SOURCE: National Association of Realtors

National Association of Realtors

June 10, 2010 17:11 ET

NAR Praises House Passage of FHA Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 10, 2010) -  The National Association of Realtors® applauded the House for overwhelming passage of FHA reform legislation that would allow the Federal Housing Administration to adjust monthly premiums on mortgage insurance.

This bill, H.R. 5072, FHA Reform Act of 2010, would strengthen the FHA loan insurance program while keeping it available and affordable to responsible home buyers. Allowing FHA to raise the monthly insurance premium would let FHA lower the up-front premium that places a burden on cash-strapped borrowers at closing.

"As the leading advocate for homeownership and housing issues, NAR is very pleased that FHA will be allowed to play its intended countercyclical role to provide qualified borrowers with access to prime credit. FHA is a critical part of our nation's economic recovery," said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz.

En route to passage, the House defeated an amendment that would have increased the FHA down payment from 3.5 percent to 5 percent, which would have disenfranchised more than 300,000 potential homeowners and would not have contributed significantly to FHA cash reserves.

"The current 3.5 percent down payment represents a significant financial commitment and sufficient investment to insure a borrower's seriousness about homeownership," said Golder. The proposed change could have an especially harsh impact on African American and Hispanic borrowers, who traditionally have much lower accumulated wealth and have benefited from the opportunities offered by fully documented, standard FHA loans with low down payments.

She also praised FHA's aggressive efforts to protect taxpayers and manage credit risk.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Information about NAR is available at This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section. 

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.

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