Lender Pre-Foreclosure Access to Default Properties

Abandoned Property Ordinances Debated

Local governments are not specifically pre-empted in their ability to enact local rules dealing with foreclosed properties even though SB 1137 (Perata) put a general rule in place statewide. Some cities recently have been trying to impose obligations and fees on foreclosing lenders even before the lender takes title to the property at the time of foreclosure sale.

Though unlikely to stand a test of law, the overreaching nature of the these property maintenance ordinances can end up creating unworkable burdens for Realtors attempting to list or sell REO properties. Some local jurisdictions are tracking NOD’s and attempting to require the lender of record to maintain the property even through the foreclosure process. Of course we know how successful that is since some properties get transferred numerous times prior to sale, or transferred to an asset manager or other elements preventing the city from knowing who the true owner of record is.

Lenders also rightly point out that t

to go on the premises until the sale is complete and they take the property back. But this hasn’t stopped municipalities from imposing fines of up to $1,000/day for unmaintained properties. But then the cities figured out – hey, if we apply a lien prior to the foreclosure sale the lien gets wiped out. So they’re waiting until after the lender takes the property back and then applying their lien so it is not invalidated by the sale.

The problem is that some lenders have attempted to have Realtors cover the deficiency out of pocket from the REO lenders set fee. In other words, the cities are doing something borderline illegal and rather than fight it some lenders are attempting to ‘shift’ these responsibilities to the Realtor.

This is a whole different problem than some Realtors simply not knowing the rules, not registering an REO property as required by valid city ordinance, or doing their job and the lender holding them responsible for that.

A second problem has arisen in some areas where a lender has actually attempted to comply with these pre-foreclosure issues by taking over maintenance of what appears to be an abandoned property only to find out they have locked out the legitimate owner or a tenant, or even locked-out Realtors who had listed the property for short-sale.

CAR determined that it would not sponsor nor support legislation extending a lenders obligation to maintain a pre-foreclosure property. Rather, it would explore ways to extend the reach of SB 1137 to pre-empt local law which states that locals cannot cite property or create a lien for violations of a maintenance ordinance until and unless the property has been foreclosed, that the lender has been properly noticed and been given a corrections period of not less than 30 days.

While we are not currently aware of any cities in our region trying to circumvent the law by applying these proscriptive liens, if you become aware of local problems, please notify GeneWunderlich@srcar.org immediately.

Highlights from CAR Mid-winter Board of Directors Meeting

Just a few highlights from last weeks CAR Mid-winter conference in Monterey. There will be lengthier posts on a couple of specific items including the debate over point-of-sale retrofit legislation and some discussion on REO property issues.

First off – normally this meeting would have been extremely hectic because it falls right at the beginning of a new 2 year legislative session. That usually means CAR is considering legislation to sponsor, looking to members for authors for the bills and dissecting some of the 2,000 bills that are customarily on the table by this time of the session.

That didn’t happen for the very simple reason that Sacramento has ground to a halt. Until there’s a budget in place there will be very little legislative activity on other fronts. In a normal 2 year cycle there may be upwards of 5,500 – 6,000 different pieces of legislation considered. CAR lobbyists and legislative analysts look at each and every one of these bills to see if they will have any impact on real estate, housing, Realtors or private property rights.

Fully 1/3 of the bills introduced usually have some impact on the housing market in some fashion. Those bills are then presented to the various CAR committees (made up of your local Directors from across the state) for consideration – do we want to support the bill, oppose it, encourage the author to amend it to make it more Realtor friendly or just stay out of the fray. That process would normally consume our January meetings.

However, this year there have only been about 250 bills authored so far, roughly 10% the normal amount. And House Speaker Steinberg has threatened to cap legislators to a max of 15 new bills introduced. That means instead of 2,000 or more during this 1st session, we might only see 600 – 800. That might be a good thing – assuming the bills that do get introduced are worthwhile instead of the plethora of garbage bills that usually make it. You might think that if a legislator is limited to only 15 bills they might actually try to introduce only great bills, legislation that would make you proud and would be of infinite benefit to your constituents. Sadly you would be wrong as many of our legislators are barely competent to introduce garbage, let alone bills of substance and import.

Some of the general issues we took a position on include:

  • CAR’s recognition of the need for healthcare reform. It is appropriate for Realtors to be involved in this issue as it impacts our cost of doing business and our quality of life. We are supporting NAR in their quest to re-introduce a bill providing healthcare & insurance to small businesses that was narrowly defeated a couple years ago.
  • CAR voted to oppose SB 49, a bill introduced by the California Building Industry Association. This bill seeks to grant a $10,000 tax credit to all sales of NEW single family residences intended for principle residences. We are opposing this bill unless the CBIA amends it to include purchasers of ALL homes, not just new homes. We understand their point, we just believe that all prospective homebuyers should have the same opportunity.
  • CAR voted to support a DRE license endorsement implementing the Federal SAFE Act allowing loan origination by a real estate licensee and providing for certification of those lender/agents through the DRE.
  • CAR approved the adoption of procedures allowing local association to appoint an Ethics Advocate Subcommittee whose members would assist parties to a disciplinary process by helping with the paperwork and representing the party at hearings.
  • As discussed in a prior post, CAR announced the selection of a vendor for the statewide MLS system, adopted the brand of CalREDD and to grant a line of credit up to $3 million to CalREDD for acquisition & start-up costs, such loan to be fully amortized at 6% interest and repaid to CAR within 7 years.
  • That subject to NAR approval, CAR adopt the model mls rules and policies as set forth per the DOJ vs NAR Settlement Order. The full MLS Committee Issues Briefing Paper regarding the treatment of VOW’s is available at CAR.org

Stay tuned for more discussion of Shortclosures, Point of Sale and Lender Access to REO properties coming soon.

CAR Moves Forward with Statewide MLS

Jan. 26, 2009

Dear C.A.R. Member:

I’m very pleased to be able to share three important developments with you regarding CALMLS, the statewide Multiple Listing Service (MLS) initiative, that impact every REALTOR® in California. This past weekend at the C.A.R. board of directors meetings in Monterey, following an extensive vetting process that included input from REALTORS® and other stakeholders statewide, CALMLS named Concentric as its technology partner; secured a $3 million line of credit for partnership activities, ongoing operations, and future development; and debuted dynamic new branding for CALMLS’ products and services.

