MReport September 2019

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TH E M R EP O RT | 59 O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT Easing the Way The Homebuyer Assistance Act will ease the process of purchasing a home by revising current appraisal requirements. T he Homebuyer Assis- tance Act of 2019, H.R. 2852, originally intro- duced by Reps. Brad Sherman and Sean Duffy, has been advanced by the House Financial Services Committee. Officials state that the measure would make it easier for home- buyers to purchase property. "The process of purchasing a home is already difficult enough for first-time, low- income, and minor- ity homebuyers, they do not need the added challenge of finding a certified appraiser," Sherman said in a statement. "This legislation is a common-sense revision to current appraisal require- ments, which will make FHA mort- gage accessible to more Americans." Sherman also thanked House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters for working closely with him on this issue. According to officials, H.R. 2852 will address the current shortage of certified appraisers by reduc- ing many hurdles that appraisers currently face before they are allowed to perform appraisals for home purchases financed by a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage. The intention is to make it easier for homebuy- ers to buy a home with an FHA mortgage. Sherman noted that these changes would help address the shortage of certified appraisers that exists in some parts of the United States. "In response to a 2017 survey, nearly 75% of appraisers cited regulatory burdens as a lead- ing reason they would leave the field," the statement said. "Moreover, this lack of appraisers for FHA-insured mortgages has a disproportionately large impact on first-time homebuyers, low- and moderate-income households, and minorities. Over 83% of FHA mortgages made to purchase a home in 2018 were obtained by first-time homebuyers and over one-third of all FHA loans were obtained by minority households." This bill is supported by: The Center for Responsible Lending, the Appraisal Foundation, the Appraisal Institute, the Real Estate Valuation Advocacy Association, the National Association of Appraisers, the American Society of Appraisers, the MBREA – Association for Valuation Professionals, the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Home Builders, the American Bankers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, the Community Home Lenders Association, and the Independent Community Bankers of America. Giving A Fair Chance Recently proposed legislation focuses on easing the access to housing for people with a criminal record. S enator Kamala Harris (D-California) and Rep. Alexandrea Ocasio-Cor- tez (D-New York) have collaborated to introduce the Fair Chance at Housing Act of 2019, according to CBS News. The bill is aimed to make it easier for people with criminal records to find housing, and defines what can and cannot be legally scrutinized when those with criminal records apply for federal housing assistance. The bill would also make it more difficult to evict tenants convicted of one criminal offense, and it would prevent the eviction of family members unaware of the guilty person's actions. In relation to the proposed Fair Chance at Housing Act, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) stated that around 100 million adults have a criminal record of some kind. Harris and Ocasio-Cortez's bill would turn recommendations made by HUD in 2016, such as banning blanket "1-strike" policies allowing tenants to be evicted for a single criminal incident, no mat- ter how minor, into law. Proposed items of the bill also includes banner "no-fault" policies, which allows an entire family to be evicted for one household mem- ber's criminal activity, even if the family had no knowledge of it. According to the report, the bill would separate violent and minor crimes. Convictions, including drug offenses where the person served fewer than 10 years, or where the offenses related to fees or payment associated to incar- ceration could no longer prevent someone from seeking federal housing assistance. In addition to this pro- posed bill, the U.S. House of Representatives passed sev- eral bills offered by the Financial Services Committee related to housing: • H.R. 456, Emphasizing the Importance of State Regulators, a bipartisan resolution empha- sizing the investor protection and education missions of state and federal security regulators and calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to collaborate with state security regulators. • H.R. 1988, the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation which addresses unintended administra- tive complications that resulted from implementation of Section 309 of S. 2155, the "Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act." This legislation clarifies require- ments for certain refinanced U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage loans to allow them to be securitized by Ginnie Mae, thereby enabling those banks to make additional loans, including to veterans. • H.R. 2162, The Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2019, a bipartisan legislation that re- quires HUD to provide a 25-ba- sis-point discount in upfront Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family mortgage insurance premiums for first- time-homebuyers who complete a housing counseling program to help them sustain homeown- ership. In response to a 2017 survey, nearly 75% of appraisers cited regulatory burdens as a leading reason they would leave the field.

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