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 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 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.
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 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.
By Mike Thiel
While the rapid growth of membership has been a boon to the Realtor® organization, it has also presented challenges when it comes to membership obligation awareness. One such challenge has been educating members about the permissible ways to use the term Realtor® in their marketing efforts, especially online. After all, the use of the term Realtor® is a privilege of membership and is subject to the rules established by the National Association of Realtors®’ Board of Directors.