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September 8, 2011
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Creating Prosperity Seminars
A four session series for broker-owners and office managers which examines office policies and procedures and strategies to effectively manage agents. Begins Sept. 15., 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Boston.

Manageable Monday Webinars
Earn CEs from your desktop. Next webinar – Sept. 12, 9-11 a.m. Leisure Homes, Second Homes & Age Restricted Housing (RE55R06)

GBAR Awards Dinner
Annual member recognition awards to be presented. Sept. 14, 6-9 p.m., Dedham

Tech Tuesday Seminar
Integrating Your Website with Social Media – Sept. 27, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Medford


REALTOR® Member Benefits: Save 10% off already reduced member pricing in the REALTOR® Online Store. Learn More.

How do you intend to complete your Quadrennial Ethics Training Course Requirement for the 2009-2012 cycle?

* Live Classroom CE Course
* Online Ethics Course at REALTOR.org
* Webinar



GBAR Staff
GBAR Board of Directors



New FTC Rule on Mortgage Advertising Applies to REALTORS®  

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a new rule that imposes record-keeping requirements on real estate professionals who provide information to consumers about mortgage products.  The Mortgage Acts & Practices Rule, which took effect on August 19, will apply to agents and brokers when they provide information about a specific mortgage product, such as an application for credit, the documentation needed to obtain lender pre-approval for a loan, and a lender’s rate sheet, to a consumer.  The Rule also establishes clearer standards of misrepresentation in mortgage advertising, and specifically prohibits misrepresentations in any commercial communications about mortgage credit products by non-bank financial companies, including real estate brokerages and REALTORS®. Communications that are purely informational and not designed to cause the purchase of a good or service are not subject to this new rule.  For a full summary of the Rule’s requirements and its application, read NAR’s Letter of the Law article.

Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program Re-opened Until Sept. 15

Bay State homeowners at risk of foreclosure have until September 15 to apply for mortgage assistance through the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP). The program provides emergency bridge loans to homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment or underemployment as a result of economic conditions or a medical condition. Through the EHLP, eligible homeowners can qualify for an interest-free loan which pays a portion of their monthly mortgage for up to two years, or up to $50,000, whichever comes first. The program, which is managed jointly by HUD and NeighborWorks® America, also is accepting applications from homeowners in New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. To learn more go online or call toll-free to 855-346-3345.

Uniform Appraisal Dataset Now in Effect for GSEs, Adoption for FHA set for 2012

As of September 1, 2011, appraisal reports submitted to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to be compliant with the Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD). Reports that implementation of the UAD for the two government-sponsored enterprises – Fannie and Freddie – would be delayed proved false. To learn more about the UAD requirements, visit the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac web sites. Separately, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced it will adopt the UAD and two UAD compliant reporting forms – the UAD modified appraisal form for the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (Fannie Mae 1004/Freddie Mac 70) and Individual Condominium Unit Appraisal Report (Fannie Mae 1073/Freddie Mac 465) for all FHA case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2012. Compliance with the UAD and use of the reporting forms also will apply to HUD REO and pre-foreclosure sales as of the new year, according to Mortgagee Letter 2011-30. For more insight on the UAD requirements see the Layman’s Guide to the UAD article provided by the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers.

Bill to Boost Real Estate CE Requirements Advances

A bill, H. 123, that proposes an increase in the classroom instruction time required to renew a real estate license in Massachusetts has recently advanced on Beacon Hill. The legislation, filed on behalf of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®, seeks to increase the number of continuing education course hours needed for license renewal from 12 to 20 hours every two years. It’s been reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure and has been referred to the state Legislature’s Committee on Steering Policy & Scheduling. The current 12 hour CE requirement has been in place since continuing education instruction for real estate licensees was first mandated in the Bay State in 1999. REALTORS® support the measure as a means to promote increased industry knowledge and professionalism among all real estate professionals by keeping agents and brokers current with laws and business practices and further protecting consumers during the property transaction process.

Sales of homes, condos up in July across Greater Boston

For the first time this year in the GBAR jurisdiction, sales improved on an annual basis in the detached single-family home and condominium markets during July. Single-family home sales rose 13.5 percent compared to July 2010 and condo sales increased nearly 19 percent from the same month one year ago. Additionally, pending sales of detached homes and condominiums both rose on a year-to-year basis for a third consecutive month in July by 3.6% and 12%, respectively. For complete data and detailed analysis on the housing market in Greater Boston during July, visit the Monthly Housing Reports page on gbar.org.