Dear MCAR Member,

Please take a moment to review the upcoming events which include C.A.R. webinars, Coffee with your Government Affairs Director, and Young Professionals Network Legal Talk (Part 1). Register for these events via the included links below and please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can be of assistance or answer any questions you may have.

Upcoming C.A.R. Webinars.
COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020

Sep 10, 2020 01:30 PM (PST)

The COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act of 2020 is now law. What does it do? What does it mean? Are tenants excused from paying rent? If so, for how long? And, what about landlords? Are they entitled to be paid? Can they collect from tenants who don’t? Can they evict tenants who don’t? And what about C.A.R.? Is it going to help REALTORS® and their clients understand what this new law is all about? Is it going to create even more forms? Of course, that’s what we do. Join C.A.R. attorneys Robert Bloom and Neil Kalin for a special expanded legal live webinar on Thursday September 10 from 1:30 pm until 3:00 pm to find out the answer to these and many more questions. Get advice from C.A.R. for free or pay your attorney thousands of dollars. The choice is yours.
Lone Wolf Transactions (zipForm Edition) Best Practices in a Paperless World!

Sep 15, 2020 01:00 PM (PST)

Wondering how to work from home in an effective manner? We are here to help! Join us for a webinar to cover best practices in a paperless world, and learn the shortcuts that will make you effective when you're out in the field or working from home.

We will cover:

  • Emailing and signing documents digitally
  • Sharing docs with your clients using zipCommunity™
  • LIVE Q & A - bring your questions!

Register even if you cannot attend because a recording will be emailed to all registrants.
Federal bill could help remove obstacle to homeownership
Source: Housing Wire
Two U.S. senators are pushing a bill designed to help remove one of the biggest challenges to buying a home – high down payments.

The bipartisan-sponsored bill, called the American Dream Down Payment Act, would allow states to offer first-time homebuyers a savings account, which comes with a tax benefit as they save up to 20% for a down payment.

If passed, the legislation would allow states to establish American Dream down payment accounts, which would be managed similarly to the 529 plans that help people save for higher education expenses.

Though contributions themselves are not tax deductible, the funds can be withdrawn without any federal tax penalty. The American Dream Down Payment Act will also allow the recipient to use the account to pay for closing costs. Families and friends are permitted to contribute to the savings accounts.
Conventional vs. FHA and VA loans; which one is right for you?
Source: Bankrate
For most mortgage borrowers, there are three major loan types: conventional, FHA and VA. Each loan type comes with a different set of qualifications, benefits and drawbacks.

A conventional loan is a mortgage that is not backed or insured by the government, including all Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture loan programs. Conventional loans typically have fixed interest rates and terms.

An FHA loan is a loan that's insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA does not lend money; it backs qualified lenders in case of mortgage default. There are certain criteria both borrowers and lenders must meet to get FHA approval.

Like with FHA loans, VA loans are insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA. The VA does not lend money; it insures qualified lenders. If a borrower defaults on their home loan, then the lender is protected by the VA. Lenders and borrowers must both meet qualifications to be VA-eligible.
Gov. Newsom signs new eviction protections lasting through January
Source: Los Angeles Times
California state lawmakers late Monday passed a plan to protect tenants from eviction through January as long as they pay 25% of the rent due starting with the month of September.

This minimum of 25% of the rent can be paid each month, or it can be paid in delayed payments as long as all of it is paid by January 31, 2021. Gov. Newsom signed the legislation Monday night.

Tenants are still responsible for paying unpaid amounts to landlords, but other than the 25% of the rent due beginning in September, any rent unpaid between March 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021, because of a COVID-19 related inability to pay cannot be the basis for an eviction.

Landlords will be able to recover this debt in court, however, beginning March 1, 2021, and small claims court jurisdiction will be temporarily expanded to allow landlords to recover these amounts.
Why Warren Buffett advises homeowners to refinance
Source: Yahoo News
Homeowners who haven’t refinanced their mortgages lately to slash interest rates and monthly payments, investing guru Warren Buffett advises: stop procrastinating.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have been dirt-cheap in 2020 and are currently averaging just 2.91%, according to the nearly 50-year-old survey from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That's close to the all-time low of 2.88%, reached in early August.

"This is a very good time to borrow money, which means it may not be such a great time to lend money, but it’s good for the country that it’s a good time to borrow money," billionaire Buffett said recently.
How often can you refinance?​​​​​
Source: Fox Business News
With mortgage rates at record lows, homeowners may be wondering if they should refinance their home loan.

If you've already refinanced your home in recent years, you may be questioning whether you should consider another one. You can refinance your home more than once — the question is whether it makes sense for you to do so right now.

If your mortgage rate is more than one percentage point above current rates, it usually makes sense to refinance, experts say. But whether you can benefit from refinancing comes down to when you plan to sell your home and how long it would take for you to recoup your closing costs.
Mortgage applications fall for third week in a row
Source: Housing Wire
Mortgage applications fell 2% last week, marking the third week of declines, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The refinance index also fell 3% last week but remained 40% higher than the same week one year ago. Despite 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgage rates declining to near historical lows, both conventional and government refinancing activity fell last week. Analysts believe that refinance demand may be slowing and will not significantly increase again without another notable drop in rates.