Now that the troublesome bill has passed, the blame game starts. Target: Washington REALTORS. Defense: They have posted notice that they were "closely monitoring the legislation" prior to the bill passing. Bologna! I'm Jack Burns of Estate Rescue and I was there, ALONE in front of the senate, arguing the absurdity of this bill. If anyone was monitoring this bill, I sure didn't see them. Watch the bill pass and the three minutes (cut short) I had to oppose it: VIEW VIDEO
Don't let anyone tell you the people who could have done something about it, didn't know what was happening. I'm not even a Realtor and I knew about the hearing and the content of the bill (thanks to REAPS). In the letter I sent the Governor as a last ditched effort to stop this bill, here's what it said about the fiduciary duty:
"A fiduciary duty is impossible in this context because it asks the person trying to buy the home from the seller, to act in the best interest of the seller. Could you imagine buying your next car with that in mind? Also, if a Realtor were to knock on the door of a distressed homeowner, they would be in conflict with themselves automatically."
The final public hearing was on Friday February 29th that I attended and spoke out. That following Monday, March 3rd at 9:33 AM, emails were already circulating and lambasting the revisions to the bill that added SB 6695 to HB 2791. That means that the fiduciary revisions to the bill took place the same day as the final public hearing that past Friday. How no one knew about this happening is impossible to believe and if they didn't know, what mysterious tyrant cruelly edited the bill at the last minute? How can our system of law making be so vulnerable to someone's ("one" 1?) whim?
Secondly Washington REALTORS, I take great offense to the accusation that anyone who did or does a leaseback is a "scam artist." I have participated in and facilitated leasebacks and the intention was very honorable. If given a choice as an investor, it would be much more lucrative for the homeowner to FULFILL the leaseback, rather than default. And it would be more lucrative to purchase the house outright and require the homeowner to vacate at closing, rather than buy, refi, carry a note for them, evict, fix and list. The media is having a hay day making investors out to be the bad guy, and especially leaseback investors. We don't do leasebacks anymore. Not because I think they're wrong, but because predatory, ambulance chasing attorneys are making a 'killing' from coaching the distressed homeowners how to be victims. It's those same attorneys who were behind 2791.
I found the Senate session especially chilling when the representative stated 'matter of fact' that she thought it better for the homeowner that they get foreclosed on!? If given a choice as a distressed homeowner, would you rather move out of your home and take what you can get, if anything...or stay in your house and get one more chance to keep it. On one leaseback we did, we created equity with a short sale and kept the homeowner in the house for another two years (same payments - equity on buyback) so their kids could stay in the same school and maintain the relationships with their close friends and neighbors. The Sawyers had the opportunity to buy the house back had they done their credit rebuilding homework. Click on the video TESTIMONIAL.
Don't let Washington REALTORS fool you into thinking they did all they could do. Here's how they responded to a self asked question about HB2791:
- How was this law passed without the Washington REALTORS® intervention?
- The Washington REALTORS® closely monitored the legislation as it was proposed by the Attorney General as the legislation progressed through the House and the Senate. Both the Washington REALTORS® and the AG were satisfied that the Bill, as proposed and intended by the AG, did not include the adverse language now causing the problems. However, after the Bill was passed in one form by the House and in a slightly different form by the Senate, it moved into a process that occurs outside the arena where public comment or influence are allowed. It was at that stage that the adverse language was added and the Bill was immediately voted out of the Legislature without any opportunity for the AG or the Washington REALTORS® to testify about the problem.
Read their full RESPONSE.