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.
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.
At the conclusion of 2011, Congress passed and forwarded to the President for his signature the “Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011”. The primary purpose of this legislation was to extend temporarily: (1) payroll tax relief, (2) unemployment compensation provisions, and (3) healthcare provisions. The estimated costs of the temporary extensions is $192.5 billion.
This week the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) met with senior staff for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Real Estate Owned (REO) Department.
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.
On December 23rd, 2011, President Obama signed legislation extending the payroll tax reduction and requiring the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs)) to raise GSE guarantee fees (g-fees) by at least ten basis points.
Moe Veissi, the 2012 President of the National Association of Realtors, sent a letter to Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requesting that investors be permitted to participate in the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Program to purchase vacant and foreclosed properties in need of significant rehabilitation.
Borrowers who faced foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 may be eligible for a free independent review of their foreclosures. The reviews which were ordered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve in April of 2011 cover foreclosures handled by most major loan servicers.
On Thursday, January 5, 2011, President Obama installed former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) using a recess appointment.
On December 27, 2011, NAR President Moe Veissi submitted NAR’s comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs)) on future mortgage servicing structures and servicing compensation for single-family loans to enhance competition in mortgage servicing and origination.