Report from C.A.R. Meetings in Monterey

By skerrigan on 2/7/2013

It is no surprise that the C.A.R. Conference in Monterey was filled with many informative meetings. President Elect Natalie Yanish attended the Local Government Forum and provides this update:  lots of talk about redevelopment agencies and successor agencies liquidating assets.  Also, some cities are having to pay back funds; some are trying to add affordable housing fees to sales.  An air quality plan addresses wood burning stoves in Southern California.  Cash incentives for homeowners to switch to gas were reduced.  For more information on this initiative, see Natalie.  Natalie also reports that HOA’s are being more aggressive on obtaining back dues from banks during foreclosure. Natalie also sat in the Public Policy Forum. Squatter issues were addressed.  This is being seen in high end homes through Craigslist scams. Confronting them is a safety issue. Laws need to be updated to make squatting illegal. It is illegal to trespass. The problem is that squatters are providing evidence of consent to be on the property by the homeowner such as a deed, lease, etc.  Property owner rights are constitutional and require due process.  City attorneys caution against prosecuting trespass if there aren't facts to support it.  This means you have to go through the eviction process. City attorneys can and will go after squatters via code enforcement if properties are getting destroyed or if there are health and safety or trash/exterior problems/overgrown/disrepair – i.e. public nuisance.  Law enforcement on a local level doesn't want to get involved.  Law enforcement on both the local and county level would like more education and direction from the law in order to be empowered to deal with the problems and avoid the eviction process for homeowners. Fiscal Cliff consequences.  Tax deductions (Bush tax cuts) - made “permanent” (may not be changed for at least 3 years).  Debate is over on whether you can limit deductions.  There was a lot of talk about the political process of how the deal was struck.  The MID is safe for now, but legislators are eyeing vacation homes.  Debt forgiveness is safe from taxation until January 1, 2014. Theresa Souers attended an education forum which focused on programs recommended for association members statewide.  As the move for strong ethics reform is underway, members should be versed on the most recent string of offenses taking place throughout California and when they witness these ethics violations, the steps to take with which to make reports.  The sentiment is pretty much,  "enough is enough." Within the legal forum, it was pointed out that there were approximately 80 new laws associated with real estate put into act during 2012. Many of these will be covered during the upcoming CAR Contract class this March 5th being held at the college.   Sharon reports on MLS:  zipForms is doing a major overhaul going to HTML and getting away from java. It will have a new platform and new interface. Joel Singer reported to AEs that it will be released on a "phase in" program and because it will be such a big change members will be allowed to use the old system for a period of time - i.e. the systems will run in parallel.  Also, coming soon is “MLS Connect” which will link the MLS to zipForms. I attended the Forum on Forms.  Attached are the pending changes to our forms.  Please be sure to read the RLA, 4 A, as this is a hot topic on when a commission is due. C.A.R. continues to stress that they want to hear from us.  If you know of changes that should be made, or have suggestions for any contracts, email your comments and suggestions to  Every suggestion will be considered. MLS and Business Technology separated this year, and in Business Technology we learned about two new ways of communication:  “popcorn” and ”instagram.”  For all those not a fan of Apple, Microsoft is coming out with their own tablet, “Surface” available this month.   Legislative Day will be held on May 1 in Sacramento.  Mark your calendars!   Respectively submitted, Ellen   Ellen Camacho 2013 South Tahoe Association of Realtors Secretary / Treasurer   CAR Form
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