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 Member's Edge newsletter and check the "legislative & regulatory issues" box.
On Thursday March 29, 2012, Congressmen Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Ed Royce (R-CA), Lacy Clay (D-MO), and David Scott (D-GA) introduced "The Consumer Mortgage Choice Act." The legislation fixes issues with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act's Qualified Mortgage (QM) provisions.
On May 30, 2012, the House of Representatives passed a 60-day extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, which will enable the Senate to act on the 5-year reauthorization and reform bill this June.
The Rural Development Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee this week held a hearing on "duplicative federal rural development programs".
The U.S. Supreme Court handed private property owners a victory with a unanimous decision on March 21 allowing a couple to appeal an EPA ruling that their property contains a wetlands.
On Monday, March 12, 2012, the federal government released details of the $25 billion dollar national mortgage settlement stemming from the "robo-signing" scandal. The agreement with Bank of America Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citigroup Inc.
By a 74-22 vote, the Senate passed on March 14 a long-term surface transportation authorization known as "MAP-21" ("Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century"). The bill largely maintains current funding levels for federal transportation programs over the next two years, with some changes to program structures and policies.
On March 14, 2012, NAR signed onto two coalition letters, urging Senate Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell to expand the Senate jobs legislation to include provisions aimed to enhance the flow of credit to the small business and commercial real estate sectors.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released the final rule on private transfer fees. The final rule is not substantively different than the proposed rule; however, it does include minor changes advocated for by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
On March 9, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued Supplemental Directive 12-02 that extends the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program to the end of 2013, and makes several changes to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to increase the number of eligible participants.
On February 15, 2012, Freddie Mac released an update to its servicing guide, reinforcing the requirement that servicers must waive all rights to seek deficiencies for short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions on Freddie Mac Mortgages.