NAR Supports Aid to Troubled Homeowners

Preventing foreclosures is critical for the nation’s economic recovery, and the National Association of Realtors® commends the Obama administration’s plan to help millions of homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes.

“When people lose homes to foreclosure, our communities, the housing market and our economy all suffer,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “The administration’s proposed plan, combined with provisions like the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit in the just-enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help minimize foreclosures, shrink housing inventory, stabilize home values and move the country closer to an economic recovery.”

President Obama’s $75 billion Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan would help struggling homeowners by providing incentives to lenders, servicers, mortgage holders and borrowers to help modify mortgage loans. The U.S. Treasury Department will be issuing uniform guidelines in two weeks. Consistent with NAR’s recommendations, financial institutions receiving assistance must agree to follow the guidelines.

Under another element of the program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will help make monthly payments more affordable for 4 to 5 million homeowners by refinancing mortgages with loans that these entities own or guarantee. Finally, the plan provides more support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which will in turn help keep mortgage rates low for all buyers and could lead to even lower rates.

NAR called for improved foreclosure mitigation as part of its overall housing recovery plan in late 2008 and welcomes this initiative. The association supports the administration’s goals to reduce mortgage payments for millions of Americans, avoiding financial crises for families and communities.

“Realtors® build communities, and in today’s challenging environment, helping neighbors in need is what we all need to do. A renewed, revitalized and robust housing market is essential to generating commerce and helping families build wealth and stability, and we are eager to see these measures implemented,” said McMillan.

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