It’s that time again for our annual review of hot topics and top posts for the last year, 2010.
#5. The Great Flood of 2010. Ah, who can forget the flooding in the spring of 2010. I sure remember bailing out my flooded basement every 30 minutes through the night, into exhaustion. Good times… FEMA declared a “major disaster” and the IRS granted taxpayers in 7 counties an extension to file their taxes.
#4. The Obama HAFA Short Sale Program. The Obama short sale program, announced at the end of 2009, was aimed to speed up short sales of homes and other loan modification alternatives to stem the rising tide of foreclosures. The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) provides financial incentives and simplifies the procedures for completing short sales, a growing practice in which a lender agrees to accept the sale price of a home to pay off a mortgage even if the price falls short of the amount owed. By all accounts, however, the HAFA program has been a dismal failure.
#3. On Jan. 1, new RESPA rules went into effect, significantly changing the way lenders disclose settlement services, in particular closing attorneys’ fees, and title insurance. Read more: New RESPA Rules 2010: Disclosure of Settlement Services, Closing Attorneys’ Fees, And Title Insurance .
#2. Our popular primers on the Massachusetts Offer to Purchase and the standard form Purchase and Sale Agreement, checked in with over 16,000 reads. Great to see posts about buying a new home ranking so highly. An indicator of the recovery of the Massachusetts real estate market perhaps?
- There’s Nothing Standard About The Massachusetts Standard Purchase and Sale Agreement
- The Massachusetts Offer To Purchase: A Binding Contract
#1–Fannie Mae & FHA Condominium Regulations: Our series on the Fannie Mae and FHA strict new condominium lending rules were incredibly popular, combining for over 25,000 reads during 2010. The new guidelines had condominium developers and associations, buyers and sellers in a tizzy, as Fannie and FHA imposed much tougher pre-sale requirements, condominium financial guidelines and the imposition of unit owner HO-6 insurance policies, among other requirements.
- The Catch-22 Impact of New Fannie Mae Condominium Regulations.
- New FHA Condominium Lending Guidelines Sure To Slow Financing and Chill Sales
- HO-6 Policies Required By Fannie Mae & FHA
Honorable Mention: With Old Man Winter upon us, our post on the changes in Massachusetts snow removal law is very popular: Massachusetts Property Owners Now Have Legal Responsibility To Shovel Snow & Ice.
What To Expect In 2011
Final Ruling In the Ibanez Foreclosure Case
Early 2011 should bring the final word from the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court on the very controversial foreclosure case of U.S. Bank v. Ibanez which invalidated foreclosures across the state for sloppy paperwork. Thousands of property owners and their ownership rights to their homes hang in the balance. Click Here For Our Entire Series Of Post On the Ibanez Case.
Fate Of Real Estate Attorneys
Year 2011 should also bring the final word in the The Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts, Inc. (REBA) v. National Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (NREIS) case. This case pits Massachusetts real estate closing attorneys versus out of state non-attorney settlement service providers which are attempting to perform “witness or notary” closings here in Massachusetts. At stake is merely the billion dollar Massachusetts real estate closing industry.
What are your predictions for 2011?