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Call For Action

Tell Congress to Do No Harm to Housing (Update)
We are pleased to report that the House passed a bipartisan compromise to extend the majority of Bush-era tax cuts, delay automatic spending reductions for two months and fix a number of expiring tax and spending provisions. The final vote was 257-157, passing with 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans. 

NAR has prepared a summary of all notable real estate-related provisions that were included in this bill:  NAR Issue Brief Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

Thank you for your support, this year will be another busy year for the REALTOR® Party as we work to ensure that the housing recovery can continue.

Legislative Updates

With the 2013 legislative session in full swing SABOR, TAR and NAR are working hard and continually monitoring legislation as it being brought forward. As we press ahead with what promises to be a very interesting legislative year, let us take a look back at NAR’s legislative and regulatory accomplishments of 2012 by clicking here.

Flood Insurance

Call for Action: Tell Congress to Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (Update!)

We are pleased to report that the House of Representatives passed a 5 year reauthorization by a vote of 406-22 (HR 1309) Tuesday night. This major step forward was due in great part to REALTORS® being heard on this issue. You can check how your Representative voted here.

We still have a ways to go before we are finished on this issue, and the Senate has not yet acted.  Please continue to encourage fellow REALTORS®to take action if they have not yet done so. Over 20,000 communities nationwide depend on this program to in order to buy and sell real estate. You simply cannot acquire a mortgage without flood coverage and a policy cannot be issued without the assistance of this program.

Maintaining available and affordable flood insurance for all Americans that need it is vital to keeping the market running smoothly. Please take action today.

 Take Action and Tell Congress to Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program
 Learn more about why the National Flood Insurance Program is so important
 Hear first-hand about the program from a North Dakota REALTOR® about why you need to take action
 Watch this REALTORTV segment about the National Flood Insurance Program 
 Read this blog by Missouri REALTOR® Elizabeth Mendenhall urging you to take action

QRM

The National Association of REALTORS® has previously issued a Call for Acton (CFA) urging our REALTORS® to write their Representative and their Senators to oppose the proposed 20% down payment requirement (QRM) for home buyers.  Emails were sent out from the REALTOR® Action Center to every REALTOR® member and affiliate.

NAR is reaching out to 6 million targeted consumers to ask them to join the fight against the 20 percent down payment requirement in the qualified residential mortgage (QRM) proposal. 

If you want to read more about the QRM, please go to http://www.realtor.org/topics/qrm and http://www.slate.com/id/2284673.

MID

Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID)

NAR embraces no single tax reform model such as a flat tax or a retail sales tax. Rather, NAR acknowledges the complexity of the tax system and seeks to assure that tax reforms support the goals of homeownership and freedom to buy, maintain and sell real estate. 
Read the full issue summary document >

MID Still in Play in Debt Ceiling Talks (July 22, 2011) 

The debt ceiling negotiations continue to generate rumors, inconsistencies, uncertainty and contention. As of midday July 22, the so-called "Gang of Six" plan had received the most attention. That plan is simply a five-page document setting out a series of bullets on both tax and spending proposals. The tax proposals explicitly recommend repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax and "reform, not eliminate tax expenditures for ...homeownership." There is no indication of what "reform" might mean, as there are no details available to either the public or to insiders.

NAR's Call for Action on mortgage interest deductions earlier this year generated tens of thousands of messages to Congress noting our opposition to changes to the MID. NAR's responses to questions about the current debt ceiling debate reinforce our commitment to retaining the MID. We note that an increase in interest rates that could accompany a failure of the debt agreement would be disastrous.

NAR Asks Members to Cosponsor Resolution Protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction (January 13, 2011)
California Representative Gary Miller (R-42), along with five original cosponsors have introduced House Resolution 25. The resolution expresses the "sense of the Congress that the current Federal income tax deduction for interest paid on debt secured by a first or second home should not be further restricted."

Representative Miller has sent a "Dear Colleague" letter asking other Members of Congress to cosponsor the resolution. In addition, NAR has also sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives asking Members to cosponsor H.Res. 25.

NAR Launches MID Calc iPhone/iPad App (January 6, 2011)
NAR created the free MID Calc (available from the iTunes store) for home owners to estimate the tax-savings value of their mortgage interest deduction. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Download the app from iTunes >

According to NAR, this small section of President Obama's proposed budget could impede the recovery of the real estate markets.

