Housing in the Trump Era

 

The Real Estate Transactions Section of the American Association of Law Schools has issued the following Call for Papers:

Access + Opportunity + Choice: Housing Capital, Equity, and Market Regulation in the Trump Era

Program Description:

The year 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the 2008 housing crisis—an event described as the most significant financial and economic upheaval since the Great Depression. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which upended many decades of overt housing discrimination. Both events remind us of the significant role that housing has played in the American story—both for good and for bad.

Of the many aspects of financial reform that followed 2008, much of the housing finance-related work was centered around mortgage loan origination and creating incentives and rules dealing with underwriting and the risk of moral hazard. Some of these reforms include the creation of the qualified mortgage safe-harbor and the skin-in-the-game risk retention rules. But when it came to the secondary mortgage market, little significant reform was undertaken. The only government action of any serious importance related to the federal government—through the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)—taking over control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This major government intervention into the workings of the country’s two mortgage giants yielded takings lawsuits, an outcry from shareholders, and the decimation of the capital reserves of both companies. Despite Fannie and Freddie having both paid back all the bailout funds given to them, the conservatorship remains in place to this day.

In the area of fair housing, the past several years saw the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities case whereby the U.S. Supreme Court upheld (and narrowed the scope of) the disparate impact theory under the Fair Housing Act. We also saw efforts aimed at reducing geographic concentrations of affordable housing through the Obama administration’s promulgation of the affirmatively furthering fair housing rule.

Yet, meaningful housing reform remains elusive. None of the major candidates in the most recent presidential election meaningfully addressed the issue in their policy platforms, and a lack of movement in resolving the Fannie/Freddie conservatorship is viewed as a major failure of the Obama administration. Additionally, housing segregation and access to affordable mortgage credit continues to plague the American economy.

In recent months, the topics of housing finance reform and providing Americans with credit (including mortgage credit) choices have been a point of focus on Capitol Hill and in the Trump White House. Will these conservations result in meaningful legislation or changes in regulatory approaches in these areas? Will programs like the low-income-housing tax credit, the CFPB’s mandatory underwriting requirements, public housing subsidies, and the government’s role in guaranteeing and securitizing mortgage loans significantly change? Where are points of possible agreement between the country’s two major parties in this area and what kinds of compromises can be made?

Call for Papers:

The Real Estate Transactions Section looks to explore these and related issues in its 2019 AALS panel program titled: “Access and Opportunity: Housing Capital, Equity, and Market Regulation in the Trump Era.” The Section invites the submission of abstracts or full papers dealing broadly with issues related to real estate finance, the secondary mortgage market, fair housing, access to mortgage credit, mortgage lending discrimination, and the future of mortgage finance. There is no formal paper requirement associated with participation on the panel, but preference will be given to those submissions that demonstrate novel scholarly insights that have been substantially developed. Untenured scholars in particular are encouraged to submit their work. Please email your submissions to Chris Odinet at codinet@sulc.edu by Friday, August 3, 2018. The selection results will be announced in early September 2018. In additional to confirmed speakers, the Section anticipates selecting two to three papers from the call.

Confirmed Speakers:

Rigel C. Oliveri, Isabelle Wade and Paul C. Lyda Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law

Todd J. Zywicki, Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

David Reiss, Professor of Law and Research Director for the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship, Brooklyn Law School

Eligibility:

Per AALS rules, only full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit a paper/abstract to Section calls for papers. Faculty at fee-paid law schools, foreign faculty, adjunct and visiting faculty (without a full-time position at an AALS member law school), graduate students, fellows, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit.

All panelists, including speakers selected from this Call for Papers, are responsible for paying their own annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.

Challenges for Modern Housing Markets

Professor Barnes

Professor Boyack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be speaking in a free American Bar Association webinar tomorrow, Challenges for Modern Housing Markets:

Our current housing system is not sustainable in terms of the market, residential tenure, cost stability, and neighborhood inequality. Our panelists will discuss some key areas in which housing must be stabilized in order to strengthen our economy and society. Our panelists will address ways to lessen the volatility of housing prices and home mortgage lending, the importance of and ways to improve stability of residency, ways to improve the sustainability of affordable housing, and recent lawsuits that have reframed the problem of distressed and inequitable communities.

The other speakers are

The program will be moderated by Professor Wilson R. Freyermuth, University of Missouri School of Law.

My remarks will be drawn in part from my work on the Federal Housing Administration.

The webinar is free and open to all.  It will take place Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern/11:30 a.m. Central/9:30 a.m. Pacific.

Register for the webinar at http://ambar.org/ProfessorsCorner.

The webinar is sponsored by the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section Legal Education and Uniform Laws Group. It is part of a series of webinars that features a panel of law professors who address topics of interest to practitioners of real estate and trusts/estates.

 

Equitable Subrogation in Mortgage Refinancing

Freyermuth-Wilson1

Professor Freyermuth

I am speaking on Equitable Subrogation in Mortgage Refinancing and Land Purchase Transactions in an ABA Professor’s Corner webinar on Wednesday with Professor Wilson Freyermuth of the University of Missouri School of Law. If this sounds like an esoteric topic, it is!

Subrogation refers to the substitution of one party for another and equitable subrogation refers to the doctrine where a court may use its equitable powers to find an implied assignment of a mortgage in order to avoid the unjust enrichment of a party. Since the commencement of the foreclosure crisis, this doctrine has been put to the test. Wilson and I will take a look at some of the recent cases that do the testing. More info about the webinar is below:

Professors’ Corner

FREE monthly webinar featuring a panel of law professors, addressing topics of interest to practitioners of real estate and trusts/estates. All are welcome and encouraged to register and participate.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

12:30 p.m. Eastern/11:30 a.m. Central/9:30 a.m. Pacific

Equitable Subrogation in Mortgage Refinancing and Land Purchase Transactions

Speakers:  

David Reiss, Brooklyn Law School

Wilson Freyermuth, University of Missouri School of Law

When a lender makes a mortgage loan to refinance an existing first mortgage, the lender typically expects its refinancing loan to have first priority.  If there is an intervening lien on the mortgaged property, however, a priority dispute may result in which the intervening lienholder argues that the recording statutes give it priority over the refinancing lender’s mortgage lien.

In this situation, the principle of equitable subrogation may apply to allow the refinancing lender to be subrogated to the priority of the paid-off mortgage so as to obtain priority over the intervening lien.  The Restatement (Third) of Property: Mortgages (1997) embraced the liberal application of equitable subrogation in this context.  While many courts have embraced the Restatement approach, not all courts have embraced the Restatement approach (including a recent Delaware Supreme Court decision rejecting the application of equitable subrogation in the refinancing context).

Our speakers will discuss a series of recent decisions (all decided in the 2015 calendar year) addressing the extent to which equitable subrogation is (or should be) available in the mortgage refinancing and land purchase context.

Register for this FREE webinar at http://ambar.org/ProfessorsCorner.

Sponsored by the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, Legal Education and Uniform Laws Group.