Kentucky REALTOR® News

CFPB loses with the court, RESPA referral suit was an overreach
October 12, 2016

The real estate industry won a major referral-law victory in court this week when a federal appeals court shot down a controversial Sec. 8 anti-kickback enforcement action taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year.

In a decision that aligns with arguments by NAR and other industry groups, the court said the CFPB incorrectly levied a $109 million fine on a mortgage company, PHH Corp., for entering into an arrangement with mortgage insurers to refer customers to them if they bought reinsurance from PHH-affiliated reinsurers.

At the time it handed down the fine, the CFPB said the “tying” arrangement between the companies amounted to an illegal referral arrangement under Sec. 8(c)(2) of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act. Sec. 8 prohibits payments of anything of value for referrals of business in connection with real estate settlements. Read More

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Time to sell more homes - Kentucky's economy continues to expand
September 16, 2016

There’s a saying in Kentucky that “you need to make hay while the sun is shining” and during the previous month, the sun definitely shined brightly in the Commonwealth. Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for August 2016 was 4.9 percent from a revised 5 percent in July 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary August 2016 jobless rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the 5.3 percent rate recorded for the state in August 2015.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for August 2016 was 4.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More

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KAR hires new Director of Education & Training Services
September 15, 2016

The Kentucky Association of REALTORS® (KAR) announces that Nicole DeBoth has been hired as its Director of Education & Training Services. Nicole comes to KAR from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, bringing with her a strong and impressive background in coordinating professional education programs for leading real estate companies.

Nicole has expertise in organizing high level employee training and creating customized courses for clients in the real estate industry nationwide and has worked to ensure client satisfaction and success.

“Nicole will bring a great wealth of real estate training knowledge to our organization and has the ability to help us create and deliver cutting edge programs for our members,” said KAR CEO Steve Stevens. “Our obligation is to help KAR members access training that not only meets their continuing education requirements, but helps them be the best in our industry in the nation.”

Her primary responsibility at the Association will be to provide leadership and coordination for programming and services to KAR that fall under the Kentucky Real Estate Education Foundation (KREEF) – a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the educational arm for the KAR. The purpose of KREEF is to promote suitable standards of education in real estate, to broaden and expand real estate course offerings at educational institutions within the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and to promote other activities that foster, encourage and support the improvement of quality, interest and research in the teaching and study of real estate.

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Downpayment assistance offered through the Kentucky Housing Corporation
August 29, 2016

In January of this year, Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) launched the Hardest Hit Fund Down payment Assistance Program (HHF DAP), which gave new homebuyers, in distressed counties, forgivable second mortgage. HHF DAP was only available in four of Kentucky’s counties, as deemed by the U.S. Department of Treasury, for being hardest hit with serious delinquency, negative equity, distressed sales, and foreclosures. The goal of this program was to reduce obstacles for homeownership and stabilize those local housing markets for families and their communities. That first launch of the program was successful, generating 559 loans, and so effective for home buyers in these counties that is being brought back for a second time.

As such, KHC is announcing a new round of HHF DAP, which provides first-time home buyers with $10,000 in down payment assistance. This product is only available with new reservations on or after Thursday, September 1, 2016.

HHF DAP Guidelines:

  • $10,000, 0 percent interest, forgivable second mortgage loan with a five-year term.
  • Property (new or existing) must be located in one of the four counties:
    • Christian
    • Hardin
    • Jefferson
    • Kenton
  • Secondary Market Purchase Price and Income Limits apply.
  • Borrower must be a first-time home buyer (no ownership interest in the last three years).
  • Pre-purchase home buyer education required.
  • Dodd-Frank Affidavit must be completed (will print with loan reservation).

For more information, please visit KHC's website, under Lenders.