February 26, 2009 - President Obama released his budget proposal this morning. A small section of the sweeping budget plan has the potential to become a major impediment to a recovery in real estate markets across the nation. NAR is 100% opposed to the provision that modifies the Mortgage Interest Deduction and is prepared to use its formidable array of resources against its enactment.
 
As currently drafted, the plan changes the Mortgage Interest Deduction by reducing the amount of mortgage deductibility on families earning over $250,000. This proposed change in the Mortgage Interest Deduction will result in further erosion of home prices and home values. If this proposal is enacted it will set of a new round of price depreciation, will cause greater distress on the balance sheets of banks as the collateral value of mortgage backed securities declines. A second credit crisis could emerge before the first one is resolved.
 
As you read this NAR is launching a multiphase plan of action to eliminate this provision from the budget plan. In the next 24 hours, NAR will be expressing our concerns directly to President Obama, to all members of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, placing advertisements in the publications read by Washington, DC decision makers. Additionally, NAR will be forming a coalition with other groups affected by this proposal.

NAR opposes the Mortgage Interest Deduction Provision in the Current Budget Proposal - Read More Here.

Related Story:  Preserve, Protect & Defend Mortgage Interest Deduction!

Healthcare

Healthcare

Clearing Up Rumors About the 3.8 Percent Medicare Tax

To clear up any confusion on the healthcare legislation, click below to read additional information on the reality of how this proposed legislation and healthcare reform really affect the housing market and tax issues.  This new tax is sometimes called a "Medicare tax" because its proceeds are dedicated to the Medicare Trust Fund.

 Get the Facts About the 3.8 Percent Tax and Real Estate
 Read the FAQ on Tax Issues and Health Care Reform


For some of the history on this legilation, read on.

The healthcare issue continues to be a hot topic with Congress.
  Several members of Congress have hosted town hall meetings on the subject and found many a heated discussion waiting for them.  Hopefully, you've had a chance to share our REALTOR® point of view respectfully and factually with them.  NAR has posted new Q&A documents on its healthcare web page on REALTOR.org.  You can review by topic or download the complete set.  If you have questions about the healthcare issue, please contact Marcia Salkin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

False 3.8 Percent ‘Transfer Tax’ Rumors Persist
Misleading e-mails and other communications about the 3.8 percent Medicare tax in the health care reform law continue to circulate and your members might be receiving some of these messages. The communications typically say the 3.8 percent tax is imposed on unearned income that includes the sale of a principle residence, but the tax that’s being referenced is far more narrow than that and only has the potential to impact a small sliver of high-income households who receive investment income. The $250,000-$500,000 capital gains exclusion remains in place. Make available to your members this NAR brochure and short video to help clarify who is impacted by the Medicare tax and by how much.

For years the National Association of REALTORS® has worked with Congress to address the growing need for reforms to our nation’s health insurance system. Read more here: NAR Updates on Healthcare Reform

Two e-mail chains have circulated among members and are generating a lot of confusion in the REALTOR® ranks. Both are wrong, read more here: Myths Revealed - pdf

Follow the evolution of recent healthcare initiatives in our Healthcare Archives

Condominiums

Condominiums offer an affordable option and are the first step to homeownership for many home buyers. In many areas across the country, the real estate crisis left the condominium market devastated. Today, the condo market isn't stabilizing as quickly as other types of housing, resulting in significant losses for current condo homeowners and tighter underwriting guidelines for potential buyers. In order for the housing economy to stabilize, it is important that there be a healthy condo market.

NAR has urged the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the GSEs (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) to develop policies that will give current homeowners and potential buyers of condos access to more flexible and affordable financing opportunities and a wider choice of approved condo developments. For example, NAR has been particularly vocal about changing the minimum owner-occupancy rates currently required by FHA and the GSEs, which can pose a roadblock to both buyers, sellers and lenders.

  •  HUD Issues Waiver of Legal Constrictions on Conveyance
  •  Recertification Requirements
  •  How Condo Financing & GSE Policy Impacts Your Market

For additional information click here
.

GSE's

The debate over how to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so-called government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), is heating up again. On Feb. 9, 2011 Congress launched its efforts to overhaul Fannie and Freddie with hearings; the same week the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Treasury Department released recommendations regarding GSE reform in the wake of the financial crisis.
Read more on this all important issue

Short Sales

For several months NAR has been working with the Federal Trade Commission to minimize the potential impact on real estate professionals who assist financially distressed clients who obtain short sales.  On July 7, 2011 NAR President Ron Phipps met with FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz to further highlight the importance of this issue to REALTORS®.  The FTC announced that it will not enforce provisions of the rule against real estate professionals.  This is a substantial victory for REALTORS® 

  •  For additional information on the MARS Rule you can visit http://www.realtor.org/topics/mars 
  •  For the FTC statement on the MARS Rule you can visit: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2011/07/110714marsrealestatepolicy.pdf
  •  For the complete story visit here.

