How the Dodd-Frank Act Affects Investing and My Business

Who, or what is, Dodd-Frank?

Well, you probably know all too well what the Dodd-Frank Act is and how it impacts your business. But for those of you whose bells aren’t ringing, or perhaps you need some clarification… here’s a refresher.

What is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act?

The Dodd-Frank Act is a massive piece of financial reform legislation passed by the Obama Administration in 2010, and is the result of the 2008 financial crisis (a.k.a. The Crash).

The Act is named after U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd and U.S. Representative Barney Frank, and its purpose is to decrease certain risks in our country’s financial systems. Various government agencies oversee different components of the Act and banking systems.

It’s no surprise that Dodd-Frank has been widely criticized…

Some say it has done more harm than good, creating higher unemployment rates, lower wages and slower growth in terms of wealth and living standards. And taxpayers everywhere (that would be me and you) are less than pleased to be funding those oversight agencies.

It was said when the Dodd-Frank Act was first implemented that it would take years to determine the full impact of the Act. But I can say from personal experience – as I’m sure you can, too – that Dodd-Frank has absolutely changed how we do business.

So today, I’d like to discuss some notable issues in real estate investing that I’ve seen and experienced for myself over the years regarding seller financing, private lenders, points, fees and lease options – all of which have an impact on investors. Many clients ask about the Act, and the implications of Dodd-Frank still seem unclear to many of them. Even the future of the Act is uncertain under our new administration but it is still in place as of now.

So let’s bring Dodd-Frank into focus and talk some specifics about how it affects us investors…

Make Your Middleman a Mortgage Professional

Like any other massive piece of legislation, the Dodd-Frank Act has brought about consequences and questions for real estate investors (and professionals) everywhere.

If you’re an investor who wants to sell houses, you might go the seller financing route, which is a great strategy, especially if you already have long-term financing on the property and because your buyer has damaged credit can’t go to the bank. This is a great way to get a premium price for cash flow AND a buyer instead of a tenant.

Sounds like a good deal, right?How The Dodd-Frank Act affects investing

Well…it may sound sweet but this process actually puts your business under the Dodd-Frank umbrella. It also puts a cap on these types of transactions…

If you complete more than 5 of these transactions per year, meaning you create more than 5 new notes and mortgages, you’re going to need to consider getting a mortgage broker’s license.

And I’m guessing you didn’t plan for that.

Okay, so… what if you’re an investor with no intentions of getting your mortgage broker’s license?

This quickly becomes a hindrance, an unexpected hiccup in your business plan. And it doesn’t stop there…

Once you get your mortgage broker’s license, you’ll need to complete (and pay for) continuing education. It’s a complication to say the least.

The good news is – I’ve done my homework…

I’ve talked with other investors and trusted attorneys, and I’ve come up with what I believe is a solution. The answer is to use a mortgage professional as the middleman between you and your buyer. Having that middleman mortgage professional will create a loan with terms that fall within the Dodd-Frank guidelines.

See, the Act has an issue with balloon notes and balloon mortgages, origination fees, interest rates, affordability checks – the list goes on…

YOU are supposed to use a formula to determine if your buyer can actually afford their mortgage. But this should be a task for a mortgage professional that can help ensure you’re compliant, while carrying the liability so that you don’t have to.

Hopefully, now you can see how this makes sense.

What about Private Lenders?

I work with them all the time…

I’m sure you do too, but the same transaction cap I mentioned above also applies to private lenders. If the lender writes more than 5 mortgages per year, they will also need to consider getting a mortgage broker’s license. For most lenders, this isn’t realistic or ideal.

So here again, the solution is to use a mortgage professional to be the middleman between you and your lender to be sure you’re compliant with the Dodd-Frank Act.

Keep in mind that you (obviously) need to pay your mortgage professional, but fees are nominal. We’re talking $200-$500 depending on the loan size and frequency of work.

So when do YOU pay?

Let’s put it this way… if I’m selling on seller financing, I would require the borrower to pay. But if I’m borrowing from a private lender, I would pay the fee.

More government regulations mean more expenses for the end user. It trickles down from the top. That’s how it works – like it or not. If you don’t like it, I suggest you vote and when you do you choose carefully.

Let’s Talk Lease Options

If you’re selling properties on lease options with no note or mortgage, you may think that Dodd-Frank doesn’t apply. And once upon a time, I thought the same…

However, the challenge with lease options is that they’re put under close scrutiny by the Act.

According to the laws, an interest rate can be extracted from a lease option, especially (in my opinion) if your tenant buyer is receiving some sort of credit from their payment that is being applied to the purchase price.

According to Dodd-Frank, that’s a no-no. So my suggestion on lease options is simple…

Don’t apply ANY of the payment to the purchase price of the property, or to principle reduction. That’s how I bypass the law and maintain what I believe is a compliant lease option system in my business.

Making Transactional Funding Work for You

My team and I have been doing transactional funding forever… and we’re good at it. My training and consulting business is largely built on providing this service to our clients, not only all over the country but all over the world. In fact, we even funded a deal for a client who was far away in Israel, who flipped a property here in the states.

No matter where we fund a deal, the bottom line is this: The funding happens between businesses, not individuals.

My business funds your business, which means that the transaction falls into the commercial lending category where no consumer is involved.