Selecting Rocklin, Calif.-based Concentric was a critical first step toward a more current and flexible MLS system, designed with a real estate agent’s needs in mind. Platform- and browser-neutral, Concentric’s Web-based system performs substantially faster than any product on the market. CALMLS will incorporate many different technologies to allow choice as well as myriad new applications for the licensees accessing the system, including creating the foundation for a property-centric database that will allow members easy access to relevant data on all properties in California. Concentric’s next-generation product is a notable and clearly visible leap forward from current MLS software and is built on a platform that can adapt to ever-changing technology needs.

CALMLS also debuted new branding for the products and services offered by the statewide MLS entity. These now will be branded as calREDD™, an acronym for California Real Estate Dynamic Data.  The new calREDD™ branding reflects the long-term vision of creating one database for all California real property, with advanced technology that goes beyond current MLS systems and incorporates a database rich with detail about every single property in the state.

At the directors meetings this past week, Concentric conducted standing-room only demonstrations, with local REALTOR® associations vying for priority to have the system for their respective MLSs. In fact, 66 local REALTOR® associations and three regional MLSs representing more than 120,000 members across the state already have signed letters of intent to participate in CALMLS.

CALMLS will allow brokers and agents to access the statewide data through any participating AOR or MLS. Associations and MLSs may be part of the system by using the new vendor as their primary software or by continuing to operate under their current systems and providing data feeds to the statewide database.

CALMLS’ chairman, REALTOR® Mike Silvas, put it this way: “This initiative will fundamentally improve the most critical service for California REALTORS®. Thanks to the hard work and visionary leadership of California REALTORS®, CALMLS is poised to provide real estate professionals with next-generation technology in the MLS arena, as well as the ancillary benefits of optimized pricing and product flexibility. The historic actions taken this past week mark a sea change for the real estate industry in California.”

I couldn’t agree more. This is an exciting time to be a real estate professional and a member of your state Association. I’m glad we’re on this journey together, and we’ll keep you apprised of future developments impacting CALMLS as they occur.


James Liptak
2009 President

C.A.R. e-Blasts are published by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, a trade association representing nearly 200,000 REALTORS® statewide.

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Help Flush State Septic Regulations

Time is running out for input on proposed statewide septic regulations. CAR has been represented at every regional meeting that has been held throughout the state but the deadline is approaching for final arguments. As proposed, these regulations would prove onerous to many homeowners in our area, including property owners on The Wine Country, La Cresta, Meadowview and many county areas not served by sewer systems. If you have not yet taken the time to respond to the Red Alert that was issued, please take a moment to respond NOW.

You can read a copy of the proposed ordinance by following the link below as well as the accompanying draft of the EIR. In order for your comments to be considered, you need to comment ONLY on the material in the EIR as that’s what this comment period is about. Comments on the proposed regulations themselves will be disregarded. You can take your talking points from the letter (please contact me for a full pdf copy of the CAR letter) submitted by our Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Gavric, put them on your own letter head and submit them for consideration to the state hearing board by February 9.

Thank you for your help. This could have a major impact on many homeowners in our area

The state of California has released the proposed regulations for onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS) and the accompanying Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) evaluating the impacts of the implementation of the regulations on the people and environment of California. C.A.R. is concerned that, if enacted, these regulations will make it too burdensome to own a property with a septic system. There is even a new point-of-sale requirement to transfer technical documents.

These proposed regulations and draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) have been released to the public for review and can be found at: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/septic_tanks/


$52 Million Scam gets Cracked by AG

attorney general

And the beat goes on – or maybe I should say the beatings continue. Always good to see miscreants get their come-uppance. Unfortunately for more than a thousand people the come-uppance comes up too late to save their ‘investment’ and, in some cases, their retirement.

It’s precisely this variability that makes this type of fraud so difficult to prevent. Although the two articles I posted earlier also involved Ponzi schemes and affinity fraud, the crimes are as different as night & day. In one, people with Hispanic surnames convinced other people with Hispanic surnames they could get them into homes they couldn’t afford – sometimes multiple homes at once – and made money off them. In the second case, African Americans took gross advantage of other African Americans by promising returns of up to 50% a month for investing in a scheme to help others avoid default.

In this case we have rich white dudes taking advantage of other (formerly) rich folks in a scheme that is pretty sophisticated. Of course if it’s going to be based out of Irvine and the perps live in Coto de Caza you know it’s going to be an upscale scam. No use wasting that opportunity just to scam a few million when your are surrounded by ‘fat mooches’. This caliber investor would be less likely to be suckered in by a two-bit scam so you tailor the scam to the client and -viola – $52 million to spend on vacations, Beemers, airplanes, etc. Hey, if you’re going to go – go large eh?

Hopefully they’ll be going large for the next decade in the Greybars Hotel & Spa with a close companion named Bubba.

News Release

January 23, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Gerber or Christine Gasparac, (916) 324-5500

Attorney General Brown Files Criminal Charges in $52 Million Ponzi Scheme

January 23, 2009
Contact: Christine Gasparac or Scott Gerber (916) 324-5500 or Special Agent Supervisor Randall Hew (323) 855-4743

Attorney General Brown Files Criminal Charges in $52 Million Ponzi Scheme

ORANGE COUNTY – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. yesterday filed 89 criminal charges against 6 men who “callously conned” more than a thousand people, including retired senior citizens, out of $52 million through sham real estate projects, using the investors’ money to buy planes, expensive cars and lavish vacations.

“These six men callously conned hundreds of people into investing $52 million into a company that they treated as their personal bank account,” Attorney General Brown said. “They fraudulently took investors’ money and spent it on an array of luxury items, relying on a Ponzi scheme to keep investors at bay.”

From 2001 to February 2006, Irvine-based Carolina Development Company peddled $52 million worth of stock to more than a thousand investors. The company claimed the proceeds would be used to buy and develop luxury resorts and upscale communities adjacent to golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Greg Norman. Investors bought anywhere from $15,000 to $1 million in stock, including senior citizens who invested their retirement funds. The company bought some land, but did nothing to develop it, despite its claim that 85% of the $52 million invested would be used for land acquisition and development.

To persuade investors to buy shares of Carolina Development Company, the defendants claimed that Arnold Palmer had partnered with them. The defendants promised that investors would reap huge dividends and assured those who invested a minimum of $100,000 that their investment would be secured by deeds to specific parcels of land. None of these claims were true.

The defendants diverted more than $24 million for extravagant bonuses, personal medical bills, airplanes, fancy meals, BMWs, concert tickets and luxury vacations. To keep investors at bay, the defendants engaged in a Ponzi scheme, paying some investors “returns” on their investment using money from the new investors.

