Government Affairs: Nation

March 26, 2019

NAR Supports Fair Housing Amendments

Legislation was introduced on Wednesday, March 13, to amend the Fair Housing Act to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The provisions are included as part of H.R. 5, or the Equality Act, which was sponsored by Congressman David Cicillini (D-RI). NAR wrote a letter commending the Congressman and supporting the legislation.

PACE Financing

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) has published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit comment on proposed rules related to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

Section 307 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act mandates regulations relating to PACE Financing.  Specifically, the regulations must apply current ability-to-repay (ATR) requirements, in place for residential mortgage loans, to PACE financing.  The regulations must also apply general civil liability provisions to PACE financing.  NAR supported these PACE consumer protection and transparency provisions during the legislative process and will provide additional information on these issues to the CFPB prior to the May 7th comment deadline.

Wire Fraud Discussion

On Tuesday, March 12, NAR hosted representatives of the American Bankers Association, American Land Title Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, RESPRO, and the American Escrow Agents Association together with the FBI to discuss wire fraud in the real estate industry. While the industry continues to educate its members on practices to combat wire fraud, this group is working on common messaging to raise awareness with consumers.

FHA Inspection Roster Eliminated

On March 12, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) officially eliminated the FHA Inspector Roster. In lieu of specific FHA requirements for home inspectors, FHA lenders will be able to use an inspector that has been certified by the International Code Council (ICC), such as certified Combination Inspectors (CIs) or Residential Combination Inspectors (RCIs). For areas with an insufficient supply of ICC certified inspectors, FHA will allow lenders to use a third party who is a registered architect, a professional engineer, or a tradesperson or contractor with a minimum of 5 years’ experience and has met the licensing and bonding requirements of the state in which the property is located.

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