REALTOR® Action Center

NAR Comments on GSE Appraisal Waivers

On September 12, 2017, NAR sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as well as to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (collectively the GSEs), commenting on the recent decision by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to allow for data-based valuations rather than traditional in-person appraisals in certain purchase transactions. Given recent complaints of long appraisal wait times and a lack of appraisers in certain areas of the country, NAR is supportive of innovations in the appraisal field that would help alleviate some of these issues and help the real estate market function... Read More

HUD Nominee Approved

The Senate confirmed Pam Patenaude as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by a vote of 80-17. NAR is a strong supporter of Ms. Patenaude, and just last week coordinated a letter of more than 60 groups urging her vote. Ms. Patenaude had vast expience in the housing industry, having worked at HUD, the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, and the Urban Land Institute-Terwilliger Foundation. NAR looks forward to working with her at HUD on a number of objectives to promote access to affordable housing.

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Advocates Urge Vote on HUD Nominee

NAR and a coalition of 60 groups sent a letter to the Senate leadership this week, urging a vote on Pam Patenaude to be Deputy Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ms. Patenaude was reported favorably by the Senate Banking Committee back in June, but her vote has not come to the Senate Floor. Ms. Patenaude previously worked at HUD, and at the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. Both these experiences could contribute greatly to the work of HUD today. Signers to the letter, spearheaded by NAR, include the National Association of Home Builders, the... Read More

FHA Extends Temporary Condominium Guidance

On Aug. 30, 2017, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released Mortgagee Letter 2017-13, Extension of Temporary Approval Provisions for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Condominium Project Approval Process, which extends the current temporary guidelines on condominium projects until HUD publishes and implements the Final Rule of Condominium Project Approval. The Final Rule will be incorporated into the Condominium Project Approval Section of HUD Handbook 4000.1.

In response to the extension of the temporary condominium guidelines, NAR sent a... Read More

Committee Approves ADA Reform Bill

On Thursday, Sept. 7, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup of H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX). The Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) considered the legislation, which adds a "notice-and-cure" provision to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), giving businesses an opportunity to fix alleged violations before a suit can be filed against them. It also creates an education program between the Department of Justice, states/local governments, and businesses to... Read More

GSEs Appraisal-Free Purchase Mortgages

On August 18, 2017, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, collectively the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs), announced they would allow for the use of their proprietary automated valuation tools in lieu of traditional appraisals for some purchase loan transactions.

Freddie Mac will utilize their automated collateral evaluation (ACE) to determine home value by using data from multiple listing services and public records as well as their own data of historical home values to determine collateral risks. Homes must have an 80% or lower loan to value, be a one unit single-family... Read More

CFPB Final Rule on CD Sharing Effective Date

On July 7, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the final rule amending the “Know Before You Owe” (KBYO or TRID) mortgage disclosure rule. As advocated for by NAR, the final rule clarifies the ability to share the Closing Disclosure (CD) with third parties - a victory for real estate professionals nationwide.

As outlined in the 2016 proposed rule, the final rule highlights an existing exception within the Gramm-Leach-Bliley... Read More

FinCEN Issues Money Laundering Real Estate Advisory and Renews GTOs

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s lead agency in the fight against money laundering, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), has released two notices related to money laundering risks associated with real estate transactions.

The first is an Advisory to Financial Institutions and Real Estate Firms and Professionals (FIN-2017-A003) to provide information on money laundering risks for real... Read More

2017 Appraisal Summit

On August 2, 2017, the National Association of REALTORS® hosted an Appraisal Summit, focused on the role of Appraisal Management Companies (AMCs) and their effect on the appraisal industry. A variety of stakeholders in the appraisal field, including AMCs, lenders, federal regulatory officials, trade association representatives, and REALTOR® agents and appraisers attended the Summit. NAR Vice President of Government Affairs Kevin Sears led the discussion, which covered topics ranging from how AMCs and lenders handle appraiser independence issues to ways on the ground agents and... Read More

NAR Supports SBA Cyber Security Bill

On Wednesday, August 2, the Senate Small Business Committee marked up and approved by a voice vote of 19-0 S. 1428, the Small Business Cyber Training Act of 2017, sponsored by Senator Risch (R-ID), with cosponsors Senators Shaheen (D-NH), Kennedy (R-LA), Duckworth (D-IL), and Peters (D-MI). This bipartisan bill would require small business development centers that have received grants from the SBA to have staff who are certified in cyber security planning methods, and authorizes the SBA to fund that training.  If passed, it will increase access to cyber security expertise for small... Read More

Senate Health Reform Fails to Advance

In an early morning Friday July 28th vote, the Senate Republican leadership’s so-called “skinny” Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill failed to gather the 50 votes required for passage. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and John McCain (R-AZ) sided with Democrats in a 49-51 roll call vote.

