Bulletin Search

Commission Elects George Bell, Chair, Robert J. Ramseur, Jr., Vice Chair

George Bell of Winston-Salem has been elected Chair and Robert J. Ramseur, Jr., of Raleigh, Vice Chair, of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for the term beginning August 1, 2016, announced Miriam J. Baer, Executive Director.

Bell is Principal Broker and Broker-In-Charge of the Bell First Group, a real estate brokerage firm, and president of George Bell Productions, Ltd., a real estate education firm serving real estate brokers across North Carolina.

Bell entered the real estate business in 1978, following graduation from East Carolina University with a BS in Business Administration, with concentrations in real estate and banking.

Bell was inducted into the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® Hall-of-Fame in 2014, and served as the 2010 president of the Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® and its 2009 REALTOR®-of-the-Year.

In 2012, he received the Billie J. Mercer Excellence in Education Award from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the Educator of the Year Award from the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association (NCREEA). He is a past president of the both the state and international Real Estate Educators Associations.

Ramseur is a partner at the law firm of Ragsdale Liggett PLLC and chair of its real estate department. His practice focuses on residential and commercial real estate transactions, real estate financing and development, tax and entity structuring, lease negotiations and drafting and real estate litigation.

Licensed to practice law in North Carolina in 1996, Ramseur formed his own firm in 1997 and merged his practice with Ragsdale Liggett in 2001. He is licensed to practice in all  state courts, the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of North Carolina), and the U.S. Supreme Court.

He is past president of the Wake County Real Property Lawyers Association, past co-chair of the Joint Forms Task Force for the North Carolina Bar Association and North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and past president of the Real Estate Lawyers Association of North Carolina, Inc., a trade association with over 350 members.

A native of Raleigh, Ramseur graduated with honors from Needham B. Broughton High School and received a Bachelor of Arts in History, cum laude, from Wake Forest University in 1992 and a law degree from Wake Forest in 1995.

Active in civic and charitable activities, he is a past president of the Rotary Club of the Capital City and the Board of Directors of Raleigh’s Theatre In The Park and participates each year as a fund raising volunteer for the Triangle Area YMCA.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Commission Proposes New, Revised Rules

The Commission approved rulemaking at its August meeting.  The proposed rules shall have an effective date of July 1, 2017, except for rules 21 NCAC 58A .0511 and .0512, which will have an effective date of July 1, 2018.  The following is a summary of the proposed amendments and rule adoptions:

Section A .0100 Real Estate Brokers – General Brokerage:

21 NCAC 58A .0101 – Proof of Licensure – The amendments are proposed to allow the use of electronic pocket cards as proof of licensure and to merge the requirements of A .0509, to submit a $5 duplicate license fee, into this Rule.

21 NCAC 58A .0103 – Broker Name and Address – The amendments are proposed to add a requirement that brokers changing their name of record must show legal proof of such name change; to comply with S.L. 2016-100 (SB 124) the Assumed Business Act recently passed by the General Assembly; and to clarify the use of an unlicensed person’s name as a tradename.

21 NCAC 58A .0106 – Deliver of Instruments – The amendments are proposed to clarify a broker’s responsibility to deliver information regarding the identity of current or former tenants to property owner clients.

Section A .0300 – Application for Licensure:

21 NCAC 58A .0302 – Filing and Fees – The amendments are proposed to comply with S.L. 2016-117 (HB 728) that increased the broker’s application fee from $30 to $100.

21 NCAC 58A .0304 – Equivalent Experience Qualifications for Applicants – The amendments are proposed to clarify Prelicensing education waiver requirements.

Section A .0500 – Licensing:

21 NCAC 58A .0502 – Business Entities – The amendments are proposed to clarify that the qualifying broker is affiliated with the firm so that they receive notice if a broker-in-charge were to withdraw their designation and to require brokers to disclose the banking institution where their trust accounts will be held.

21 NCAC 58A .0503 – License Renewal; Penalty for Operating While License Expired – The amendments are proposed to require brokers to disclose the banking institution where their trust accounts are held each time they renew their license and any criminal convictions or disciplinary actions within the previous year.

21 NCAC 58A .0505 – Reinstatement – The amendments are proposed to comply with S.L. 2016-117 (HB 728) that changed a broker’s reinstatement application fee to an amount equal to two times the license renewal fee instead of the previous reinstatement fee of $55 and to clarify the requirements for a broker to reinstate a license.

21 NCAC 58A .0509 – Duplicate License Fee – The amendments are proposed to merge this Rule into A .0101, Proof of Licensure, and to repeal this Rule.

21 NCAC 58A .0511 – Licensing of Persons Licensed in Another Jurisdiction – The amendments are proposed to create a temporary practice permit for military spouses pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 93B-15.1.