Then what spooked me about the Dodd-Frank act was the part in it about prohibiting lenders from over charging their borrowers. While I’ve never done that, if you consider a 2% fee to fund a same-day deal on an annualized basis, holy cow that’s high. That’s dirt cheap for the use of the money if you don’t have it and therefore would be unable to do the deal without it but… it could be looked at differently. So after going through a 3 day funk after reading the law, I realized that if I was going to keep funding deals for my clients, I was going to have to get creative. So what I came up with was a way for us to fund your deals, AND avoid Dodd-Frank infringements and it was to eliminate any and all funding fees.

That means no application fees, no interest fees and no prepayment penalties. Nada. I figured if I charged you nothing to fund your deals no one could ever accuse me of charging too much.

Instead, we now collect an upfront set-up charge that’s dirt cheap and will fund an unlimited number of deals for you, with no fees, for a full year.. Plus, with the funding you also get all sorts of powerful tools and software to make doing more deals simple. So the offer is a no brainer and we’re compliant!

People say I am creative. This is proof that I am!

Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking… “That’s crazy talk Cam.” Well folks, I know that it sounds too good to be true, even my peers told me I was crazy to do it but.. I’ve been able to offer this program and not only prove my naysayers wrong, but also help hundreds of investors, just like you, create substantial real estate profits without paying any fees or points!

Click here to learn how to gain access to up to $1,000,000 per transaction in funding without paying any fees or points!

So we offer our clients funding on an unlimited number of deals for a full year. The set up charge keeps us modestly profitable and we save our clients a fortune in funding fees along the way. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The Bottom Line

Some said Dodd-Frank laws would never be enforced. Man, were they wrong. They’re being enforced for sure, but that doesn’t mean your business has to pay the price. There are ways to stay afloat and continue to thrive if you know how to stay compliant.

Deploy the solutions I’ve shared with you today within your own real estate investing business to keep your clients happy and to make money. Learn how to work with the legislation – as painful as it may be – by changing your business models and systems, if needed.

Adapt, so you can continue to grow your business. We know that the current administration has dismantling or repealing the law on their list but who knows when it will happen so for now, we have no choice to but to obey the law of the land.

How has Dodd-Frank affected your real estate investment business? Share your thoughts and stories below, or if you have any questions or comments about anything that we have discussed, please feel free to leave those below. I personally monitor and respond to them.

Best Regards,

Cameron Dunlap

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8 thoughts on “How the Dodd-Frank Act Affects Investing and My Business

I do seller financing in GA and its very very difficult to find a LMLO and the fees are $700 to $1500 (for the SFC folks). I have found a LMLO in GA who’s $700.

Dodd Frank also requires an appraisal to validate price, so picking a price out of thin air has also been shut down. A lot of livable properties don’t appraise due to many factors so the frequently taught tactic of buy a very cheap house, maybe do nothing, offer it with seller financing, buyer does repairs will not get pass the checks and balances in Dodd Frank, and maybe for good reasons…

In the mean time one has to make a business decission about to offer selling financing or not, compliance within the 3 per rolling 12 mo (state specific) or not. Some states like OR, OH, WA have zero per year, others 3 I’ve not heard of a state with 5, that sounds like the older Safe Act exemption.

Maybe for “good reasons,” my eye.

Dodd and Frank would like to see nobody make a dime in real estate investing. That would suit those two old-fogey socialists just fine.

But American investors perform an invaluable service. They find properties, fix them a little, fix them a lot — then offer them for sale to those who could never, ever, EVER have found them in the first place. Dodd-Frank is intent on retarding and diminishing that valuable niche in the real estate world.

They were nuts when they wrote most of that law.

Trump, a real estate guy, is going to vaporize many aspects of Dodd-Frank. D-F is NOT the new normal. It’s banking poison which helped to cripple the nation after a recession, and it retarded the real estate recovery. Dodd-Frank’s time is nearly up. History will laugh at it.

If Dodd-Frank is allowed to continue, everyone eventually will be living in his mother’s basement. Dodd and Frank probably like the cozy sound of that.

Great explanation Cam ( as usual) Thanks for your practical advice.


The Financial Choice Act (HR-10), a bill that is currently being pushed in the House of Representatives (HR) addresses many of these issues. Although it does not completely kill Dodd-Frank, yet, it does address several issues. One major benefit of the H.R.-10 is bring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the control of Congress. Currently, this bureaucracy is accountable to NO one. The effect of the CFPB has been to restrict access to credit for small investors, raising home buyer costs and a reduction in access to capital for small businesses. H.R.-10 allows Congress to restrict funding for this bureau. In addition, The CHOICE Act would help small investors and small companies. The CHOICE Act includes a bill called the Fix Crowdfunding Act. This would exempt startups from many of the SEC regulations and make it easier for average Americans to invest in a crowdfunding-type scenario without going through so much paperwork. For private investors, this is huge! I would strongly encourage those who read or are reading this blog, to contact your representative (HR) and express your support for The Financial Choice Act H.R.-10. You can goggle US House of Representatives to find out how to call, write or email him or her them.

Thanks Cam for the info. It’s useful to know these things so we can have options.

Thank you for the cleared understanding messaging that you brought to us!

Thank you CAM for another insightful education

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