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Realtors Commend House Panel’s Approval of GSE Reform

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RISMEDIA, April 2, 2007-The National Association of Realtors(R) announced its support of a bill approved by the House Financial Services Committee to reform government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and benefit home buyers.

NAR President Pat Vredevoogd Combs praised the efforts of House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and members of the committee for passing the reform bill, long-supported by NAR, that would overhaul the regulatory structure for the nation's housing finance GSEs that include Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

H.R. 1427, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007, focuses on safety and soundness regulation of GSEs while preserving Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's ability to accomplish their key housing mission, a long-standing concern of NAR.

"The bill strikes an appropriate balance that creates a world-class regulator while not imposing statutory limitations on the GSEs' portfolios, which could hurt the housing finance market and limit funds available for affordable housing," Combs said.

"As the nation's leading advocate for homeownership, we are also pleased that the bill provides for regional adjustment to the cap on mortgages in high-cost areas. That authority will help more working families in high-cost areas qualify for safer GSE loans, and for FHA and VA loans as well. Veterans, teachers and nurses are examples of those who may be forced into expensive nontraditional jumbo loans unless Congress acts to allow regional adjustment to the loan limits," she said.

"Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks are our partners in the real estate industry and keeping them strong and sound ensures the continued vitality of our nation's housing finance system. NAR stands ready to continue our advocacy efforts to ensure swift passage when H.R. 1427 is considered by the full House of Representatives," said Combs.

The GSEs buy mortgages and sell them as securities to investors, thus making more money available to home buyers.

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org.

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