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  • Transaction Resource Center

    Frequently asked questions and resources to help you continue your business operations amid the current “Shelter in Place” Order

The latest information

July 14, 2020  — Yesterday the new Santa Clara County Risk Reduction Order went into effect, however, the state Health Department is requiring the County to re-close several businesses included in this new County Order. Despite some confusion, Santa Clara County remains on the state ” COVID-19 Watch List” and the County is required to cease the following operations – Click Here for the Full List. All essential businesses must fill out, submit, and distribute to all staff a new Social Distancing Protocol before opening. (Click here to watch a tutorial on how to fill out the new Social Distancing Protocol).

What does this mean for the real estate industry?

  • Brokerage Offices are still allowed to re-open to the public.
  • County requirements for showing property are still the same as under the previous Shelter in Place Ordinance and supersedes the new state guidelines below(See the FAQ below “What are the current requirements for showing property?”)
  • The Social Distancing Protocol does not need to be filled out for any listed property (state forms such as PEAD still need to be completed)
  • Large brokerages with a physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol for all offices and distribute to all staff including agents
  • Small brokerages and independent agents with no physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol by checking the box for “No Business Facility” and including the mailing address at which they receive all work documents

July 13, 2020  The state of California has updated the Industry Requirements for Showing Property. C.A.R. is going to modify several of the forms in the Coronavirus library, most notably, the BPPP, the PEAD-S, the PEAD-V, and the RLA-CAA. Do not hold “traditional” open houses or showings that are open to the general public on a walk-in basis. Use an appointment or digital sign-in process to control the number of people at the house. If you are going to hold a non-traditional “Open House,” then any “Open House” signs or ads must include a rider or express condition that appointments or digital sign-in are required before entry. Showings should be done virtually, whenever possible. Only one listing agent and one “buying party” (including the buyer’s agent) may be in the dwelling at the same time. Due to these requirements, it is still strongly recommended that no “open-house” signs or promotions are used during the process of a transaction. Social distancing, use of protective gear, previous cleaning protocols, and state limits on the persons in a listed property still apply.  Agents must leave enough time in between buyer groups for the home to be properly cleaned and sanitized. Face coverings are required for all in-person client interactions. When stricter the local County Health Order must still be followed and supersedes these new state requirements. Click Here to Read More.

May 28, 2020  C.A.R. has developed new Best Practices Guidelines for Real Estate During COVID-19 in response to the COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions issued earlier this month by the California Departments of Public Health and Industrial Relations. The Industry Guidance document details physical distancing and cleaning/disinfecting practices REALTORS® must follow when showing properties as California enters Stage 2 of reopening. Click Here to Read More and Download the Forms.

These guidelines are in accordance with state regulations. The requirements of the Santa Clara County Shelter in Place Ordinance must be followed as well when operating as an essential business. The best practices and forms required by the state suffice to abide by the County Social Distancing Protocol requirement.

May 7, 2020   Home Stagers are now allowed to operate in Santa Clara County. Click here to learn more.

April 29, 2020   Santa Clara County will allow private showings of occupied homes starting May 4th. Click here to learn more.

April 28, 2020   California is now accepting unemployment benefit applications from REALTORS​® who are independent contractors. Click here to learn more.

April 14, 2020   SCCAOR and SILVAR have asked for clarification with regard to allowable photography services under the “Shelter in Place” order, and received the following feedback from Santa Clara County Counsel:

“If a virtual viewing is not possible, then a single photographer or videographer is permitted to visit the property once to take photographs and/or video.  This should be done at a time when the occupant is not present in the residence.”

This language is expected to be clarified and soon added to the County FAQs on essential services, specifically referencing what in-home activity is allowed under essential real estate services, with the understanding that social distancing measures and protocols should be followed, i.e., wearing of masks, gloves, maintaining a 6-foot distance from each other, etc.

April 13, 2020   Updated Social Distancing Protocol Guidelines:

All REALTORS® that will be operating as an Essential Business during Shelter-in-Place are advised to prepare a “Social Distancing Protocol” to keep on your person while listing properties. It is not required to post one on the listed property. While this form is no longer required to be posted on a listed property it is still recommended to have one on your person to avoid any possibility of penalty from law enforcement.  Click here to learn more and download the form.

Click here to watch a video explanation of the form as it pertains to REALTORS®.

March 31, 2020   Santa Clara County and 5 other Bay Area Counties (San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda) jointly announced that real estate agents now have a narrow exception to practice residential real estate as an essential business. Click here to learn more

March 30, 2020   The Federal Government has updated its list of essential services and expressly included residential real estate. C.A.R. has released best practices guidelines for assisting you in safely practicing real estate and adhering to the new federal legislation.

Frequently Asked Questions

The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. Please check the County/City Orders and consult with your broker regarding your listings.

Updated July 14, 2020

Current County Order for Showing Listed Property:

  • Appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit. (In-person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the residence)”
  • In addition to this the state requirements for health, safety, and cleaning protocols must be followed when showing a property. See the links below on how to comply with state guidelines.
  • During a state of emergency, both the state and county guidelines and orders take the same effect as law in terms of enforcement and application. This means failing to comply with either order can result in fines, imprisonment, and possible loss of license.

C.A.R. FAQ for State Requirements

Cal-OSHA COVID-19 Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions

Updated 7/13:

Santa Clara County has moved away from a “Shelter in Place Ordinance” and into an indefinite “Risk Reduction Order.

