On Thursday, June 13, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Risch (R-ID), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business, respectively, held a markup hearing of S.289, the “Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) Act of 2013.”
With NAR’s support, Representatives Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) have successfully attached an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to delay removal of “grandfathered” flood insurance rates for one year.
On Monday, June 3, 2013, NAR President Gary Thomas submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on further proposed revisions to the Ability-to-Repay or Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. These changes provide more flexibility for lenders to qualify borrowers under the QM safe harbor standard which provides certain protections from liability in connection with the ability to repay determination.
On June 6, 2013, Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Isakson (R-GA) introduced S. 1106, the “Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act”. The bill is an attempt to develop standards for valuing energy efficiency in the appraisal and mortgage underwriting processes.
On June 5, the White House announced an initiative to curb the use of patents by patent holders as a tool for "frivolous litigation," and to protect "Main Street retailers, consumers and other end-users of productions containing patented technology."
In May, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released two memos providing guidance for government employee conference and meeting attendance.
FHFA published a notice in the Federal Register inviting input on planned restrictions to some forced-placed insurance practices by banks and servicers of GSE loans. In the notice FHFA indicated that they would limit specific forced-placed practices due to concerns regarding conflict of interest between parties to the insurance agreement.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized rules to facilitate access to credit by creating specific exemptions and modifications to the CFPB’s Ability-to-Repay rule for small creditors, community development lenders, and housing stabilization programs.
The Inspectors General (IGs) of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have issued a joint report on the handling of Real Estate Owned (REO) properties in the inventories of HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Report puts all agencies on notice that REO disposition is being carefully scrutinized and will continue to be as efforts continue to shrink existing inventories and reduce taxpayer exposure.
On May 14, thirteen U.S. Senators sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to Ms. Leslie Seidman, Chairman ofthe Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB"), expressing concern that the FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB") were preparing to release the latest expsoure draft on leases, but had still not released a cost-benefit analysis of the lease accounting proposal.