Department of Justice agents served arrest warrants against the following six defendants, who were charged with grand theft and securities fraud in Orange County Superior Court:

Lambert Vander Tuig, 50, of Santa Margarita, currently held in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Jonathan Carman, 45, of Laguna Hills, currently held in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Mark Sostak, 50, of Ladera Ranch, currently held in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Bail is set at $4.5 million.

Scott Yard, 47, of Costa Mesa, remains at large.

Soren Svendsen, 43, of Coto De Caza, is currently being held in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Bail is set at $2.2 million.

Robert Waldman, 48, is scheduled to turn himself in to authorities.

On Wednesday, representatives of the Attorney General’s Office obtained arrest warrants from Orange County Superior Court Judge Selim Franklin.

These criminal charges were preceded by civil actions brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC in 2007 won a $29.2 million judgment against Lambert Vander Tuig, the president of the company, and a $2.1 million judgment against Jonathan Carman, vice president of the company.

If convicted, defendants Vander Tuig and Carman could receive sentences in excess of 10 years in state prison. The remaining defendants would be subject to lesser prison sentences.

The criminal complaint and affidavit are attached.

# # #

Few Brokers linked to Disproportionate Share of Foreclosures.

One of our local writers for The Californian just did an excellent expose on some of the mortgage fraud that’s run rampant through our region for the past few years. Zach Fox and Chris Bagley at The Californian and Leslie Berkman at The Press Enterprise have done an exceptional job over the past couple years shining the light on these miscreants and helping educate the public about some of the scams that have invaded our communities.

In his latest piece, which is a very long read but very worthwhile, Zach talks about another affinity fraud linked to a handful of North San Diego County Brokers. While these 21 Brokers and agents make up only 2% of the volume sold during the past couple years, their combined number of foreclosures make up 11% of the total volume foe the region. Some of these agents have racked up foreclosure percentages of 45% to 60% and higher at a time when most brokers are averaging 2%.

I have excerpted some of Zach’s article but you can follow this link to read the entire piece. The Californian – HOUSING: Handful of brokers linked to glut of local foreclosures

A tiny number of real estate brokers is associated with an inordinately large number of foreclosures in North County, raising questions about how just a few salesmen could play a role in sending hundreds of families into foreclosure and causing millions of dollars in losses for lenders.

A North County Times investigation into thousands of foreclosure records, along with interviews with buyers, reveals a pattern that suggests some real estate agents specialized in clients —- chiefly Latinos —- who couldn’t afford to buy homes, and helped them buy as many as possible.

“They are doing something that is severely inappropriate in order to have this high a number of foreclosures,” said Tim Sandos, president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. “It just doesn’t pass the smell test.”

Borrowers and real estate agents who used to work with at least two of the 21 high-foreclosure-rate offices said the salesmen would target low-income Latinos, posting fliers advocating homeownership in certain apartment complexes.
Then, at seminars, the agents would propose that buying multiple homes was the key to becoming rich.

The sales records of Romero, the Lopez brothers, Ramos and Castro —- the four salesmen with ultrahigh foreclosure rates —- had several similarities:
— Essentially all the borrowers, 99 percent, had Latino surnames.
— The majority of mortgages issued on the sales, 93 percent, carried no down payment.
— The list of lenders on those mortgages reads like a graveyard of failed institutions, many of them exclusively subprime lenders: Washington Mutual, Argent Mortgage, Accredited Home Lenders and Fieldstone Mortgage.
Some, though not all, of the real estate agents sold multiple houses to the same person, with all of the purchases going to foreclosure in some cases.
Still, it is unclear how much involvement the real estate agents had in the loan origination process, where any misrepresentation of income —- and therein, any fraud —- would occur.

Although the perpetrators in the article are generally referred to as agents (as opposed to Realtors – you don’t have to be a Realtor to be licensed in California), it does cast a pall over the reputations of lenders and agents alike. And since most of the public does not differentiate between an agent practitioner and a Realtor, the negative impact on our industry and our reputation cannot be underestimated. Perhaps one of the most telling and saddest comments in the article comes from another agent in the area who said:

It is illegal to encourage homeowners to lie about their incomes. And it is the job of lenders to establish whether a buyer is likely to repay the mortgage.
Yet, the state Department of Real Estate’s code of conduct says brokers are “fiduciaries of their clients,” a relationship generally understood to mean that brokers must act in the best financial interests of their clients.
The obligation has been widely ignored for years, said Jim Klinge, a real estate agent in Carlsbad.
“It’s mandated,” he said, “but it’s a fleeting thought.”

Our fiduciary duty to our clients has become a ‘fleeting thought’. Damn. that’s a depressing commentary on the times, ain’t it? I can only hope most of us don’t harbor that sentiment and that those who do are booted unceremoniously from our ranks.

Realtors… We’re part of the solution, not part of the problem. Make it be so.

$18 Million Ponzi / Affinity Schemer Gets 12+ Years & $6.8 Million Fine

Once in awhile they get caught. Sometimes it seems like not often enough but then one comes out of the woodwork like this. Over 600 investors were taken advantage of! Promised returns of up to 50% in as little as a months time! My sweet Lord, people – does this not strike ANYBODY as being pretty far out there? Don’t these ‘investors’ bear some responsibility just for being unusually, oh I don’t know…STUPID?

And to make matters worse, in addition to a classic Ponzi taking advantage of people facing foreclosure on their home, she added insult to injury by combining it with an affinity fraud targeting a specific ethnic group – in this case African Americans.

NEWS RELEASE                                                        For Immediate Distribution
January 20, 2009
Thomas P. O’Brien                                                    United States Attorney
Central District of California                                       www.usdoj.gov/usao/cac


The promoter of an $18 million real estate investment scheme that targeted
African-American individuals in Southern California and other states was
sentenced today to 151 months in federal prison.
Jeanetta M. Standefor, a 40-year-old resident of Altadena, California, was
sentenced in Los Angeles federal court by United States District Judge Percy
Anderson. In addition to the prison term, Judge Anderson ordered Standefor to
pay $8,688,924.