Updated July 14, 2020:

Updated May 18, 2020:

Santa Clara County and 5 other Bay Area Counties (San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda) jointly announced changes to their Shelter in Place Ordinance. The ordinance will now remain in effect until at least May 31st and real estate agents now have a narrow exception to practice residential real estate as an essential business. The exact language of the order pertaining to residential real estate as an essential business is as follows”

“Service providers that enable real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in-person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the residence)”

Some Important Takeaways for REALTORS®

  • Only individuals deemed essential to enable a transaction are allowed on the property.
  • A single professional photographer/videographer is allowed on the property to create a virtual showing. The listing agent and the residents of the property should not be present when this occurs.
  • Appraisers and inspectors should be essential to the transaction.
  • Staging companies are allowed to resume working under certain guidelines, read more below
  • Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.
  • All activities should be completed electronically, if at all possible.
  • If a virtual showing is not realistic, a private showing can occur with the following stipulations:
    • Only 1 REALTOR® can be present.
    • A maximum of 2 other people are allowed. These 2 people must reside in the same household.
    • All occupants of the residence must not be present on the property during any private showing or walkthrough
  • Open houses are still not allowed under any circumstances.

Some Important Takeaways for SCCAOR Affiliates

  • Staging Companies have been deemed a service provider to enable a real estate transaction and are able to resume working, under certain guidelines. Click Here to Learn More.
  • SCCAOR and SILVAR have asked for clarification with regard to allowable photography services under the “Shelter in Place” order, and just received the following feedback from Santa Clara County Counsel: “If a virtual viewing is not possible, then a single photographer or videographer is permitted to visit the property once to take photographs and/or video. This should be done at a time when the occupant is not present in the residence.”
  • Appraisers and Inspectors are allowed to operate under the same guidelines as photography listed above.
  • Moving companies are allowed to operate for tenants who must move locations, whether residential or commercial.
  • Arborists, landscapers, and gardeners are allowed to fully return to work beginning May 4th
  • All construction workers, including residential improvement projects, are allowed to return to work beginning May 4th.
  • All construction workers must follow the Small Construction Project Safety Protocol.

Santa Clara County Ordinance in Effect Through May 3rd: Click Here
Santa Clara County Ordinance Effective May 4th – May 31st: Click Here
Santa Clara County FAQs: Click Here
California Executive Order: Click Here
California Essential Businesses Explained: Click Here 
California FAQs: Click Here

Updated July 15th:

On July 2, 2020, the Departments of Public Health and Cal/Osha revised their “Industry Guidance: Real Estate Transactions” (“Industry Guidance”). This guidance implements the state Stage 2 expansion for real estate transactions and contains a host of rules detailing how properties must be shown during COVID-19.

Important! If a city or county in which you do your business activity has an order with a more restrictive standard on real estate activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. In other words, if there is a more restrictive local order, it must still be followed. See the FAQ above on what aspects of real estate are essential in the County Order for specific details.

During a state of emergency, both the state and county guidelines and orders take the same effect as law in terms of enforcement and application. This means failing to comply with either order can result in fines, imprisonment, and possible loss of license.

CAL OSHA COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions 

C.A.R. FAQs and Instructions to follow CA Industry Guidance

Updated July 15th:

Monday, July 13th the new Santa Clara County Risk Reduction Order went into effect. Although Santa Clara County remains on the state “COVID-19 Watch List, brokerage offices are still allowed to re-open to the public. The California and County Health Offices have confirmed that due to real estate being an essential sector, brokerage offices are still allowed to re-open.

Both CA and County safety guidelines for re-opening must be followed and implemented before opening to the public.

  • C.A.R. FAQ and Instructions for Reopening Brokerage Offices in Compliance with State Requirements
  • Santa Clara County requires all essential businesses to fill out and submit and distribute to all staff a new Social Distancing Protocol
  • The Social Distancing Protocol does not need to be filled out for any listed property (state forms such as PEAD still need to be completed)
  • Large brokerages with a physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol for all offices and distribute to all staff including agents
  • Small brokerages and independent agents with no physical office need to complete a Social Distancing Protocol by checking the box for “No Business Facility” and including the mailing address at which they receive all work documents
  • See the tutorial below on how to complete the new County Social Distancing Protocol form

Updated on 3/20: The Santa Clara County Recorder’s office has issued the following statement:

“There will be no real estate recording accepted for walk-in customers. We encourage customers to submit documents through title companies who can submit them electronically.  We will also process documents sent through the mail.”

You can find the latest updates on the Santa Clara County Recorder’s website.

This guide contains information about recording services available in all Bay Area Counties. It will be updated regularly (last updated 3/20)

Other counties outside of Santa Clara County may have a different policy in place and we recommend that you contact the local County Recorder’s Office or your local Title Representative for an update on the current status of the County Recorder’s Office outside of Santa Clara County.

Updated on 7/13: 

“Traditional” open houses or showings that are open to the general public on a walk-in basis are PROHIBITED by the County and state. Use an appointment or digital sign-in process to control the number of people at the house. If you are going to hold a non-traditional “Open House,” then any “Open House” signs or ads must include a rider or express condition that appointments or digital sign-in are required before entry. Due to these requirements, it is still strongly recommended that no “open-house” signs or promotions are used during the process of a transaction. All state and County requirements for showing property and safety protocol must be followed.

