The Washington Report covers legislative and regulatory policy activities, and is compiled by NAR's Government Affairs policy staff. To receive this content via email, subscribe to NAR's Weekly Report newsletter and check the "legislative & regulatory issues" box.
NAR 2013 President Gary Thomas sent a letter to Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Dean Heller (R-NV) expressing gratitude for introducing S. 1187, “The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act.” This bill would extend for two years the current law provision that allows tax relief for homeowners when lenders forgive some portion of mortgage debt they owe, such as in a short sale.
Two different bills are moving through Congress to address the rural housing issue.
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.