Every year Virginia lawmakers pass new legislation. In the 2014 session we had a few law changes that are worth mentioning that affect real estate.  

House Bill 331 (VA Code §55-555) where buyers saving to purchase their first home should be aware of a new option under VA law. First time home buyers savings accounts are to be used for savings for the down payment and closing costs of the first home. All interest earned in the said savings account is excluded from VA income tax. Funds withdrawn from the account for other purposes will be subject to taxes as well as 5% penalty.

House Bill 393 (VA Code § 8.01-454) has been amended for home owners who try to sell their property and learn that a judgement they paid in previous years remains recorded in the land records. It therefore becomes an obstacle when selling. This new bill provides a quick resolution when a debtor satisfies or pays off a judgement. They can remove the lien much faster by paying right away.  A creditor who fails to enter the payment on the judgement docket within 90 days of payment or 10 days of receiving notice from the debtor is subject to a $100 fine, up from a previous $50 fine. The debtor must pay the filing cost of the release.  

House Bill 763 (VA Code § 55-58.1(A).)  This amendment allows LLC's, partnerships and other entities to serve as trustees for deed of trust. Previously only individuals and corporations were authorized to act as deed of trust trustees for properties located in Virginia. The bill also now allows for entities offices outside of the commonwealth to be trustees. Also in Bill 763 (VA Code 17.1-227) In an to keep private information from being misused, the law provided that the land records clerk may refuse to record any document that includes a social security number making the clerk immune from lawsuits that come up due to the recording of the SS# unless the clerk engaged in neglegint or willful misconduct.

House Bill 799 (VA Code § 55-522) Changes to circumstances - If information disclosed in accordance with this chapter is subsequently rendered or discovered to be inaccurate as a result of any act, occurrence, information received, circumstance or agreement subsequent to the delivery of the required disclosures, the inaccuracy resulting therefrom does not constitute a violation of this chapter. However, at or before settlement, the owner shall be required to disclose any material change in the disclosures made relative to the property. If, at the time the disclosures are required to be made, an item of information required to be disclosed is unknown or not available to the owner, the owner may state that the information is unknown or may use an approximation of the information, provided the approximation is clearly identified as such, is reasonable, is based on the actual knowledge of the owner, and is not used for the purpose of circumventing or evading this chapter.

Other Laws that effect the real estate sector:

House Bill 899 ( VA Code § 55-79-90) Public offering statement; condominium securities - The agency may require the declarant to alter or amend the proposed public offering statement in order to assure full and fair disclosure to prospective purchasers, and no change in the substance of the promotional plan or plan of disposition or development of the condominium may be made after registration without notifying the agency and without making appropriate amendment of the public offering statement. A public offering statement is not current unless all amendments are incorporated

Senate Bill 116 (VA Code § 55-109.2(C)) Prior to recording a corrective affidavit, the attorney seeking to record the affidavit shall deliver a copy of the affidavit to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage and to the title insurance company, if known, and give notice of the intent to record the affidavit and of each party's right to object to the affidavit. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be sent by first-class mail, return receipt requested, or by an overnight delivery service, to the last known address of each party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage to be corrected and to the title insurance company, if known, that (i) is contained in the land book maintained pursuant to § 58.1-3301 by the jurisdiction where the property is located or where the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded, (ii) is contained in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction, (iii) has been provided to the attorney as a forwarding address, or (iv) has been established with reasonable certainty by other means. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be sent to the property address for the real property conveyed by the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction. If a locality is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the county, city, or town attorney for the locality, if any, and if there is no such attorney, then to the chief executive for the locality. If the Commonwealth is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the Attorney General.

      

If you have any real estate or area related questions or you're interested in buying or selling a home in Northern Virginia,  contact or call Cleo  1.703.609.7407 & put our team of Northern Virginia home experts to work for you!