Laws & Proposed Laws You Should Know
Politics is a boring topic for a lot of people. We all have busy lives, and it's hard to keep up on what Washington and Annapolis are doing these days. Not knowing, however, can be fatal to your bank account.
On a regular basis, the federal, state and local governments attempt legislation, that if enacted, could make the sale, purchase and ownership of real estate much more costly. The federal government has made repeated attempts over the past decade to remove the mortgage interest deduction from federal taxes. This deduction saves U.S. taxpayers thousands of dollars a year. If passed, a significant tax burden would be added to homeowners.
There have also been laws passed to protect buyers, borrowers and current homeowners. In Maryland, the time period before a lender can foreclose on a home has increased. Lenders must consider options other than foreclosure, and must stop the sale of a property if the borrower can come up with their delinquent payments, along with any foreclosure-related expenses, at least 24 hours beforehand.
There are both federal and state laws that prohibit builders, sellers and real estate agents from requiring a buyer to use specific title companies and lenders. Laws have been added recently to prevent mortgage fraud and abuses in the real estate finance industry.
are also a variety of disclosure requirements that buyers and sellers
should know about. The first time a buyer or meets with an agent, the
agent is required to provide a written disclosure of who they are representing
in a transaction, and the different options for representation. Most sellers
in Maryland, even if they are selling on their own without an agent, must
provide a provide buyers with a property condition disclosure/disclaimer
form. If the seller fills out the disclaimer part of the form, they must
still disclose hidden defects that would affect the safety of a buyer,
if the seller is aware of the defect. For housing built before 1978, sellers
must include a lead disclosure form as part of the sales contract. This
disclosure must also be done if they are selling without an agent.