Georgia House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 985 ,which would protect Georgia homeowners from squatters who file false liens to claim foreclosed/vacant homes. HB 985 will protect Georgia homeowners by prohibiting a person from knowingly filing, entering or recording a lien or any other instrument relating to a security interest in or title to real or personal property that is false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement. Violation of this law shall constitute a felony and shall be punishable by imprisonment of no less than one year.
This bill still has to pass through Georgia’s Senate before it can become law. GAR will continue to support this bill to protect the interest of homeowners across Georgia and keep you informed on it’s progress.
Monday was Crossover Day in Georgia, where it’s basically do or die for bills in the legislature. The House adjourned around 11:15 pm and the Senate around 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014. If a bill didn’t crossover from the chamber it was introduced in and transfer to the other chamber for consideration, it’s considered dead for the year. Some bills that the REALTORS® were following that did not crossover were; the solar power bill to make solar energy more affordable and a bill Georgia REALTORS® opposed that would allow a debtor to stay in a foreclosed property until deed under power had been recorded. GAR will keep you informed on legislation that will impact the real estate industry and private property rights as we speed through the remainder of the 2014 session.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, and announced he would issue an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the individuals working on new federal service contracts.
Raising the minimum wage nationwide will increase earnings for millions of workers, and boost the bottom lines of businesses across the country.
Today, the real value of the minimum wage has fallen by nearly one-third since its peak in 1968. And right now, a full-time minimum wage worker makes $14,500 a year, which leaves too many families struggling to make ends meet.
Weekly Address: Time to Lift the Minimum Wage and Give America a Raise:
Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act Passed the House
The United States House of Representatives passed the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act on Tuesday. Changes were made to the bill text so the next step is to send the legislation back to the Senate for approval and finally to the President’s desk for enactment.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is urging the Senate to vote on HR 3370 quickly. “As the leading advocate for homeownership and housing issues, NAR applauds this bill, which protects homeowners from the drastic premium increases that went into effect on October 1, 2013, and holds the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accountable for flood insurance policy changes.” The bill removes the authority of FEMA to increase rates to unjustified levels at the time of sale. This should stabilize local real estate markets and ensure that both property owners and prospective buyers are treated equally. Data from NAR shows that approximately 40,000 home sales were delayed or canceled due to confusion over flood insurance rates in the four months since the law’s implementation.
This legislation does the following key things:
Caps Annual Rate Increases at 15%
Refunds policyholders who purchased pre-FIRM homes after Biggert-Waters and were charged higher rates
Permanently Removes the Sales Trigger
Michael Hecht, on behalf of the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance, said it well when he said, “Through the leadership of Congressmen Scalise, Cassidy, and Richmond, as well as Congressman Michael Grimm and Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters, we now have legislation that will address the most pressing needs of our coalition, including protecting people who played by rules, and settling real estate markets.” He went on to say “The Coalition also wishes to thank Majority Leader Cantor and House Republican Leadership as well as Leader Pelosi and House Democratic Leadership for their dedication and resolve towards finding a long-term solution to flood insurance. We look forward to again working with our Senate partners to approve this legislation and send it to President Obama’s desk.”
The Louisiana REALTORS® Political Action Committee (LARPAC) in conjunction with the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) is the foremost advocate of real estate in government. LARPAC’s goal is to help ensure that our legislators know the importance of real estate issues before voting on bills which may negatively affect our market in Louisiana.
Deaf Jamaican-born lawyer gets White House job- THE White House has appointed Jamaican immigrant Claudia Gordon to oversee its efforts on disability issues.
Gordon, a deaf lawyer, moves over from the Deptment of Labour where she dealt with potential discrimination by federal contractors to now work between the Obama administration and the disability community as the White House’s disability liaison. Her new title is associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.