Through her Pasadena-based company, Accelerated Funding Group (AFG),
Standefor operated a bogus “foreclosure reinstatement” program that attracted
more than 600 investors between 2005 and 2007. The scheme purported to use
investors’ funds to cure defaults on distressed properties about to be put into
foreclosure. While soliciting investor money and promising returns of up to 50
percent in time periods as short as one month, Standefor and AFG were instead
operating a Ponzi scheme that used money from new investors to pay previous

Standefor pleaded guilty in September 2008 to two counts of mail fraud.
“Ms. Standefor exploited the housing crisis for her own benefit with false
promises of help for troubled homeowners and fictitious profits for those willing to help,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “While there are legitimate companies that work with distressed homeowners, investors and mortgage holders must carefully consider any offer of assistance, particularly when there are suspicious promises that seem too good to be true.”
Standefor’s fraud was what is commonly called “affinity fraud,” that is, a fraud directed at a particular community. Standefor and AFG targeted investors in the African-American community through a now-defunct Web site, word of mouth, real estate seminars and testimonials by other seemingly successful African-American investors.

Standefor claimed investor funds would be used to assist owners of
distressed properties. Written materials put out by AFG touted its foreclosure
reinstatement program as “virtually risk-free” and promised investors that their
principal would be safely returned within 72 hours at their request. However,
Standefor and AFG did not use investor funds to cure defaults on any residential
properties, and investors’ requests for return of their investments were ignored.
Standefor used more than $1.9 million of investor funds for personal
expenses, such as her lavish wedding and honeymoon, cars, jewelry, tickets to
entertainment events and home renovations.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In
conjunction with the indictment against Standefor, the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission filed a civil action against Standefor and AFG. The SEC
obtained a default against Standefor and AFG on September 18, 2008.
CONTACT: Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura-McCaffrey
Executive Assistant United States Attorney
(213) 894-1092
Release No. 09-004

If you think this isn’t happening in your community, think again. Foreclosure/shortsale rescue and affinity frauds are becoming increasingly popular in this market. Be aware. Beware.

Realtors… We’re part of the solution, not part of the problem. Make it so.

10% Participation Won’t Cut It In 2009!

You’ve all heard my rants before about how the real estate association, YOUR association, is only powerful for one reason – YOU. We are powerful as a grassroots organization and we have a great process in place that allows us to reach out and tap our representatives whenever our voice needs to be heard.

Unfortunately too many of you don’t use these tools. Not only do you not support your Realtor Action Fund through a measly $49 annual investment, you can’t even bring yourselves to exercise your right to free speech – FREE. It’s really pretty sorry and a sad commentary on the state of real estate professionalism today. Really. I’m re-posting this well written message from the NAR website because this guy summed it up perfectly as did the comment posted in response. Too many if us have simply become ‘list & sell’ Realtors who neither know nor care about the proud traditions of our industry or the amount of effort that goes into keeping our industry viable.

The connection between activism and results just doesn’t seem to be getting through to most of you. Maybe when your livelihood is taken away, maybe when every bank and insurance company can sell real estate, maybe when your reduced commissions are mandated by law and you are taxed at the time of every transaction you will wake up. Unfortunately by then it will be too late.

And what’s even worse is that those of you reading this aren’t even the people I’m aiming for. If you read this you probably get it and are one of the ones making a difference – unlike 90% of your counterparts who bring nothing to the party but just show up to eat and drink for free. Please feel free to pass this along to them – print it out and lay it on their desk, anonymouslyif you want. Imagine what we could accomplish if even 50% of our members took a professional interest in our industry and actually participated in the process.

Remember – as Pericles said in 500 BC – ‘Just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.’  Smart guy that Pericles.  


Voices of Real Estate

National Association of REALTORS® 2009 Leadership Team, on what NAR is doing for you.

« 330,000 Letters to Congress, Posted by Charles | Main | One Plus One Doesn’t Equal Three, Posted by Gary »

Ten Percent Participation Won’t Cut It in 2009, Posted by Steve

Back in college, the first thing I learned in Econ 101 is that economies are built on confidence. Like many, I am hopeful that those who lead us on the federal level will really come through in the days ahead. They can both stimulate our economy as well as help us all feel better about the economy. Unfortunately, what I have come to realize in the past year is that those who govern us do not always understand the industries they seek to help, the markets they hope to improve, or the businesses they are trying to assist. Our representatives, from the president to the Congress, need to hear from us if they are going to govern effectively and improve our economy and our country.

Yet, in the midst of our biggest economic challenge in the past 80 years less than 10% of our Realtor® members in 2008 have contacted their representatives to inform, discuss, and promote legislation that would stimulate and change the market for the benefit of everyone.

Is this lack of participation the fault of NAR?

Perhaps. Just as NAR emphasizes adherence to the Code of Ethics, maybe we should be equally emphasizing continual involvement in our political process. Clearly, our high school civics classes did not instill the importance of participating in the governmental process, or more of us would be…

None of us can walk away from our responsibility as citizens. I have learned over the past year that even though I am one voice, I can make a difference. I have seen the “light bulb” go on when my Congressman finally got why a $7,500 tax credit-which really isn’t a credit but rather a zero-interest loan-is not a sufficient stimulus for someone to buy a home in today’s market. I can only imagine the light bulbs that might go on if all one million Realtors® communicated with Washington!

Real estate influences nearly 20 percent of our GNP. No industry is better prepared to present to government officials effective programs that will stimulate this sector of our national economy than us.

Come on, Realtors®! Let us help lead the way out of this economic mess and into a future that gives every American hope. Commit to getting involved. We’ll be sending out a new Call For Action next week. Either check the Realtor® Action Center or be ready to respond when it arrives in your email inbox.

It is, after all, a part of your business, not to mention part of being a good citizen. – Steve Brown, 2009 VP & Liaison to Committees

Posted on January 9, 2009 02:31 PM | Permanent Link



Boy, do I feel your frustration! Somehow the connection between activism and results doesn’t seem to be getting through. Moreover, the mentality remains…”list & sell”. As I’ve said in mosty of my Smart Growth presentations, “Most Realtors are very good at listing and selling homes…..but they haven’t a clue as to how that house got there in the first place!” Once that nexus is made, it’s amazing how participation increases. Unfortunately, too many of our members see what they do as a vocation, not a profession.

It’s also amazing how powerful participation can be. In a conversation with Barney at the MYM maybe three or four years ago, he said, “When I hear from 4 or 5 people on an issue it gets my attention. When I hear from a dozen, it’s a movement!” Somehow we need to get a cadre of people out there – RPIC – at the local association level to carry that message first to the DRs, then the membership at large.

Have a happy, healthy & prosperous New Year.

Posted by: David Wluka | January 12, 2009 11:05 AM

The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly, the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of SRCAR, ActiveRain, The Valley Business Journal or any local or state government or other mental institution. 


