Worldwide ERC®’s Real Estate Forum Discusses Pressing Topics

At the Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium, Real Estate Forum leaders updated attendees on real estate transactions in the U.S. and Canada, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and technology.

The Worldwide ERC® Real Estate Forum met on Tuesday, 15 October 2019 at the Global Workforce Symposium in Boston, MA. The Forum is chaired by Jay Hershman, SCRP, Baille & Hershman, and Vice Chair Patrick McManamy, McManamy McLeod Heller, with guest presenter Alyce Ritchie, McManamy McLeod Heller. The Forum is open to anyone interested in real estate related government affairs issues. The Forum also maintains and reviews a matrix of top industry issues through meetings and phone calls.

During the meeting, Forum members discussed issues that impact real estate transactions throughout the U.S. and Canada. This included an update on the changes made to Maryland and Delaware withholdings. Work is being done to get an exemption from this withholding approved for relocation transactions in Maryland. As of January 1, 2020, all new single-family homes built in California will need to be built with solar panels. While this likely will not impact mobility immediately, it is good practice to be familiar with the type of solar panel lease used by your company.

Chairman Hershman gave an update on the issue of crumbling home foundations in Connecticut (additional background) which continues to be a problem throughout the state. Currently, there are programs in place to assist those affected by this problem, but delays could arise with upcoming administrative changes. Connecticut Public Act 19-88 is a new law that aims to make it clear that an attorney must be involved in all real estate transactions. While this can be a challenge for relocation transactions, the Connecticut Bar Association is working to put together additional information on this issue.

New York State has passed a new law that requires the personal information of all shareholders, directors, officers, members, managers, partners, and authorized persons of an LLC when the grantor/grantee of a one to four family residence is an LLC. This new law will likely impact how companies do business in New York.

Ritchie gave the group an update on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The constitutionality of the Bureau is still being disputed in the courts. As the CFPB has been scaling back enforcement, states continue to step up their own enforcement actions. New TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) FAQs have been released concerning loan estimates and construction-permanent loans.

Vice Chair McManamy provided information on the Forum’s Technology Workgroup which monitors issues such as e-notarization, e-closing, e-mortgage, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. The Forum also discussed recent cybersecurity and wire fraud cases. With Atlanta and Baltimore having experienced ransomware attacks in recent months, it is crucial that employees are well trained on cybersecurity.

Overall, market rates are good and there is a refinancing boom at the moment. Rates are expected to remain stable through the end of the year and foreclosures are at a 20-year low.

The minutes of the meeting are available online for those interested in a full report. All Worldwide ERC® members are welcome to attend future Forum meetings. Please also consider joining our online communities dedicated to the forums.

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