Current County Order for Showing Listed Property:

  • Appointments and other residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit. (In-person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the residence)”

C.A.R. FAQ for State Requirements

Cal-OSHA COVID-19 Industry Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions

Updated 4/29:

Santa Clara County and 5 other Bay Area Counties (San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda) jointly announced changes to their Shelter in Place Ordinance. The ordinance will now remain in effect until at least May 31st and real estate agents now have a narrow exception to practice residential real estate as an essential business. The exact language of the order pertaining to residential real estate is as follows:

“Service providers that enable real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other real estate viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same household or living unit and one individual showing the unit (except that in-person visits are not allowed when an occupant is present in a residence

  • Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.
  • All activities should be completed electronically, if at all possible.
  • If a virtual showing is not realistic, a private showing can occur with the following stipulations:
    • Only 1 REALTOR® can be present.
    • A maximum of 2 other people are allowed. These 2 people must reside in the same household.
    • All occupants of the residence must not be present on the property during any private showing or walkthrough
  • Open houses are still not allowed under any circumstances.
Updated 4/3:
NAR’s Federal Advocacy team has been working closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure the interests of REALTORS® and their clients are protected in any federal action in response to COVID-19. Many REALTORS® are small businesses, or work with them as clients. In the most recent relief package passed into law, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or CARES Act, there were significant provisions aimed at assisting small businesses during this difficult time. The CARES Act appropriates more than $360 billion total for new Small Business Administration (SBA) programs – the 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) advance grants program. Click here to learn more

C.A.R. has also released a Financial Relief for REALTORS® page on their website that will be continually updated with information on relief options that are available.

Congress’s latest coronavirus relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history and will allocate $2.2 trillion in support to individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. Several resources were specifically included to assistant REALTORS® most notably the ability to file for unemployment with the state and receive up to $10,000 through a forgivable loan.

Updated on 7/14:

C.A.R. FAQs on Industry Guidance for Real Estate Transactions

C.A.R. FAQs on Reopening Real Estate Brokerage Offices

Detailed Instructions on Completing the Unemployment Assistance Application

C.A.R. COVID-19 Updates

NAR Coronavirus Microsite

Updated on 5/28:

C.A.R.’s updated best practices guidelines are available here and will be available in zipForm® soon. We urge you to read these guidelines carefully and to implement them at all times when showing properties. Always defer to the rules governing your local area, as cities and counties may have more stringent restrictions on real estate activity.

To further clarify California’s Industry Guidance document, we also have released two new FAQs — one on showing properties, and the other on reopening offices — as well as a legal Quick Guide on Complying with Industry Guidance Showing Rules. We have also released a “Posted Rules for Entry” (C.A.R. Document PRE) you can use to comply with the guidance that all agents must post rules, complete with pictograms, outside a property that all viewing the property must agree to before entering. These resources will provide you with a blueprint for efficiently incorporating the Industry Guidance into your real estate practice.

Keep an eye out for the following forms and resources in zipForm®:

  • Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration – Visitor
  • Coronavirus Property Entry Advisory and Declaration – Seller
  • Coronavirus Lease/Rental Property Entry Advisory and Declaration
  • Listing Agreement Coronavirus Addendum or Amendment
  • Posted Rules for Entry
  • Best Practices Guidelines for Real Estate During COVID-19

Please continue to check the C.A.R. coronavirus microsite regularly for the latest information on how best to navigate practicing real estate during these challenging times.

Updated on 4/2:

You can visit the C.A.R. Website to view all the other forms, legal documents and other useful materials that have been recently created. This includes a Listing Agreement Coronavirus Addendum or Amendment (RLA-CAA) for sellers and listing agents to sign, and the other is a Property Viewing Advisory and Declaration (PEAD) that is to be given to and signed by the seller, buyer, agents and anyone else who will be entering a property.

We recommend all existing transactions have a COVID-19 Addendum in place to handle any delays that are out of the control of the parties to the contract. C.A.R. has recently released a new form called the Coronavirus Addendum/Amendment (Form CVA). It is available in zipForm® now, and you can download it by clicking the button below. The form provides that when circumstances related to the coronavirus are affecting the closing date, the Buyer and Seller agree to extend escrow for a default of 30 days. There is also an optional clause where the buyer and seller can mutually agree to cancel the Agreement and an additional optional clause where the buyer or seller can cancel even after removing the loan contingency if the inability to fund is caused by Covid-19 related loss of income. This form can be used either as an amendment to a contract that is already in place or as an addendum to a contract that has not yet been formed.

Please note that SCCAOR does not provide legal advice and is not giving any legal recommendations.

From MLSListings:

In light of the Shelter in Place (SIP) order, the MLSListings Board of Directors approved a policy to suspend the accrual of days on market (DOM) on all listings from March 17, 2020 until the SIP order is rescinded.
Specifically, this means that:
  • All Active listings will stop accruing DOM effective March 17, 2020.
  • Any DOM accrued prior to March 17, 2020 will remain with the property. For example,

    • A property listed on 3/1/20 would show 16 DOM and will not increment until the SIP order is lifted. If the order is lifted on 4/7/20, then on 4/8/20 it will show 17 DOM.
    • A property listed on or after 3/17/20 will show 0 DOM. If the order is lifted on 4/7/20, then on 4/8/20 it will show 1 DOM.
    • If a listing is Cancelled, it will show only DOM accrued through 3/17/20.
  • All Withdrawn listings (which do not accrue DOM) after 3/1/2020 will be marked as New in Matrix only, when returned to Active.
Rest assured that not only is the MLSListings system up and running, the company is now 100% remote and completely available to serve and support you. We are ready to respond to any of your questions or concerns as always, by phone, email, or chat. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

Updated on 3/17: We are all concerned about the current state of the economy with the current restrictions in effect, however, we know that everyone is experiencing it together. We would like to ask all Buyers and Sellers to please be patient and see the process through before reacting to fear and uncertainty. We believe that everything will be back up and running in a few weeks time.

Updated May 7, 2020 Home Stagers are now allowed to operate in Santa Clara County. Click here to learn more.

Updated 4/14: Yes. Virtual Staging is okay as long as the structure and items fixed to the structure (e.g. flooring, ceiling fans, outlets, switches, etc.) are not virtually changed.

