Posted by: The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

107 responses to “Here Comes the Gas Prices Discussion Again”

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  1. One Eyed Man

    RE: Pegasus @ 93

    The quote from Helenius which ends your comment should also be viewed in context. Helenius didn’t impose a full fiduciary obligation on the trustee. The paragraph following your quote from the Helenius case states:

    “We agree with a recent Alaska decision which emphasizes that a trustee’s management responsibilities under a deed of trust are less extensive than those of trustees in other fiduciary settings. McHugh, 583 P.2d at 214. See also S & G Inv. Inc. v. Home Fed. Sav. & Loan Ass’n, 505 F.2d 370, 377 n. 21 (D.C. Cir.1974). The trustee of a deed of trust is not required to obtain the best possible price for the trust property. Cf., e.g., Allard v. Pacific Nat’l Bank, 99 Wn.2d 394, 406, 663 P.2d 104 (1983). Nonetheless, the trustee must “take reasonable and appropriate steps to avoid sacrifice of the debtor’s property and his interest.” McHugh, 583 P.2d at 214.”

    The point is that the obligations of the trustee to the grantor of the deed of trust were unclear before and after Helenius. The court in Helenius said the standard was a fiduciary standard, but “less extensive than those of trustees in other fiduciary settings.” That’s about as clear as mud. The Deed of Trust Act was silent on the subject until the revisions of the statute in 2008 and 2009. Arguably the “good faith” language didn’t add or subtract from the nature of the trustee’s duties prior to 2008, but merely attempted to clarified what was otherwise a very unclear standard.

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  2. Kary L. Krismer

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 101 – I wouldn’t go that far. The 2008 arguably didn’t change anything, as I’ve addressed, but even though the prior standard is unclear, I think most courts would find good faith to be a lower standard than some quasi-fiduciary standard. After all, that’s only the standard a real estate agent has to meet! :-D

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=18.86.030

    (1) Regardless of whether the licensee is an agent, a licensee owes to all parties to whom the licensee renders real estate brokerage services the following duties, which may not be waived:

    . . .
    (b) To deal honestly and in good faith;

    Actually, it’s probably even lower, because we have to act honestly too!

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  3. Pegasus

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 101 – Ya sure. That’s why the court keeps using the term fiduciary throughout the opinion……….and the court says the standard must be equally applied to both sides, uses the word diligence and says “not only in good faith”. Do you think “not only in good faith” implies a standard beyond good faith and that is no longer true? Do ya think anyone today that is getting foreclosed is getting the same equal treatment that the one bringing the foreclosure who is paying the trustee? Who can just prove standing by signing a piece of paper saying he has standing to foreclose when in reality no one can probably produce a chain of that right to prove it? That law did not change by accident.

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  4. One Eyed Man

    RE: Pegasus @ 94

    Still selling tin foil hats to pump your aluminium stocks? Even assuming that evil banksters planned and conspired to make liar loans and sell them without full disclosure, that doesn’t make the liar loan borrower less of a criminal. The borrower’s fraud was part and parcel of the intertwined multiple frauds resulting in the financial crisis. Without the fraudulent loan apps they loans never would have been made. The rich may generally get favorable treatment in America, but they’re getting the same treatment as the average Joe, liar loan borrowers this time. And its a lot harder to prove bankster conspiracy and fraud than it is to prove a fraudulent loan app.

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  5. Kary L. Krismer

    By Pegasus @ 103:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 101 – Ya sure. That’s why the court keeps using the term fiduciary throughout the opinion……….and the court says the standard must be equally applied to both sides, uses the word diligence and says “not only in good faith”. Do you think “not only in good faith” implies a standard beyond good faith and that is no longer true? Do ya think anyone today that is getting foreclosed is getting the same equal treatment that the one bringing the foreclosure who is paying the trustee?

    I think you may have it on the reason why the statute was amended the next year. As I noted in my blog piece, the 2008 legislation was introduced by the same legislator who introduced the extremely poorly drafted distressed property legislation. These are the only two piece of legislation of his I’m familiar with, but if these are any guide as to the quality of his work, it’s a good thing he dropped out of the legislature.

    Back on point, an acting “independently” standard probably drove the trustees nuts. While the Cox case also used that term, it wasn’t as prominent as in the statute (as evidenced by the focus today on the term fiduciary). Let’s say a debtor has an offer on their property to sell it on March 15, but the foreclosure is set for March 1. The trustee has seen the offer and thinks it’s a good one. The bank says to foreclose anyway. Assuming the trustee was to act “independently,” they would be more likely to continue the sale than if they only needed to act in good faith. They would also be more likely to lose a client if they continued a sale. So the choice they would have faced under the “independently” standard was losing a client or being sued for not acting independently.

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  6. Kary L. Krismer

    There are apparently already calls to release some of the strategic oil reserves. President Obama has already proven weak in that area, and an election is looming, so it’s very likely, but perhaps not quite so soon. We need to get closer to the election.

    http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/24/10497255-geithner-well-tap-oil-reserves-if-we-have-to

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  7. Seattle Bubble • NWMLS: Record Low Inventory, Prices Approach a Flatline

    [...] I told you that this gas prices nonsense would rear its head again. In other news… It’s a FRENZY! You know it has to be true because Pyramid Expert J. Lennox Scott says so! [...]

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