The financials of real estate can be extremely complicated. Whether you’re a real estate agent or a client, buying a new home or selling property, renting out your second home or trying to secure a lease, the ins and outs of real estate laws are complex. But there are some handy laws meant to protect your interests you might not have known about.
The Patriot Act
You may not have known that the Patriot Act requires real estate professionals to report transactions (either a single transaction or a series of related transactions) from which they receive $10,000 or more. Mortgage lenders, among other institutions, are required by the Patriot Act to implement safeguards against money laundering and terrorist transactions. Real estate professionals are not currently required to do the same, but that may soon change. This is meant to protect against terrorist transactions happening in the United States.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Most people need credit to pay for or finance purchases in their lives. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act protects individuals needing credit from being against based on race, gender, age, receipt of public assistance, and more. The only valid criteria for evaluating whether or not a person is eligible for credit are things like income, debts, and credit history. If you need legal assistance, instead of trying to figure things out all on your own, reach out to someone like John R. Campbell Jr.
Home Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction
If you’ve got a mortgage on your house and you pay interest on it, you can deduct that interest from your taxes. There are guidelines as to which types of mortgages qualify. For example, mortgages taken out before 1987 grandfather these laws, and so the interest is deductible. Mortgages taken out after 1987 have to fit certain purpose and financial stipulations. Your mortgage must be on a qualified home, which means your main home (in which you live most of the time) or your second home (like a house, condo, or trailer).
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act
Title VIII, the Fair Housing Act, prevents housing discrimination. You can’t be denied the sale, rental or financing of a dwelling based on race, gender, disability, and other considerations. The Fair Housing Act also puts provisions in place so that victims of housing discrimination can bring effective legal action. Additionally, Title VIII prevents general housing rules, like a dwelling with a no pets policy, from being twisted to exclude disabled people, such as someone who requires the assistance of a seeing-eye dog. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development enforces Title VIII.
Now you know that there’s a part of the Patriot Act designed to protect real estate specifically. Discrimination based on race, gender, disability, age, financial circumstance, and other aspects, is prohibited by more than one law, and if it happens to you, you’re absolutely entitled to legal assistance. Plus, if you have a mortgage, you can save money on your taxes by deducting the interest you pay.