SCCAOR and SILVAR have asked for clarification with regard to allowable photography services under the “Shelter in Place” order, and just received the following feedback from Santa Clara County Counsel:
“If a virtual viewing is not possible, then a single photographer or videographer is permitted to visit the property once to take photographs and/or video.  This should be done at a time when the occupant is not present in the residence.”
This language is expected to be clarified and soon added to the County FAQs on essential services, specifically referencing what in-home activity is allowed under essential real estate services, with the understanding that social distancing measures and protocols should be followed, i.e., wearing of masks, gloves, maintaining a 6-foot distance from each other, etc.

Updated 5/28/20:

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to extend the eviction moratorium, which applies to all cities and jurisdictions with the County, until August 31, 2020. All other information regarding the details of the moratorium is still accurate below. The County will explore extending the payback period for outstanding rent during the eviction moratorium.

Updated 3/31:

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve an eviction moratorium effectively immediately as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, for all residential tenants and commercial tenants defined as a small business. Due to emergency powers granted to the County under an executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom this moratorium applies to all unincorporated areas AND all cities within the County’s jurisdiction. It is important to note all of the following information from the moratorium.

It is in effect until May 31, 2020.

ALL back rent unpaid during this moratorium is still owed by the tenant to the housing provider. The tenant will have 120 days from the end of the moratorium to pay all back rent, in addition to new current rent due. After this point, late fees and penalties can begin to be assessed. When the moratorium is lifted during the 120 days grace period late fees and evictions can still continue for unpaid new rent due.

The moratorium only protects tenants who can prove significant financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. Other forms of evictions can still occur. The tenant must be proactive and provide documentation to the landlord showing proof in any of the following ways:

– Substantial loss of income from: (i) job loss; (ii) layoffs; (iii) a reduction in the number of compensable hours of work; (iv) a store, restaurant, office, or business closure; (v) a substantial decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand; (vi) the need to miss work to care for a homebound school-age child or a family member infected with coronavirus; or (vii) other similarly-caused loss of income, where the conditions listed in (i) through (vii) resulted from frorn the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic or related guidance or public health orders from local, state, or federal authorities

– Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses for themselves or their immediate family members related to the 2020 COVID-l9 pandemic

Failure to comply as a housing provider is not a criminal offense but punishable through civil fines and penalties.
Any notice of termination served on a Tenant during the 2020 COVID-I9 pandemic must also include a notice of Tenant’s rights under this Ordinance as well as a notice of emergency rental assistance programs.
SCCAOR encourages all tenants and housing providers to read the entire ordinance for a comprehensive understanding of the moratorium. Click Here to Read the Ordinance

If any local Cities that have enacted an eviction moratorium have a stricter ordinance it still applies, along with the County ordinance.

Click Here for City of San Jose Eviction Moratorium Information
Click Here for City of Santa Clara Eviction Moratorium Information
The City of Gilroy may explore a local eviction moratorium at their next Council meeting in April as well as rental subsidies.
The Cities of Campbell, Milpitas, and Morgan Hill have all deferred to the County Eviction Moratorium.

Updated 5/4/20:

More forms of property management and maintenance are now allowed to resume under the revised Shelter in Place Order.

  • Arborists, landscapers, and gardeners are allowed to fully return to work beginning May 4th
  • All construction workers, including residential improvement projects, are allowed to return to work beginning May 4th
  • All construction workers must follow the Small Construction Project Safety Protocol

Updated 3/24: Property management and repair work, which generally involves maintaining sanitary and safety conditions is permissible.

Updated 3/24: The loss of value in a stock portfolio does not, in and of itself, provide grounds for a buyer or seller to cancel a contract unless the contract is contingent upon the value being maintained. The C.A.R. Residential Purchase Agreement does not contain such a preprinted contingency. If a buyer was relying on the stock portfolio to provide the needed down payment or closing costs, the opposite is true. The last sentence in paragraph 3J(2) specifically states that the buyer’s contractual obligation regarding deposit, balance of down payment and closing costs are not contingencies.

Some people have heard of something called a “force majeure” clause. These clauses can limit a contractual obligation, or otherwise, based on “Acts of God.” However, California Civil Code, section 1511, paragraph 2 provides that performance of an obligation is excused when it is prevented or delayed by an irresistible, superhuman cause unless the parties have expressly agreed to the contrary.   The C.A.R. contract does not have such a clause. “Force majeure” or “vis major” is not necessarily limited to the equivalent of an act of God, but the test is whether under the particular circumstances there is such an insuperable interference occurring without the party’s intervention as could not have been prevented by prudence, diligence and care (Pacific Vegetable Oil Corporation v. C. S. T., Ltd. (1946) 29 Cal.2d 228, 174 P.2d 441). While ordinarily, a drop in value in the stock market, be it dramatic or mild, would not excuse failure to perform, the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus outbreak may be considered a circumstance warranting if not complete failure of performance then at least delay in performance.

Given the uncertainty, buyer and seller are encouraged to discuss alternatives to timely performance and reach a voluntary amendment during this period of state and national emergency.

Updated 3/24: If a property is not yet listed, a broker may take a listing with a postponed effective date with written instructions from the seller. C.A.R. form SELM can be used for this purpose. In that form, paragraph 8C can be checked and a future date can be inserted in the blank fields. If the COVID-19 scare is not over by that date, then the broker and seller can agree to extend that date to another specific future date. If the seller wants to begin marketing and listing the property before the initial or extended date has been reached, then a written instruction to the listing broker will suffice. If the local MLS has already adopted the NAR Clear Cooperation Policy, then the seller must be informed that the property will be submitted to the MLS within one business day of any public marketing of the property.

