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REALTORS® Applaud Bill to Protect Taxpayers From Mortgage Industry Bailouts

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

WASHINGTON (December 8, 2011) - The National Association of Realtors® supports legislation introduced today that provides sensible reform of the secondary mortgage market and protects the interest of taxpayers.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) introduced the legislation, “The Mortgage Finance Act of 2011,” in the U.S. Senate. The bill creates a limited-term, government-chartered secondary mortgage market mechanism, the Mortgage Finance Agency, that would focus on the securitization of loans meeting the “qualified residential mortgage” (QRM) standard crafted by Sens. Isakson, Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for the Dodd-Frank Act.

“We commend Sen. Isakson for putting forth this legislation. As the leading advocate for homeownership, NAR is committed to working with Congress on a solution that protects U.S. taxpayers while continuing to allow Americans access to the dream of homeownership,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “Any new secondary mortgage market model must ensure that mortgages are affordable and always available to creditworthy buyers, especially in times of economic distress; ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected; require sound underwriting standards; and provide for rigorous oversight. We think this legislation creates the framework to accomplish that.”

NAR has long recommended a considered, responsible approach to reforming the secondary mortgage market. Toward that end, the association established a set of principles and recommendations that include facilitating the flow of capital into the mortgage market in all market conditions; establishing entities with a separate legal identity from the federal government, but still serving a public purpose; ensuring risk-based pricing of loan products or guarantees; and requiring the highest standards of transparency and soundness with respect to disclosure and structuring of mortgage-related securities.

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.

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