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by Joyia Emard

Provides vital information to consumers on buying and living in a California residential subdivision.

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SACRAMENTO – The Department of Consumer Affairs’ California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) has released a new publication intended to serve as an important resource for consumers who currently live, or are interested in purchasing a home or unit, in a residential subdivision. The publication, entitled “Residential Subdivision Buyer’s Guide,” is available for free downloading on CalBRE’s website.

The guide provides easy-to-read information regarding residential subdivisions, common interest developments (in which millions of Californians reside), and what buyers need to know about the rules governing homeowner associations.  “The purchase of real estate is the largest single investment most Californians make during their lifetimes,” said Real Estate Commissioner Wayne Bell. “This guide will provide consumers with valuable information that will assist them in making an informed decision when considering the purchase of a home or unit in a common interest residential subdivision in California.”

CalBRE is the State agency responsible for licensing and regulating real estate licensees, and regulating the marketing and sale of subdivision interests in California.

For a copy of this publication and to learn more about living in a California residential subdivision, please visit the CalBRE website.

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CalBRE_Logo_HiRes_smallIf you are a consumer who has been victimized in a real estate transaction,  DCA’s California Bureau of Real Estate may be able to help you recover some of your financial loss. The Real Estate Consumer Recovery Account enables a consumer who has been defrauded or had trust funds converted by a real estate licensee in a transaction requiring a license to recover all or a portion of his or her out-of-pocket loss when the licensee has insufficient assets to pay for that loss. The requirements for payment from the recovery account include obtaining a final civil judgment, arbitration award, or criminal restitution order against the licensee(s) involved.  To learn more about the Recovery Account, and to find out if you qualify, visit the California Bureau of Real Estate website at www.bre.ca.gov  or download the related brochure.

It’s also available in Spanish and Chinese.

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Building permits issued for property maintenance and repairs do not trigger new requirements

SACRAMENTO — To dispel confusion over the new state Civil Code law (Senate Bill 407) that became effective January 1, 2014, for replacement of outdated plumbing fixtures with water-saving models, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) offers the following clarification for contractors. The new law requires anyone applying for a building permit that will alter or improve a single-family residence built in 1994 or earlier to replace all plumbing fixtures with water-saving designs. Replacement is a condition of receiving final permit approval from a local building department. The law also requires, by 2019, water-conserving plumbing fixtures in multi-family dwellings or commercial properties when specific renovations are made. Although not a legal opinion, the California Building Officials (CALBO) group has interpreted “alterations” or “improvements” to mean any construction to an existing structure that enhances or improves the structure. Construction that is related to repairs or maintenance of the structure is not considered to be an alteration or improvement. Following is a list of permit types that CALBO considers to be repair or maintenance, and do not trigger the requirements of SB 407: electrical service change out; HVAC change out; Re-roofing; sewer line replacement; siding or stucco; site work including retaining walls, fences, walkways, etc.; water heater replacement; window replacement and other repairs as determined by the state Building Code. It is feared that property owners and licensed contractors who misunderstand the law may end up paying for new fixtures that are not required, or may avoid pulling building permits altogether to avoid the possible triggers to SB 407. Since this is not a legal opinion, CSLB encourages licensed contractors to verify requirements with their local building department before taking any action on a project. For more information on SB 407 requirements, please read CALBO’s Legislative Analysis and the Tri-Chapter Uniform Code Committee guidelines.

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Two men charged with six felony counts and possible elder abuse

SACRAMENTO ― The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is warning northern California consumers that two men with Nevada arrest warrants now may be illegally contracting in the Redding area. The Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB) announced that Joshua Ross Kanan of Advanced Green Builders, Inc., and Dror Gal, who allegedly was acting as a salesman for the company, were added to its “Most Wanted” list after arrest warrants against each were issued.

Each man’s warrant contains six charges of theft and diversion of construction funds, both felonies.

Read the rest of the news release here.

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SACRAMENTO – The California State Athletic Commission is reaching out to former boxers who are eligible for a share of a $5.5 million pension fund.

The California Boxer Pension Fund was established in 1982 to help boxers achieve financial stability in their later years. To qualify, a boxer must be at least 50 years old, have fought at least ten rounds a year for four years without more than a three-year break, and had a minimum of 75 scheduled professional rounds without a break of three years or more.  Currently, the Commission collects a per-ticket fee, with the money going into the fund and divided up at the end of each year into boxers’ accounts.

