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April 5, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .


Want to make a difference?
You and RPAC do make a difference!
We are planning the best RPAC Fundraiser ever!
Reserve now to be part of the action and support your industry!
Each ticket provides you:
Admission to the event, a credit toward your total 2010 RPAC contribution, a chance to
win door prizes at the reception, and a chance to meet County and State lawmakers.
Costume Contest, Texas Hold'em, Bid Whist, Spades, Motown Music,
Silent and Live Auctions, Caricaturist, Open Bar and Great Food!
Share the flyers.

Michael Chelst, AmericaHomeKey, Inc.
Open Bar
CSS Title Corporation
Bronze Sponsors
- Mel Schneider Title
& Escrow, Inc.
- Presidential Bank
Cash Sponsors
- Carl Zentz, Esq.
- Village Settlements
* NOTE: Contributions are for RPAC which is not deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes, charitable or otherwise. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes to support state, local and federal candidates and are charged against your limits under 2USC441A. Nothing should be construed as solicitations of contributions.

Unfinished Business on Critical Housing Programs

Call for Action Congress left town for their spring recess without completing work on two critical programs essential to recovering real estate markets - the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP) and the Section 502 Rural Housing program.

Until Congress extends NFIP, no new or renewal flood policies can be issued. Thousands of property buyers will not be able to purchase a home or commercial property without the flood insurance coverage provided by NFIP.

The real estate market cannot afford another setback. Urge Congress to renew NFIP and the Rural Housing 502 program today.

Take Action >>

Real Estate Tax Issues CE Class

This Wednesday, April 7
10 - 11:30 a.m.

Be well prepared for taxes. Learn from Linda de Marlor, the recognized expert in taxes for the real estate professional this Wednesday at PGCAR.

Class size limited ~ Register here >

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $
WHC - Pursuing New Strategies for State and Local Programs
$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

There are so many programs to help, and they provide REAL dollars to homebuyers!
So please tell it to me in easy steps, "What do REALTORS® need to know?"

Learn the specifics of state and local housing finance programs helping REALTORS® place homebuyers
into Prince George's County homes, and earn 2.5 MD CEU. This class covers it all!

Wednesday, April 21
9 am - 12 noon
at La Fontaine Bleu

Only $10 for PGCAR Members ~ Breakfast Included
Register today >>

Friday, April 23rd
at La Fontaine Bleu
Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC license renewal

Terrific Courses & Instructors
to Select From,
Breakfast, Lunch &
Our Famous
Ice Cream Social

All for Only
$75 for Members;
$100 Non-Members

  • MD Code of Ethics
    3.0 CEU - MD required (Ethics) & DC elective hours
    Instructor: Larry Hudson
  • Law of Agency
    3.0 CEU - MD required (Legislative Update) hours
    Instructor: Al Monshower
  • 203K Purchase Rehab
    3.0 CEU - MD elective hours
    Instructor: Michael Chelst
  • Stay Current on FHA & RESPA
    3.0 CEU - MD elective hours
    Instructor: Pat Miller
  • Building Green
    3.0 CEU - MD elective hours
    Instructor: Vimal Kapoor
  • Advertising Obligations of a RE Licensee
    1.5 CEU - MD required (Legislative Update) & DC elective hours
    Instructor: Al Monshower


Click here for a printable flyer.

Get Onboard with Community Service... It Feels Right!

Christmas in April is Saturday, April 24. We are going to paint and do yard work for a needy County family. Please volunteer at >

PGCAR has also organized a team for the March of Dimes' March for Babies on Saturday, April 17 at Watkins Park. You may join the team or make a contribution at

Finally, save the date for our 2nd health fair on May 22 in the parking lot of the Association office.

Short Sales and Foreclosures - ABR & SFR Designations Class

Tuesday, April 27 at PGCAR, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Manuever the complexities of short sales, master the opportunities, learn how to evaluate options for distressed homeowners, and counsel buyer-clients in purchasing foreclosures. A core class for the Short Sales and Foreclosures Resources (SFR) certification, an ABR elective, and worth 6 elective MD CEU if you score at least 80% on the test at end of class.

