What Realtors Are Urging At Capitol Hill This Week

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says policy issues that impact the residential and commercial real estate markets will be at the forefront of discussion at this week's Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo, taking place in Washington, D.C.

According to NAR President Steve Brown, Realtors ‘will focus on critical real estate issues such as preserving the mission and accessibility of the Federal Housing Administration's loan programs, protecting real estate-related tax policies, and reforming the secondary mortgage market.’

During meetings on Capitol Hill, Realtors will be urging support for legislation that could be taken up on the Senate floor this week to re-instate the expired tax provision that provides relief to individuals following a loan modification, short sale or foreclosure. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expired at the end of 2013, and assured individuals would not have to pay income tax on forgiven mortgage debt.

‘Realtors want to ensure public policies that promote responsible, sustainable investment in real estate and make sure any changes to current programs or incentives don't jeopardize a full housing and economic recovery," adds Brown.

‘Realtors will also be actively engaging with lawmakers about restructuring the secondary mortgage market as senators take up a bill to reform government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

NAR notes that a Senate committee could vote this week on the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Fairness Act, introduced by Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

In addition to meetings with legislators and congressional and regulatory staff, Realtors will be conducting in-person meetings with Obama administration officials, including Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray.

They will also attend sessions with government officials and industry experts, including U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante, among others.


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