SENTIMENT AGAINST THE HOME VALUATION CODE OF CONDUCT (HVCC) DIDN’T
NECESSARILY STOP WITH HVCC-MORATORIUM BILLS STALLING AND SHAPE-SHIFT-
ING IN CONGRESS THIS WINTER.
And it didn’t end with the 35 boxes’ worth of signed anti-HVCC petitions that Marc Savitt and
friends delivered to New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, either.
Instead, the code’s impact on mortgage brokers continues to be a cause célèbre for Savitt and
the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals (NAIHP) — the new legislative lobbying group the former National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) president
started in late 2009. By early February, Savitt had met with Cuomo’s office five times since the
HVCC took effect in spring ’09. After the fifth, he says, he heard a Cuomo deputy say something promising: “We get it.”
“I see brokers re-entering the picture of ordering appraisals if we can get an agreement with
the attorney general’s office,” says Savitt, active with NAMB for more than a decade. “He’s the
one who regulators look to on this issue. If we can agree, everyone else would follow.”
That includes the Federal Housing Administration, whose HVCC-like appraisal-independence
rules took effect in mid-February. Not to mention appraisal organizations and individual professionals who have adapted their procedures to meet these codes.
Which is precisely what Savitt says he has in mind for NAIHP, which he bills as an “umbrella
group” for all small-business housing professionals, from brokers to builders and real estate
agents. Its goal: Ensure all housing trades can align their priorities and get their issues on the
table. And buy a big table: Savitt says he expects to have more than 100,000 members by the
end of the year.
“There are some individuals who are upset with other trade associations and don’t think their
voices are being heard,” he says. “They want someone who is going to be truly aggressive on
Capitol Hill on their behalf.”
In addition to Cuomo, Savitt says he also has met with representatives from Sen. Jeff Merkley’s, D-Ore., office about Merkley’s and other senators’ call for a yield-spread-premium ban.
NAIHP is assembling a board and advocacy teams, too.
As for NAMB, Savitt says he’s still a member. And he’s still paying attention: In early February,
he and NAIHP posted a message on naihp.org chiding NAMB’s for-profit arm for partnering
with an appraisal-management company; NAMB and NAMB Enterprises Inc. did not return
requests for comment by press time.
Earlier, Savitt said he had yet to meet with NAMB formally but plans to do so.
“Congress likes to play the divide-and-conquer game,” Savitt says. “If this industry remains
united, then I think we can work together on these onerous rules and regulations and avoid
5 YEARS AGO
From March 2005’s
“I look for account executives who are
honest and trustworthy, keep commitments big and small, admit shortcomings,
communicate concisely, enjoy their jobs,
and speak positively about their positions
and the company. If they are not, why work
— DELAINA MITCHELL, NO RED TAPE MORTGAGE
“HELP ACCOUN T EXECS WORK FOR YOU: 7 TIPS”
Vie w this article and others in our free
article archive at scotsmanguide.com.
FHA raises mortgage-insurance premium,
plus downpayment for low-score borrowers
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced in late January that it would tighten
loan requirements to reduce risks and increase its capital
FHA said it would increase its mortgage-insurance premium to 2.25 percent effective this spring and then seek permission to increase the maximum for premiums further.
The changes require a public comment period before taking effect. The FHA proposed requiring borrowers with
credit scores lower than 580 to supply a 10 percent downpayment. Those with higher credit scores still would qualify for a 3.5-percent downpayment, the FHA said.
Further, the proposals requiring a public-comment period
include reducing seller concessions from 6 percent to 3 percent of the mortgage.
Existing-home sales end streak as
pending sales grow, new-home sales drop
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sales of existing U.S. homes
dropped as expected this past December, ending an eight-month upswing of month-to-month increases, the National
Association of Realtors said.
Meanwhile, the Realtors group said pending home sales increased slightly in December with numbers still affected by
the federal homebuyer tax credit. Sales of new single-family
homes decreased 7. 6 percent this past December compared
to November, the U. S. Commerce Department said.
Existing-home sales decreased 16. 7 percent between this
past November and December. Despite the downturn, sales
remained 15-percent greater than December in 2008.
The 1-percent increase in pending sales put pending home
contracts at 10.9-percent greater than in December 2008,
the Realtors group said.
Pending home sales: March 4
Existing-home sales: March 23
New-home sales: March 24
Housing starts decrease in December,
but permit news could hint at uptick
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Housing starts dropped this past
December, but permits issued increased from November,
the U.S. Commerce Department said.
Housing starts decreased 4 percent between this past November and December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 557,000 homes. Housing starts also dropped 2 percent
from December 2008.
While starts declined, permits issued increased by 10. 9
percent from this past November and 15. 8 percent from
December 2008, indicating the building starts also could
rebound in a month or two.
Bernanke confirmed for second
term as Federal Reserve chairman
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate confirmed Ben Bernanke’s second term as head of the Federal Reserve Bank
by 70 votes to 30, a slim victory for a bank chairman.
The narrowest margin previously was 84 votes to 16 for
former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker in 1983, The Wall Street
Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., called the vote a referendum on
bailouts in a strange turnaround that had Republicans arguing to defeat Bernanke, who was chairman of President
George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers before
Bush nominated him to replace longtime Fed Chairman
Alan Greenspan in 2006.
Democrats argued that a new Fed chairman would create
instability in the country’s economic recovery, which Bernanke has called “nascent.”