On April 16, 2015, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee held a hearing entitled, “Regulatory Burdens to Obtaining Mortgage Credit.” Chris Polychron, 2015 NAR President and executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, AR, testified on behalf of NAR. In his testimony, Mr. Polychron focused the tight credit market, which is hindering our economic recovery. Specifically, Mr. Polychron told the Committee that certain changes that can be made to existing regulations that will promote a safe, but more robust mortgage market.
During the hearing, Mr. Polychron pressed for the U.S. Senate to pass the Mortgage Choice Act, bipartisan legislation that importantly redefines a provision in the Ability-to-Repay rules that limits mortgage fees and points to 3 percent for certain affiliated mortgage firms. Additionally, Mr. Polychron proposed changes to restrictive condominium polices from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) that limit opportunities for buyers to own condos.
Furthermore, the NAR President called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to encourage more lending by responsible community banks and also provide more flexibility for lending in small specialty markets such as rural communities and manufactured homes. Mr. Polychron also raised concerns that high guarantee fees (G-fees) and loan level pricing adjustments (LLPAs) charged by the GSEs are negatively impacting the housing recovery by raising the cost of homeownership.