Eye on Washington is a monthly e-newsletter on critical REALTOR® issues before federal agencies, the administration, and Congress. To receive updates from Eye on Washington, subscribe to NAR's Weekly Report newsletter and be sure to check the "legislative & regulatory issues" box.
Congress' summer recess has officially begun and presents a unique opportunity for REALTORS®. This month-long “district work session” presents a great chance for REALTORS® to remind Congress about the critical issues facing the real estate economy and what needs to be done when Congress returns to Washington after Labor Day.
Without Congressional action, two programs of vital importance to the real estate business will sunset on Sept. 30, 2011. The end of the current extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the lowering of FHA and GSE loan limits could create a significant disruption in a housing market struggling toward recovery. It is imperative that REALTORS® remind their Members of Congress on how important these issues are for fragile housing market.
A critical decision will be made later this year by federal regulators (HUD, Fed, FDIC, FHFA, OCC, SEC) that will seriously affect downpayment rules on home mortgages. The proposed rule on risk retention, implementing section 941 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), requires lenders that securitize mortgage loans to retain five percent of the credit risk on loans packaged and sold as mortgage securities, unless the mortgage is a "Qualified Residential Mortgage" (QRM) or is otherwise exempt.