Only $75 for this full-day designation class. Registration & Details >>   PDF Flyer >>

Earn Your GRI in 2010

Whether you're taking your first GRI course ever, or just need a few more classes, you can earn your GRI designation this year at PGCAR. All three of the required 5-day series are offered.

Online Education
Continuing Education

Online Education is here at PGCAR!

The first offering is Maryland Legislative Update, a 3 CEU required category for license renewals. Click here to sign up!

Online options for several more classes will be approved and offered soon. Details at >


Homebuyer Savings Expiring April 30 - 25 Days Away

Home Buyer Tax Credit Expiring Home Buyer Tax Credit

An $8,000 tax credit is available for first-time homebuyers and $6,500 for homebuyers replacing their principal residence. But they must enter a binding contract by April 30, 2010, and close on the home by June 30, 2010. Make sure your buyers are aware of these huge incentives, and help guide them on how to apply for the tax credit.
Here's how >>

3.5% Sales Price Incentive From Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive for buyers who purchase and close on a Fannie Mae-owned home between January 28 and April 30, 2010. Buyers purchasing properties listed on that are closed within this period may receive up to 3.5% of the final sales price for:

  • Closing costs;
  • The purchase of new Whirlpool® appliances by Fannie Mae; or
  • A mix of closing costs and appliances, at the buyer's discretion, up to the maximum 3.5%.

To be eligible for this incentive:

  • Property sales must close before May 1, 2010; and
  • Buyers must be owner-occupants (investors are excluded).

Commercial Symposium Open to All Practitioners

Save the Date for May 20th
7:30 - 11:30 a.m. at The Westin BWI

MAR, the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR), and NAIOP-Maryland are hosting a dynamic event that will feature networking and three (3) hours of required legislative CE (pending approval), with special emphasis on commercial and industrial real estate in the region. Cost will be $35, continental breakfast included. This is expected to be a sell-out event so be on the lookout for registration details coming soon!

REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations

Five winners will receive $10,000 grants and national publicity.

REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2010 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.

Deadline for entry is Friday, May 21, 2010.
Apply at

Legislative Update: Health Care Reform

Click here for information on how national health care reform impacts REALTORS®.

Click here for an overview - and some detailed analysis - of the health care reform legislation passed.


Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs


NAR has posted a Webinar on its short sales web page to give REALTORS® more details about the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) that takes effect today, April 5, 2010. For homeowners unable to retain their home through the Home Affordable loan Modification Program (HAMP), HAFA offers the possibility that they will still be able to avoid foreclosure with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The Webinar provides an overview, but REALTORS® who will sell property covered by the HAFA program will need to become very familiar with the process and the forms that will govern the transaction.

NAR's HAFA Webinar >
NAR's Short Sales Website, including HAFA Guidelines, Forms, and FAQs >

HAFA Changes - Short Sale Negotiators Will Not Be Paid from Real Estate Commissions
On March 12, 2010, the Treasury Department posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and two revised forms for the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA). HAFA takes effect today (April 5, 2010), but servicers were allowed to implement early (apparently none did so). Of particular interest to REALTORS®, Q4000 changes the way short sale negotiators/vendors hired by the servicer are to be paid. Instead of being paid from the real estate commission, they will instead be paid from the sales proceeds or by the servicer outside of the sales transaction - a significant improvement. But instead of allowing the commission stated in the listing agreement, Q4000 provides for the servicer to specify the allowable commission. NAR will be raising concerns about this change with the Treasury Department. Details and important FAQs >

Enhancements to HAMP, FHA Refinances


On March 25, 2010, the Obama Administration, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David H. Stevens, announced changes to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and enhancements to the FHA's refinance program. The Federal cost of these changes will be funded through the $50 billion allocation for housing programs under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Under the HAMP enhancements, unemployed borrowers meeting eligibility criteria will have an opportunity to have their mortgage payments temporarily reduced to an affordable level for at least 3 months and up to six months for some borrowers while they look for a new job. Eligible homeowners under HAMP must live in an owner occupied principal residence, have a mortgage balance less than $729,750, owe monthly mortgage payments that are not affordable (greater than 31 percent of their income) and demonstrate a financial hardship. Servicers are required to consider an alternative modification approach that emphasizes principal relief.