If property is not yet listed, another option is to enter into a listing agreement with a future effective date. However, if the seller sells the property prior to that date, then the broker is not entitled to any compensation since the contact has not become effective. And, in such a circumstance the listing agreement may not even become binding on the delayed effective date since the seller no longer owns the object of the listing.

If the property is already listed for sale, the broker and the seller can mutually agree to postpone marketing of the property and extend the effective date. While paragraph 3A(3) of the residential listing agreement (C.A.R. form RLA) provides that the broker is entitled to compensation if the seller unilaterally withdraws the property for sale or makes it unmarketable, proceeding on such a clause in the current environment is risky. The best approach would be to seek a mutual agreement.

Updated May 4, 2020:

Under the revised Shelter in Place Ordinance, appraisers (along with inspectors) have been classified as necessary to enable a residential real estate transaction. They are allowed to operate under the following guidelines.

A single appraiser is allowed on the property to complete a walkthrough. The listing agent and the residents of the property should not be present when this occurs. They will need to abide by the County Social Distancing Protocol and the new state Industry Guidelines for Showing Property. More information on these policies can be viewed in a previous FAQ.

On March 23, 2020, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2020-5, Selling Guidance Related to COVID-19, which contains temporary guidance on appraisal requirements. Under the guidance, lenders will be allowed to use desktop appraisal and exterior only appraisals for purchase transactions through May 17, 2020. Freddie Mac has also provided language that the appraiser must copy and paste into their report in order to accommodate the revised scope of work, statement of assumptions and limiting conditions, and certifications for some of the scenarios presented. Visit the Freddie Mac website for more information.

Updated 4/15

From the California Department of Real Estate’s website:

1. Will the Department of Real Estate (DRE) offices be open during shelter in place orders?

All DRE offices are closed to the public until further notice in order to comply with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20, issued March 19, 2020, ordering all California residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. DRE is still operational by phone, eLicensing, mail and email.

DRE has many examinee, licensee and consumer processes available online on our website. To reschedule an exam date or conduct licensing transactions, use our eLicensing system. To file a consumer complaint, use our online complaint system.

For processes that cannot be completed online, documents can still be mailed to DRE. Click here for a list of our addresses.

2. Will DRE’s public information line be open during shelter in place orders?

Yes, however, wait times may be excessive due to staffing restrictions.

3. I heard that all licensing exams are canceled. Is this true?

Yes. DRE canceled all salesperson and broker license exams in all exam centers through April 30, 2020. This action was taken to comply with state and county public health agencies ordering residents to shelter in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

4. If my exam is canceled, how do I reschedule it?

All examinees can reschedule canceled exams using our eLicensing system for free. If you do not have an eLicensing account, you can easily create one on our website.

5. If the county I live in has issued a shelter in place order, can I reschedule my exam date?

Yes. If the city or county issues a shelter in place order, your exam will be canceled and an email notification will be sent to you. Be sure to check your spam or junk email folders. When an exam is canceled, examinees are placed in a “self-schedule” status on eLicensing, which allows them to reschedule for free.

6. My real estate license will be expiring soon. What is the best way for me to complete my renewal?

The secure eLicensing online system offers expedited processing of salesperson, broker, and officer license renewals any time or day of the week. eLicensing is easy to use, paperless and interactive. Licensees enter information needed for license renewal into eLicensing, including the course number and completion date of continuing education courses taken. If continuing education is required, then Continuing Education Requirements must be completely satisfied in order to renew through eLicensing. Acceptable methods of payment include VISA, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards or debit cards bearing a VISA or MasterCard logo.

Unfortunately, officers renewing after the license expiration date and all restricted licensees cannot use eLicensing. Those renewal applications must be submitted by mail to the Department of Real Estate, P.O. Box 137003, Sacramento, CA 95813-7003.

Remember, you may use eLicensing or submit your renewal application 90 days prior to your license expiration date. Your renewal is on-time if your eLicensing transaction is completed or your application is postmarked before midnight on your license expiration date. If you submit your renewal on-time, Business and Professions Code Section 10156.2 permits you to continue operating under your existing license after its expiration date unless notified otherwise by the DRE.

7. How do I complete continuing education for my license renewal when I have been ordered to shelter in place?

Licensees can take continuing education courses by various means, including by correspondence or distance learning. Correspondence courses include courses offered online or by mail. You can search here for a list of continuing education courses that are offered by correspondence.

Please remember that continuing education courses follow strict regulations with regards to the amount of time required to be spent on a course and spacing of the final exams. See Continuing Education Regulations (RE 312) for additional information.

8. Is DRE considering extending expiration dates/deadlines for licensees or waiving fees for late license renewals?

Not at this time. DRE licensees have a four year license term, and are able to complete all continuing education courses online. Additionally, licensees can renew their license online using our eLicensing system which is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

9. Does the shelter in place orders affect other components of the Licensing process?

Live scan service providers may be impacted by shelter in place orders. Please check with individual service providers for their status.

You will likely experience delays with exam and licensing processes as a completed Live scan is required to obtain a license. It is strongly recommended that you use our eLicensing system for those transactions that can be completed online.

10. Will DRE accept electronic signatures on licensing documents during this time?

Yes; however, documents with electronic signatures still have to be mailed to DRE, if they cannot be completed using eLicensing.

11. Is DRE still accepting applications to take the broker and salesperson exams and to obtain a broker, salesperson or corporation license?

Yes. DRE is accepting exam and license applications by mail. Once the application is submitted, you can check the current application processing timeframes updated weekly on our website.

Updated 5/4/20:

The Shelter in Place Ordinance has been extended until at least May 31, 2020, and the SCCAOR offices are still not deemed an essential business. Both offices will remain closed until further notice. However, SCCAOR is offering a select group of merchandise available for curbside pick up from the online store.