21 NCAC 58A .0512 – Death or Incapacity of Sole Proprietor

The adoption of a rule is proposed to create a succession plan if a broker were to become deceased or become incapacitated while serving as a broker-in-charge of a sole proprietorship.

21 NCAC 58A .1905 – Waiver of 90-Hour Postlicensing Education Requirement

The adoption of a rule is proposed to clarify the Postlicensing education waiver requirements.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

CFPB to Ease Access To TRID Closing Disclosure

ARELLO® (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials) Reprinted courtesy of ARELLO Boundaries magazine

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau CFPB) recently issued proposed amendments to its TILA-RESPA Integrated Mortgage Disclosure forms and rules, one of which is intended to clarify that lenders are permitted to provide the required Closing Disclosure to real estate agents.

The new disclosures (commonly referred to as “TRID”, but dubbed “Know Before You Owe” by the CFPB) replaced the previous disclosure forms required in all “federally-related” mortgage transactions, including the “HUD-1” settlement statement, with the CFPB’s residential mortgage Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms.

Since the implementation of the TRID rules nearly a year ago, many real estate agents have experienced difficulties in obtaining copies of completed Closing Disclosure forms from lenders. The issue involves lender concerns about potential liabilities arising under the privacy provisions of the federal Graham-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), which prohibit lenders from disclosing customers’ “nonpublic personal information” (NPI) to nonaffiliated third parties without providing customers with notice and an opportunity to opt-out of such disclosure.

[The Closing Disclosure has also raised questions in some state real estate regulatory jurisdictions whose licensing laws require brokers to ensure that transaction parties receive a closing statement. [See, Real Estate Bulletin February 2016]

In its proposed rulemaking notice the CFPB acknowledges that prior to implementation of the TRID rules, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and its implementing regulations required settlement agents to issue a HUD-1 form to lenders, borrowers, sellers, and their agents. The CFPB also recognizes that many transaction participants rely on shared information to complete residential transactions; including real estate agents, loan officers, settlement agents and others. Consequently, the CFPB proposes to amend its rules to acknowledge that, in accordance with applicable exceptions to the privacy requirements of the GLBA, it is “usual, appropriate, and accepted” for creditors and settlement agents to provide the combined or separate Closing Disclosure to transaction parties and their real estate brokers or other agents. This will be accomplished by incorporating the CFPB’s previous informal guidance on the subject into the official rule commentaries to clarify that the lender, at its discretion, “may make modifications to the Closing Disclosure form to accommodate the provision of separate Closing Disclosure forms to the consumer and the seller…”. The commentaries will also explain the methods by which creditors can separate buyers’ and sellers’ information for that purpose.

Other changes proposed by the CFPB include:

“Total of Payments” Tolerances: The TRID rules changed the previous “total of payments” disclosure calculation so that it did not make specific use of the finance charge. The CFPB now proposes to include tolerance provisions that return the calculation to what it was prior to implementation of the TRID rules.

Housing Assistance Lending: The CFPB proposes to promote housing assistance by amending the current partial exemption from the disclosure requirements for certain housing assistance loans, to allow charges for recording fees and transfer taxes.

Cooperatives: Currently, the TRID rules only cover transactions secured by real property, as defined under state law. Buyers of units in a cooperative, however, become a shareholder in a corporation that owns the property. Some states treat cooperative units as personal property, while others treat them as real property. The CFPB proposes to extend the TRID rules to cover all cooperative units, thereby simplifying compliance.

The CFPB is seeking public comment on the proposals, which include numerous other technical changes to the disclosure forms and rules. Comments are due Oct. 18, 2016 and may be submitted by several means including electronically via www.regulations.gov.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Michael Gray Receives Fraud Investigator Award

Commission Chief Auditor/Investigator Michael B. Gray is the recipient of an award for his work from the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI).

The IAFCI selected as its Task Force of the Year a group including Gray. The award was presented to the Task Force and Gray at the IAFCI annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The Task Force identified for this particular award was involved in the investigation and prosecution of a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme out of the Waxhaw, North Carolina area. Gray’s work has been instrumental in this and other mortgage fraud investigations, increasing the Commission’s ability to make a difference in situations in which licensed real estate brokers have actively participated in fraud.

The IAFCI is a non-profit international organization providing services and an environment within which information about financial fraud, fraud investigation, and fraud prevention methods can be collected, exchanged and taught. It provides investigators with national and international investigative capabilities to establish effective financial crime programs.

