEST for schedule changes and additions!


7. REMINDER: TAR Spring Conference Registration

As noted last week, you can now register ONLINE for the 2010 TAR Spring Conference, March 8-10, 2010, at the new Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel & Conference Center!

We’re featuring eight (8) hours of education sessions, with several outstanding national speakers:

  • “Client Care and Bear Feeding”, with Alaskan speaker PeggyAnn McConnochie
  • “Article 12 & Web 2.0”, with Marcie Roggow
  • “Fraud & Consequences”, with Jerome Mayne (a convicted felon who served time in prison for fraud and now tries to help others stay OUT of prison and out of trouble!)

For more information about the Conference, or to register online NOW, go HERE.


8. Long-term Rates Drop Again

Long-term mortgage interest fell for the second straight week as the 30-year fixed rate settled at an average of 5.06 percent compared to 5.09 percent a week ago, according to Freddie Mac. Also falling were rates for 15-year fixed loans, which dipped from 4.50 to 4.45 percent; and for five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages, which sank from 4.44 percent to 4.32 percent. However, rates for one-year ARMs rose to 4.39 percent from 4.31 percent.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


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