July 2005 Fast Takes

July 1, 2005

Dispose of records carefully

You now must meet federal requirements when disposing of customers’ “consumer report information,” such as credit reports and records of insurance claims. Federal Trade Commission rules that took effect June 1 require you to take reasonable measures to reduce the chance of unauthorized access to the information after you’ve disposed of it. Reasonable steps include shredding documents and erasing electronic files. You don’t need to hire disposal specialists as long as you take reasonable steps, say NAR legal analysts. The rules implement provisions in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

Ex-Homestore heads charged.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have brought charges against former Homestore Inc. CEO Stuart Wolff and Executive Vice President Peter Tafeen for allegedly inflating online ad revenue at the company. The company’s board removed the two executives in early 2002 and late 2001 respectively, after disclosure of the irregularities. “REALTORS® want to see this four-year-old case brought to closure and justice,” NAR said in a statement issued following the announcement of the charges. “Homestore brought in a new management team as soon as irregularities were discovered. None of the charges have any bearing on today’s company, which continues to successfully operate REALTOR.com, the Internet’s leading real estate site.”

Top family-friendly spots.

The best places to live for families with children combine good schools, strong public safety, educated residents, and a high percentage of homeownership and single-family homes, among other attributes, says NeighborhoodScout, an online search engine for homebuyers. Among the top towns: Los Altos, Calif., near San Francisco; Lake Forest, Ill., near Chicago; Sudbury, Mass., near Boston; Potomac, Md., near Washington, D.C.; Bloomfield Hills, Mich., near Detroit; and Highland Park, Texas, near Dallas-Fort Worth.

VA secretary feted

NAR joined with the national nonprofit group Volunteers of America and others to recognize U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary R. James Nicholson for his work on crucial humanitarian issues, such as human trafficking and international terrorism. Nicholson, a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, was honored with the 2005 Ballington and Maud Booth Award for Distinguished Service to Humanity at a June 21 dinner in Washington, D.C.

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.