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.
Growing student debt will impact the ability of consumers to access mortgage credit, particularly first time homebuyers.
NAR wrote a letter to the EPA about lead paint hazard regulation in public and commercial buildings following renovations and remodeling activities.
On March 29, FEMA released information on changes to the policies and rates of the National Flood Insurance Program. Highlights of the changes, required under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Bill that passed in 2012, include revised premium rates, a new Reserve Fund assessment, updated rates for non-primary residences, exclusion of certain properties from receiving subsidized premium rates and no extesnions of subsidy to new policies or lapsed policies.
After a brief suspension of activity caused by HUD running out of funding for the program, the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program was restarted on March 27, 2013.
On March 21, NAR played host to a gathering of representatives of government, REALTORS®, major lenders and e-signature service providers to discuss the slow and spotty acceptance of electronic signature technology in daily real estate business.
On March 27, 2013, the U. S. Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development issued Administrative Notice (AN) 4711 regarding the use of 2010 Census data in the administration of direct loan, loan guarantee and grant programs across Rural Development programs.
Last week Congress passed the Continuing Resolution, which funds the government for remainder of the fiscal year.
In an official letter to lenders, HUD Assistant Secretary and FHA Commissioner Carol Galante has advised of possible FHA mortgage processing delays due to the sequestration of 2013 funding which began March 1.
On Friday, March 15, 2013, NAR submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service in connection with proposed regulations published on January 2, 2013, interpreting the Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and David Scott (D-GA) reintroduced the Consumer Mortgage Choice Act, H.R.1077. The legislation addresses the definition of fees and points in a mortgage transaction under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The definition is critical to determine whether a mortgage is a Qualified Mortgage (QM) which requires that fees and point not exceed 3%.