Released a few hours before the vote, the 8-page bill would have repealed the ACA’s individual mandate, suspended the employer mandate for 8 years, repealed an ACA tax on medical devices, increased contribution... Read More

NAR Opposes FHA Flood Regulation

On July 26, 2017, NAR, as part of a broad coalition of housing, lending, insurance and consumer groups, opposed a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) regulation barring lenders from accepting private flood insurance on FHA insured loans, and urged its immediate reversal.

On the same day, NAR wrote the full Senate requesting support and co-sponsorship of S. 563, “The Flood Insurance Market Parity & Modernization Act” (Heller [R-NV]; Tester [D-MT]). The bill would remove additional barriers to the private market, which increasingly, is offering better coverage at... Read More

EPA Releases Rule to Withdraw WOTUS

Fulfilling a portion of an executive order by President Donald Trump, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have released a proposal to rescind the Waters of the United States rule that expanded federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

The proposal published in the Federal Register on Thursday, July 28 would nix the 2015 WOTUS rule and reinstate the definition of the streams and wetlands subject to... Read More

NAR Urges FCC to Maintain Net Neutrality

NAR filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday July 17 urging the agency to maintain the Open Internet Order that was put into effect in 2015.  This order creates rules establishing network neutrality.  The FCC has proposed rolling back those rules and is currently seeking public comment.

Net neutrality is shorthand for the concept that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. More specifically, net neutrality requires that broadband networks be free of restrictions on content,... Read More

NAR Signs onto Credit Scoring Coalition Letter

On July 19, 2017, NAR signed onto an industry coalition letter in support of the “Credit Score Competition Act,” introduced by Senators Scott (R-SC) and Warner (D-VA). The legislation would instruct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to utilize newer, more predictive and inclusive credit models, which will responsible expand access to mortgage financing for many Americans.

Read the Coalition Letter

Commercial NFIP Priorities Sent to Senate

On July 14, NAR, in coalition with other commercial real estate trade groups, sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, providing them with a list of ways the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can be improved to be more responsive and effective for commercial real estate.  The Senate Banking Committee is currently working on drafting reauthorizing legislation for the NFIP, which is set to expire on September 30.  

The letter asks for six things:

  • Maintain the commercial "opt-out" provision, as passed by... Read More

Health Care Agency Request for Information

NAR commented on a Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Request for Information regarding the regulatory environment surrounding the individual and small group health insurance markets. A division of the Department of Health and Human Services, CMS was provided useful evidence on NAR’s unique self-employed and small business membership and associated health care priorities. The letter stresses the need for affordable quality health insurance options in the individual insurance market; protections for preexisting conditions and preventive health and... Read More

NAR Comments on FHFA "Duty to Serve" Rule

On July 10, 2017 NAR submitted comments to the FHFA regarding the Agency's proposed “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets” Plans. Ensuring the continued availability of affordable mortgage credit to all qualified borrowers is an obligation of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Without the affirmative obligation of either of the Enterprises to facilitate the financing of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families consistent with sustainable homeownership, access to credit in some of these markets would remain limited. As the Enterprises implement their... Read More

NAR Comments on Energy Regulations

NAR submitted comments on the most burdensome regulations issued by the Department of Energy.  In response to a request for information on burdensome regulations, NAR, in its letter, outlined the regulatory burdens posed to the real estate sector by the Home Energy Performance Score and the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.

NAR welcomes the opportunity to promote effective, voluntary energy efficiency practices among property owners throughout the country. The association will continue to work with NAR members, property owners and all interested parties to educate... Read More

CFPB Final Rule Clear on Ability to Share CD

On July 7, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the final rule amending the “Know Before You Owe” (KBYO or TRID) mortgage disclosure rule. As advocated for by NAR, the final rule clarifies the ability to share the Closing Disclosure (CD) with third parties - a victory for real estate professionals nationwide.

As outlined in the 2016 proposed rule, the final rule highlights an existing exception within the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and implementing Regulation P that allows lenders to share the CD with third parties (sections 502(e... Read More