Tag Archives: laws

2016 Laws for Homeowners & Renters

Some new laws to note for 2016

hand house keyMold(SB 655)
Mold must be cleared from any rentals or criminal penalties could be filed against the landlord. A health department official must visit the property and declare it unfit to qualify for filing court charges against the landlord. Law also says the tenant could be liable if was their fault due to inappropriate housekeeping practices.

Clotheslines(AB 1448)
Landlords and homeowner associations must allow renters or residents to put up a line or rack to dry their clothes. They can not attach it to the building without the Home Owner association or landlord’s permission.

Pesticides(SB 328)
Landlords must tell residents 24 hrs before application, what pest is being sprayed, what kind is being used, and alert to warnings about the toxicity of the product.

Fake Grass(AB 349)
Home Owner Association Guidelines are no superseded to allow homeowners to put in artificial turf, rocks, or something else that doesn’t need as much water, like cacti.

Mortgage Reform, Refinance, Really?

My Thoughts on the Current Real Estate Market: Mortgage Reform, Refinance, Really?

With interest rates at the lowest rate in history, and foreclosures bursting through the ceiling still at this writing, I ask myself, why is this still happening?  How does the 1-in-4 upside-down homeowner out there, staring at their bank and scratching their head, get help to avoid walking away?

The empty promises, or the so-called “helping hand” being offered by the banks and the government, is still a joke to say the least. For the people who sold their home in recent years, they are in a position to buy or have already bought another home and recovered from that stress of “What do I do?” while taking advantage of the low interest rates and prices.

upside-downIt still is not too late to make that leap and start over–because the faster you do, the faster you will recover. Property values are not expected to go anywhere for at least two more years, and the laws for selling short sales that protect homeowners will expire at the end of this year. Laws allow a purchase after two years of selling a short sale. With a consultation with me and strategy, you could pay off most of your unsecured debt, while not paying your mortgage. This can only be done with someone who has had experience with this. I have done this with clients that have recouped while living in their home for over 3 years without paying a mortgage.

The latest reform laws are offering a glimmer of hope; however, when and how these guidelines are implemented by the banks and government is clear to not happen for awhile.  The state governments will have to also be on board. At this time, California is weighing the settlement being offered for unlawful foreclosure practices from five of the larger banks that have agreed to pay a settlement.

My opinion is that any settlement should accompany a mandate that the banks must reduce every upside-down property out there to fair market values, to allow the homeowner an opportunity to keep their home; granted that the home is not dilapidated to the point that the owner does not have the funds to repair the home or care for it after the refinance. This exclusion is warranted to the extent that a home that is in bad shape is only dropping or keeping the values low in the neighborhood and should be taken care of. In a perfect world, the banks would allow the homeowner funds after the refinance to repair the home–heck, let’s go for it all!

As always, my gratitude to you for reading my blog.  Please share your opinions or questions–I look forward to any questions I can answer or help I can give!

John A. Silva, Realtor

(619) 890-3648 | www.JohnASilva.com

Watch Out for This Law Expiring: the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act

If you know someone who is upside down or owes more on their property than it is worth of residential real estate, NOW is the time to really take a close, hard look at the law that has saved millions of homeowners over the past several years: the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act that expires on January 1, 2013. Federal and California state guidelines are listed below.

For anyone you know in a modification, I strongly suggest you have your agreement reviewed ASAP with a real estate attorney if you haven’t already.  For a referral, I can help; I keep in contact with several top-quality attorneys and accountants.  The modification agreement in place may circumvent the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act–causing liability for the difference of the home loan on your property of what it is worth, whether you let your home go to foreclosure, or sell the property as a short sale now or after this law expires this year. 

mortgage debt forgiveness relief act

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief act

Please do yourself, friends, and family a favor–YOU will always be remembered as the knight in shining armor to them if you help them out.  And I can always help to answer any questions about this Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and the effect it will have on you and them once it expires.  Since short sales can take several months to process in some cases, immediate action is necessary, and with that a financial windfall is possible–even if there is no equity in your property.  Call me now for details–(619) 890-3648!

