For a brief history of the multiple extensions of the The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 (“the Act”), go to my June 2017 post here. I predicted at the time that it would be extended through 2018; but I also predicted that news of the extension would be slow in coming, because this law – which no politician in their right mind would actively oppose – was a small bit player in the horse-trading that takes place at the end of each year for tax extenders,  and often is not finally settled until early the following year. Then, once the legislation is passed, it is applied retroactively to January 1 of the preceding year. Continue reading “Mortgage Debt Relief Act Extended Through 2018 – Finally!”

DecisionOregon Broker Duties Regarding the Use of Experts. ORS 696.805(3)(e) and 696.810(3)(e) both state that one of a licensee’s duties is to “To advise the [seller or buyer, respectively] to seek expert advice on matters related to the transaction that are beyond the agent’s expertise….”

A prohibitive corollary of this is found in Oregon Administrative Rule 863-015-0155 (Attorney’s Advice):

A real estate licensee must not discourage any party to a real estate transaction from seeking the advice of an attorney concerning any matter involving real estate activity in which such licensee is involved.

Continue reading “Realtors® And The Practice of Law”

DecisionAs with much that the CFPB does these days, there is some that is good, some bad, and some, just plain ugly.  And for a cynic like me, everything – even the good stuff – seems to be imparted with a slightly paternalistic and patronizing tone.

You see, in the CFPB world view, the American people are divided into two basic camps: One is made up of evil, bloodsucking, vampire squids, looking to latch onto members of the other camp; the gullible, naïve, dumb and dumber set, who were all born yesterday. Continue reading “TRID Fatigue? Here’s What Buyers Need To Know (In Plain English)”

M.J.Measure 91 – High Times for Oregonians.  According to, here, there are 23 states that currently have medical marijuana laws on the books. Oregon was one of them. On November 4, 2014, Oregon joined a smaller group of pot-friendly states (Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and the District of Columbia), to permit the recreational use of cannabis.[1]  I will leave it to the wordsmiths to explain how the term “recreational use” found its way into our lexicon when discussing the use of marijuana.  “Recreation” is the last thing one thinks about when taking a toke – or so I’m told…. Continue reading “Recreational Marijuana: Oregon’s New Joint Venture”

FAQs PicWhen seller property disclosure laws were first enacted by the Oregon Legislature, circa 2003, the form came in two flavors: Disclosure or Disclaimer. Disclosure consisted of answering “Yes” or “No” to a series of questions about the seller’s property.  With only a few changes, the form was not totally dissimilar to what we have today. Continue reading “Beware of the “Unknown” in Seller Property Disclosure Statements”

leafThis article is a continuation of Part One, below.  It addresses many of the current – as yet unanswered – questions by real estate brokers, property managers, and landlords. Click on the following link here, for a real joint venture! [Note – if you get a request from Adobe for “permission to run,”  just right click on your mouse for “permission to run this plug-in.”]

MarijuanaOne toke over the line sweet Jesus
One toke over the line
Sittin’ downtown in a railway station
One toke over the line ~ Brewer & Shipley, 1971.

Background. Landlords in Oregon are understandably flummoxed by the new prescription drug du jour, medical marijuana.  Why? Because, while Oregon permits the medical use of marijuana, the Federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 801, et seq., says that it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, and possess marijuana, even when state law authorizes its use. Furthermore, federal law supersedes state law where there is a direct conflict between them.  So, what does a landlord do when confronted by a card-carrying tenant claiming that he/she cannot be evicted for marijuana use and/or cultivation, because they have a legal right to do so under Oregon law.  The second arrow in the tenant’s quiver is the threat that “if you try to evict me, I will sue you under the federal Fair Housing laws[1] that say you must grant me a reasonable accommodation[2] [i.e. let me toke on the premises] because I have a “disability.”[3] Continue reading “Tenant Medical Marijuana Use In Oregon: Is It One Toke Over The Landlord’s Line?”

Multiple OffersThis question is not just rhetorical.  As of January 10, 2014, a batch of new laws became effective across the country, including Oregon.  Though the laws were intended to deal with Big Bank excesses – you remember, those morally vacuous zombie institutions that singularly brought this country’s credit and real estate markets to its knees and ushered in the Great Recession?  Yeh, those guys; the ones whose execs never went to jail.  Anyway, following Wall Street’s near death experience, circa 2008-2009, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank [Big Bank sycophants par excellence] immediately put their low-paid staffers, interns and toadies to work crafting a 900-page bill which has spawned 14,000+ pages in regulations[1].  Like so many politicians before him,[2] Barney Frank apparently didn’t read his namesake bill very close either.  After creating a law that is more aptly named “FrankenDodd,” Mr. Frank, now retired from the House after 30+ pugnacious years berating anyone who disagreed with him, has recently admitted that the law has gone too far. ~PCQ  [For full article, go to link here.] 

Chart02As 2013 recedes in the rear-view mirror of memory, I thought it high time to ask what were some of the significant developments of the year, and what do they bode for the real estate industry in 2014? I’ve identified the following five data points I believe are most worthy of discussion. They are arranged in no particular order of importance. ~PCQ 

The Portland-Metro Real Estate MarketUnless you’ve been on the Moon for the past 15 months, it’s hard to ignore the pleasant truth – the market is much improved.  But by no means is it fully recovered. It’s off life support, but still recuperating. There are certain aspects of today’s real estate market that continue to be in need of improvement. [For rest of article go to link here.]

sb10069456i-001Who would have thought that the financial crisis brought about by Big Bank Shenanigans would incentivize national and state regulators to impose Draconian rules on the sale of pre-owned manufactured homes?  This relatively small industry is the last vestige of affordable housing in this country.  This misguided effort is akin to regulating row boats after the Titanic sank. But never fear, the CFPB in Washington D.C. and the DFCS in Salem have seen fit to do so.  Why?  Because it’s easier to push around Small Business Owners, who can ill-afford to push back, than to cross swords with the real culprits in their ivory towers. I remember bullies like this in grade school, but assumed they grew up and got a life.  Seems I was wrong. Unable to get a real job and compete in a real industry, they became regulators, bureaucrats, and politicians, all sucklings on the public teat, telling others how to live their lives.  For a summary of the new rules go to this link.