Updated on 3/31: In response to the new “Shelter in Place” Order, we will be temporarily closing our offices in both San Jose and Gilroy and our staff will be working remotely. There are several ways that you can get in touch with us if you have any membership related issues or questions:

You can submit additional questions and comments by filling out the form located further down this webpage.

The SCCAOR Advocacy Team has confirmed with the Santa Clara County Health Department that flyers can now be placed on signposts at listed properties. They can also be left out in the residence during private appointment showings.

As before, flyers are still allowed to be mailed out and can be left on doorsteps. However, agents should NOT knock and interact with residents when leaving them on doorsteps as it creates non-essential contact and exposure.

Legislation and Relief for Tenants, Housing Providers, and Homeowners

Updated 6/18:

Local Rent Relief Programs:

  • Santa Clara County Sacred Heart Financial Assistance Program: Click Here to Read More and Apply
  • City of Santa Clara Emergency Rental Assistance Program: Direct Subsidy Payments to Housing Providers – Click Here to Read More and Apply
  • City of Cupertino Providing $50,000 in Emergency Assistance Funds to Cupertino Residents
    • The City of Cupertino has partnered with West Valley Community Services to provide $50,000 in emergency assistance funds to Cupertino tenants impacted by COVID-19.
    • Beginning on June 12, 2020, eligible households can receive up to $3,000 in funds on a first-come-first-serve basis while funds are available. Household income must be less than or equal to 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
    • Please contact West Valley Community Services for an application: recert@wvcommunityservices.org or 408-366-6092.
  • Milpitas and San Jose will both be exploring possible direct housing provider rental relief subsidy programs to forgive unpaid rent after their respective July recesses.
  • Most cities in the SCCAOR jurisdiction have donated to the Sacred Heart financial assistance program highlighted above.

FHFA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium through August 31 (6/17)

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend their single-family moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least August 31, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The current moratorium was set to expire on June 30th.
  • To understand the protections and assistance the government is offering people having trouble paying their mortgage, please visit the joint Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHFA, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website at cfpb.gov/housing​

FHFA Adds Translations for Forbearance Requests (6/14)

  • Over the last two years, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has created a library of translations of the common mortgage lending forms.
  • The FHFA announced today that it had added translations of the scripts that it requires servicers to use with borrowers requesting forbearance. The Translations are available in six languages (English, Spanish, traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or Tagalog). In addition, the application for mortgage assistance was also made available in these languages.

FHFA Announces Refinance & Home Purchase Eligibility for Borrowers in Forbearance (5/19)

To support borrowers and mortgage servicers, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) have issued temporary guidance regarding the eligibility of borrowers who are in forbearance, or have recently ended their forbearance, looking to refinance or buy a new home. More from FHFA here and NAR Policy Staff on The HUB here.

FHFA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium through June 30 for Enterprise-backed mortgages (5/14)
To help borrowers and renters who are at risk of losing their home due to the coronavirus national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least June 30, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The current moratorium was set to expire on May 17th. More from FHFA here.

FHFA Announces Payment Deferral as New Repayment Option for Homeowners in COVID-19 Forbearance Plans (5/13)

To help homeowners who are in COVID-19 related forbearance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are making available a new payment deferral option. The payment deferral option allows borrowers, who are able to return to making their normal monthly mortgage payment, the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity. More from FHFA here and NAR Policy Staff on The HUB here.

FHFA Extends Loan Processing Flexibilities for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Customers through June 30 (5/5)

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) extended several loan origination flexibilities currently offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (The Enterprises) designed to help borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency. More from FHFA here.

“No Lump Sum Required at the End of Forbearance” says FHFA’s Calabria (4/27)

To combat ongoing misinformation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reiterated that borrowers in forbearance with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises)-backed mortgage are not required to repay the missed payments in one lump sum. More from FHFA here and NAR Policy Staff on The HUB here.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency will begin offering mortgage forbearance to multifamily property owners on the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters who can’t pay their rent because of the coronavirus. Click Here for More Information

  • Several of the largest banks in America, along with hundreds of state-chartered banks and credit unions have waived mortgage payments in the short term from those experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. They have also agreed to a foreclosure moratorium. We recommend reaching out to your specific bank for exact details on these programs. Click Here for More Information
  • $11 Million Local Rental Payments / Crucial Bill Relief Fund: The County of Santa Clara, the City of San Jose, and Bay Area companies have partnered to help low-income residents (those making 80% or less of the AMI) pay rent and other crucial bills during this crisis. Click Here to Read More
  • We encourage all tenants and housing providers to familiarize themselves with this program, as it is the best route to make everyone financially whole immediately. This provides tenants with the resources to limit back rents burdens when the moratorium ends. It also gives housing providers the much needed immediate income for mortgages, property taxes, and their own living expenses. 

Updated 5/21:

  • The IRS has delayed the federal tax payment deadline by 90 days. Click Here for More Information
  • The CA Franchise Tax Board announced that state tax filings and payments deadline has been delayed until July 15, 2020. Click Here for More Information
  • Santa Clara County has delayed the deadline for property tax payments until June 30, 2020. The County is accepting partial payments during this period. On July 1, 2020 the County will begin assessing penalties and late fees if property taxes have not been paid in full. For more information on the County Property Tax collection during COVID-19 Click Here for More Information.
  • PG&E have implemented a series of billing and service modifications to support customers who have been impacted by the pandemic. Click Here for More Information
  • Silicon Valley Power (Santa Clara Residents) has announced no planned power outages or utility disconnection for nonpayment through at least April 7th. Click Here for More Information

Updated 6/19:

Federal

  • The House of Representatives passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act receiving support mainly from House Democrats. President Trump and Senate GOP leaders are pumping the breaks and opting for a wait and see approach to additional coronavirus relief: wait for state economies to reopen over the next few weeks, and reassess if future aid is needed. With $100 billion in funding left, we will not likely see any movement on a larger package in the Senate until sometime in June leading up to Congress’ July 4th recess. NAR sent a letter to Congressional leaders last week outlining our legislative priorities for inclusion in any future package.