Temecula Abandoned Property Registration Info


Abandoned Residential Property Registration Form

The City of Temecula enacted Ordinance No. 08-04 which takes effect on August 8, 2008. The new Ordinance adds Chapter 8.44 to the Municipal Code. The ordinance presents the description of abandoned properties and the requirements for foreclosed property owners to register the property with the Riverside County Recorder’s Office within 30 days. Additionally, in 30 days the beneficiary or trustee of the property must fill out the Abandoned Residential Property Registration Form available from the City of Temecula.

This form gives the City of Temecula both the current owner’s information and the property management company’s information. The property owner is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the property as outlined in Section 8.44.050:

  • All Properties within the City shall be kept free of weeds, dry brush, dead vegetation, trash, junk, debris, building materials, any accumulation of papers or documents, except those required by federal, state or local law, and discarded personal items, including but not limited to, furniture, clothing, appliances, printed materials or any other items that contribute to the appearance that the property is abandoned.
  • All properties within the City shall be maintained free of graffiti, tagging or similar markings by removing or painting over the graffiti with an exterior grade paint that matches the color of the exterior of the structure.
  • Visible front and side yards shall be landscaped and maintained according to the standards set forth in the Temecula Municipal Code and applicable land use approvals for the property in question. Maintenance required for visible front and side yards also includes, but is not limited to, regular watering, cutting, pruning and mowing of landscape and removal of all yard trimmings.
  • Pools and spas shall be secured with approved fences and devices as required by the California Building Code (a fence around the yard or pool at a height of 5 feet with a self-latching gate: gate locks are not required) Pools and spas shall be drained and kept dry or kept in working order so that the water remains clear and free of pollutants and debris. Public Works info on how to drain pools properly
  • All properties within the City shall be maintained in such a manner so as not to constitute a public nuisance pursuant to Section 8.12.020 of the Temecula Municipal Code.

You may fill out the form on line and submit it electronically (Online Form), or you may come in to city hall and pick up a copy to turn in. Additionally, you can send by mail, or fax to (951) 302-4189. Any changes in the information on the form must be updated within 30 days and also renewed annually, one year from the registration date.

If you have questions about the form, please call Code Enforcement at 951-302-4144, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m to 5:00p.m.

Murrieta Abandoned Property Registration Info


The City of Murrieta, like other cities in our region, has enacted an ordinance to address the issue of foreclosed and abandoned properties. At this time our cities are working in concert with Realtors to help eliminate blight, maintain neighborhood appearance and help stabilize property values. With our continued cooperation we can keep this relationship from becoming adversarial as it has on some cities (not in our region). If you are currently doing REO business in Murrieta, you can read the ordinance here, get additional information and obtain the necessary form to register your property.

The City of Murrieta has a comprehensive code enforcement program, which helps to protect property owner investment, promote general health and welfare and enhance the quality of neighborhoods.

It is an important part of the City’s commitment to neighborhood preservation and improvement. When homes and businesses are properly maintained, it has a positive effect on the overall appearance of the community.

The main goal of the code enforcement program is to bring to the attention of residential and business owners any existing code violations that could have a negative impact on their property, neighborhood and the community as a whole. Such conditions are often referred to as “public nuisances” However, through voluntary compliance, cooperation and a spirit of personal responsibility for the well-being of our community, such conditions can be eliminated. This will make the City of Murrieta an even better place to live, work and shop.

You can read and download a copy of Murrieta’s Abandoned Property Ordinance here:


If you need to register an REO property, download the form here:


If you’re curious if a property is within Murrieta City Limits you can access a GIS Mapping program here:


Lake Elsinore Abandoned Property Registration Info


The City of Lake Elsinore, like other cities in our region, has enacted an ordinance to address the issue of foreclosed and abandoned properties. At this time our cities are working in concert with Realtors to help eliminate blight, maintain neighborhood appearance and help stabilize property values. With our continued cooperation we can keep this relationship from becoming adversarial as it has on some cities (not in our region). If you are currently doing REO business in Lake Elsinore, you can read the ordinance here, get additional information and obtain the necessary form to register your property.


Abandoned Residential Property Registration


The City’s Abandoned Residential Property Registration Program, outlined in this Ordinance # 1252, seeks to resolve an issue that affects all of us who deal with properties in Lake Elsinore. Houses and properties that become vacant and abandoned due to foreclosure are a detriment to people who live in close proximity. The abandoned properties degrade the neighborhoods, diminish the city’s overall image as an attractive and inviting City in which to live, own property, work and be entertained.

The program is intended to encourage owners of vacant properties to maintain or rehabilitate the properties consistent with the neighborhood standard (which is outlined in the Ordinance 1252) (PDF: Ordinance 1252.pdf). For more information, please contact Scott Burns at 951-674-3124 Ext 285.

Information Links:



Q & A: IRS Trying to Expedite Help to Homeowners

Got a homeowner who would like to sell or refi but they have a little issue with the IRS in the form of a tax lien? Well there might be some good news in this latest announcement from the IRS. Not only might they be willing to subordinate their lien for purposes of a refi, but they might even be willing to discharge a lien for purposes of a sale. And if that’s not enough, they’re trying to reduce the current 30+ day processing time for help homeowners.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced it will expedite its process of providing relief from federal tax liens for distressed homeowners. With over one million current federal tax liens against real and personal property, the IRS announcement should help REALTORS® and their clients resolve federal tax lien issues in their sale and loan transactions.

As background, a homeowner seeking to sell or refinance a property must generally pay off an existing federal tax lien. However, during the current economic downturn, many homeowners don’t have the cash or equity to do so. Hence, for a refinance, the homeowner may request that the IRS makes its tax lien subordinate or secondary to the lien of the refinancing lender. For a sale, the homeowner may, under certain circumstances, request that the IRS discharge its claim. The IRS’s processing time for subordination or discharge requests has been about 30 days. The IRS is currently working to expedite that time frame to help distressed homeowners. For IRS instructions on requesting relief from federal tax liens, go to the IRS Publication 783 for discharges and Publication 784 for subordinations at www.irs.gov.