“The Athletic Commission wants to pay eligible former boxers benefits they are entitled to,” said State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Andy Foster. “Any help we can get to spread the word about the California Boxer Pension Fund would be appreciated.”

Foster says locating boxers eligible for the state fund continues to be difficult, in part because of the young age at which most boxers retire. Generally, fighters do not compete past age 30, roughly 20 years before their benefits begin. In addition, many fighters reside in other states or countries, making it difficult to reach out to them.

Anyone who thinks they may be eligible for the California Boxer Pension Fund should contact the Athletic Commission at (916) 263-2195 or visit www.dca.ca.gov/csac for more information.

Click here to get email updates from our newsroom.

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The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) regulates professional and amateur boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts throughout the State by licensing all participants and supervising the events. The Commission is dedicated to the health, safety and welfare of participants in regulated competitive sporting events, through ethical and professional service. For more information about CSAC, visit www.dca.ca.gov/csac.

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It’s not too late to get your higher education financial aid questions answered. The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education is taking your phone calls at KCRA 3’s Call 3: Cash for College going on now.

If you’re in the greater Sacramento area, call (916) 447-2255 until 7:00pm with your student financial aid questions.

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education has joined the California Student Aid Commission to answer questions about financial aid requirements, application deadlines and resources available to students.

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DCA Investigator Honored

by June Vargas

Division of Investigation (DOI) Investigator Frank Root received honors from DCA Director Denise D. Brown and the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board for his work in the investigation and arrest of San Luis Obispo hearing aid dispenser Aaron Marquis and his wife, Anja, last October.

DOI had received a complaint from the Board alleging that Marquis was falsely advertising that he held a PhD in Audiology. The complaint also alleged that Marquis was also practicing as an Audiologist and was illegally billing for his services.

Over a period of three years, Root served subpoenas, search warrants, and temporary restraining orders, and worked with informants, victims and allied agencies. The investigation uncovered fraud that exceeded $500,000, involving numerous insurance providers and more than 140 patients—many of them senior citizens

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Root’s investigation led to the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office filing charges on  22 felony counts and two enhancements on both Marquis and his wife. The two were convicted of felony violations of grand theft and a pattern of related felony conduct and insurance fraud, which included private insurance companies, Medi-Cal and Medicare insurances. In addition, Marquis was sentenced to 365 days in jail and five years’ probation, and his wife was sentenced to 13 days in jail and five years’ probation.

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If you’re thinking about attending a postsecondary school, community college or university you’ve probably asked yourself, “How am I going to pay for it?”

If so, and if you’re in the greater Sacramento area, you won’t want to miss KCRA 3’s Call 3: Cash for College Day on January 29. Tune in throughout the day to learn about student financial aid.

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education will join the California Student Aid Commission to answer questions about requirements, application deadlines and resources available to students.

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SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau has revoked the licenses associated with the Lane Family Funeral Home in Delano.

The licenses of the funeral home, and of Funeral Director Padraic C. Lane, were revoked as the result of an investigation which found fraud, misrepresentation, false and misleading advertising, and failure to provide printed price lists.

As a result, Lane Family Funeral home does not have the valid licenses required by the state to conduct business. All activity was ordered to cease as of December 16, 2013. Consumers should be aware that neither the funeral home nor Mr. Lane may operate legally in California as of that date.

Consumers who have questions or concerns about Mr. Lane or the Lane Family Funeral Home should contact the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau at (800) 952-5210.

Consumers should always verify the license of a funeral establishment before doing business with it. To verify a license or to file a complaint, visit www.cfb.ca.gov or call us toll free at (800) 952-5210.

The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau advocates consumer protection and licensee compliance through proactive education and enforcement of laws and regulations of the death care industry.

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Welcome to The DCA Page!

by Amy Dhillon

The California Department of Consumer Affairs is excited to announce the launch of The DCA Page. The DCA Page is the first of its kind for the department and is your one-stop shop for the latest news, stories, photos and videos. This is the perfect place to get the latest from the Department of Consumer Affairs. We still recommend you visit our main website for official business.

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