There are chapters across the US, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Africa and Asia, and members include all levels of law enforcement, prosecution, security and other segments of the financial transaction industry. They provide training and information about financial crimes and a network to track individuals internationally.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission would like to thank the IAFCI for their consideration of this Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, for working with Commission staff to fight mortgage fraud in North Carolina.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Lengthy Process Guides Path To Making of Commission Rules

By Robert A. Patchett, Associate Legal Counsel I

Laws are passed by the General Assembly and usually signed by the governor. Rules, however, are adopted by administrative agencies to clarify laws and processes for compliance and have the effect of law. Rulemaking is the process by which the Commission adopts, amends, or repeals rules.

There are three different processes for rulemaking:

–permanent rulemaking,

–temporary rulemaking, and

–emergency rulemaking.

Permanent rulemaking is the process used most often by the Commission so it will be the focus of this article. Temporary and emergency rules are used only in rare situations to reduce the time required for a rule to become effective, and are not meant to be permanent. They must be followed by a permanent rulemaking.

Starting the Process – To start a permanent rulemaking, the Commission proposes rule text and sends it to the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”). OAH publishes the text in the North Carolina Register. It is also published on the Commission’s website. Publishing provides notice to interested parties that the Commission is considering amending or adopting a rule.

Public Comment – Once the rule text is published, there are two opportunities for the public to comment on the text. Comments can be submitted to the Commission during a sixty day comment period, or at a public hearing held shortly after the rule text is published. The comment period and public hearing provide interested parties with the opportunity to express support or opposition for the proposed rule.

Commission Adoption – After the comment period and public hearing have passed, the Commission must consider all of the comments and decide whether to adopt the proposed rule text, make a change to the rule text, or reject the rule text. Rejecting the rule text ends the process. If, based on the comments, the Commission makes a substantial change to the initial proposed rule text, then the new proposed rule text is republished and another sixty-day comment period is initiated. If the Commission makes more changes or adopts the rule text as written, then the proposed rule is sent to the Rules Review Commission (“RRC”).

Rules Review Commission – The RRC reviews proposed rules to ensure agencies follow rulemaking requirements, that each rule’s purpose and language are clear, and that the Commission has the legal authority to make a specific rule. Rules are closely scrutinized by the RRC and it can either approve or object to a rule. If the RRC objects, then the Commission has the opportunity to either revise the proposed rule or end the rulemaking process. After the RRC approves a rule, it is entered into the North Carolina Administrative Code and will usually be effective either the first day of the next calendar month or on a specified day, such as July 1 of a given year.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Privilege License Vs. Broker License There is a difference.

And the difference is, a broker license is something every individual and business entity needs to perform real estate brokerage services like sales or property management in North Carolina. The broker real estate license for individuals and firms is administered by the Real Estate Commission and must be renewed yearly on or before June 30 through the Commission. For more information on the broker and/or firm license go to the Commission’s website,  www.ncrec.gov.

A state privilege license is also required to do certain types of business activities within North Carolina. This license is personal and is not issued in the name of a firm or corporation. Individual real estate brokers are specifically required to obtain a privilege license under NCGS §105-41(a)(8); however, a licensed broker who is also a licensed appraiser is only required to get one privilege license which will cover both activities. The state privilege license is governed by the Department of Revenue and must also be renewed yearly by July 1. There are a few, very limited exemptions from the state privilege license requirement which can be found under NCGS §105-41(b). In order to apply for a privilege license, you must go to the Department of Revenue’s website, http://www.dor.state.nc.us/downloads/privilege.html. Once this state privilege license has been granted, you must pay an annual tax on July 1st. This tax is not prorated and there are penalties for failure to pay.

NCGS §160A-194, effective July 1st, 2015, limited the authority of cities to require an additional license for persons holding a license issued by an occupational licensing board. Brokers should still confirm with their city or county whether any other additional local permits are needed to conduct business in that location.  Go to your city or county website for further information.

Remember:  Before conducting real estate brokerage services you must: (1) obtain an individual and/or firm license from the NC Real Estate Commission; AND (2) obtain a state privilege license from the NC Department of Revenue.  Once you have these licenses, mark your calendar to renew your broker license by June 30 of each year and to renew your privilege license and pay the yearly tax by July 1st.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Commission Receives Commercial Education Award

By Bruce W. Moyer, Director, Education and Licensing

The ARELLO® Education Certification Committee has selected the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s Broker-in-Charge Update Course, Commercial Version 2015-2016 for a Continuing Education Award. The award will be presented at the Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC on September 23, 2016.

The awards are presented each year in recognition of outstanding systems and educational programs that contribute to the real estate industry, promote public protection and might be adapted to benefit licensees and consumers in other ARELLO® member jurisdictions. Courses are evaluated on the basis of concept, methodology, quality and benefits to the targeted audience.

