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Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf (or Charlie Sheen, for that matter), beware, as Wall Street hits the legal stratosphere with this statute related to consumer protection and disclosure of appraisals for real estate. Chances are no one has heard of the Dodd-Frank law, unless you are, in fact, an appraiser. Originally titled the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” this law enforces and regulates the process by which Wall Streetappraisers operate.

That’s for good reason as well given that accuracy in terms of market values and compensation are key in this industry. If the appraiser isn’t doing an accurate job, per se, it can be catastrophic. Additionally, this is a law mandating that applicants receive a free copy of the appraisal of the property in question. A notification that a creditor will utilize the appraisal, too, is sent with the copy. Beware of cunning crafters in the real estate industry trying to bribe or pay off an appraiser just to influence a specific amount or adjustment on a piece of property, because they are lawbreakers according to this law as well.

Lenders, brokers and title companies are known to file claims in the event that there’s even a slight hint that the appraiser has been compromised or under expected levels of professionalism and accuracy. The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) ensures that, of course.

What are the entities enforcing this law? For one, the Federal Reserve ensures appraisers are operating within their legal parameters. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well lends a hand. Other federal banking regulators know too well that appraisers must do their jobs correctly, or else serious penalties are ruled to ensure justice is served. You could be seeing compensation paid upon consequence adding up to $10K per day on initial violations, plus an additional $20K for following penalties. That’s nothing to laugh at.

An Overview of Federal Real Estate Regulations: The Patriot Act

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on April 17, 2014

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Full disclosure: that’s what it’s all about. Legally, all professionals, not just in the real estate industry, have to basically report their income, whatever it may be. It’s the groundwork, the basis for sincerity and honesty, and we already know just how pivotal those concepts are when it comes to real estate law. The Patriot Act, a beacon of financial overview and respect, charges individuals and companies with the responsibility to report all revenue made in regards to cash deposits. If not fully disclosing such information, the consequences could American Flagactually be disastrous.

Specifically, real estate professionals must supply the government with the IRS form 8300 for all transactions in cash of an excess of $10K, no questions asked. SDNs (Specially Designated Nationals) also serve as listings for specific individuals and corporations that are owned by targeted foreign countries. You know what this means? You find out that a certain company’s operating outside of the U.S. but benefitting from certain tax cuts and not reporting that kind of revenue, you better report the corporation to the OFAC for continual due processing. It’s a serious matter called “money laundering.”

This isn’t to say that mortgage lenders suffer due to the crime. They’re victims. They, however, pay the price obviously, but there are ways for them to avoid such financial terrorism, however not mandated by law at this point.

As it stands, the Patriot Act doesn’t fully enforce statutory declaration within the real estate industry. It may soon enough, though. Until then, mortgage lenders must conduct their own checks, establish with sincerity and honesty a detailed review of their accounts, terminating any that have been on the list within 10 days of the issue ordered by the Secretary of Treasury or the U.S. Attorney General. If not, fines can go as high as $10K. That’s pretty steep.

An Overview of Federal Real Estate Regulations: Discrimination, Part 2

April 16, 2014
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In following through on this, not only is it the real estate law to allow everyone the opportunity to have a home, it’s also the law to make credit available to anyone to obtain a home, regardless of social or economic status. This has always been a tough sell for a lot of reasons, given the fact that some people are riskier than others when it comes to credit and loans. Nevertheless, people everywhere deserve that same opportunity when it comes to a home. diversityWhy? It may be easy to pass judgment, but no one can predict the future and say that this particular person living in a broken-down community can’t obtain credit for purchasing a home and then safely pay it all back.

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An Overview of Federal Real Estate Regulations: Discrimination, Part 1

April 15, 2014
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Since the beginning of our age when the slave trade vanished into oblivion, people’s rights were to as best the degree as possible equalized, and colors were for the most part united as one American, discrimination became probably the most hated and “discriminated” word ever known to man (next to racism, maybe). This applies to real estate law in a big way. That’s why there’s a “part 1” here, because this gets addressed in further down the road. discriminationRead on.

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An Overview of Federal Real Estate Regulations: Environmental Concerns

April 14, 2014
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This should be obvious given the fact that we’re talking about land. If there’s anything central about land, it’s the environment. We, after all, live on planet Earth. The environment is important. When it comes to real estate law, believe it or not, there are some environmental laws directly affecting the real estate industry in a big way – case in point, the idea of using “lead-based paint.”paint

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