Voices of Real Estate
By NAR 2013 President Gary Thomas
As Bob Hope said, “a bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”
All kidding aside, we understand banks play a vital role in the housing market. And just as banks are important, so is protecting the interests of consumers.
In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). It established a new government agency, called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The purpose of the CFPB is to supervise banks, credit unions and other financial companies and enforce the federal consumer financial laws.
According to the CFPB, their mission is “to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”
Because of their important role, NAR maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Bureau. Recently, NAR organized a mortgage roundtable with Iowa REALTORS®, CFPB Director Richard Cordray, NAR staff, and other industry partners. The meeting went very well and demonstrates the importance of presenting the REALTOR® perspective on lending issues to the CFPB. It also shows our members the value of NAR and our ongoing partnerships with federal agencies.
Last March, the CFPB held a field hearing in Iowa on their release of an expanded version of its consumer complaint database, including complaints on obtaining a mortgage, loan modification, or short sale. We welcome the database as a good start in addressing some of the difficulties facing consumers, and our REALTOR® members will appreciate that a light is being shined on deficient banking practices.
Let me mention that CFPB Director Cordray will be speaking at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, DC, next week. We look forward to hearing his perspective on how best to protect consumers.
Here at NAR, our goals are to increase mortgage liquidity and help consumers make better decisions about which mortgage is right for them. This will allow the real estate market to continue improving, help lift the country’s economic markets, and ensure that the dream of homeownership remains within reach for the majority of Americans.
By NAR 2013 First Vice President Chris Polychron
I was just chatting with Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2012 Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. She let me know that NAR is looking for the next big idea. Do you have any crazy ideas for NAR? Or one that is new, different and unique? If so, the Strategic Planning Committee needs your help.
Get out your cell phone and film a 10-15 second video. State your name, where you are from, and “My crazy idea for NAR is….”
You can be as outrageous as you like, as long as it’s a real idea. If you need inspiration check out this video: http://youtu.be/8rwsuXHA7RA
Please email your videos video to email@example.com by April 30th. If your idea is creative or interesting, you may be featured in a video presented at the May meetings in Washington, DC.