Government Affairs: Nation

July 25, 2019

NAR Comments on FHA Loan Sales

NAR sent comments to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking and request for public comment on the FHA Single-Family Loan Sale Program (the Program). NAR expressed concern that the prior versions of the Program led to a decrease in homeownership and an increase in single-family rental housing in many communities across the country.

In the letter addressed to FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery, NAR urged FHA to ensure that loan sales prioritize loan purchases that lead to owner-occupied homes over absentee landlord rental houses. NAR supports arranging loan sales in small, geographically specific batches prioritizing sales to entities with demonstrated interest in a community, such as local non-profits. FHA must consider any potential conflicts of interest by purchasers that could lead to harmful outcomes. In addition, FHA should work to ensure any secondary sale of a loan by an investor to another investor would prioritize final sale to owner-occupants and continue to release performance and outcome data on each pool of loan sales.

NAR Supports Credit Reporting Clarity Bills

NAR sent a letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters in support of multiples bills that were marked up by the House Financial Services Committee on July 16, 2019. The bills provide access to free credit scores, consistent help for borrowers in distress, and the ability to remedy errors in credit reports among other factors. The bills include:

  • H.R. 3618, the “Free Credit Scores for Consumers Act of 2019”
  • H.R. 3621, the “Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act”
  • H.R. 3622, the “Restoring Unfairly Impaired Credit and Protecting Consumers Act”
  • Representative Adam’s “Improving Credit Reporting for All Consumers Act”
  • Representative Lynch’s “Clarity in Credit Score Formation Act of 2019”

NAR Briefs Congressional Staff on Data Privacy Priorities

Recently NAR staff participated in a congressional staff briefing hosted by the Main Street Privacy coalition to educate them on how main street businesses collect and handle customer data.  The coalition set forth six principles that they wish to see in any federal data privacy law.

These principles include:

  • No Exemptions. Every industry sector that handles consumer information should have legal obligations to protect consumer data under the law.
  • Direct Legal Responsibilities.  Small businesses should not need to apply privacy standards on other businesses through contracts.  All businesses that handle private data should have their own, direct legal obligations under the law.
  • Responsibility for Conduct.  Any privacy law should make businesses responsible for their own conduct – and not expose other businesses, including contractors and franchises, to liability for the transgressions of a business partner. Finally, we believe that any privacy policy should include a data security standard for businesses as well as a uniform process for notifying customers about data breaches.
  • Allow Customer Services and Benefits.  Any federal data privacy framework should preserve the ability of consumers and businesses to voluntarily establish mutually beneficial business-customer relationships and set the terms of those relationships, thus maintaining the option to offer rewards and loyalty programs.
  • Consumer Transparency.  Consumers deserve to know what categories of personal data businesses collect and how that data is used.
  • Federal Standard. There should be federal policy on data privacy that protects consumers in a nationwide, uniform and consistent way.

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