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Members of the Eastern Bergen County Board of REALTORS® joined thousands of fellow Realtors® from across the country to attend the National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meeting and visit lawmakers on Capitol Hill to fight for the rights of Bergen County homeowners.

While in Washington, members of the EBCBOR leadership team met with N.J. Congressman Scott Garrett, Congressman Albio Sires and Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. and staff to influence public policy decisions that will directly affect consumers’ ability to buy, sell, and own real estate. The meetings concentrated on mortgage finance reform, taw laws for homeownership, real estate investment and keeping the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family mortgage program affordable and accessible.

Specifically, EBCBOR Past Presidents Randy Lynn Ketive of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s Realty in Fort Lee and Robert Oppenhiemer of RE/MAX Fortune Properties in Englewood Cliffs in their current positions as Federal Political Coordinators (FPC) urged members of Congress to preserve current real estate related tax policies and extend the recently expired Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Tax Relief Act. This provision stops distressed homeowners from receiving excessive income tax bills on forgiven home loan debt.

“It is crucial that our lawmakers understand the serious issues that face the real estate industry. REALTORS® lead the way in advocating for home and property owners in their communities, and during our visit we should we can do the same with our elected officials on Capitol Hill,” says EBCBOR 2015 President Bowen Pak, Broker-Owner of Eastern International Realty in Fort Lee. He continues, “Investing in policies that are good for home and property owners not only strengthens our communities but it also helps families build stability and drives a strong local economy.”

During the week-long conference, REALTORS® participated in sessions with a variety of industry experts and government officials including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro who provided a housing industry outlook and referenced credit availability as the biggest obstacle facing potential homeowners. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director, Richard Cordray discussed changes to loan closing procedures and documents, stating that the new mortgage rules are in place to educate and empower buyers to “know before they owe”.

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