  • President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, a $2 trillion piece of legislation that is the largest ever in US history. NAR has released a summary of the provisions in the CARES Act that will be of most benefit to REALTORS® and their consumers as secured by NAR’s advocacy efforts over the past two weeks: Click Here for More Information

  • Please see the section below titled “Resources Available for Independent Contractors and Small Businesses” for specific programs and applications regarding the CARES Act
  • The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has suspended all evictions of tenants on HUD owned property (mostly apartment complexes with deed restricted affordable housing units).  Click Here for More Information
  • The Federal Housing Administration has enacted a foreclosure moratorium that applies to homeowners that have an FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion mortgage. Click Here for More Information
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency will begin offering mortgage forbearance to multifamily property owners on the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters who can’t pay their rent because of the coronavirus. Click Here for More Information

State

CA Judicial Council Anti- Eviction Orders Challenged as Unconstitutional

  • Two landlords filed a lawsuit earlier this week challenging California courts’ refusal to hear eviction proceedings. In its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency that oversees California’s courts declared that courts would not consider any eviction cases for the duration of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s state-of-emergency declaration plus 90 days.
  • The lawsuit claims the California Judicial Council violated the California Constitution, overriding state law without authority. Christiansen and Martin v. California Judicial Council was filed on June 15, 2020, in Kern County Superior Court. The plaintiffs are represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). C.A.R. IMPAC regularly awards grant money to PLF along with SCCAOR and other local associations.
  • Click Here to Read More
  • Friday, March 27th Governor Newsom signed a statewide executive order creating a statewide eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent due to COVID-19 financial hardships. However, if a local jurisdiction has a more comprehensive moratorium the local ordinance supersedes the state executive order. Due to this see the information below regarding the Santa Clara County Eviction Moratorium which supersedes the state executive order. Click Here for the Executive Order

Santa Clara County Eviction Moratorium

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve an eviction moratorium effectively immediately as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020, for all residential tenants and commercial tenants defined as a small business. Due to emergency powers granted to the County under an executive order from Governor Gavin Newsom this moratorium applies to all unincorporated areas AND all cities within the County’s jurisdiction. It is important to note all of the following information from the moratorium.

  • It is in effect until July 28, 2020.
  • ALL back rent unpaid during this moratorium is still owed by the tenant to the housing provider.
  • The tenant will have 120 days from the end of the moratorium to pay all back rent, in addition to new current rent due. After this point, late fees and penalties can begin to be assessed.
  • When the moratorium is lifted during the 120 days grace period late fees and evictions can still continue for unpaid new rent due.
  • The moratorium only protects tenants who can prove significant financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19. Other forms of evictions can still occur. The tenant must be proactive and provide documentation to the landlord showing proof in any of the following ways: 
    • Substantial loss of income from: (i) job loss; (ii) layoffs; (iii) a reduction in the number of compensable hours of work; (iv) a store, restaurant, office, or business closure; (v) a substantial decrease in business income caused by a reduction in opening hours or consumer demand; (vi) the need to miss work to care for a homebound school-age child or a family member infected with coronavirus; or (vii) other similarly-caused loss of income, where the conditions listed in (i) through (vii) resulted from frorn the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic or related guidance or public health orders from local, state, or federal authorities
    • Substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses for themselves or their immediate family members related to the 2020 COVID-l9 pandemic.
  • Failure to comply as a housing provider is not a criminal offense but punishable through civil fines and penalties. 
  • Any notice of termination served on a Tenant during the 2020 COVID-I9 pandemic must also include a notice of Tenant’s rights under this Ordinance as well as a notice of emergency rental assistance programs.
  • SCCAOR encourages all tenants and housing providers to read the entire ordinance for a comprehensive understanding of the moratorium. Click Here to Read the Ordinance
  • If any local Cities that have enacted an eviction moratorium have a stricter ordinance it still applies along with the County ordinance
  • Click Here for City of San Jose Eviction Moratorium Information
  • Click Here for City of Santa Clara Eviction Moratorium Information
  • The cities of Campbell, Milpitas, Morgan Hill and Gilroy have all deferred to the County Eviction Moratorium.

Relief Resources Available for Independent Contractors and Small Businesses

Updated 7/4:

Congress Grants SBA PPP Extension (7/4):

  • In a surprise move on July 1, the U.S. Congress cleared legislation extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), popular with REALTORS®, through August 8.
  • Although the program quickly ran out of money, it was injected with new funding a month later. The application period for the program was extended with $130 billion still unallocated.
  • Click Here to Read More.

