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  • A Bi-Monthly Electronic Publication for Section Members
  • April 2013

Group & Committee News

Residential, Multi-Family and Special Use Group

The mission of the housing group of committees revolves around the single most important investment for most consumers - their home. Each committee focuses on a unique aspect of the residential housing market, from single family to multi-family properties, from affordable housing to specialized housing for the elderly. For more information regarding the activities of this group, contact Group Chair Kellye Curtis Clarke at kclarke@hometowntitle.net , or Group Vice Chair Bruce Hawley at bhawley@stewart.com.

The Residential, Multi-Family and Special Use Group will present a CLE at the 24th Annual Spring Symposia titled "Impact of the Mortgage Crises on Communities: Use of Eminent Domain to Take Properties." The panelist will address how local governments may plan to employ and utilize state police powers to take ownership of blighted properties and seize mortgages and concerns from federal agencies on the use of eminent domain to restructure performing home loans. This discussion will focus on arguments both for and against the use of eminent domain to seize negative equity mortgage loans, and alternative solutions for blighted properties including the establishment of land banks at local government levels to rehabilitate blighted properties and neighborhoods.

The Single Family Residential Committee focuses on all aspects of the development, sale, financing and ownership of single-family residential property, including the impact of FHA, FNMA, FHLMC, VA and HUD programs. The committee, together with other members of the group, drafted and submitted a comment to the CFPB proposed rule for new loan/closing disclosures. The forms, mandated by Dodd-Frank, represent a very significant change to the responsibilities of all parties in residential sale and loan transactions. The comment period was very limited, and this was accomplished in an expedited fashion with input from several committees. This committee also presented a teleconference on the issue of private regulation of attorneys involved in the closing process, and is expanding this to a formal program/publication format. To learn more about the activities of this committee, contact Committee Chair Chris Christensen at chris.christensen@loandocsmail.com or Committee Vice Chair Jim Ramseyer at james.ramseyer@gmail.com.

The Multi-Family Residential Committee deals with all aspects of the development, sale, financing and ownership of multifamily residential property, including the impact of FHA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and HUD programs. This committee focuses on the legal issues faced by landlords, property managers and tenants of rental housing and apartments. The committee recently hosted a telephone conference call on the topic of CMBS 2.0, which had a great member turnout. In addition, the committee will jointly present the CLE program "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loan Originations in the New World Order" at the Spring Symposia. This program will: i) provide an overview of the Freddie and Fannie CMBS products (Freddie’s Capital Markets Execution product and Fannie’s Guaranteed Multifamily Structures and Mortgaged Backed Securities products), including basic deal structure and securitization process, key property and borrower requirements (e.g. limited types of properties; maximum LTV; borrower single-purpose entity); (ii) explain how the Freddie and Fannie products differ from one another and how they differ from the CMBS 2.0 world, including the strengths and weaknesses of each; and (iii) what this all means for the borrower and borrower’s counsel (e.g. additional due diligence requirements; non-consolidation opinions; negotiating loan documents, etc.). To learn more about the activities of this committee, contact Committee Chair Jeffrey Pascale at jpascale@rc.com or Vice Chair Christina Jenkins at cjenkins@midrid.com.

The Senior Housing and Assisted Living Committee addresses the unique problems of providing housing and related services to seniors. The committee encompasses the continuing care retirement community, congregate care assisted living facilities and residential aspects of nursing care, including subsidies and other government programs. The committee hosted a substantive call on April 9th titled: "Got a call from my client - getting sued for discrimination, now what do I do?" To learn more about the activities of this committee, contact Committee Chair Jonathan Gershen at jsgershen@gershengroup.com or Vice Chair Sara Toner at toner@rlf.com.

The Affordable Housing Committee focuses on all aspects of the development, acquisition, financing and ownership of affordable housing, and the governmental programs and policies that support it, including the Community Reinvestment Act. Many of the committee members are involved with HUD programs, low-income housing tax credits and other government provided subsidies, and the committee provides a forum to provide commentary for the utilization and administration of these programs. This committee is sponsoring a CLE program titled "New HUD Initiatives Designed to Help Finance Affordable Housing" to be presented at the 24th Annual RPTE Spring CLE Symposia. It is also worth noting that this panel will include both private practitioners and high level representatives from HUD. To learn more about the activities of this committee, contact Committee Chair Jeff Adams at Jeff.adams@agg.com or Cynthia Paine CPaine@renocavanaugh.com.