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REALTORS® Support Obama's Efforts to Assist Housing Market and Help Homeowners Refinance

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

WASHINGTON (February 1, 2012) - The National Association of Realtors® commends President Obama for pledging to assist homeowners and the struggling housing market, because restoring the health of the housing market is critical for the nation’s economic recovery.

“As the nation’s leading advocate for homeownership and housing issues, NAR knows that stabilizing the housing market is key to the health of our economy and communities across the country,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “We are pleased that the President released a plan to help America’s struggling housing market and homeowners. Improving access to simple, low-cost refinancing and streamlining the process will help hardworking families who have stayed current on their mortgage payments and will go a long way to helping keep more families in their homes.”

President Obama’s plan would help eligible, underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments to refinance or modify their loan into safer, more affordable mortgages and take advantage of historically low interest rates, helping homeowners save hundreds of dollars each month and reduce default rates.

“Realtors® are eager to work with Congress and the administration to put the plan into action and help significantly reduce monthly mortgage payments by reducing the barriers to low-cost, streamlined refinancings for millions of homeowners as an alternative to defaulting on their mortgage loans, and begin stabilizing the housing market by reducing additional foreclosures,” said Veissi. “We hope that the president and Congress will work together to pass the necessary legislation. Now is the time to work together and look for new ways to help struggling homeowners and the housing market.”

The president’s plan also announced a Federal Housing Finance Administration pilot program to transition Real Estate Owned (REO) properties into rental housing. NAR urges the FHFA to proceed cautiously with the REO-to-rental program since housing markets are complex and varied. NAR believes an overly aggressive REO-to-rental program that is not privately administered by local entities and does not involve substantial participation of local market experts, especially licensed real estate professionals, could be disruptive and counterproductive to communities already suffering from high foreclosure inventories and lower housing values.

The National Association of Realtors® “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 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.