SBA PPP Reform Act Details / New Application Process Released (6/17):

  • The Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday rolled out major updates to the Paycheck Protection Program, offering automatic forgiveness for certain independent contractors and creating a broader application form for forgiveness.
  • The deadline to apply for a PPP loan is June 30. The program still has funding available and will close at the end of the month unless Congress acts to extend it.
  • Click Here to Learn More About the PPP Reform and How to Apply 

SBA Now Accepting Applications for the EDIL Again (6/16):

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants. This allows additional small businesses and non-profits experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 to receive long-term, low-interest loans, and emergency grants to help reduce the economic impacts of COVID-19 for businesses.
  • Click Here to Learn More and Apply

NAR has several terrific resources available through the Coronavirus main page:

How to Secure Your Business Through the CARES Act (Video)

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) vs SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) (Graphic)

  • The Treasury Department and SBA finally released the documents that PPP loan borrowers will need to fill out and provide to their lenders when applying for forgiveness, which you can find here Of the four documents posted, all borrowers will need to fill out and provide their lenders with two of them: the PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculation Form and the PPP Schedule A. The documents include detailed instructions for borrowers, delineate the eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses the loans can be used for, and provide step-by-step calculations to determine forgiveness/show that the borrower has met the program’s requirements.
  • NAR has updated our SBA FAQs to reflect this new information. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also released an excellent PPP Loan Forgiveness Guide.
  • The SBA has begun accepting applications again for the Paycheck Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loans after an initial lapse in funding. Please know that Congressional leaders worked hard in negotiations to appropriate additional funding replenishing the funds with $480 billion, after which, the programs should begin accepting applications again. The NAR Advocacy Team has been working tirelessly for Congress to approve more funding for these crucial SBA relief programs.
  • If you already submitted an application for any SBA relief resources or programs, be patient as they are inundated with applications right now.
  • As a part of the CARES Act two major federal resources have been allocated to independent contractors through the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The first $10,000 of each loan will be forgiveable (a non repaid grant) with any amount over that being a low interest loan. REALTORS® and Brokerages are eligble to apply for both, but only one of the two loan programs will include the forgiveable $10,000.
  • Click Here for Information and How to Apply for the Paycheck Program Program
  • Click Here for Information and How to Apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • The CARES Act also approved independent contractors to be eligble for pandemic unemployment assistance. Information on this can be found in the states resources area as it will be implemented by the California Employment Development Department (CA EDD).
  • The US Small Business Administration will provide Disaster Assistance Loans for those impacted by COVID-19. Click Here for More Information
  • President Trump has signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) providing support to American workers, families, and businesses, including the expansion of paid sick leave and family medical leave. It will enter into effect on April 2, 2020. Click Here for More Information
  • Bank of America is allowing its borrowers to pause mortgage payments and is offering other support to small businesses. Click Here for More Information
  • The IRS has delayed the tax payment deadline by 90 days. Click Here for More Information
  • Opportunity Fund is an organization that provides loans to underserved small business owners. They have developed a program to help those struggling from COVID-19 impacts. Click Here for More Information

Updated 4/28:

Updated 5/12:

The Silicon Valley Strong Small Business Grant Program will accept applications now until Sunday, May 17th, 11:59pm. The grant program will provide working capital grants of $10,000 to eligible small businesses in San Jose that have suffered financial loss due to the COVID-19 crisis. Examples of what the grant can be used for include payroll, rent, and other overheads. The fund is anticipated to make 142 grants in total.

Opportunity Fund, a Non-Profit Financial Institution, will be responsible for managing the fund. To be eligible to apply, businesses must meet all of the following criteria:

  • A business must be located in the city of San Jose.
  • The business owner must be a resident in Santa Clara County.
  • Business owner must have a low or moderate-income below 80% of the Area Median Income. Please review this prior to applying.
  • The business must have five employees (full-time equivalent) or fewer.
  • The business must have existed prior to January 31, 2020.
  • The business must have experienced approximately 25% loss of income due to COVID-19.

Priority is given to:

  • Essential businesses as defined by Santa Clara County public health order.
  • Businesses complying with the City’s two-week paid sick leave requirements and have experienced cash-flow problems as a result.

Please note: Businesses that are franchises, chains, or that limit their services to those over the age of 18 are not eligible.

Due to the short deadline to apply, this is an online application process only. Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions on the Opportunity Fund website, before you apply.

Other Regional Resources Available:

  • County Business Liaison COVID-19 Resources

cboliaison@eoc.sccgov.org
CBO/Business Liaison
County of Santa Clara Emergency Operations Center
Website: http://sccphd.org/coronavirus
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sccpublichealth/
Instagram: @scc_publichealth
Twitter: @HealthySCC

Updated 3/20: 

Additional Resources (free for SCCAOR Members)

C.A.R. COVID Relief Hotline

Phone: (213) 351 8450

C.A.R.’s COVID Relief Hotline is a one-stop resource offering assistance with applying for financial relief efforts available to REALTORS®, such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Hours
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:45  p.m.

NAR COVID-19 Response Hotline

Phone: (800) 874-6500

Members members can call this hotline if they have questions about the association’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to get the latest information on what programs and services are being developed to help them in their business during this time.

C.A.R. Legal Hotline

All Agents
(213) 739-8282

Broker-Owners, Office Managers, Designated REALTORS®
(213) 739-8350

Get free legal advice over the phone on a vast array of real estate related topics. You can speak directly with one of C.A.R.’s attorneys about things like contract interpretation, arbitration, litigation, tax issues, commission disputes, disclosure requirements, and so on.

Hours
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

C.A.R. Mortgage Rescue ™ Helpline

Phone: (213) 739-8383
Email: financehelpline@car.org

Providing both answers and assistance with moving your stalled real estate transactions forward. It provides you with invaluable one-on-one assistance with finding a Lender, loan qualifications, Down Payment Assistance, closing transactions, underwriting, short sales, funding, payoffs, REOs, Deeds in Lieu, and more.

Hours
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

SCCAOR Tech Helpline

Phone: (888) 784-5410
Email: support@techhelpline.com
Also available via online chat

Unlimited free tech support. They can help with new devices, slow devices, viruses, and any other tech-related issue. You can call as many times as you like and the Tech Helpline’s friendly staff will stay on the line with you until your issue is resolved.

Hours
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Submit your questions or comments

Please let us know if you have any additional questions, concerns, or comments. A member of the SCCAOR Staff will do our best to provide you with an answer.

Transaction Resouce Center Questions