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Unemployment rates down in 93 KY counties
August 25, 2016

Unemployment rates fell in 93 Kentucky counties between July 2015 and July 2016, but rose in 27 counties, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Oldham County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Woodford County, 3.6 percent; Campbell, Fayette, Shelby and Spencer counties, 3.8 percent each; Boone County, 3.9 percent; Anderson County, 4 percent; and Franklin, Jessamine, Kenton, Monroe, Owen and Scott counties, 4.1 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate at 16.3 percent. It was followed by Leslie County, 12.7 percent; Harlan County, 12.3 percent; Letcher County, 12.2 percent; Elliott County, 11.6 percent; Knott County, 11 percent; Floyd County, 10.9 percent; Pike County, 10.8 percent; and Lawrence and Wolfe counties; 10.6 percent each.

In contrast to the monthly national and state data, unemployment statistics for counties are not seasonally adjusted. The comparable, unadjusted state unemployment rate for the state was 5.2 percent for July 2016, and 5.1 percent for the nation. Read More

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Overtime rule from the DOL
August 16, 2016

Effective December 1, 2016, DOL revised the requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding the minimum salary threshold for employees to be considered exempt from overtime.

The final rule raises the annual salary threshold to $47,476, up significantly from $23,660, and will increase automatically every three years, starting in 2020. Unless specifically exempted, workers are guaranteed time-and-a-half pay if they work more than 40 hours in any given week if they make less than $47,476, including up to 10 percent of the standard salary requirement with nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions, provided these forms of compensation are paid at least quarterly. Read More

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'Know Before You Owe' helps agents and consumers
August 8, 2016

Since the October 2015 implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ‘Know Before You Owe' mortgage initiative, Realtors® have raised red flags (link is external) over challenges in gaining access to what's known as the mortgage "closing disclosure" form, or CD. The CD is delivered to homebuyers in advance of their closing and contains important financial information related to their purchase.

Unfortunately, many lenders have chosen to withhold this document from real estate agents since Know Before You Owe went into effect, despite a longstanding tradition of sharing similar information.

Earlier this year, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau announced that it was considering changes to Know Before You Owe - also known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure, or TRID - including a clarification of the rules regarding sharing the CD. Read More

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Kentucky's jobless rate drops to 5% in June
July 22, 2016

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for June 2016 dropped to 5 percent from a revised 5.1 percent in May 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. 

The preliminary June 2016 jobless rate was 0.3 percentage points lower than the 5.3 percent rate recorded for the state in June 2015.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June 2016 was 4.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Read More

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Kentucky's Red Tape Reduction Initiative backed by KAR
July 7, 2016

Governor Bevin recently announced the Red Tape Reduction Initiative, which will cut through the red tape of excessive and complex regulatory burdens that are a hardship for many business owners and will reduce the amount of government bureaucracy affecting Kentucky businesses, thus making the Commonwealth more employee-friendly.

The governor's office projects that more than 4,500 business regulations will be evaluated as part of the initiative, and Bevin has directed cabinet secretaries to comb through all the business regulations on the books to weed out outdated or inefficient requirements.

Bevin has also called on state employees, businesses and individuals across the state to assist his administration by identifying what they consider burdensome regulations. A website,, has been created to collect feedback and ideas directly from the public and the state's business communities.

The initiative has the support of many business organizations throughout the state, including the Kentucky Association of REALTORS (KAR).

KAR wants to encourage members from across the state to provide assistance to this intitiative as burdensome and unnecessary regulations can hinder economic development and decrease home sales across a region. If you have experience dealing with a regulation that proved to be burdensome, share it in the comments below or, better yet, visit the Red Tape Reduction website and report it using the online submission form (red button in the top right corner).

Red Tape Reduction website

Press release about the initiative

Report a Reg feature


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Top 10 issues affecting real estate
June 24, 2016

Every year, the Counselors of Real Estate, a group of real estate professionals who hold the CRE designation and seek to offer unbiased guidance on real estate topics, offers a list of major issues that they feel could affect the industry. Learn what the implications of these potential shifts could be for your business.

  1. Shifts in the World Economy In response to economic and political uncertainties, the International Monetary Fund amended GDP growth to spiral downward for much of the globe in 2016 and 2017. Implications for real estate: The CRE sees China as the primary competition in this sector, having capped a five-year real estate investment total to more than $110 billion. They caution that economic deceleration could lead to lower investment in infrastructure worldwide. Read More
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