The Washington Report covers legislative and regulatory policy activities, and is compiled by NAR's Government Affairs policy staff. To receive this content via email, subscribe to NAR's Weekly Report newsletter and check the "legislative & regulatory issues" box.
On June 6, 2013, Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Isakson (R-GA) introduced S. 1106, the “Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act”. The bill is an attempt to develop standards for valuing energy efficiency in the appraisal and mortgage underwriting processes.
On June 5, the White House announced an initiative to curb the use of patents by patent holders as a tool for "frivolous litigation," and to protect "Main Street retailers, consumers and other end-users of productions containing patented technology."
In May, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released two memos providing guidance for government employee conference and meeting attendance.
FHFA published a notice in the Federal Register inviting input on planned restrictions to some forced-placed insurance practices by banks and servicers of GSE loans. In the notice FHFA indicated that they would limit specific forced-placed practices due to concerns regarding conflict of interest between parties to the insurance agreement.
The Inspectors General (IGs) of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have issued a joint report on the handling of Real Estate Owned (REO) properties in the inventories of HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Report puts all agencies on notice that REO disposition is being carefully scrutinized and will continue to be as efforts continue to shrink existing inventories and reduce taxpayer exposure.
On May 14, thirteen U.S. Senators sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to Ms. Leslie Seidman, Chairman ofthe Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB"), expressing concern that the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB") were preparing to release the latest expsoure draft on leases, but had still not released a cost-benefit analysis of the lease accounting proposal.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized rules to facilitate access to credit by creating specific exemptions and modifications to the CFPB’s Ability-to-Repay rule for small creditors, community development lenders, and housing stabilization programs.
On May 21, 2013, NAR submitted a statement for the record to the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit hearing on the Qualified Mortgage/Ability to Repay rule.
On May 21, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.
On May 8, 2013, NAR Immediate Past President Moe Veissi testified at a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau field hearing on the impact that growing student debt will have on the ability of consumers to access mortgage credit, particularly first time homebuyers.