NAR Update for June 4, 2008

Published: June 4, 2008

HUD’s RESPA Lawsuit Proceeds
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected motions by several real estate brokerages to dismiss a federal lawsuit against them alleging the acceptance of improper referral payments from a settlement service provider. The court allowed the case to proceed to determine if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development could obtain injunctive relief against the brokerages for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

ISSUE UPDATES

Call For Action Seeks FHA, GSE Reforms in Senate
Legislation to create a homeownership tax credit and make higher FHA and conforming loan limits permanent will give a crucial boost to housing markets, NAR says in a Call For Action it issued last week to spur passage in the Senate. The bill, which passed the House in May, would also authorize long-sought reforms to FHA and the oversight of secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. REALTORS® can send a letter in minutes online.

NAR to Mortgage Insurers: Drop Adverse Policies
Mortgage insurance policies that limit the eligibility of borrowers in markets with falling home prices are hurting communities, NAR President Richard Gaylord says in a May 20 letter to Kevin Schneider, president of the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America (MICA). Secondary mortgage market companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recently dropped their declining markets policies and MICA members should follow suit, suggests Gaylord, who is seeking to meet with Schneider to discuss the problem. For more info contact Jeff Lischer, 202/383-1117.

IRS Targets Cell Phone Usage
NAR is participating in a broad-based coalition to help ensure the clear tax deductibility of business cell phone use after a U.S. Tax Court decision muddied the waters. The Tax Court case examined the cell phone use of a self-employed person and his assistant. The court disallowed his deductions because he could substantiate neither his own nor his associate’s business use of the phones. This holding has caused significant turmoil for employers, their employees, and the self-employed. NAR and its coalition partners are working with members of Congress on potential legislation to address the situation.

 



Last modified: June 4, 2008 at 11:09 am | Originally published: June 4, 2008 at 11:09 am
Printed: September 24, 2020