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In addition to the
Action Items summarized in the previous article, CAR
Legislative Agenda Shapes Up, there was another Action Item
that came before the 526th Board of Directors session on October 10,
that being a motion from the Real Estate Finance Committee.
By way of background,
here's a brief primer on how things happen at our state association
level. Any member can bring forward an issue through their local
association representatives for consideration at the state
level. The matter is brought into the committee structure so
that a decision can be made on whether the matter is appropriate,
whether the impact is significant and what action should be
taken. I mean, face it - Just because you've got a beef about
a local lockbox issue or had a problem with some lenders short sale
negotiator may not qualify the issue for consideration by a state
If the committee
determines the issue is of sufficient import to tackle it, it will be
placed on the agenda for discussion along with supporting
documentation. The committee will then determine what, if any, action
should be taken.
Should they decide to
recommend some form of action they will determine whether they will go
forward with a request to SPONSOR a bill, SUPPORT a bill that's already
in process or just ask CAR to devote some staff time to further
research the most appropriate course of action. That recommendation, in
the form of a motion or report, will then proceed from the originating
committee to a policy committee, generally the Legislative Committee.
That committee can decide to approve the committees motion, oppose the
motion, or draft an amended version. One or both motions will then
proceed to the Executive Committee where they will look at it, approve
it for the general session agenda, draft an amended or competing
version or, in rare instances, oppose the motion.
One such motion came
before the session on Saturday having to do with the current FHA 90 day anti-flipping rule.
Originally drafted in 2001, the FHA rule was intended as a consumer
protection back in a day when FHA loans, especially in California, were
the exception rather than the rule. Due to the FHA's unwillingness to
keep pace with escalating prices, again especially in areas like
California, the use of FHA mortgages fell to single digits by 2005
contributing to the widespread reliance on sub-prime and other more
exotic financing methods.
Today FHA loans are
becoming more the standard again with increased loan limits in our
area. This is especially true for first time and other low-to-moderate
range buyers, currently estimated to account for as much as 40% of
todays loans statewide. The anti-flipping rule, originally intended to
prohibit investors/intermediaries from acquiring cheap homes and simply
'flipping' them with no value added thereby driving prices up, doesn't
really apply in this market. In fact the argument was made that
investors play a very significant role in todays market buying
abandoned and stripped foreclosures that would not qualify for an FHA
loan to begin with. They rehab the home, often within 30 days, and then
put a move-in-ready home on the market (at market price, not inflated).
But 40% of buyers who might otherwise qualify for that home with an FHA
loan cannot because of the anti-flipping rule.
As you might imagine
there was substantial debate at every level of advancement for this
motion. But when it came to the floor on Saturday it carried an almost
unheard of prohibition - a
recommendation from the Executive Committee that the motion be defeated.
Why? Their stated reason had little to do with the particulars of the
rule or the motion but a general caution that in todays political
climate of increasing regulation, they simply didn't think this was a winnable
After about 45 minutes
of spirited back-and-forth on the motion before the general assembly,
members delivered a stinging rebuke to Exec. Not only was it determined
that C.A.R. in conjunction with NAR 'SUPPORT' the elimination of the
anti-flipping rule, an amendment was inserted telling CAR we want them
to write a letter to the FHA Commissioner and others appropriate
parties advising them of our opposition to the rule. NOW.
It's kind of fun to see
the members get riled up sometimes. In an environment that at times
resembles a convention of rubber stamp politics as usual, passion can
carry the day. Enough of our member/Directors realize the impact this
is having on you and your Buyers and decided political correctness
and/or lack of balls be damned. This was the right thing to do and
we're by God gonna do it.
Will it result in an
immediate change? Not likely. But
the message is being delivered. As we continue to define
what is the new 'normal market', your Association of Realtors will be
at the table assisting in that process. It was a proud moment to stand
up and be counted.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.