NAR ISSUE & LEGAL UPDATES

Published: March 21, 2007

<table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>ISSUE UPDATES </b></span></td></tr><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Call-for-Action Launched to Support GSE Reform </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">In a major push for passage of the &quot;Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007,&quot; H.R. 1427, NAR earlier this week issued a Call-for-Action to REALTORS® whose members of Congress sit on the House Financial Services Committee, which is set to consider the bill. The NAR-backed bill would create a strong and independent regulator for secondary mortgage market entities Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. At the same time, the bill would help ensure continued strong liquidity for housing by not artificially capping the government-sponsored enterprises' portfolios, and allowing for regional adjustment of conforming loan limits to account for high-cost areas. The bill would also keep the GSEs' focus squarely on their housing missions.</td></tr></tbody></table><p /><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>NAR Applauds Wal-Mart's Move to Withdraw Bank Application </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500"><p>NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs echoed FDIC Chair Sheila Blair's comments in calling Wal-Mart's decision a &quot;wise choice&quot; to withdraw its FDIC application to open an industrial loan corporation. An ILC is a special type of state-chartered, federally insured bank. &quot;As NAR has written, testified and continues to discuss, mixing banking and commerce puts our national economy at risk,&quot; Vredevoogd Combs says. &quot;When commercial firms are allowed to engage in banking, the bank functions under an inherent conflict of interest. This conflict imposes unnecessary risks to the financial system of the bank, the parent corporation, and the national economy.&quot; NAR continues to advocate for the closing of the ILC loophole by enacting H.R. 698, the &quot;Industrial Bank Holding Company Act of 2007,&quot; to keep banking and commerce separate. For more info, <a title="blocked::http://go-to.realtor.org/h/SPS2F/B5V9X/E4/53M9K" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/SPS2F/B5V9X/E4/53M9K">click here.</a> </p><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>NAR: Affordable Small Business Health Insurance Needed </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">Finding a solution to health insurance access and affordability for small businesses and the self-employed is a priority for REALTORS®, Adam Cockey, a Maryland broker, testified at a hearing before the House Small Business Committee. The hearing was the first of a series that will focus on small business owners and affordable health insurance. Currently, about 28 percent of REALTORS® do not have health insurance. NAR testified to Congress that key considerations in finding a solution should include attention to individual insurance markets, a defined set of core health-care benefits, tax treatment of health insurance premiums, and a role for nontraditional partner organizations. </td></tr></tbody></table></p><p /><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>FHA Reform Could Offer a Safe Mortgage Alternative, NAR Testifies </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500"><p>FHA needs to be reformed by increasing its loan limits and offering downpayment flexibility and risk-based pricing, testified REALTOR® JoAnne Poole of Glen Burnie, Md., at a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. The nation needs a stronger FHA to deliver housing policies that will help a growing number of homebuyers who need other alternatives than risky, nontraditional mortgages, Poole testified. NAR has called on Congress to enact legislation to reform FHA so that it better reflects the current mortgage environment and consumers' needs and demands. To read the testimony, <a title="blocked::http://go-to.realtor.org/h/FK7UN/B5V9X/E4/53M9K" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/FK7UN/B5V9X/E4/53M9K">click here.</a> </p><p /><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>REALTORS® Help Rebuild Homes Along Gulf Coast </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">Teams of REALTOR® volunteers nationwide once again joined Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes in the Gulf Coast for families displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The volunteer groups are part of the REALTOR®-Habitat Partnership for Gulf Coast Recovery program, in which NAR and state and local REALTOR® associations have committed to generate more than $4 million to build as many as 54 houses along the Gulf Coast. Construction is currently under way on 24 of the homes. The homebuilding trips will occur throughout this year. </td></tr></tbody></table></p><p /><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>LEGAL </b></span></td></tr><!– Itemheader –><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><br /><b>Brokerage Not Liable for Prospective Buyer's Injuries </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">A brokerage is not liable for injuries suffered by a prospective buyer during her unaccompanied tour of a partially built home, ruled the Court of Appeals of Ohio for the Sixth District, affirming the trial court's decision. The prospective buyer argued she was not provided with a safe exit from the home, after falling when stepping onto an upside-down bucket. Ohio law does not require an owner or occupier of land to warn people invited to the property about &quot;open and obvious&quot; dangers, since people are expected to assess possible dangerous situations themselves.</td></tr></tbody></table></p><p /><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>Checklist for Document Retention Policy Available </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500"><p>New federal rules governing electronic discovery are expected to increase costs if your association is involved in litigation. To reduce these costs, NAR has formed a checklist for REALTOR® associations in helping to create a document retention policy. The policy includes guidance on formats to use to maintain documents, what privacy issues need to be considered, and some suggested time frames for retaining documents. To view the policy, <a title="blocked::http://go-to.realtor.org/h/SPS2O/B5V9X/E4/53M9K" href="http://go-to.realtor.org/h/SPS2O/B5V9X/E4/53M9K">click here.</a> </p><p /><p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="itemheader"><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: 900; FONT-SIZE: 14px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #003399; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b>Chris Matthews to Speak at NAR Midyear Meetings </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">The host of MSNBC's &quot;Hardball With Chris Matthews&quot; and NBC's &quot;The Chris Matthews Show&quot; presents his insider's views during the 2007 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings &amp; Expo in Washington, D.C., in mid-May. Matthews will appear before the Legislative and Political Forum on May 15, 7:30-9 a.m., in the Marriott Wardman Park. Hear what makes Chris Matthews' shows lively and thought-provoking as he draws on his experience as a broadcast journalist, a newspaper bureau chief, a presidential speechwriter, and a best-selling author.</td></tr></tbody></table></p></td></tr></tbody></table></p></td></tr></tbody></table></p></td></tr></tbody></table></p>


Last modified: March 21, 2007 at 4:29 pm | Originally published: March 21, 2007 at 4:29 pm
Printed: September 30, 2020