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FHA Programs (Federal Housing Administration)

NAR President Veissi Meets with FHA

National Flood Insurance Program

Congress Extends Flood Insurance until May 31, 2012

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)

CFPB Issues Second Round of Proposed Closing Documents

Realtor Insider DC News and Events

CFPB Sets Up Mortgage Complaint Hotline
NTSB Urges States to Ban Use of Electronics While Driving

FHA Programs (Federal Housing Administration)

NAR President Veissi Meets with FHA

On December 12, 2011, NAR President Moe Veissi met with Acting Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Carol Galante. The meeting covered a wide range of topics including the health of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF), condominium rules, and REO properties owned by HUD. Ms. Galante stressed that FHA’s priority is keeping the MMIF healthy while stabilizing the housing market and ensuring credit is available for creditworthy borrowers. FHA is expected to release a proposed rule that will codify condominium rules found in Mortgagee Letter 2011-22 with some enhancements expected when the proposed rule is made available for comment. Mr. Veissi noted that investors have been helping reduce inventory in south Florida markets but are now beginning to push out owner-occupant buyers with financing. The impact of bank-owned REO on owner-occupancy and delinquent HOA dues may not get addressed in the proposed rule. Ms. Galante noted that HUD has approximately 34,000 units of REO property. The agency is currently considering a small bulk sale option (REO to rental) that will require investors to hold properties acquired for a certain period of time. Mr. Veissi expressed concerns about the appeals process for FHA’s loan limits. As written in Mortgagee Letter 2011-39 those interested in filing an appeal had less than 30 days to do so. Mr. Veissi also expressed concerns that the ML states that areas where HUD has data would not be eligible for appeals when it’s not clear where HUD does and does not have data for geographic areas. Ms. Galante HUD would look into this matter.

Megan Booth, 202-383-1222
Jerome Nagy, 202-383-1233

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National Flood Insurance Program

Congress Extends Flood Insurance until May 31, 2012

On Dec. 17, 2011, Congress extended National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) authority through May 31, 2012. This latest extension was a part of H.R. 2055, the so-called megabus conference report combining the remaining nine appropriations bills to fund the federal government for FY2012. NAR is urging Congress to use the additional time to complete work on a 5-year NFIP re-authorization bill (H.R. 1309) to provide certainty and avoid further disruption to real estate markets.

Austin Perez, 202-383-1046
Daniel Blair, 202-383-1089
Russell Riggs, 202-383-1259

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Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)

CFPB Issues Second Round of Proposed Closing Documents

On Tuesday December 13, 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) debuted two updated versions of a draft replacement for the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The two forms are five pages long. Each has a cover sheet that matches up closely with the proposed GFE/TIL forms the CFPB has been testing throughout the summer and fall. The next sheets look more like a conventional HUD-1 with minor variations. Of more interest is the latter sheets that continue to imply an intention to continue the policies of the 2009-10 RESPA reform.

The new forms also continue to raise many questions about what will be contained in the underlying regulations governing them. CFPB promises to have its draft rule done on time, by July 2012. The industry must be actively engaged in this process throughout in order to ensure that the outcome is not harmful to consumers and the housing industry that serves them. Even though CFPB's online comment periods have been limited to seven days, the CFPB has expressly stated they will take written comments whenever they receive them and this time provided an email address for comments: Knowbeforeyouowe@treasury.gov

Kenneth Trepeta, 202-383-1294
Marcia Salkin, 202-383-1092

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Realtor Insider DC News and Events

CFPB Sets Up Mortgage Complaint Hotline

In December 2011, the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau (CFPB) established a mortgage complaint hotline to allow consumers to file complaints related to mortgages. The CFPB will refer the complaint to the lender or mortgage servicer for review and appropriate action. The lender and servicer are also required to report any action to the CFPB. Consumers have the option to log on to check on the status of their complaint.

Charles Dawson, 202-383-7522
Tony Hutchinson, 202-383-1120

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Realtor Insider DC News and Events

NTSB Urges States to Ban Use of Electronics While Driving

On December 13, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unanimously approved a recommendation that states outlaw the use of all electronic devices while drivingin an effort to address concerns over distracted driving. Under the NTSB recommendation both handheld and handsfree devices used by drivers would be banned unless needed for an emergency. Passengers would still be free to use the devices. It is important to note that this is merely a recommendation to state legislatures to pass distracted driver legislation—members should monitor activity in their states.

NAR will be following any additional activity at the federal level that may arise out of the recommendation.

Melanie Wyne, 202-383-1234
Samuel Whitfield, 202-383-1131

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