On June 27, 2016, NAR sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in support of their hearing entitled “Examining the Use of Agency Regulatory Guidance, Part II” held on June 30, 2016. In the letter, NAR describes federal regulatory guidance as a double-edged sword, where guidance may clarify certain aspects of a complex rule or impose burdensome obligations without the safeguards of formal rulemaking procedures.
For example, NAR has worked successfully with the Environmental Protection Agency to develop guidance that helps... Read More
On June 22, 2016, NAR led a letter along with 24 other organizations to FHFA Director Mel Watt urging him to reduce loan level price adjustments (LLPAs) by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This was an outstanding joint effort by consumer and industry groups, many of whom continue to collaborate on broader housing finance reform. In it, the coalition raises concerns with the GSEs double-charging consumers for assumed credit losses and capital levels that are already being assumed by existing g-fees and private mortgage insurance coverage.
Some additional points:
On Thursday, June 23, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing titled “Bank Capital and Liquidity Regulation Part II: Industry Perspectives.” The hearing focused on the regulatory regime that has sprung up post-recession for banks and lenders to safeguard against another crisis, and how the unintended consequences that they may have on lending availability. Witnesses were provided by the American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America, the Clearinghouse Association, and Vermont Law School.
Senators focused their questions on... Read More
NAR staff attended a workshop at the Federal Trade Commission focused on solar power. Some of the issues discussed at the workshop included the costs and benefits of solar power, consumer protection, energy storage and solar panels on homes.
Jon Wellinghoff, the former head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who now serves as the chief policy officer for SolarCity, a solar energy installer, said that because solar panels on homes provide energy to utilities, property owners should receive benefits for feeding energy into the grid.
Other panelists raised issues... Read More
Senators Menendez (D-NJ), Scott (R-SC), Coons (D-DE), and Blunt (R-MO) have introduced S. 3083, a companion to H.R. 3700, the "Housing Opportunities through Modernization Act”. This bill is virtually identical to HR 3700, which passed the House with a unanimous vote of 427-0 last month. The bills contain provisions to ease FHA restrictions on condo sale and purchase; provides permanent authority for direct endorsement for approved lenders to approve Rural Housing Service loans; and makes reforms to federally assisted rental housing programs to streamline the program. NAR... Read More