News from NAR

Published: October 4, 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>ISSUES </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>Legislation to Eliminate 'Phantom Tax' Gets a Boost </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">The House Ways and Means Committee voted to approve legislation that would provide tax relief to home owners who have to pay an income tax on mortgages that have been forgiven or foreclosed, <a href="http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/eliminating_phantom_tax_on_foreclosures.html">legislation that NAR has long supported.</a> Under the current law, forgiven mortgage debt is treated as taxable income and taxed at ordinary income rates. “Changing the IRS code for these situations will relieve a tax burden for families who are already in financial distress and are most likely unable to pay additional taxes,” NAR President Pat V. Combs says. The Mortgage Cancellation Tax Relief Act, H.R. 3648 — which next will go before the full House for consideration — would ensure that any mortgage debt secured by a principle residence would not be taxed. </td></tr><!– End of story –><!– 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>NAR Asks Senate to Expand National Flood Insurance Program </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500"><p>NAR testified Wednesday before the Senate Banking Committee that reforming and expanding the National Flood Insurance Program is crucial to helping protect home owners, renters, and commercial property owners from flood damage. <a href="http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/expand_national_flood_insurance_program.html">NAR supports NFIP reforms</a> that fully fund existing and future obligations to policyholders, increase awareness of flood risks through consumer education and outreach, and ensure that the 100-year floodplain maps are updated. “It is critical that flood insurance remain accessible for all individuals who own or rent property in a floodplain,” Vince Malta, 2006 California Association of REALTORS® president, testified on NAR’s behalf. NFIP has been credited with helping to reduce the cost of flood damage by nearly $1 billion by helping communities implement floodplain management requirements and property owners to purchase flood insurance, Malta testified. </p><p></p><table width="507"><tbody><tr><td class="sectionheader"><span id="ms__id1658" style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-SIZE: 13px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; COLOR: #cc0000; PADDING-TOP: 3px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">NAR NEWS </b /></span></td></tr><!– End of story –><!– 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>Credit Crunch Leaves Some Buyers Out of Market </b></span></td></tr><!– Story –><tr><td class="blacktext" width="500">Pending sales of existing homes will be temporarily offset in the near-term by mortgage disruptions that continue to hit the housing market, according to <a href="http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2007/phs_aug07_mortgage_problems_continue.html">NAR’s latest reading on its Pending Home Sales Index,</a> a forward-looking indicator. The index fell 6.5 percent to a reading of 85.5, from an upwardly revised 91.4 in July, based on contracts signed in August. &quot;The volume of activity we’re seeing today is below sustainable market fundamentals because some creditworthy people are trying to buy homes but can’t because of the credit crunch,&quot; says Lawerence Yun, NAR’s senior economist. The impact has been greatest in high-cost markets that are more dependent on jumbo mortgages. &quot;The problem has since become less severe, though jumbo loan rates are still higher than they would be under normal conditions,&quot; Yun says. “Therefore, sales activity in late fall will better reflect market fundamentals.&quot; </td></tr></tbody></table></td></tr></tbody></table>


Last modified: October 4, 2007 at 2:07 pm | Originally published: October 4, 2007 at 2:07 pm
Printed: September 24, 2020