Week of March 30th
Scott Peterson, counsel for The Colorado Association of Realtors, has a You Tube Video that can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uWdHtbX3Z8
March 31, 2020
COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE IMPLEMENTS REMOTE NOTARIZATION
After working closely with the Governor’s office, stakeholders, and the legal community, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has implemented a remote notarization process.
“We are committed to maintaining important services for Coloradans during this national health crisis,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “Remote notarization will enable Coloradans and businesses continued access to notary services while observing the social distancing guidelines that keep us all safe.”
Governor Polis issued an Executive Order today, which states in part: “Pursuant to the authority vested in the Governor of the State of Colorado and, in particular, pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 of the Colorado Constitution and the relevant portions of the Colorado Disaster Emergency Act, C.R.S. § 24-33.5-701 et seq. (Act), I, Jared Polis, Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order ordering the temporary suspension of the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers to perform notarizations due to the presence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Colorado.”
Secretary Griswold issued emergency rules on Monday, March 30, setting forth the procedures and requirements for remote notarization in Colorado during this state of emergency. These rules address implementation of the remote notarization process while including protections against identity theft and fraud.
For the Notice of Temporary Adoption for the Colorado Notary Program Rules (8 CCR 1505-11), please click here. The notice includes the adopted rules, a statement of basis, and statement of justification. For an unofficial copy of the notary rules as adopted and effective 3/30/2020, please click here. If you have any questions concerning these rules please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
For more information, please visit www.sos.state.co.us.
Notice of Emergency Adoption of Notary Rules: New Rule 5 Concerning Remote Notarization
On March 10, 2020, the Colorado Governor declared a disaster emergency due to the COVID-19 contagion. And on March 28, 2020, the Colorado Governor issued Executive Order D 2020 019, suspending the requirement for personal appearance before a notary officer as set forth in Section 24-21-506, C.R.S. Today, Secretary Griswold adopted emergency rules setting forth procedures and requirements for remote notarization in Colorado during this state of emergency. These rules address implementation of the remote notarization process while including protections against identity theft and fraud.
For the Notice of Temporary Adoption for the Colorado Notary Program Rules (8 CCR 1505-11), please click here. The notice includes the adopted rules, a statement of basis, and statement of justification. For an unofficial copy of the notary rules as adopted and effective 3/30/2020, please click here.
Week of March 23rd
March 24, 2020
Our country is in the throes of something unprecedented. No one could have imagined or planned for the events of the past two weeks.
We are so proud of our talented and devoted staff and leadership team for keeping NAR fully operational in support of our members while working remotely and weathering the near total shutdown of Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Like many Americans, they are operating under extraordinary circumstances.
Congress has passed two emergency bills so far to respond to this pandemic, and a third will likely pass this week. Our advocacy team has been involved in the crafting of these bills.
NAR urged Congressional leaders several weeks ago to include support for self-employed professionals, small businesses, and independent contractors in any COVID-19 relief package. We sent a follow-up letter last week.
Our policy team has also been fully engaged with regulatory officials to ensure our members are represented during fast-moving rule changes.
We know it is a lot to keep track of, which is why our team is analyzing the information and posting updates regularly on The Hub and NAR’s website and social media pages. Check out the latest activity here.
Here are some of the developments from the past two weeks:
Members and Families
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) created emergency paid sick and family leave for workers affected by COVID-19.
It also created refundable tax credits designed to provide a dollar-for-dollar offset for small businesses and independent contractors to cover the cost of these new paid sick and family medical leave benefits. There are still details that need to be released from Treasury and the Department of Labor on how these new programs will operate, including potential exemptions for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. For more on the FFCRA, see here.
Legislation currently under development in the Senate is expected to extend cash payments of up to $1,200 to most American adults plus $500 for each dependent child under age 17 by April.
Early drafts of the measure also include $350 billion for SBA loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance (including expanding benefits to the self-employed), and $300 billion for the Economic Stabilization Fund.
NAR also signed a coalition letter that would encourage Congress to provide readily accessible, unsecured credit to employers of any size and self-employed individuals to ensure they have the cash to pay their workers, rent, and other costs during this crisis.
We are advocating for an array of other tax changes to help our members through this emergency, including liberalizing rules governing withdrawals from pension plans and IRAs; delaying the payment of business payroll taxes; allowing businesses to carry back any net operating losses against previous year tax payments; suspending the limitation on interest expense deductions for tax year 2020 to avoid penalizing businesses for borrowing during this crisis; and suspending the loss limitation on pass-through businesses to allow businesses to full deduct any losses they incur this year. We have been told most of these provisions will likely be included in the third relief bill.
Consumers and Transactions
NAR is working with other trade associations and industry partners to expand access to remote online notary in any pandemic relief bills.
We also called for direct rental assistance for families who have income loss due to COVID-19 and relief for property owners from the financial obligations of forbearance and foreclosures.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) noticed a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for 60 days (through May 16) for FHA single family mortgage borrowers and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) borrowers. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has also directed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to do the same, while many individual lenders are offering individual relief to consumers.
This morning, we also saw more action out of the FHFA to temporarily expand the use of appraisal alternatives and provide flexibility around employment verification, such as acceptance of email from employer or bank statements showing payroll deposits. This is especially important as more businesses are forced to close during the pandemic and may be unavailable for oral verification.
Student loan servicers are also making arrangements for relief during this time, and the Administration is temporarily waiving all interest on student loans.
Real Estate Business/Industry
NAR is working to get certain real estate services deemed “essential” in emergency declarations. Many of our state associations are reaching out to their governors on this issue. Our country is facing rapidly rising unemployment. There are 9.5 million jobs in the real estate, rental, & leasing Industry, and every two home sales generate one job. We need to drive this message home with our elected leaders.
We also called for Treasury to include deadline relief for 1031 like-kind exchanges, including an extension of the 45-day period for identifying possible properties as exchange candidates and the 180-day requirement to close on the replacement property. There will undoubtedly be delays in settlements during the outbreak.
NAR also asked the Treasury Department and IRS for deadline relief for the working capital safe harbor for Qualified Opportunity Funds.
Our dedicated COVID-19 webpage will be updated in real time with analysis and changing events in Washington. We encourage you to check it regularly.
We don’t know when this national emergency will end. But NAR remains open and fully capable to support you the entire way.
Bob Goldberg, CEO
Vince Malta, 2020 President
Week of March 16th
Dear Brokers and Affiliates:
I hope this message finds you well, during this unusual and unique time of a world-wide potential health crisis.
Following the recommendations and orders from the governor and the CDC, starting March 18, 2020 and through the end of the month, the Grand Junction Area REALTOR® Association office will be closed to the public and to members. Judy and Tawnee will be available by phone and email.
All events currently scheduled during this time will be cancelled until after the crisis has passed and we are then able to determine dates, locations, etc for all events. Stay tuned for announcements.
All classes will be cancelled or moved to an on-line format. If you have registered for a class, you will receive information regarding the status of your class and how you will participate in an on-line format, if the instructor has chosen to provide it in that fashion. If the instructor for the class you have signed up for is not providing on-line education, you will be given an opportunity to register for an alternate class.
After March 31, taking into account national and state regulations and recommendations, we will re-evaluate the situation. Thank you all for your patience through this time and if I can be of any assistance to you, please call me personally.