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

1. Tennessee Joins National Foreclosure Investigation
2. Changes to TAR’s Listing Agreements (Residential & Commercial)
3. Time-Blocking for Greater Efficiency!
4. HOT LINE: More on Seller/Owner Financing…
5. HOT LINE: Confidentiality Duties After Termination?
6. Upcoming Workshops and Courses
7. Rates – How Low Can They Go?

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question, CLICK HERE.

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1. Tennessee Joins National Foreclosure Investigation

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper has joined a group of Attorneys General and state bank and mortgage regulators who are examining mortgage foreclosure problems. [Editor’s Note: At this point investigations have been officially opened in all 50 states!]

Although Tennessee is a non-judicial foreclosure state, the Attorney General’s Office is attempting to determine whether Tennessee has any of the problems reported recently in other states involving potential defective mortgage foreclosure cases. The Attorney General, Commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions, and Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs are coordinating efforts in Tennessee to stay on top of developments with problematic foreclosures as reported in other states.

“As a non-judicial foreclosure state, Tennessee is not one of the states where the ‘robo-signing’ of court documents has created a wide-spread problem regarding legitimacy of foreclosure documents submitted to courts,” Attorney General Cooper said. “However, we want to determine if there are any other problems of concern regarding mortgage documents in Tennessee and whether there is any kind of pattern.”

[SOURCE: State of TN Attorney General’s Office]

2. Changes to TAR’s Listing Agreements (Residential & Commercial)

Earlier this year TREC issued a set of rule changes (Rule 1260-2-.12). One of these rule changes dealt with advertising and is contained in TREC Rule 1260-2-.12. As a result of this change, TAR has made a small change in its listing agreements — both Residential and Commercial. The following TAR forms have changed and reflect a Modification Date of 9-28-2010 in the footer of each form:
F50, F66, F67, F68, F87, F88, F91, F92, and F95

If you’ve printed out any of these forms for office or personal use, please discard them and replace them with the newer versions.

3. Time-Blocking for Greater Efficiency!

As you use a slower market to retool and rethink your business (and how you invest the hours in your life), a recent Realty Times article by speaker and coach Dirk Zeller – “The Champion Agent’s Time Block – Mistake #1” – could help you plan your days more effectively.

“We tend to create a schedule from the ‘squeeze it in’ mindset. We are trying to fit everything in to our schedule. We must approach the problem of time management in the proper order,” says Zeller.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Realty Times]

4. HOT LINE: More on Seller/Owner Financing…

QUESTION: With regard to owner financing – I have an agent scheduled to close on a transaction. What are the regulations with regard to owner financed transactions as they pertain to a real estate agent/firm?

ANSWER: Currently, owner financing is regulated by both state and federal law. The two exceptions most encountered would be 1) if the seller currently lives in the house; or 2) the seller is financing a family member to purchase the home. We would strongly recommend that the seller speak with an attorney to determine whether this transaction is permissible at this time in Tennessee. Also, in the future, we would recommend that if a seller states that he can do seller financing, find out if he currently lives there. If he does not, ask if he has a license from the Tennessee Dept. of Financial Institutions. If he does not, then we would NOT recommend advertising it as seller financing.

ALSO remember that this only applies to residential real estate. By statute, the Tennessee act defines residential real estate as “any real property located in this state, upon which is constructed or intended to be constructed a dwelling.”  Tenn. Code Ann. 45-13-105(26).

TAR continues to work very closely with its members, interested parties and state and federal authorities on this issue. Although it is a seemingly simple issue, there are many complex issues involved including the interplay with state and federal law. We hope that further, more concrete guidance will be available soon.  Please stay tuned to the DIGEST for further developments.

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

5. HOT LINE: Confidentiality Duties After Termination?

QUESTION: Would it be a violation of the Code of Ethics with regards to confidentiality, after a listing has been terminated with an agent, for the former listing agent to go to the seller’s insurance agent to inform them that the home is a rental home and is not the seller’s primary residence anymore? I know is most cases, this will cause the insurance agent to cancel their policy with that seller, and it will be hard for the seller to find insurance with another carrier.

ANSWER: See Standard of Practice 1-9:

“The obligation of REALTORS to preserve confidential information (as defined by state law) provided by their clients in the course of any agency relationship or non-agency relationship recognized by law continues after termination of agency relationships or any nonagency relationships recognized by law. REALTORS shall not knowingly, during or following the termination of professional relationships with their clients: 1) reveal confidential information of clients; or 2) use confidential information of clients to the disadvantage of clients; or 3) use confidential information of clients for the REALTOR’s advantage or the advantage of third parties unless: a) clients consent after full disclosure; or b) REALTORS are required by court order; or c) it is the intention of a client to commit a crime and the information is necessary to prevent the crime; or d) it is necessary to defend a REALTOR or the REALTOR’s employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct. Information concerning latent material defects is not considered confidential information under this Code of Ethics.” (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/01)

As you can see, your duty to keep information confidential survives even after your agency relationship has ended, except in those circumstances noted above.

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

6. Upcoming Workshops and Courses

Oct. 20: NAR Ethics Course, for 2009-2012 Cycle (3 hrs. CE) – Springfield. For more information or to register, call 615-384-0816.

Oct. 21-22: Mediation Training – TAR Office. This workshop is designed for REALTORS who will serve as local association mediators. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Oct. 25-26: GRI 4, From Offer to Contract to Closing (16 hrs. CE) – Gray, TN (Kingsport area). For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Oct. 27: At Home With Diversity (7 hrs. CE) – Clarksville. For more information or to register, call 931-552-3567.

Oct. 27-28: GRI 1, Professionalism in Real Estate (16 hrs. CE) – Knoxville. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Oct. 27-28: TransactionDesk Train-the-Trainer 2010 (16 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. This workshop is specifically designed for instructors and company trainers. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Nov. 2-3: GRI 3, Financing the Successful Transaction (16 hrs. CE) – Chattanooga. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Nov. 4 – Dec. 8: GRI 6, Sticky Situations (16 hrs. CE) – an E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

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

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

7. Rates – How Low Can They Go?

Freddie Mac reports that the average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages slipped to another all-time low, for the third consecutive week, to 4.19 percent. At the same time, 15-year fixed-rate loans and the five-year adjustable-mortgage rate both also hit record lows this past week. Rates on the former were 3.62 percent, while the latter averaged just 3.47 percent.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


Click on any of the following to access:

Back Issues of the TAR DIGEST
Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS
TAR Education
Tennessee Real Estate Commission