C.A.R. provides REALTORS® with many legal articles covering a wide range of topics of interest. Some of the new or newly revised legal articles available at http://qa.car.org are as follows:

Legal Q & A: New Rules & Regs for 2009

During the last legislative cycle, a number of bills were passed that have some direct or indirect impact on real estate and the way we conduct our business. There are new disclosure requirements, including displaying your DRE license #; a number of housing relief, refinance and IRS regulations were implemented; changes were made to the way FIRPTA information is disclosed; and of course we can no longer chatter along with our cell phones up to our ears nor can we text while driving. Here’s just a few:


2009 New Federal and State Statutes and 2008 Voter-Passed Initiatives
including statutes passed the end of 2008


  • SB 1461  DRE License Number on Ads (eff. 7/1/09)  
  • AB 2881  Proximity to Farm or Ranch (eff. 1/1/09) 
  • SB 1595  Owner/Tenant Responsibilities in State Responsibility Area;¦lt;br /> Changes Criteria of High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (eff. 1/1/09) 
  • Proposition 99  Restriction on Eminent Domain in reaction to Kelo v. City of New London (passed 6/3/08) 
  • SB 1137  Notices to Tenants & Owner-Occupants; REO Lender/Trustee’s Sale Purchaser Obligations (eff. 7/8/08 and 9/9/08) 
  • SB 1511  HOAs Request/Notification of NOD  (eff. 1/1/09)
  • H.R. 3221  Housing and Economic Recovery Act/ HOPE for Homeowners Program (eff. 7/30/08)  
  • H.R. 1424 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (eff. 10/3/08) 
  • SB 1065  Cities/Counties May Use Revenue Bonds to Make/Purchase Home Mortgages (eff. 1/1/09 thru 1/1/12) 
  • AB 2052  Victim of Domestic Violence & Termination of Tenancy (eff. 9/27/08 thru 1/1/12) 
  • AB 2949  Landlords/REO Lenders and Abandoned Animals  (eff. 1/1/09)
  • SB 28  No Text Messaging When Driving (eff. 1/1/09)  
  • H.R. 3221  “FIRPTA Fix” (eff. 7/30/08) 
  • SB 1055  Conforms California income tax law with federal law as to mortgage debt forgiveness (eff. 9/25/08)


For a complete rundown of ALL the new rules and regs please visit: http://www.car.org/legal/2009-new-laws/


Copyright© 2008 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Permission is granted to C.A.R. members only to reprint and use this material for non-commercial purposes provided credit is given to the C.A.R. Legal Department. Other reproduction or use is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the C.A.R. Legal Department. All rights reserved.

Legal Q & A: Abandoned Personal Property

As our market continues to be dominated by REO properties, and will likely be for some time to come, frequent questions arise as to the appropriate way to dispose of Personal Property found on an abandoned property either by a landlord or by an REO agent . This issue is the subject of a legal Q & A on the CAR.org website along with many other legal issues.


Abandoned Personal Property After Termination of a Tenancy


Table of Contents





Residential Tenancies 



A.  Landlord Request’s that Tenant Retrieve Property (Questions 1 – 18) 



B.  Tenant’s Request for Return of Property (Questions 19 – 23)



C.  Lost Property (Questions 24 – 25)



Commercial Tenancies (Questions 26 – 37)



Abandoned Vehicles (Questions 38 – 41)



Additional Information (Question 42) 


I.  Introduction

After the termination of a tenancy, a landlord may find items of personal property left on the premises by either a former tenant or other persons. This legal article discusses California law regarding the disposition of abandoned property after the end of a tenancy.

II.  Residential Tenancies

The rules that apply for personal property left behind in a residential tenancy do not apply to manufactured homes or mobilehomes (Cal. Civ. Code § 1981).

For a complete summary of Q & A’s on this topic – please visit:



Copyright© 2008 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Permission is granted to C.A.R. members only to reprint and use this material for non-commercial purposes provided credit is given to the C.A.R. Legal Department. Other reproduction or use is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the C.A.R. Legal Department. All rights reserved.

Governor Delivers State of the State – short but missing the point

I imagine you were all glued to the tube this morning or, like me, linked in via webcast to hear our Governor deliver his ‘State of the State’ speech. No? Am I the only one with no life here and a jones for politics?

Well, you didn’t miss much. Really. It was over and done in about 10 minutes. At a time when our state faces some of the gravest challenges to our economy, jobs, HOUSING, etc., the Governator spoke for just over 10 minutes. Didn’t have much to say anyway.

After spending the first couple minutes sucking up to President-elect Obama, Arnold proceeded to let us know what we were in for:

I will not give the traditional State of the State address today, because the reality is that our state is incapacitated until we resolve the budget crisis. The truth is that California is in a state of emergency. Addressing this emergency is the first and greatest thing we must do for the people. The 42 billion dollar deficit is a rock upon our chest and we cannot breathe until we get it off. It doesn’t make any sense to talk about education, infrastructure, water, health care reform and all these things when we have this huge budget deficit.

Hmmm, well can’t disagree with him there except that IMHO he missed a golden opportunity to put some pressure on the people who are standing between our state and a functional resolution – namely the Democratic lackeys to the states major unions. It’s no mystery how we got here, why our budget growth has outstripped our revenue growth by tenfold during the past 5 years and why we can’t address the core issues. Both houses of our legislature have been controlled by Democrats for more than 2 decades and the excess spending that occurred during our last two housing booms and our dot.com boom has become institutionalized with most Democrats owing their careers to the unions that bought their seats.

Here’s what the Governor did address:

Our citizens do not believe that we in government are in touch with their needs. These needs are not unreasonable. At the end of the day, most people do not require a great deal from their government.

They expect the fundamentals.

They want to live in safety.

They want a good education for their children.

They want jobs.

They want to breathe clean air.

They want water when they turn on the faucet and electricity when they turn on the switch.

And they want these things delivered efficiently and economically.

That’s all true, isn’t it? MOST people do not require a great deal. However SOME people do. And given the rampant race to socialize and the bail-out mentality at the federal level, MORE people are demanding MORE. And at our state level, maybe most people don’t REQUIRE a great deal, but that hasn’t stopped our legislature from GIVING them more. The culture of entitlement is alive and well in Sacramento and their largesse is well appreciated in certain circles.

But let’s look at his comments more closely – they want to live in safety. Hmmm – isn’t most public safety provided by our LOCAL police forces? Aside from the CHP and the massive amount of money funneled into the states most lucrative union the Prison Guards, what is the cost to the state for safety?

A good education? Absolutely. But as a state we spend more on education alone that most states spend on their entire budget. The Teachers Union owns large voting blocks of our legislature. Yet our state consistently ranks in the lower 3rd on national test scores. The amount of money we are throwing at this problem doesn’t seem to help much.

