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RISMEDIA, August 3, 2009-The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan:

“NAR would like to congratulate and thank Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Dave Stevens for implementing the FHA-Making Home Affordable Loan Modification Program. This newly enhanced program will help struggling homeowners who qualify to significantly reduce their monthly mortgage payments and keep the home they worked so hard to obtain.

“As Secretary Donovan noted, this is another tool the federal government is providing to help homeowners avoid foreclosures by making mortgage payments more affordable. These changes expand the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable Loan Modification Program to include FHA borrowers, and Realtors® are optimistic that this will have positive implications for thousands of homeowners.

“Until foreclosures have been significantly reduced and housing inventory reaches a more normal level, there can be no true housing recovery. The FHA-HAMP program will go a long way in achieving these important goals by helping FHA servicers bring mortgages current, buy down loans by up to 30 percent of the unpaid principal balance, and defer these amounts until the first mortgage is paid off.

“The actions taken over the past several months are beginning to help stabilize the housing market. Now, helping more families stay current on their mortgage and remain in their homes will reduce the impact of foreclosures on families and communities.

“Moving forward, NAR will continue to call on Congress and the Obama administration to expand the first-time homebuyer tax credit to all homebuyers and to continue efforts to streamline the short-sale process. Along with the expanded loan modification program, addressing these issues will help reduce foreclosures and housing inventory, and stabilize home values.”

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