On July 18, 2016, NAR submitted comments to the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) on a proposed rule concerning the annual Appraisal Management Company (AMC) registry fees. NAR urged the ASC to adopt the proposed Third Option for determining the number of appraisers considered to be “working for or contracting with” an AMC for the purposes of calculating the annual registry fee. Unlike the First and Second Options, the Third Option will consider only those appraisers that fulfill an assignment for the AMC, rather than requiring a fee based on appraisers who simply are on members of... Read More
This week the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) announced changes to the treatment of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans. This new guidance, which goes into effect immediately, states that PACE loans will remain in a subordinated position on most FHA mortgages, in line with long-standing guidance from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
However, the guidance also notes that PACE loans will retain a first-lien position for delinquent PACE obligations or foreclosed properties. While NAR supports incentive-based programs that... Read More
On July 18, 2016, NAR submitted comments with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on proposed changes to the Home Equity Conversion Program (HECM) and HECM for Purchase Program. NAR stated its support for FHA's efforts to reduce the volatility of the HECM program, which has had a negative effect on the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF) in the past. Currently, the MMIF is financially healthy and strengthening the HECM program would further strengthen the MMIF.
In addition, NAR urged FHA to remove the proposed requirement that pre-HECM counseling be completed prior to the... Read More
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service Section 502 Direct Loan Program, which helps relatively low-income households get safe and affordable financing through direct lending, is reaching capacity in terms of loans it will be funding for the 2016 fiscal year which ends September 30, 2016. If a homebuyer is interested in using the Direct Loan Program, they should move quickly to secure that financing.
However, interested homebuyers can consider another option. The USDA Guaranteed loan program is another avenue through which rural Americans can finance the... Read More
The House approved a $32.1 billion FY 2017 spending bill this week that would cut U.S. EPA's budget next year and restrict the Agency's ability to implement several regulations, including the Waters of the U.S. rule and the Clean Power Plan. The bill also funds the Department of Interior, fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides additional resources to fight wildfires. The White House has issued a veto threat on the bill.
The bill now moves to the Senate, which has yet to act on its version of the bill. Current political realities make... Read More