Washington Report

Advocacy Updates from Washington D.C.

NAR Urges Federal Reserve to Improve Access to Mortgage Credit

On Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, NAR President Moe Veissi wrote to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke regarding tight access to mortgage credit. 

The letter was in response to the Fed's announcement of another round of quantitative easing commonly referred to as "QE3."  The Fed announced that it would begin buying up to $40 billion a month in mortgage backed securities to reduce mortgage interest rates. President Veissi acknowledged the Fed's effort to target the housing economy. However, as the Fed Chairman himself has repeatedly noted, access to mortgage credit is tight and lending standards so onerous, that otherwise qualified borrowers are not getting mortgage loans. 

In the letter, Veissi urged Bernanke to weigh in on three key rule proposals -- the Qualified Mortgage (QM), the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM), and the Basel III capital standards -- that are both putting a chill on lending and have the potential tighten credit further and possibly much further when implemented. All three individually and certainly together have the potential to tighten credit. 

The comment period for the QM and QRM rules has closed and both rules must be finalized by Jan. 21, 2013.  The Basel comment period closes Oct. 22, 2012.

NAR Letter to Fed Chairman Bernanke