Below you will find some of the details pertinent to the Federal and California government laws, but there are others as well (not noted here) that will also be expiring.  I am here to help!

New law–Taxable years 2009 through 2012

California law conforms, with modifications, to federal mortgage forgiveness debt relief for discharges that occurred in the tax years of 2007 through December 31, 2012.  The amount of qualifying indebtedness is less than the federal amount, and California imposes a state-only limitation on the total amount of relief excluded from the gross income.  The following summarizes the differences between the Federal and California provisions.

Federal provision applies to discharges occurring in 2007 through the end of 2012, and:

  • Limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $2,000,000 for taxpayers who file as married filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $1,000,000 for taxpayers who file as married filing separately.
  • Does not limit the debt relief amount; it only limits the indebtedness amount used to calculate the debt relief amount.
  • See the Federal law: Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation for more information.

California provision applies to discharges that occurred in 2007 through 2012, and:

Taxable years 2009 through 2012
  • Limits the amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness to $800,000 for taxpayers who file as married/registered domestic partners (RDP) filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $400,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
  • Limits debt relief to $500,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $250,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
Taxable years 2007 and 2008
  • Limited the amount of qualified principal residence indebtness to $800,000 for taxpayers who file as married/(RDP) filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, and to $400,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.
  • Limited debt relief to $250,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing jointly, single, head of household, or widow/widower, ad to $125,000 for taxpayers who file as married/RDP filing separately.

You can read more about the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and Debt Cancellation via the IRS website

If you’re confused still about this law, or need help getting the ball rolling NOW–please give me, John A. Silva, a call.  I would love to help sort this all out for you and save you headaches in the future–call me! (619) 890-3648

Short Sale Memoirs & New Laws

The newest law in California is SB 458.  This law states that borrowers or owners of residential unit dwellings or properties of one to four units, will not experience any deficiency after a short sale extending to a junior lien holder.

Too good to be true, you’re asking? I have long known that the banks do not care about laws and take many months to implement them, whether they be federal or state government laws. They will march at their own drum. That being said, the new law that is instituted by the State of California is a joke!

Even senior lien holders of properties where there is only one loan, are still asking for a seller contribution. The California Law SB 931, passed in January of this year, clearly states there will be no contribution or deficiency and this new law, SB 458, piggy-backs on the SB 931 law. However, junior liens are still requiring contributions.

So why is this not applying to the junior liens and the SB 458 being enforced? Answer is, the banks want to test the validity of the law, while circumventing any loopholes that are there. The most important part of the new bill: “The bill would prohibit the holder of a note from requiring the trustee, mortgagor, or maker of the note to pay any additional compensation, aside from the proceeds of the sale, in exchange for a written consent to the sale.” This states that they can require seller to pay proceeds of the sale, but I have been successful to date with no seller contributions.  The lenders will do whatever it takes to squeeze money out of a transaction, but my track record shows that I have protected 99% of all sellers from contributions. Having an agent or short sale negotiator is now becoming paramount. I tend to avoid recommending many short sale negotiators because they do not have the experience I have in my two decades of short sale negotiating, since a huge problem is often caused in transactions due to the lender being not willing to pay them.

All new laws in real estate that are to help ward off the mess the government technically started by not limiting loan policies a few years ago has made the environment more difficult protecting the American Dream and helping citizens very little who pay their hard-earned money for taxes.

Bottom line–sellers want, and must have, a skilled and experienced agent with a team (assistant, attorney, accountant, escrow and title people) of problem solvers, that can get sellers out of their liability problems including past-due Home Owner Association Fees (which are collectible after bankruptcy filing post-petition or foreclosure). A short sale, when handled by me, will get paid past-due HOA fees with zero contribution by seller 99% of the time, call me today for a consultation, don’t delay!