With record-setting summer heat once again comes the Department of Real Estate (DRE)’s Real Estate Bulletin.
Know what and when to report
The DRE is often confronted by brokers who are ignorant of the Department’s reporting requirements.
As a result, the Summer bulletin this year contains a helpful list — and chart — detailing what reports are required to be filed, when they should be filed, and whether they should be submitted electronically or by mail, including the:
- Escrow Activity Report;
- Mortgage Loan Activity Notification;
- Mortgage Call Report (MCR);
- Business Activity Report (BAR);
- Residential Mortgage Loan Report;
- Government Land Applicant Report; and
- Private Money “Threshold” and “Multi-Lender” Reports.
Remember, many of these are subject to change, so it’s important to keep abreast of all new DRE requirements. Review the requirements carefully to make sure you are in compliance with the DRE’s standards.
Trust fund violations are among the most common the DRE encounters, most frequently shortages — meaning that a broker has disbursed funds from the account without the consent of the owner of the account.
The DRE also comes across a wide breadth of violations with regard to improper designations and signatories.
A broker who opens a trust account may only have the account in the name of:
- the broker as trustee; or
- a fictitious name, as long as the broker holds a license with that name at a bank or other financial institution. [10 California Code of Regulations § 2832]
In addition, a person may only withdraw funds from a trust account with the signature of the broker as trustee or another authorized party.
Check out the DRE’s review of trust fund rules and guidelines to keep yourself updated on all relevant regulations! And if you need a reminder on the basics, check this out:
Make licensing and renewal easy on yourself!
This bulletin offers some tips and tricks to make sure your licensing and renewal applications go through quickly and efficiently, including:
- use the DRE’s eLicensing system to schedule examinations and renewing a license;
- only submit your application and fee once;
- check bank statements to see if your fees have been processed;
- double-check all paperwork submitted is complete and accurate; and
- use the DRE’s Application Processing Timeframes tool to see when your paperwork is being processed.
As a provider of both real estate licensing and continuing education courses, we at first tuesday receive a lot of questions related to these topics. Following these steps can ensure your licensing or renewal process goes simply and smoothly. And remember, when renewing a license, eLicensing is an invaluable tool — no processing delay, no worry about your application getting lost in the mail, no hassle.
The rise of mixed-use subdivisions
Mixed-use zoning, which combines commercial and residential land uses into singular common interest development (CID), have different development standards than traditional commercial or residential uses. The bulletin includes an overview of the design and planning process for mixed-use subdivisions, including:
- the local government’s entitlement process;
- parking issues; and
- homeowner’s association (HOA) designation.
Read more about first tuesday’s take on mixed-use zoning here:
MLA fax time
Also: if you need to fax anything to the DRE’s Mortgage Loan Activities (MLA) department, be aware that their new fax number is (916) 263-8641.
While the summer bulletin was written before his sudden departure, former Commissioner Wayne Bell does note the DRE is still seeking input on its performance as a newly independent government agency, a sentiment that is not likely to have changed under Acting Commissioner Dan Sandri.
If you have any thoughts on what the DRE can improve now that it is no longer beholden to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), take their online survey.
Until next time!