The FHA refinance option provides more opportunities for lenders to restructure loans for some families who owe more than their home is worth. This is a voluntary program for lenders and homeowners and is primarily targeted to non-FHA borrowers refinancing into a FHA-insured mortgage. To be eligible for a FHA refinance homeowners must be current on their mortgage. This rewards responsible homeowners and creates stabilizing incentives in the housing market.

Total mortgage debt for the borrower after the FHA refinancing, including both first and any other mortgages, cannot be greater than 115 percent of the current value of the home. This will give homeowners a path to rebuild equity in their homes and an affordable monthly payment. Lenders must write down principal of the original first mortgage at least 10 percent to reduce the debt burden on borrowers and the loans may not exceed 97.75 percent of the value of the home. All mortgage debt including second liens must be written down to a maximum of 115 percent of the current value of the home.

HAMP Enhancements Overview
FHA Refinances for Underwater Homeowners
HAMP, FHA Refinance FAQs
Helping Homeowners with Financial Hardships: Two Examples

New FHA Email Account for Condominium Questions

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that an online mailbox has been created for all condominium inquiries. Lenders, trade associations, industry professionals, and other interested parties should send inquiries to According to the announcement by FHA, questions will be answered within 24-48 hours, unless additional research is required. In such cases, the inquirer will be advised that there is a delayed response forthcoming. Any inquiries directed to the FHA Homeownership Centers and/or the Resource Center will be redirected to the new mailbox.

$35,000 in Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance

  1. April 30 Settlement Deadline!
    3.5% Fannie Mae Closing Cost Assistance
    - Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive for buyers who purchase and close on properties listed on

  2. April 30 Contract Deadline!
    $6,500 / $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit
    - Available for buyers entering a binding contract for a new or replacement principal residence by April 30, 2010, and closing on the home by June 30, 2010. Did you know that replacement homebuyers do NOT have to sell their current principal residence to qualify for the $6,500 credit as long as other requirements are met?

    Homebuyer Tax Credit IRS Q & A >>
    Homebuyer Tax Credit Basics >>
    FREE Homebuyer Tax Credit Marketing Brochures >>

  3. Veterans Homeownership Initiative - State pilots assistance program for veterans to affordably buy vacant properties in Prince George's County.

    Forward this link to eligible veterans >>

  4. College Park $35,000 Program - Homebuyers who buy their home and work in College Park may apply to receive up to $35,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance through the WORK & LIVE COLLEGE PARK program.

    College Park Details >>

  5. Bowie $2,000 Program - Police officers, teachers and Bowie City employees can apply for a $2,000 grant when buying a primary residence in Bowie.

    Bowie Program Details >>

  6. County-wide Incentives for Sheriffs and Police - Deputy Sheriffs, and County and Municipal Police Officers Save on Transfer Taxes When Buying a Home in Prince George's County.

    Details >>

  7. $60,000 County-wide Down Payment on Your Dream Program - Buying a foreclosure in Prince George's County? Don't forget assistance of up to $60,000 is still available for targeted income brackets through NSP.

    Details >>

Visit for national, state, county and township programs which SAVE HOMEBUYERS MONEY.

Mortgage rates are below 5% and there are unbelievable home buyer incentives -
It's a great time to buy in Prince George's!

More Classes Offered Saturdays

Due to popular demand, PGCAR is continuing to partner with HOPE and HIP to offer more Saturday classes for your homebuying customers. Evening classes will no longer be offered.

These 8-hour HUD approved sessions are mandatory for the extended, expanded benefits NSP program, and provide information that will help prospective homebuyers be successful homeowners.

This Saturday, April 10 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HOPE, $50 cost
RSVP by calling 301-567-3330.
Saturday, April 24 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HIP, FREE
RSVP by calling 301-699-6262.
Saturday, May 1 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HOPE, $50 cost
RSVP by calling 301-567-3330.

