Question Details

Robert Paque…, Real Estate Pro in 11358

How far are you willing to go with consumer assistance?

Asked by Robert Paquette, CBR, 11358 Sat May 4, 2013

Personally, some of the reason that I don't like Pre-Forclosure, Short Sale or Forclosure involvement is that sometimes a fine line is blurred between Realtor® advice and legal advice, that increases an agents risk and legal exposure. Such cases may be when a customer or client is facing forclosure. Negotiating such options as a Deed In Lieu, can be seen as representing a client in a contract negotiation with the lender may require a law license, E&O insurance may not cover us, and there are MARS regulations that may require certain licensures.

Help the community by answering this question:


First & foremost, I make sure that my client understands that I am NOT an attorney & any legal questions should be addressed to someone that is proficient in that particular area. I keep a good working relationship with several attorneys in my area for just such reasons. I am quick to refer my client to an attorney & will go with my client to the meeting, if they are comfortable with it. By doing this I increase my credibility with the client, showing them that I have their best interest at heart & also showing that I recognize my limitations. Too many agents out there that telling clients what they want to hear instead of being upfront & honest. Recognize your limitations, know your boundaries, & do not comprise your principles. No one deal is worth jeopardizing your career. At the end of the day your client will respect you more & will almost assuredly refer you in the future.

Good Luck & God Bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 4, 2013
Hi Robert,

I agree with you and that is why our company provides free legal advice prior to taking the short sale listing. Read below.

I wanted to reach out to you and let you know that in an effort to assist homeowners in Nevada, Windermere Real Estate has made arrangements with several attorneys to offer a free legal consultation to homeowners who are currently upside down in their home or their investment properties.

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act which was enacted on December 20th, 2007 allowing taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence was set to expire in December, 2012 . However, the Mortgage debt Relief Act has been extended.

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act provides forgiveness for the following criteria:

•Calendar years 2007 through 2013
•Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately).
•The exclusion only applies with forgiveness directly related to a decline in the home’s value or the taxpayer’s financial condition.

This is such great news for homeowners who would consider short selling their home. Homeowners could receive:

•Relief from any deficiency as well as forgiveness of any tax due.
•Moving cost assistance. In some cases with the HAFA program (Home affordable foreclosure alternative), or a cooperative short sale, homeowners receive a moving allowance.

If you or someone you know may benefit from these programs please let me know. Windermere will make arrangements for the client to see an attorney to get a professional recommendation on what is the best option for their specific situation.

Let me know if this would be of value to you, your friends or associates. Call or email me with questions.

Helene M Moore
Windermere Prestige Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Exactly.....great post!

As agents, we are constantly being teased by situations that place us in positions that we know better than being found within. Knowing one's boundaries can be very challenging.

This serves as a good reminder.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Great points. Agents should make sure at the first meeting with a new client that the client already has an attorney and a tax pro, even for standard sales.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
A round peg in a square hole? WHY? We know it won’t work and it’s a terrible business plan.
Realtors® need to let the system work, we are not attorneys and 80% of the Realtors® across the country don’t turn enough transactions to be competent at our jobs let alone enter into these types of transactions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 5, 2013
Robert you do bring up a valid discussion. As many of us have a human nature to want to help to best of our knowledge, but sometimes it is best to not get involved.

Have a great weekend.

Christina Solorzano;
CEO & SR Credit & Mortgage Consultant of
Everlasting Credit
Ex-Mortgage Broker of more than 10 years
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 4, 2013
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