The Voice for Real Estate 95: Mortgage Reform, Texts, Rural Loans, Outlook

To protect 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be given new charters that turn them into utilities with private shareholders and federal backing for catastrophic losses, NAR says. The association's proposal was introduced at a policy forum it hosted in early February. Also, using automated texts as part of you marketing could violate do-not-call laws. If you have clients whose application for a federally backed Rural Housing Service loan got snagged in the shutdown, let NAR know so it can help your clients get priority processing. Also, a residential and commercial market outlook for 2019.

Transcript

REALTORS® lead the charge on protecting 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages

Are your texts violating the law?

And the government tries to make up for lost time on rural home loans

These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate

Hi, I'm Stephen Gasque with the National Association of REALTORS®.

REALTORS® came to Washington last week to stress - the federal government must continue to back 30-year, fixed-rate conventional home loans...no matter what happens to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac!
 
By packaging mortgages into securities for sale to investors, the secondary mortgage markets help ensure lenders have a steady flow of money for new mortgages.

Hundreds of mortgage industry experts, federal policymakers, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle joined REALTORS® at an NAR policy forum on what to do about secondary-market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

The two companies have been in federal conservatorship since the mortgage market meltdown more than a decade ago. But they still touch the vast majority of conventional home loans in America, and have long since improved their financial picture. 

Lawmakers and administration officials have been wrestling with how to structure-or replace-the companies - to keep home sales strong without putting taxpayers at risk, if trouble happens again.

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NAR held a similar forum last year that intended to deepen the conversation. Here's Seth Task, chair of NAR's conventional finance committee, with more. 

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We'll keep you updated on the secondary market, one of the most consequential pieces of business facing our federal government.

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Do you send text massages to potential customers -  to help drum up business? If you do, you could be opening yourself up to a lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. That law was passed in 1991 to curb unsolicited sales calls. However - lawyers in a growing number of class action lawsuits say the law extends to text messages also. Here's NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson on why you should obtain upfront written consent before reaching for that phone, to text a client. 

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You can get more on this and other business practices in a video called Top Risk Management Issues in the legal section at nar.realtor.com 

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Good news for rural homebuyers who were caught by the federal government's shutdown last month. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has heard from REALTORS® and agreed to help. The USDA will now give to priority to federally backed home loan applications that were put on hold, awaiting review by furloughed members of the Rural Housing Service. Here's NAR's Sehar Siddiqi on what you can do if you have clients waiting to get their loan application approved. 

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Now - if you have clients whose application for a federally backed rural home loan was stalled, email Sehar Siddiqi at ssiddiqi@realtors.org so she can pass your information along to the Rural Housing Service.

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Home sales and contract signings ended 2018 on a down note. December existing-home sales were down more than 6 percent from the previous month, and contract signings by more than 2 percent.  But there's reason for optimism. Here's NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

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On the commercial side, as the U.S. approaches the longest-ever economic expansion -- analysts are wondering how much longer the good times will last. But even after 10 years of growth, fundamentals remain strong. Here's NAR's George Ratiu with more. 

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If you're in commercial real estate, be sure to get the latest expert insights for the year ahead in a report NAR just released in partnership with Deloitte and real estate valuation firm Situs/RERC. Access a summary and download the report on nar.realtor.com Search "Expectations and market realities."  

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As we reported in our last news video, the IRS has released rules on the new 20 percent business income deduction, and other changes in the new tax law.  The rules confirmed that you can apply that 20 percent deduction to your commission income. The rules also included guidance on applying that deduction to your rental income, and to any 1031 tax-deferred exchange properties you have. Here's NAR's Evan Liddiard with more. 

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Watch the full video with Evan on applying the deduction to rental income and exchange properties by going to NAR's YouTube channel. 

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And that's our show for the week of February 11. You can get more on everything we talked about at The Voice for Real Estate page on nar.realtor.com. Thank you for joining us and be sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate. 


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