Jobs? Oh yes, please. We want jobs. But is it the states job to create jobs? I mean aside from creating more bureaus to oversee the committees who study the groups that work with the commissions – does the state actually create jobs? Howzabout reducing taxes so companies quit leaving California? How about eliminating red tape and whacked-out environmental requirements so companies can start-up here, or expand their operations? Private enterprise creates jobs – not government.

Clean air. Oh Brother. The government’s in the clean air business? Along with keeping mylar balloons and plastic grocery sacks out of my hands – they enact legislation aimed at driving even more industries out of California to comply with some pipe dreams Jerry Brown has.

Water and electricity? I’m sorry. Aren’t those services provided by private utilities? Again, isn’t it the government whose actions have endangered the Sacramento Delta water shed, cut our water allocation 85% this year to preserve the Delta Smelt, prohibited off-shore oil exploration, prohibited cross-state transport of LNG, administratively eliminated development of nuclear energy while making it cost prohibitive to develop wind or solar energy even though they claim that’s what they want?

So out of all the basic services he described this morning, the majority aren’t even things provided by the state, should not be messed with by the state, or wherein the state is only giving us marginal bang for our bucks. Nothing there that would justify a $148 Billion dollar budget. NOTHING that should require you and I to pay more taxes to make up a $42 Billion shortfall caused not by us, but by the legislature. But we will have that dubious honor anyway unless I miss my guess. And I rarely miss guesses like this.

Anyway, if you would like to see the whole script of the Governors remarks this morning, here’s a link. It’s only about 4 double spaced paged so it’s a short read with no pictures: http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/018621.html

The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly, the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of SRCAR, ActiveRain, The Valley Business Journal or any local or state government or other mental institution.

Fannie Mae Extends Foreclosure Sale & Eviction Suspension At Least Through Month-End

Fannie Mae Extends Foreclosure Sale and Eviction Suspension


WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) today announced that it would extend the suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions from single-family properties through January 31, 2009.

This action will enable the company to work with mortgage servicers to further implement the Streamlined Modification Program (SMP) announced on November 11, 2008 and initiated on December 15, 2008. The extension will also provide additional time for the company to operationalize its new National REO Rental Policy, which will allow renters in company-owned foreclosed properties to stay in their homes. Details of the new policy are expected to be announced shortly.

The temporary suspension of foreclosures will allow affected borrowers facing foreclosure to retain their homes while Fannie Mae works with mortgage servicers to implement the SMP. Foreclosure attorneys and loan servicers have been instructed to use the additional time to reach out to borrowers and continue to pursue workout options. The initiative applies to loans owned or securitized by Fannie Mae.

The SMP is aimed at the borrower who has missed three payments or more, owns and occupies the primary residence, and has not filed for bankruptcy. The program creates a fast-track method for getting troubled borrowers into an affordable monthly payment through a mix of reducing the mortgage interest rate, extending the life of the loan or even deferring payments on part of the principal. Servicers have flexibility in the approach, but the objective is to create a more affordable payment for borrowers at risk of foreclosure.

Fannie Mae’s loan servicers are prepared to work with borrowers during this suspension period, even if previous workout efforts have been unsuccessful. As part of the company’s “Second Look” initiative, Fannie Mae personnel have been reviewing seriously delinquent loans to determine if the borrower has been contacted and all workout options have been exhausted.

The streamlined modification program and temporary suspension of foreclosures are two of a series of steps Fannie Mae has taken to expand its foreclosure prevention efforts, which are designed to give loan servicers and foreclosure attorneys tools to find the best solution for a borrower in financial trouble. Fannie Mae and its many partners in the housing industry urge borrowers in financial difficulty to reach out to their loan servicers, regardless of whether they are facing imminent foreclosure. Solutions may be available that could make an existing mortgage more affordable.

Fannie Mae Announces National REO Rental Policy


Renters in Fannie Mae-Owned Foreclosed Properties
Eligible to Stay in Their Homes

WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) today announced the establishment of a new National Real Estate Owned (REO) Rental Policy that will allow qualified renters in Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed properties to stay in their homes. The company currently has an eviction suspension in place through the end of January which will allow for the new policy to be fully operationalized prior to the suspension concluding.

“Renters in foreclosed properties have often been a casualty of the foreclosure crisis the country is facing,” said Michael Williams, chief operating officer of Fannie Mae. “This policy will allow qualified renters to remain in Fannie Mae-owned properties should they choose to do so, mitigate the disruption of personal lives that foreclosures can cause, and help bring a measure of stability to communities impacted by high foreclosure rates.”

The new policy applies to renters occupying foreclosed properties at the time Fannie Mae acquires the property. Renters occupying any type of single-family property will be eligible including residents of two- to four-unit properties, condos, co-ops, single-family detached homes and manufactured housing. Eligible renters will be offered a new month-to-month lease with Fannie Mae or financial assistance for their transition to new housing should they choose to vacate the property. The properties must meet state laws and local code requirements for a rental property.

While the company markets the properties for sale, Fannie Mae will manage the properties through a real estate broker or a property management company. The company will not require security deposits to be posted in connection with this program.

Renters in the foreclosed properties will be asked to pay market rate rent under the new leases. Rates may be determined by reviewing local comparable rents, conducting a neighborhood survey, or through other relevant indicators. Rates will also be subject to any legal rent control restrictions. The company will review each instance where the market rate may require a tenant to pay additional rent and will work to reach an equitable resolution.

On behalf of the company, property managers are contacting renters in Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed properties to notify them of their options.

For more information, please review the policy FAQs at fanniemae.com.

Murrieta State of the Community Address 12/08

This morning I attended a ‘Murrieta State of the Community’ address by Mayor Rick Gibbs. Today is Mayor Gibbs last day on the job as he will hand over the gavel to Gary Thomasian at tonights City Council Meeting. Rick has done an outstanding job for us this year, bringing a high level of decorum to the office, a professional reserve and a business-like attitude. His tenure helped heal many of the remaining rifts our city suffered as the result of our council recall from a few years ago.

Rick served as my Vice-Chair a few years back when we worked on the General Plan Review Committee. With his election to the council, he has seen to the implementation and/or revision of many of the Land Use Elements of that plan, a focus on the Housing Element and especially the Economic Development Element which was then, and remains, one of the pre-eminent goals of our city. Incoming Mayor Thomasian also served on that committee as did newly elected council member Randon Lane. As such, all three probably have a better understanding of land use issues than most other citys enjoy and that’s good news for us.

