Overreaching legislation

Special thanks to fellow Realtor Ric Thom for sharing this:
This is an important message from Ric Thom, President Security Escrow Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

May 26, 2009
HR 1728: The Taking of Private Property Rights
Congress is trying to greatly restrict seller financing. This is a taking of our private property rights. The US House recently passed HR 1728 which limits you as an individual to sell real property using seller financing to only once every 36 months (HR 1728 Sec 101 Definition (3)(E)).

This bill was written to amend the Truth-In-Lending Act to regulate residential mortgage loan originators. This stems from the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008, or S.A.F.E, which established a national registry and standards for mortgage brokers. This is all directed at mortgage brokers, mortgage companies and banks. These are third parties that provide loan proceeds to the buyer to purchase property. That’s a good thing, but for some reason Congress has included private property owners who wish to sell their property using seller financing. Seller financing is where the buyer and seller negotiate a price, a payment plan, and interest rate. It’s an installment sale where the buyer pays the seller monthly and the buyer gets the use of the property. This is a frequently used method of buying and selling real estate especially in this economy of tight money. Banks are just not lending on, or are requiring huge amounts of cash down on, certain types of properties.

Seller financing is used tens of thousands of times every year, if not hundreds of thousands of times, to sell real estate. In New Mexico alone, with a population of fewer than 2,000,000, it is used over 5,000 times a year.

These acts are over-reaching and will have unintended consequences. The definition of a residential mortgage loan according to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 means any loan primarily for personal, family or household use that is secured by a mortgage, deed of trust or other equivalent consensual security interest on a dwelling or on residential real estate upon which is constructed or is intended to be constructed a dwelling (Sec 1503 Definition (8)). This means any vacant land would fall under this act. A dwelling can be a house, condo, or mobile home. Here are just a few examples of the consequences:
• Let’s say you are about to lose your home and you need another $1000 a month to make ends meet. You decide to sell your five acres in the mountains and your 1982 single-wide mobile home on one acre by the lake to make your mortgage payment. Banks are not lending on these types of properties and you need a quick sale, so you use seller financing. The problem is you need to sell both to get an extra $1000 per month, but the government has prohibited you from doing so because of the one every 36 month rule.
• Suppose you have a self-directed IRA. Every year you buy property with cash out of the IRA. You then sell it using seller financing so you can get a 6% interest rate. You will be prohibited from doing so under the Act.
• Let’s say you have four rental houses that you own free and clear. Part of your retirement plan was to sell them using seller financing with a 6 to 7% interest rate and a 30 year amortization providing a nice, monthly income. You don’t want cash because CDs only pay 2% and you already lost money in the stock market. But, under this act you are prohibited from selling them now. You can only sell one every 36 months.
These scenarios go on and on. They are as unique as the individuals and the properties. Real estate is not just a house in a California suburb. It is also vacant land, non-conforming housing, land and mobile home, duplexes, triplexes, farms and ranches, and recreational properties. These types of properties would fall under the Act. Not everyone invests in the stock market. A lot of people invest in the above types of real estate. Not everyone wants to cash out when they sell their property; some people like seller financing for the income stream. Most states have escrow companies that hold the deeds or releases for buyers and sellers. They also keep track of the principal and interest and report interest to the IRS.

This bill takes away our right to use seller financing as we see fit. House Bill HR 1728 should exempt anyone who offers or negotiates terms of a real property sale financed in whole or in part by the seller and secured by the seller’s real property.
Why should individuals who had nothing to do with this crises be punished for the sins of the greedy Wall-Streeters? These acts are for mortgage machines, not Ma and Pa. I know the government is concerned about predatory practices, but is seems the local district attorney would be a more effective hammer than to regulate, restrict, and police every real property owner in America. Besides, seller financing is not lending. It is an installment sale. The seller has agreed to receive their equity over time, plus a negotiated interest rate.
House Bill HR 1728 is headed for the US Senate. Please write your senator and have them exclude seller financing from these acts that are supposed to regulate the previously unlicensed mortgage brokers. Write your state’s Realtor Association and the National Association of Realtors and ask them to help stop the government from taking away our right to sell our property the way we want to and when we want to. There should not be any restriction on how many properties we sell during a certain time period.

What’s next – just one transaction every 5 years, or no seller financing at all? This restriction is the last thing America needs in this great real estate compression. Please act now. Exempt Seller Financing From HR 1728. Please forward this to anyone you think should know about this issue.

To locate your Senator go to http://www.senate.gov/senators
To locate your state’s Realtor Association go to: http://www.realtor.org/leadrshp.nsf/webassoc?OpenView

For further information contact:
Ric Thom
Security Escrow Corporation
Albuquerque, NM