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Realtors® Urge Regulators to Reconsider Narrow QRM Definition

Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013 / Email

WASHINGTON (June 22, 2011) - The National Association of Realtors® is urging regulators to go back to the drawing board on the proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage rule.

At a news conference on Capitol Hill today, the original sponsors of the QRM provision in the Dodd-Frank Act – Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) – joined Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) to urge regulators to reconsider unnecessarily high down payment requirements under the proposed QRM rule.

“As the leading advocate for home ownership, NAR firmly believes Congress intended to create a broad QRM exemption – strong evidence shows that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk, and not high down payments,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I.

NAR has forged the broad-based Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, which includes 44 organizations focused on drawing attention to the proposed regulation’s onerous 20 percent down payment requirement. The coalition asked for and recently received an extension of the comment period until August 1, 2011. NAR and its coalition partners have also gathered the support of 44 U.S. Senators, who recently wrote to regulators expressing their intent on QRM and opposing the imposition of a sizable down payment; 282 House members signed a similar letter.

Concurrent with the event, NAR and the coalition unveiled a white paper, “Proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage Definition Harms Creditworthy Borrowers While Frustrating Housing Recovery,” an in-depth analysis of the impact of the proposed QRM rule. The white paper will be submitted as the coalition’s official comments to the rule.

NAR wants federal regulators to honor congressional intent by crafting a QRM exemption that includes a wide variety of traditionally safe, well documented and properly underwritten products.

“As written, the proposed QRM rule violates congressional intent, makes home ownership more expensive for millions of responsible consumers and jeopardizes the fragile housing recovery,” Phipps said. “We urge regulators to reconsider the proposed QRM definition to help hard-working, creditworthy Americans continue to realize their dreams of homeownership.”

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The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.