Weekly Update: December 28, 2017

Another Regulation Overturned – MBTA

The Department of the Interior reversed a controversial Obama Administration decision to subject private landowners, including home builders, to federal prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).  The decision nullifies the previous legal interpretation of the act that included civil and criminal penalties for unintentional “incidental takings,” or killing or injuring endangered species.

“Reading the MBTA to capture incidental takings casts an astoundingly large net that potentially transforms the vast majority of average Americans into criminals,” the decision read in part.

“NAHB is pleased to see the department’s principal deputy solicitor make this change,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald in a statement last Friday.  “It made no sense to hold landowners responsible for the lives of more than 1,000 different species of birds protected under the act and make them risk significant fines or even criminal prosecution if, during the course of normal business operations including building a home, a bird was accidentally injured or killed.

“The decision today demonstrates the Trump administration’s commitment to a common-sense regulation. NAHB views the action by the Department of the Interior as providing small businesses like most home builders with the regulatory clarity and certainty they need from the federal government.”

Alliant Energy Builder Training

Alliant Energy puts together a great couple of days of training that you should check out.  It’s an annual event, but this year looks to be incredible.  The dates will be here before we know it too – January 16-17 in Cedar Rapids and January 23-24 in Ames.  Check it out by clicking here.

Iowa Party at IBS

As of 12/20, we have 360 Iowans registered for the International Builders Show in Orlando, up about 40 over last year.  We will once again gather with our sister state HBA’s from Minnesota and North Dakota for a reception on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Rosen Centre (9840 International Drive).  We will gather in Salon 9 and 10.  An invitation will be sent out next week, or just email HBAI EOJay Iverson right now with your reservation(s).

   Thanks to a small group of our members for taking the time to meet with Iowa Building Code Commissioner Rich Bolten and Iowa Construction and Design Engineer Dave Ruffcorn yesterday concerning the 2018 Energy Code.  This was the first in a series of stakeholder groups that they put together.  Helping to keep our state on the path of affordable housing is something that we work on every single day in one way or another.  From left to right around the table Joe Tollari (Metro Heating and Cooling); Craig Van Langen (Contractor Services of Iowa); Rich Bolten; Dave Ruffcorn; Chad Keune (Advantage Custom Builders); Rachel Flint (Hubbell Homes); Chuck Gassmann (Bell Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning); and Dan Knoup (Des Moines HBA Executive Officer).

Dwelling Dineros

In the District of Columbia, 17.3% of all houses are worth more than $1,000,000. California follows at 13.6%, with Hawaii in third at 13.5%. Rounding out the top six are New York at 7%, Massachusetts at 5.2%, and Connecticut at 4.5%. No other state exceeds 4%. At the other end, 0.8% of homes in Alaska exceed $1,000,000, in Wisconsin it’s 0.7%, in Iowa 0.6%, and in Indiana it’s just 0.5%. Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D.

Identity Theft – Are You Protected?

From the Identity Theft Resource Center – the following are statistics worth noting:
  • In 2015 there were 781 breaches
  • In 2016 there were 1093 breaches
  • The count for 2017 has not yet been announced but the Equifax breach, by the last report had over 145 million records stolen – and that was only one breach. Experts note that anyone with a loan for a house or a car or has had a credit card or revolving account had their info in Equifax’s data base – so that is virtually all adults (over the age of 18) in America. The trend of increasing counts is expected to continue, so more breaches than 2016 are expected.

Did you know that when your identity is stolen, you are guilty until proving your innocence? This is just the reverse of the normal process of law, where you are innocent until proven guilty.  If you Google ID theft – medical stories or ID theft – drugs stories or ID theft – drivers license stories or ID theft – passport stories or ID theft – child molestation or ID theft – social security number stories or just ID theft – stories, you’ll find millions telling how their lives were affected and some for many years. Think about your name in one of the stories.  Did you know children are 51X more likely to become victims of identity theft?

The IDShield service that you have available as a HBAI member benefit monitors everything that matters. Then what is additionally important, is that when you receive an alert that your identity has been on the dark web or any other place where your ID may be bought or sold, all you need to do is sign a limited power of attorney and a licensed, private investigator (working on your behalf) will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to clear your records back to pre-theft condition. This service is backed by a $5 million service guarantee. LegalShield, marketing the identity theft protection service under the name of IDShield, uses Kroll for both monitoring and the restoration service. Kroll is an international company and has been in business since 1972 – over 45 years.

Check out the website where you can also read about the legal protection available for individuals, families and businesses. Questions about any of these services can be directed to Terry Ebke at 515-371-8606 or terryebke@msn.com.

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