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Realtors® Respond to President Obama's Speech on Fifth Anniversary of Financial Crisis

Media Contact: Jenny Werwa / 202-383-1193 / Email

WASHINGTON (September 16, 2013) – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas:

“In his speech today, President Obama reflected on the five years since the financial meltdown and on the housing market’s steady return from the epoch of underwater mortgages, foreclosures and frozen credit. With NAR’s support, the administration enacted key policies to stabilize the market, recover home values, ensure access to affordable credit, and most importantly, renew faith in the value of homeownership.

“Realtors® supported efforts to help more than 7 million underwater homeowners refinance their homes or modify their mortgages through the Home Affordable Modification Program and two iterations of the Home Affordable Refinance Program. Additionally, NAR worked with the Treasury Department to develop a program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

“To reinvigorate home sales, NAR led the charge to pass the temporary home buyers’ tax credit, which helped millions of Americans buy a home. When private lenders fled the market and stymied access to mortgage insurance, Realtors® advocated reforms to the FHA Single-Family Mortgage Insurance Program so that it could continue to make mortgages available to qualified home buyers.

“To protect future home buyers from unscrupulous lending practices, NAR continues our work with the administration and Congress to develop new lending standards that create opportunities for private capital to re-establish itself as part of a robust and competitive mortgage market.

“NAR continues to advocate a system that ensures creditworthy buyers always have access to safe, reliable mortgages such as 30- and 15-year fixed-rate loans, even in tough economic times when private lenders cannot, or will not, enter the market.”

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.