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President’s Corner Legislation and more

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Diane Gallagher

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2012 3:34 pm

After writing about the bulk sales last week, I am glad to inform you that Congressmen Gary Miller, and seven other California congressional members, including Ken Calvert (R-Riverside), Judy Chu (D-ElMonte), Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley), Susan Davis (D-San Diego), and Joe Baca (D-Rialto), introduced Legislation (HR 5823).

Remember in April, 18 congressional members asked the FHFA to refrai from implementing the REO initiative pilot program in California. The REO Initiative pilot program called for the sale of more than 600 Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed units in Los Angeles and Riverside counties to institutional investors.

According to the National Association of Realtors, H.R. 5823 titled; Saving Taxpayers from Unnecessary GSE Bulk Sale Programs Act of 2012 will prevent the FHFA from allowing Fannie Mae real estate-owned properties to be sold to large institutional investors. California Association of Realtors believes bulk REO sales are not necessary in California because housing inventory is extremely low and demand is high. CAR applauds these California representatives for understanding that the bulk REO sales program would negatively impact the housing market in California and potentially further delay a housing recovery, said CAR President LeFrancis Arnold.

According to CAR data, sales of bank-owned homes are closing in an average of less than 60 days — and often above the list price — without government intervention. Consequently, California home buyers already are competing with small investors and encountering multiple offer scenarios.

Remember the money that was supposed to help Californians who are experiencing hardships with their mortgages? California Attorney General Kamala Harris has responded to Jerry Brown's bid to raid foreclosure fraud settlement funds through the back door by zeroing out the state support for the programs she has slated for the money to go.

The state Department of Justice stood firm for over a year against the nation's largest banks on behalf of California homeowners harmed by the foreclosure crisis.

This effort resulted in an agreement that will provide billions in relief to California homeowners who are experiencing hardship.

The agreement also required the banks to pay an additional $410 million to get homeowners the expert help they need to keep their homes.

Governor Jerry Brown's May Revision, however, proposes to redirect this $410 million from the state's homeowners to other budget purposes. While the state is undeniably facing a difficult budget gap, these funds should be used to help Californians stay in their homes. Harris plans to work with the Governor and Legislature toward a balanced budget that honors our obligations to California's homeowners.

Hope you have a good week.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at: Diane is the President of the Lodi Association of Realtors.