Background:
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") has issued a final rule that may impact real estate professionals who represent clients involved in a short sale transaction.
Depending on certain factors, the rules may require real estate professionals to make certain disclosures to consumers if they negotiate a short sale with a lender, advertise short sales experience, or take upfront fees from short sale sellers. The MARS rules took full effect on January 31, 2011 - click here to view the MARS rule.  Click here to read more about this issue.

Due to current economic conditions, the number of short sale properties on the market is rising. The increasing number of short sales on the market presents challenges for REALTORS®. Below you'll find more information on: short sales and their challenges, the government's efforts to address these challenges, and tools to help you navigate the short sale process. Click Here to Read More

Short Sales/Foreclosures - 2010 Background Information

  • Homeowners who are underwater with their mortgage may find that relief is on the way from a bill strongly supported by the National Association of REALTORS® that would impose a deadline on lenders to respond to short sale requests. The legislation, H.R. 6133, “Prompt Decision for Qualification of Short Sale Act of 2010,” was offered in Congress by U.S. Reps. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.). The bill would require lenders to respond to consumer short sale requests within 45 days.
    For more information click here  - 9-27-10
     
  • Buyers continue to be discouraged with the extended short sale process, resulting in foreclosures that could have been prevented. New resources from the National Association of REALTORS® aim to help REALTORS® and consumers successfully navigate the short sale process. 
    Read more here: REALTORS® Strive to Reduce Stress in Short Sale Transactions - 2-19-10
     
  • HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program), which helps homeowners who are unable to retain their home under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), provides incentives in connection with short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.  Read more here: 
    Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) Guidelines - pdf

     
  • The Treasury Department revised guidelines for short sales to help homeowners who need to sell their houses but cannot secure contracts at a high enough price to pay off their mortgages.  The plan was created to aid homeowners whose income or debt is too low to qualify them for a loan modification under the Making Home Affordable program. 
    Read more here:  Short Sale Guidelines Revised 

     
  • Short sale procedures for loan servicers have been standardized in guidelines released under the federal government's Making Home Affordable loan modification initiative for troubled home owners.
    Read more here: Federal Short Sale Guidance -12-2-09

     
  • The increasing number of short sales on the market presents challenges for REALTORS®.  This NAR article provides information on short sales, their challenges, the government's efforts to address these challenges, and tools to help you navigate the short sale process.
    Read more here:  The Basics: Short Sales 

     
  • Scores of homeowners who thought they'd cut a deal with their banks to sell their houses for less than their unpaid mortgages are seeing those agreements fall apart months later, contributing to the mounting foreclosures that threaten the housing market's recovery.
    Read more here: Home Sellers Frustrated - Source: USA Today - doc

Other Issues

Cap & Trade Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 2454, the Cap & Trade Bill also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act by Reps. Waxman (D-CA) and Markey (D-MA). The bill, re-numbered H.R. 2998, includes NAR-supported provisions which were championed by Rep. Perlmutter (D-CO) that exempt existing homes and buildings from the bill's energy labeling program - Cap & Trade Bill (American Clean Energy and Security Act)

Two e-mail chains have circulated among members and are generating a lot of confusion in the REALTOR® ranks. Both are wrong, read more here: Myths Revealed - pdf

Since the House of Representative approved H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, there have been many reports about the bill and NAR's position that are based on incomplete information. Here are the facts: Claims vs. Facts - pdf

The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The bill, re‐numbered H.R. 2998, includes NAR‐supported provisions that exempt existing homes and buildings from the bill's provisions to build upon an existing Energy Star energy labeling program. Overall, REALTORS® succeeded in making a number of positive changes to the bill. Read more here:  NAR Legislative Analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act - pdf

What is the fundamental issue? What does this mean to REALTORS®? NAR addresses these questions here: What It Means To You

FHA Reform Act

The Basics: Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
NAR is a strong supporter of the single- and multi-family programs administered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The FHA single-family mortgage program has played an important and vital role in the mortgage marketplace. The FHA program has a public purpose obligation to provide mortgage insurance to American families who choose FHA to meet their homeownership needs. Increasing the capacity of FHA will insure it is a viable product for homebuyers and expands the pool of available safe and affordable loan products.

