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.
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.
“Don’t shoot the messenger,” is the message the Appraisal Institute has for those in the real estate industry. Appraisers have been taking heat the last few months over low home values, with critics arguing that values aren’t matching a home listing or contract’s price and valuations are unfairly weighing distressed properties into the equation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Revamped committees, membership expansion aim to keep NAR positioned for the future.