The Broker-in-Charge Update Course, Commercial Version 2015-2016, represents a collaborative, public-private partnership between the Commission and two commercial real estate professionals to create a commercial version of the Broker-in-Charge Update course. For the previous 15 years, Ms. Cindy Chandler, CCIM, CRE, Commission Member and Mr. Garth Dunklin, JD, CCIM, CRE, have modified the Commission’s annual Update courses to target a historically underserved segment of the active brokerage community (commercial brokers) by providing dynamic commercial brokerage curriculum content and examples. This course emphasizes practical information and education that can be immediately used in commercial real estate brokerage practice.

This course provides multiple benefits for attending brokers. Among these are direct and specific answers to difficult and complicated questions regarding new settlement disclosures, sales of vacation rentals, changes in Commission rules, contracts, and addenda (both residential and commercial), real estate agent safety, licensing and education reviews, handling complaints, handling trust monies, and broker-in-charge requirements, all from a commercial brokerage perspective.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission would like to thank the ARELLO® Education Certification Committee for their time in reviewing and awarding the 2016 Continuing Education Award for the Broker-in-Charge Update Course, Commercial Version 2015-2016.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Allan R. Dameron Legal Internship Award

Garret J. Rider of Apex, a second-year law student at the University of North Carolina School of Law, is the recipient of the 2016 Allan R. Dameron Legal Internship Award. Commission Chair Cindy S. Chandler and Vice Chair (now Chair) George Bell presented the award at the Commission’s July meeting. The Internship is awarded annually in memory of and tribute to former Commission Chair Dameron for his dedicated service in protecting the interests of consumers.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Drones: Do’s and Don’ts

By Frederick A. Moreno
Deputy Legal Counsel

FAA adopts rules effective  August 29, 2016 for small drones in commercial use. 

On August 29, 2016, new federal rules went into effect for the operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“sUAS”) in the National Airspace System (“NAS”). These rules, referred to as “Part 107”, have been added to Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which governs aviation. These rules DO NOT apply to sUAS that are being flown strictly for hobby or recreational use which are considered Model aircraft. Part 107 regulations focus on the personnel, equipment, and operation of sUAS being flown in the NAS for anything other than hobby or recreational use. Such activities include research and development, aerial photography, education and academic uses.


Under the new rules, a pilot’s license is no longer required to operate sUAS. Now, a person can instead obtain a remote pilot certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”). To qualify for a remote pilot certificate, a person must: pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test, be vetted by the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”), and be at least 16 years of age. Thereafter, a pilot must pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every twenty-four (24) months. In lieu of taking the test, a person may demonstrate their aeronautical knowledge by holding an active pilot’s license, completing a flight review within the previous twenty-four (24) months, and completing an online training course provided by the FAA. A person may not operate the sUAS if they know or have reason to know that they have a physical or mental condition that could interfere with its safe operation. The person operating the sUAS is required to understand airspace classifications and requirements.


To be considered an sUAS, the aircraft must weigh less than fifty-five (55) pounds, including everything that is onboard or otherwise attached to the aircraft. Prior to operation, the sUAS must first be registered with the FAA. The operator must also keep up with the maintenance and repair schedule of the sUAS, is required to keep certain documents and records regarding the aircraft, and must make these documents and records available to the FAA upon request. Furthermore, the operator is required to verify that the aircraft is in a condition of safe operation prior to flight.


Most of the new rules deal with the operation of the sUAS.  Some of these new rules are:

Most of the restrictions above are waivable if the applicant demonstrates that the operation can safely be conducted under the terms of a certificate of waiver.

The above rules are some of the new provisions that are now in effect.  For a complete summary of the rules, see: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/06/28/2016-15079/operation-and-certification-of-small-unmanned-aircraft-systems.

Caution to Brokers

Even though you may be licensed to operate the aircraft and it is properly registered with the FAA, you could still be violating local and State laws regarding privacy by operating the sUAS. Therefore, you should be knowledgeable about local and State laws regarding photography, transportation of goods, or any other intended uses of the sUAS.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.

Real Estate Commission Scholarship Winners

Three North Carolina brokers received scholarships from the Commission at its July meeting for academic excellence in real estate courses.

Anne Wilson Hult, Swansboro, received the Blanton Little Memorial Scholarship from then Commission Chair Cindy S. Chandler and then Vice Chair (now Chair) George Bell.

Michael William Stearns, Charlotte (left), received the Phillip T. Fisher Scholarship, which was presented by Fisher, Commission Executive Director from 1981 to 2010.

Zoltan Desi, Etowah, not present, received the Joe Schweidler Me­morial Scholarship. Little and Schweidler were former Secretary-Treasurers.

Winners received reimbursement of course tuition fees. Desi and Hult were selected by the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® for achievement in the Graduate Realtor® Institute (GRI) program. Stearns was selected by the North Carolina chapter of the Council of Real Estate Specialists for achievement in the Certified Residential Specialists (CRS) program.

This article came from the October 2016-Vol47-2 edition of the bulletin.