First, the reason for the legislation is that FHA has fallen below the mandated 2.0% capital reserve ratio. Of all the options that were considered to get FHA back above the Congressionally mandated threshold, the proposals in H.R. 5072 are the least onerous. The legislation will allow FHA to increase the annual premium from the current .55 to .85. Once that has happened, it is FHA's intention to lower the upfront premium from the current 2.25 to 1.00. The upfront premium can be financed, but it also means that the purchaser must qualify for a mortgage that is 2.25 higher. The change will make it easier for some purchasers to qualify.

The other point to consider is that there is a strong push on Capitol Hill to increase the down payment requirement from the current 3.5% to 5.0%. The housing industry has been able to defeat those efforts, but if this bill fails to pass it will be harder to stop those efforts in the future. Below are two letters that NAR delivered to the House before the vote.

August 5, 2010 - From David Stevens, Assistant Secretary of Housing: Over the past week, Congress has taken quick action and passed H.R. 5981. The bill gives FHA the authority to adjust its annual mortgage insurance premium, yielding approximately $300 million per month in value to the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund at a time when its reserves are perilously low.  Read more here.

The 1.1 million members of the National Association of REALTORS®, representing American consumers in the real estate transaction, urge Congress to support H.R. 5072, the FHA Reform Act of 2010 -  NAR's Letter to Congress - pdf

The National Association of REALTORS®, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Home Builders strongly oppose amendments to H.R. 5072, the FHA Reform Act, which would increase FHA’s downpayment requirement, decrease FHA’s loan limits, or otherwise limit FHA’s ability to insure loans - as expressed in their Letter to House Leadership on H.R. 5072 amendments - pdf

Flood Insurance

NAR is pleased to report that Congress has unanimously approved a one-year extension, until Sept. 30, 2011 for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). A long-term extension has been a top legislative priority for NAR. Earlier in 2010 the NFIP lapsed, causing major disruptions for REALTORS®, and with the Sept. 30, 2010 deadline fast approaching NAR redoubled its efforts to extend the program. Read more here - 9-27-10

On July 2nd, 2010, President Obama signed HR 5569, the "National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010," into law.   The law retroactively reauthorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to enter into new contracts for flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Sept. 30, 2010.  Read more here.

NAR worked closely with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to enact two important pieces of legislation - Home Buyers Get Flood Insurance and Tax Credit Closing Extensions Without Lapse

National Association of REALTORS® backed a Call for Action for the National Flood Insurance Program expired and the Rural Housing Program:  NAR Call For Action

When Congress left town without reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Section 502 Rural Housing programs, the REALTOR® Party responded

Insurers have responded to the costs of recent natural disasters by raising premiums or declining to write policies in disaster prone areas. Without a greater government role in property insurance, many homeowners and potential home buyers may not be able to obtain insurance coverage. As a result, NAR follows the latest news on  Natural Disaster / Flood Insurance

Flood Plains Maps

Statement of the National Association of REALTORS®, Submitted To The House Financial Services Committee Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee On The Floodplain Maps and the National Flood Insurance Program

The 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill includes $220 million to continue FEMA's effort to update and modernize the floodplain maps:  Map Modernization Program

Insurers have responded to the costs of recent natural disasters by raising premiums or declining to write policies in disaster prone areas. Without a greater government role in property insurance, many homeowners and potential home buyers may not be able to obtain insurance coverage. As a result, NAR follows the latest news on  Natural Disaster / Flood Insurance

Home Buyer Tax Credit
 
Just a reminder that although the Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension & Expansion expired on April 30th [UPDATE on Extension], there is still time to act on the many advantages this bill provides for members of the military and certain other federal employees.

  • Members of the military and certain other federal employees serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and qualify for the credit. Thus, an eligible taxpayer must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2011. If a binding contract is entered into by that date, the taxpayer has until June 30, 2011, to close on the purchase. Members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community are eligible for this special rule. It applies to any individual (and, if married, the individual’s spouse) who serves on qualified official extended duty service outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 2008, and ending before May 1, 2010.
     
