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REAL ESTATE TRANSFER

ANSWERS FROM THE WEB . . .

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES & OTHERS!

 

Updated:         June 5, 2018

 

While there is an abundance of information available via the web, the problem often is how to access the data. This tip sheet will be updated continually with web sites that may be of interest and/or assistance regarding consumer concerns. Here, then, are some web sites to assist.

 

While the internet has a vast amount of information, the difficulty is often how to find what we need, when we need it. The following are a few web sites that may help unravel some of the confusion surrounding consumer laws and regulations related to real estate, mortgages and home loans and assist in interpreting the alphabet soup of government rules and regulations. 

 

In some cases, we have provided the addresses and phone numbers of an agency office.  (Much of this information is courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle and therefore the contact information is primarily for the Northern California area.)

 

Some of the confusion for consumers is caused by the fact that enforcement for many consumer laws is split between various agencies.  We have tried to provide a brief review of the over-sight responsibilities of the various sites.

 

REAL ESTATE & FINANCE REGULATORY AGENCIES

 

California Department of Real Estate (DRE):  Licenses and regulates real estate brokers and agents. The DRE web site provides consumer information and can be used to verify a licensee’s current status. Complaints can be files from the site.

 

California Department of Real Estate,  P. O. Box 187000 (2201 Broadway), Sacramento, CA.  95818-7000   (916)227-0864                        www.dre.ca.gov

 

 

Department of Corporations (DOC):  has enforcement authority over the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, an act regulating residential mortgage lenders . . . Ttpically those lenders functioning without real estate licenses.  Also regulates the California Finance Lenders Law, regulating finance lenders in the state . . . those functioning in finance companies and Savings and Loans.  Finally, oversees the Escrow Law, regulating the activities of independent escrow companies.

 

Department of Corporations, 1515 K Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA.  95814-4025,

(916)445-7719.                       www.corp.ca.gov

 

Department of Financial Institutions (DFI):  has jurisdiction over state chartered banks. Questions and complaints can be addressed at:

Department of Financial Institutions, Consumer Information Desk, 801 K Street, Suite 2124, Sacramento, CA. 95814, (800)622-0620 or (916)323-0189  www.dho.ca.gov

 

DISCLOSURE FORM REGULATIONS

 

The following agencies execute oversight regarding the required disclosure forms involved in mortgage financing.  For interpretations on the meaning of many of the disclosure forms (Regulation Z provisions under the Truth-in-Lending Act, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act) you can visit www.federalreserve.com.

 

Federal Trade Commission (FTC):  has enforcement authority in the case of mortgage companies for such forms as  the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Truth in Lending Act (TIL) and the Regulation Z form.

 

FTC Regional Office, 901 Market Street, Suite 570, San Francisco, CA.  941103; 

(415)356-5270                        www.ftc.com

 

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):  has administrative authority for, among others, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) which includes the requirements for providing Good Faith Estimates (GFE).  The Federal Housing Association (FHA) loan program is administered by this agency.

 

HUD RESPA Enforcement Unit, 451 Seventh Street S.W., Suite 5241, Washington, D. C. 20410; (202)708-1112                        www.hud.gov

 

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:  administers in whole or in part and has enforcement authority over national banks for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Housing Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act. 

 

Comptroller of the Currency, Western District Office, 50 Fremont Street, Suite 3900, San Francisco, CA.  94105;  (415)545-5900                        www.occ.treas.gov

 

Office of Thrift Supervision:  administers in whole or in part and has enforcement authority over federally chartered and state chartered savings institutions for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Housing Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act.

 

Office of Thrift Supervision, Pacific Telesis Tower, 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA.  94104; (415)616-1500                        www.ots.treas.gov

 

LOOKING FOR A HOME INSPECTOR 

 

A home inspection contingency is becoming increasingly popular in today’s real estate purchase contracts.  Many potential home buyers rely upon word of mouth, personal recommendations when determining who to use as their home inspector. 

 

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI):  Many home inspectors are members of this professional organization. You can acquire the name(s) of local home inspectors by calling 1-800-743-2744.                 www.ashi.com

 

APPRAISAL OVERSITE

 

Office of Real Estate Appraisers (OREA):  licenses real estate appraisers and ensures adherence to the national standards and California law and regulations.  Also investigates complaints against appraisers.  The OREA Web site provides consumer information and license verification of appraisers.

 

Office of Real Estate Appraisers, 1755 Creekside Oaks Drive, Suite 190, Sacramento, CA. 95833; (916)263-0722                        www.orea.ca.gov

 

PEST CONTROL REGULATION

 

Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB):  licenses and regulates pest control operators. The SPCB Web site provides consumer information and license verification.

 

Structural Pest Control Board, 1418 Howe Avenue, Suite 18, Sacramento, CA.  95825; (916)263-2540.               www.dca.ca.gov/pestboard

 

TITLE INSURANCE OVERSITE

 

Department of Insurance (DOI):  has jurisdiction over title and other insurance companies.

 

Department of Insurance, Consumer Services Division, 45 Fremont Street, San Francisco, CA. 94105; (800)927-4357                www.insurance.ca.gov

 

CONTRACTOR REGULATION

 

There has been recent concerns about the number of scams being perpetrated by unlicensed, door to door salespersons offering home improvement (i.e.; roof repairs, driveway repairs, etc.). The following web site can be useful, particularly prior to engaging in any door to door offer.

Contractors State License Board (CSLB):  Licenses and regulates 40 types of licensed contractors that constitute the construction industry.  The CSLB also registers home improvement salespersons and can offer arbitration in some disputes. The CSLB Web site has consumer information and can be used to verify a contractor’s license status.

 

Contractors State License Board, 9821 Business Park Drive, Sacramento, CA.  95827.  Twenty-four hour licensing and consumer information at (800)321-2752.  www.cslb.ca.gov

 

MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES

 

The State of California:  home page has links to most state agencies.    www.ca.gov

 

The Business, transportation and Housing Agency:  home page provides information about and links to the 13 departments the agency oversees, including the Department of Real Estate, Department of Corporations, California Housing Finance Agency (CHFA), Department of Financial Institutions and the Department of Housing and Community Development.                  www.bth.ca.gov

 

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA):  licenses over 200 professionals ranging from doctors to accountants to contractors.

 

Department of Consumer Affairs, 400 R Street, Sacramento, CA. 95814.  (800)952-5210 or(916)445-1254                  www.dca.ca.gov 

 

Better Business Bureau:  provides valuable information to both businesses and consumers.          (909)825-0490                        www.bbb.org

 

The Legislative Counsel:  maintains the Web site, which allows searches of any of the California codes and provides information on current and past legislative bills.    www.leginfo.ca.gov

 

CONSUMER INFORMATION

 

For specific information on all aspects of consumer topics, this portion of the Federal Trade Commission’s website will have a lot of answers. The site addresses consumer scams, vast data about all forms of consumer finance, purchases (autos, insurance, etc.) and allows for searching for specific information.

www.consumer.ftc.gov/