HUD Changes Appraisal Guidelines for HUD REO Properties

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Mortgagee Letter 2010-08, HUD REO Appraisal Validity Period and Second Appraisals. Effective April 1, 2010, appraisals for HUD Real Estate Owned (REO) properties will be 120 days. For buyers financing the purchase of the REO with a FHA-insured mortgage must be ratified within 120 days of the appraisal effective date. ML 2010-08 reduces the appraisal validity date from the current 6 month period.

Effective March 8, 2010, buyers who use FHA to purchase a HUD REO must use the appraisal that was utilized in determining the listing price. A second appraisal can only be ordered to support a higher sales price if there are material deficiencies with the current appraisal or the current appraisal will not be valid by closing. The lender is responsible for:

  1. determining if there are material deficiencies in the appraisal report,
  2. documenting why a second appraisal is necessary, and
  3. retaining both appraisals in the loan file.

Learn More Earn More at PGCAR

This Wednesday, April 7
Real Estate Tax Issues
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Linda de Marlor 10:00 am - 11:30 am

This Thursday, April 8
Agent Survival
3 MD Elective CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Stu Stern 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
REALTOR® Etiquette & Professional Courtesies
1.5 MD Elective CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Stu Stern 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
MD Fair Housing
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Stu Stern 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm

Next Tuesday, April 13
Reverse Mortgages
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Bruce Winstead 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Wednesday, April 21
WHC: Pursuing New Strategies for
State and Local Programs

2.5 MD Elective CEU
various 8:30 am - 12 noon

Friday, April 23
Up to 6 hours of MD and DC Continuing Education
various 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday, April 27
Short Sales and Foreclosures:
What Buyer's Representatives Need to Know

6 MD Elective CEU
various 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday, May 5
GRI 100 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes Begins
16.5 MD CEU - covering 3 hrs Fair Housing,
3 hrs Ethics, and
10.5 hrs Elective CE
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
GRI 100 Series - Module 101:
Building a Real Estate Business
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Friday, May 7
GRI 100 Series - Module 102:
Prospecting & Listing Techniques
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>


Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #17-8:
Attempted Use of Corporate Veil to Avoid Obligation to Arbitrate

REALTORS® A and B, principals in different firms, were both members of the same Board. A disagreement arose between them concerning entitlement to a commission in a real estate transaction. After initial efforts to resolve the dispute proved fruitless, REALTOR® A filed a request for arbitration with the Board which was reviewed by the Grievance Committee which concluded that an arbitrable issue existed. Instead of agreeing to arbitration through the Board, REALTOR® B filed a lawsuit against REALTOR® A. Receiving notice of the suit, REALTOR® A filed a charge with the Board alleging REALTOR® B had violated Article 17 of the Code of Ethics.

REALTOR® B, in his presentation to the Board of Directors indicated that, in his opinion, he was not subject to any ethics charge, since it was his corporation, and not REALTOR® B individually, that had filed suit against the corporation of REALTOR® A, not against REALTOR® A himself.

REALTOR® A told the Board of Directors that immediately upon occurrence of the dispute, he had suggested to REALTOR® B that the matter be arbitrated by the Board, and REALTOR® B said he would think about it. REALTOR® A then proceeded to file his request for arbitration with the Board. However, REALTOR® B did not respond to the arbitration notice and, shortly thereafter, REALTOR® A received notice of the suit filed by REALTOR® B's corporation against the corporation of REALTOR® A. He said he then called REALTOR® B and again discussed the obligation of Article 17 with him. However, REALTOR® B advised him that his corporation was not subject to the requirements of the Code and stated his intent to pursue the litigation.

REALTOR® B acknowledged that the facts as related by REALTOR® A were correct and that his corporation had filed suit upon the advice of the corporation's legal counsel. REALTOR® B said that membership in a Board of REALTORS® is individual and that personal responsibility disappears when a matter of corporate business is involved. He pointed out that he was not the only principal or officer in his corporation and that the decision to file litigation was not made by him alone, but by all of the corporate officers.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 17, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>

Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
8400 Corporate Drive  :  Suite 225 : Landover MD 20785
Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2010, PGCAR

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