  • In many cases, the credit repayment (recapture) requirement is waived for members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community. This relief applies where a home is sold or stops being the taxpayer’s principal residence after Dec. 31, 2008, in connection with government orders received by the individual (or the individual’s spouse) for qualified official extended duty service. The credit is still allowable even if this happens during the year of purchase. Qualified official extended duty is any period of extended duty while serving at a place of duty at least 50 miles away from the taxpayer’s principal residence (whether inside or outside the U.S.) or while residing under government orders in government quarters. Extended duty is defined as any period of duty pursuant to a call or order to such duty for a period in excess of 90 days or for an indefinite period.

Members of the military and certain other federal employees serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and qualify for the credit. Click here for details - irs.gov.

Although the Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension & Expansion expired on April 30th 2010, there is still time to act on the many advantages this bill provides for members of the military and certain other federal employees: Veterans Home buyer Tax Credit
 
After weeks of negotiation, Congress passed H.R. 3548 which includes an extension and expansion of the current home buyer tax credit as an important step in ensuring a real estate and economic recovery.

The Senate vote was 98-0, with Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) not voting. The house vote was 403-12. President Obama signed the bill into law on November 6.

The bill extends the present $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers through April 30, 2010. Current homeowners are eligible for a $6,500 tax credit through April 30, provided they have lived in the home they are selling, or have sold, as principal residence for five consecutive years in the past eight years. If potential home buyers have a binding contract on or before that date, they will have until July 1 to close the transaction.

Income limits for eligible home buyers are expanded to $125,000 for single buyers and $225,000 for couples. The purchase price of the home cannot exceed $800,000. To help guard against fraud, buyers are required to attach documentation of purchase to their tax return.

Detailed information about provisions in the tax credit legislation is available on Realtor.org or you can read the entire text of the home buyer tax credit section in H.R. 3548.

NAR economists estimate that the current tax credit has contributed approximately $22 billion to the general economy, and approximately 2 million people will take advantage of the tax credit this year.

The NAR Call For Action was a huge success, shattering previous nationwide response rates. 13,650 Texas REALTORS® responded to the Call For Action. That’s a 16.6% response rate which trailed the national response rate of 18.2%.

As part of its plan to stimulate the U.S. housing market and address the economic challenges facing our nation, Congress has passed legislation that grants a tax credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers. Here is more information on the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

You’ve decided to purchase a home and take advantage of the new tax credit. Here is how you get the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Review the changes enacted by the Home Buyer Tax Credit in this Tax Credit Comparison Chart - pdf 

HVCC

Home Valuation Code of Conduct

You may have gotten additional questions from your Member of Congress about the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) issue.  NAR has developed a new FAQ on HVCC and you may find it helpful in answering some of those questions.  You can find that along with other HVCC information on REALTOR.org.  If you have questions, feel free to contact Jery Nagy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The chief legal officers of thirteen states, including Texas, write to Congress to express support for H.R. 3044 - Chief Legal Officers Support H.R.3044 - 11-24-09

A coalition of mortgage brokers and appraisers, visited the offices of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to hand deliver petitions containing 120,000-plus signatures of both mortgage industry professionals and consumers who believe that the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) has been detrimental to the home buying process and should be ceased immediately.  Read more here - 11-19-10

The Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) establishes standards for solicitation, selection, compensation, conflicts of interest and appraiser independence.  NAR provides details and updates here: Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC)

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott demonstrates his support for H.R.3044 in this Letter to all States Attorneys General  - pdf


H.R.3044
Title: To impose an 18-month moratorium on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct.
Sponsor:
Rep Childers, Travis [MS-1] (introduced 6/25/2009)


COSPONSORS (46), ALPHABETICAL [followed by Cosponsors withdrawn]: 

Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] - 7/9/2009 Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6] - 7/27/2009
Rep Bilbray, Brian P. [CA-50] - 7/22/2009 Rep Capito, Shelley Moore [WV-2] - 7/22/2009
Rep Cassidy, Bill [LA-6] - 7/9/2009 Rep Coble, Howard [NC-6] - 7/20/2009
Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] - 7/27/2009 Rep Culberson, John Abney [TX-7] - 7/27/2009
Rep Davis, Lincoln [TN-4] - 7/10/2009 Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 7/22/2009
Rep Driehaus, Steve [OH-1] - 7/15/2009 Rep Duncan, John J., Jr. [TN-2] - 7/20/2009
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] - 7/9/2009 Rep Gerlach, Jim [PA-6] - 7/10/2009
Rep Green, Al [TX-9] - 7/27/2009 Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] - 7/10/2009
Rep Guthrie, Brett [KY-2] - 7/9/2009 Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] - 7/15/2009
Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] - 7/9/2009 Rep Jenkins, Lynn [KS-2] - 7/20/2009
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] - 7/9/2009 Rep Kratovil, Frank, Jr. [MD-1] - 7/20/2009
Rep Lummis, Cynthia M. [WY] - 7/9/2009 Rep Manzullo, Donald A. [IL-16] - 7/9/2009
Rep Marchant, Kenny [TX-24] - 7/20/2009 Rep McCarthy, Kevin [CA-22] - 7/10/2009
Rep McClintock, Tom [CA-4] - 7/27/2009 Rep McHenry, Patrick T. [NC-10] - 7/15/2009
Rep McIntyre, Mike [NC-7] - 7/22/2009 Rep Michaud, Michael H. [ME-2] - 7/9/2009
Rep Miller, Gary G. [CA-42] - 6/25/2009 Rep Minnick, Walter [ID-1] - 7/9/2009
Rep Moran, Jerry [KS-1] - 7/22/2009 Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19] - 7/20/2009
Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] - 7/9/2009 Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] - 7/20/2009
Rep Posey, Bill [FL-15] - 7/9/2009 Rep Rooney, Thomas J. [FL-16] - 7/10/2009
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2] - 7/27/2009 Rep Shuler, Heath [NC-11] - 7/9/2009
Rep Simpson, Michael K. [ID-2] - 7/27/2009 Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] - 7/27/2009
Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-1] - 7/20/2009 Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] - 7/27/2009
Rep Young, C.W. Bill [FL-10] - 7/22/2009 Rep Young, Don [AK] - 7/22/2009

Cosponsors (46)
Latest Major Action: 6/25/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.


NAR praises the FHFA's recent guidance on HVCC as a good first step.

WASHINGTON (July 23, 2009) – The following is a statement by National Association of REALTORS® President Charles McMillan:

“NAR and our 1.2 million members are pleased that the Federal Housing Finance Agency has instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take action to clarify confusion over the new Home Valuation Code of Conduct for home appraisers implemented this past May.

“Our members were experiencing delayed and lost sales because of poor appraisals conducted often by inexperienced appraisers who were not familiar with the area. The ramifications were so great to our members and to the housing industry that I personally met with the New York Attorney General’s office and with the head of the FHFA to share our concerns.

“In those meetings I shared an NAR survey that found 76 percent of our members, representing both buyers and sellers, had experienced an increase in appraisal time since the new HVCC rules were enacted. Similarly, 71 percent of REALTORS® noted an increase in the use of appraisers who were not from the local area. These factors often adversely affected the sale or the sales process, which occasionally resulted in the loss of a sale or a homeowner’s inability to refinance into today’s lower rates. I expressed our serious concern in the meetings.

“We took this information, and our concerns, to those organizations responsible for the changes and we are pleased that they listened. Today Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued clear guidance on two very important points that we raised in our meetings. First, the guidance states that lenders should use appraisers who have clear experience in the geographic area. Second, it clarifies that appraisers are not prohibited from talking to real estate agents.

“NAR has asked Congress and the FHFA to immediately implement an 18-month moratorium on the new HVCC rules to further address unintended consequences of this new rule. We will continue to push for this, but are pleased that this first step was taken today.”

The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. 

SAFE Act

The SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act is designed to enhance consumer protection and reduce fraud by encouraging states to establish minimum standards for the licensing and registration of state-licensed mortgage loan originators - SAFE Act - HUD

The SAFE Act sets forth procedures, requirements, education, testing, and standards including mandatory registration and state licensing of mortgage loan originators through the creation of a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLSR). SAFE Act - NAR

At TAR's urging, the chief regulator over the SAFE Act in Texas has taken significant steps to allow Texas property owners to continue to seller finance up to five transactions in a 12-month period. Read more here: SAFE Act - TAR

The commissioner of the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, has delayed the implementation of the SAFE Act requirement for licensure in seller-financed transactions in Texas until August 31. That means that a Texas seller can continue to finance up to five transactions in a consecutive 12-month period - SAFE Act Delayed in Texas - 6-21-10

TAR explores the facts and fallacies of the SAFE Act in this SAFE Act Myth Buster - pdf

Wall Street Reform Act

Members and staffs of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee worked to ensure that Wall Street Reform legislation did not adversely affect REALTORS®.  Please read this summary of the issues of particular interest to REALTORS®  - Wall Street Reform Act