Mayor Gibbs’ address this morning summarized a successful year in the life of a city. Considering that Murrieta is at the center of the foreclosure tsunami in Southern California and has attracted an outsize share of fraudsters and scam artists, the news out of Murrieta is surprisingly positive. Where other cities in the region are deciding how many people to lay off and which services to cut, Murrieta proposed a 2008 budget that took into account the declining property tax and sales tax revenues and eliminated some $5 million in spending without cutting people or essential services (are you listening Sacramento?).

Additional income from a couple of windfalls resulted in resurrection of some projects and the ability of the City to launch or complete about $112 million in infrastructure improvements, bridges, overpasses, etc. These Capitol Improvement Projects (CIP’s) are ideal targets for these windfall funds because they represent one-time expenditures and don’t commit the City to future  expenditures when the money may not be available. (Again, unlike Sacramento where one-time windfalls are used to fund jobs and projects that require future money even when none is available).

The  key question asked  by Mayor Gibbs was “Does this sound like…?” Meaning, do the plans for the future of Murrieta sound like…Irvine, Rancho Bernardo, industrial El Segundo? If you were to have a vision for the city in 5, 10, 20 years, which of those areas would Murrieta most closely resemble? Stressing the old real estate axiom – location, location, location, Gibbs suggested that Murrieta occupies an enviable place in the region with the confluence of the I-15 and I-215. There are 250,000 cars a day through that  area providing exposure and access to nearly 600,000 people in our regional trade area with that number growing to nearly 793,000 in just 3  years. Gibbs also lauded the amount of land still available in our city for development including over 650 acres of prime freeway frontage land not available elsewhere.

Gibbs believes that Southwest County will lead the economic resurgence not only in our region but in the state as well given our reputation for Safety (#1 city in Riverside County); the growth in available health care opportunities; improved infrastructure; the availability of a wide spectrum of housing from low-income to estate level; and the expansion of educational offerings from our excellent local school districts to new venues for higher education. Fueled by a 400% growth in sales tax revenue and a similar increase in property tax revenues between 2000 and 2007, prudent budgeting should enable the city to weather the current recession and emerge a stronger entity in “take you pick, 1, 2 or 3 years” down the road, according to the Mayor. But it’s inevitable.

The City will continue to do its job to keep infrastructure ahead of demand, to keep new business and development fees and rates competitive and to expand their “Red Team’ approach to constantly evaluate permitting and other requirements to try to make Murrieta more business friendly and attract quality job growth to the area.

While the presentation is not yet available on-line, I will post a link to it as soon as the City makes it available.

City of Temecula Housing Repair Program

The City has determined that many homes eligible for the First Time Homebuyer Program are in need of some repair. In the current market many of these affordable homes are Bank-Owned properties that may have suffered some distress either at the hands of former owners or through neglect and vacancy. This program is designed to work in tandem with the First Time Homebuyer Program.Single Family detached homes, condominiums, townhouses and manufactured homes on a 433 permanent foundation.

Property Location:
Within Temecula City Limits

Maximum Amount:

Loan Terms:
A ten year loan at 5% interest. The loan is forgiven on the maturity date if the terms have not been breached. If title to the property is transferred, the borrower ceases to occupy the property or the first mortgage is refinanced with cash taken out the loan becomes due and payable immediately.

The application must be processed concurrently with the First Time Homebuyer Program.

Eligible Repairs:
Housing staff will perform a pre-inspection of all work to be done to determine eligibility. Eligible repairs include, but are not limited to:

Property Type:

  • Code items
  • Deterioration of structure or fencing
  • Repair or replacement of roof
  • HVAC systems, wall heater or evaporative coolers
  • Windows, Screens, Garage Doors & Entry Doors
  • Exterior Painting
  • Electrical
  • Non-working or missing major appliances
  • Repair items damaged by neglect, vandalism or theft

Participant must obtain a minimum of 2 bids from licensed contractors. All work must be inspected by housing staff or building inspectors prior to payment. Payment may be made directly to the approved contractor or to the homeowner as reimbursement.

Qualifying Income:

Family Size /
Income            1 / $52,100 2 / $59,500 3 / $67,000 4 / $74,400 5 / $80,400 6 / $86,300 7 / $92,300 8 / $98,200

For more program information please contact The City of Temecula Redevelopment Agency, Emery Papp @ 951-693-3966, www.cityoftemecula.org.

City of Temecula 1st Time Homebuyer Program

The City of Temecula FTHB Program is designed to provide loan assistance to lower income persons in the purchase of their first home. The amount of assistance available depends on the buyers qualifications and the price of the home. The maximum amount of assistance is 20% of the purchase price plus closing costs up to a total of $65,000.

Loan Terms:
This is a 30 year 2nd mortgage loan at 5% interest. The loan is deferred for the first 5 years, then fully amortized in years 6 – 30. If the borrower transfers title, ceases to occupy the property as his or her principle residence, or refinances with cash taken out, the loan becomes due and payable.

To Qualify:
The purchased cannot have owned a home for the previous three years. Tax returns will be reviewed and the buyer must sign a sworn affidavit that they have not owned a home.

Buyer Requirements:
The buyer must have sufficient income and credit-worthiness to qualify for a first mortgage through a participating lender. In addition, the buyer must provide a minimum of 3% of the purchase price as a down payment from their own funds and must accept the highest loan-to-value ratio first loan for which they qualify.

Maximum Home Price:
The purchase price of the home is limited only by the applicants ability to qualify for financing. The purchase price shall not exceed fair market value indicated by a property appraisal.

Eligible Properties:
The FTHB Program may be used to purchase any new or resale home that is 1) in the City Limits; 2) Permanently affixed to a permanent foundation; 3) has a minimum of 2 bedrooms; and is 4) currently occupied by the Seller or vacant (tenant occupied homes are not eligible). The purchaser MUST reside within the home within 60 days of purchase.
The home must be in sound condition and meet housing quality standards as determined by the RDA and building and safety standards. The borrower shall agree to maintain the home in good condition and shall be required to obtain a one-year home warranty as part of the home purchase.

Qualifying Incomes:

Family Size/       ¦lt;br /> Max Income        1 / $52,100 2 / $59,500 3 / $67,000 4 / $74,000 5/ $80,400 6 / $86,300 7 / $92,300 8 / $98,200

Information valid as of 10/09. For current information on fund availability, contact The City of Temecula Redevelopment Agency, Emery Papp @ 951-693-3955. www.cityoftemecula.org