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June 19, 2015
At a hearing of the House Oversight Committee, FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker offered the most specific date yet on the anticipated date of completion of the rules governing the commercial use of drones. Whitaker said that the agency was pushing for the rule to be finalized by mid-2016. The proposed rule was issued in February 2015 and the public comment period closed in April 2015. Many industry watchers were guessing that it would be at least 2017 by the time the rule was finalized.
June 19, 2015
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun to issue waivers for some drone operators to legally and commercially operate. There are over 200 companies with real estate related purposes that have the waivers and can operate legally.  Without a waiver from the FAA, commercial use of drones is prohibited. The waivers are issued through Section 333 of the FAA Modernization Act of 2012 and are known as Section 333 waivers. NAR has created a list of operators who offer photography, inspection, appraisal and other real estate services using drones. The list is not an endorsement of any operator, it is a restatement of information that is publicly available from the FAA.
June 19, 2015
Quick facts about Like-Kind Exchanges for Commercial REALTORS®.
June 19, 2015
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) provided LoanSafe Appraisal Manager (LSAM), a new automated appraisal review tool, to all VA lenders.  The VA expects the tool to help lenders quickly assess appraisal risk for VA policy compliance violations, over/under-valuations, and appraisal quality issues.  LSAM does not provide an estimate of value or make decisions for the lenders.  In addition, LSAM does not accept or reject appraisals or characterize them as good or bad.
June 19, 2015
FHA released its Single Family Loan Quality Assessment Methodology or “Defect Taxonomy.”  The Taxonomy explains how FHA plans to gather information about defects in FHA loans.  The Taxonomy is supposed to help FHA lenders identify underwriting issues and reduce errors that could lead to enforcement actions.  FHA hopes that the Taxonomy will give lenders more confidence in working with qualified FHA borrowers across the credit spectrum.  The nine-nine different codes that FHA currently uses to describe loan defects will be reduced to nine distinct defects.
FHA
June 19, 2015
During Capitol Hill visits, NAR prioritizes Commercial real estate issues like Like-Kind Exchanges and Leasehold Improvements.
June 12, 2015
House Judiciary Committee marked up and favorably reported H.R. 9, the Innovation Act. By making important reforms to the nation’s patent litigation system, the Innovation Act would address abusive practices by patent trolls that bully American businesses, including many REALTOR®s, with deceptive and often illegitimate claims of patent infringement.
June 12, 2015
On Wednesday, June 10, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-9 along party lines to advance a measure to kill the Obama administration's controversial water rule.
June 12, 2015
On Thursday, June 4, 2015 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a decision against PHH Corporation and a number of other defendants for among other things, violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by paying for referrals where there is federally related mortgage.  CFPB Director Cordray disagreed with interpretations by an administrative law judge relying on a 1997 HUD interpretive letter and expanded the monetary value of the disgorgement from $6.4 million to $109.2 million.
June 12, 2015
Network Neutrality rules went into effect on June 12.  The regulations prohibit broadband providers from blocking, slowing or selling faster delivery of legal content flowing through their networks to consumers.
On June 11, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied petitions for a temporary stay of the Network Neutrality Rules made in separate lawsuits by AT&T Inc. and other opponents of the rules.
Opponents of the rules have challenged them in court and that process still continues.

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