You Can Bank On It

By NAR 2013 President Gary Thomas

As Bob Hope said, “a bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”

All kidding aside, we understand banks play a vital role in the housing market.  And just as banks are important, so is protecting the interests of consumers.

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).  It established a new government agency, called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The purpose of the CFPB is to supervise banks, credit unions and other financial companies and enforce the federal consumer financial laws.

According to the CFPB, their mission is “to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”

Because of their important role, NAR maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Bureau.  Recently, NAR organized a mortgage roundtable with Iowa REALTORS®, CFPB Director Richard Cordray, NAR staff, and other industry partners.  The meeting went very well and demonstrates the importance of presenting the REALTOR® perspective on lending issues to the CFPB.  It also shows our members the value of NAR and our ongoing partnerships with federal agencies.

Last March, the CFPB held a field hearing in Iowa on their release of an expanded version of its consumer complaint database, including complaints on obtaining a mortgage, loan modification, or short sale.  We welcome the database as a good start in addressing some of the difficulties facing consumers, and our REALTOR® members will appreciate that a light is being shined on deficient banking practices.

Let me mention that CFPB Director Cordray spoke at the May Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, DC.  We were interested to hear his perspective on how best to protect consumers.

Here at NAR, our goals are to increase mortgage liquidity and help consumers make better decisions about which mortgage is right for them.  This will allow the real estate market to continue improving, help lift the country’s economic markets, and ensure that the dream of homeownership remains within reach for the majority of Americans.

  1. Gene Gaik

    The problem with recent government involvement is that their steps to “protect the consumer” are actually gumming up the whole system. From five page HUDs to ridiculous contingent appraisal requirements, the system is entirely out of control. I long for the days when responsible Realtors took care of their clients.

  2. Robert Levaro

    The teaser in the email say: “See what he had to say, and hear more about NAR’s partnership with CFPB”. I click to the article and all it says about what he had to say was: “We were interested to hear his perspective on how best to protect consumers.” I would also be interested in hearing his perspective but apparently the heart of the article was edited away. Blogs posts that are are fluff with no meaningful content really discourage me from even reading NAR emails much less clicking on the articles that always seem remarkably free of content.

  3. Leslie Byrne

    And in a day and age where credit scores of real estate agents are often in the 700’s, yet we can’t get a loan for our own properties. This is absurd. I have 13 years in the business, I am on a break, I own 4 properties and only one has a loan, yet I cannot get a refi because my income is not high enough.