The Washington Report covers legislative and regulatory policy activities, and is compiled by NAR's Advocacy Group policy staff. To receive this content via email, subscribe to NAR's Weekly Report newsletter and check the "legislative & regulatory issues" box.
Starting February 22, 2012, the Treasury Department, in collaboration with the National Association of REALTORS®, will hold Making Home Affordable “Help for Homeowners” outreach events across the country.
On Friday, January 27, 2012, NAR submitted an industry letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray asking that the CFPB be more forthcoming in the underlying regulations governing the harmonization of disclosures and form under RESPA and TILA.
On February 1 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it is now accepting applications for investors who wish to bid on transactions in the initial pilot projects to be offered in the Obama Administration’s plan to expedite the disposition of foreclosed properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA.
As a result of a court order in mid-2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will emabrk on an aggressive push in 2012 to place more species on the endangered list, thereby placing more property out of development and increasing restrictions on property rights.
On February 1 President Obama, speaking to a crowd in Falls Church, Virginia, detailed his plan to “help responsible homeowners and heal the housing market.” The plan calls for streamlined refinancing for potentially millions of borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while also creating a new FHA mortgage program to re-finance non-GSE mortgages.
This week two federal online piracy bills garnered significant media attention when a number of popular websites went dark in opposition to the legislation. The bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) H.R. 3261 and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) S. 968 are intended to address the problem of foreign websites that facilitate the downloading of digital content like movies and music.
On Jan. 5, 2011, NAR reached out to Bank of America and Freddie Mac regarding inconsistencies in Bank of America’s implementation of required changes to Freddie Mac’s mandatory short sale affidavit.
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released their report on real estate appraisals “Appraisal Subcommittee Needs to Improve Monitoring Procedures” as required per Dodd-Frank.
On January 4, 2012, The Federal Reserve released a white paper, entitled “The U.S. Housing Market: Current Conditions and Policy Considerations.” In the paper, the Fed said that continued weakness in the housing market poses barriers to a more vigorous economic recovery.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Sackett v. U.S. EPA on January 9, 2012. The arguments presented by both lawyers elicited spirited discussion among the Justices. Experienced court watchers expect a decision in this case in late spring.