Just a few days ago, I testified before Congress on a committee hearing on RESPA/TILA, to try to resolve that RESPA information sheet that we deal with during every transaction. We want transparency, we want the consumer to understand every step in the process, and we are concerned about duplicative paperwork. Combined paperwork is more useful, more effective, and easier to understand for everyone. After making an emotional and financial commitment to a property, consumers deserve nothing less than honesty and fluidity during the closing process. Watch more in the video below.
This past week, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to testify on behalf of REALTORS® at two congressional hearings. Although the issues were quite different, the message was the same – the federal government must work with us to keep homeownership both affordable and accessible for America’s families.
When doctors take the Hippocratic Oath, they pledge to first “do no harm.” It’s important that we take the same approach to addressing issues in the market.
It’s no secret that the Federal Housing Administration has taken on some additional risk filling the gap left by the private market. But, that is the role it was designed to fill, and without it, our current recovery in the real estate markets would not be possible. While it’s important to manage those risks, we must be careful not to go overboard and disenfranchise those that FHA was created to help.
Just yesterday, I told members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee that we believe FHA has made necessary changes to manage current risks. More importantly, I told them that REALTORS® do not support legislation that would raise the downpayment or measures that would otherwise increase costs for potential buyers.
I encourage you to read my testimony and share your thoughts on the important role that FHA plays in your market.
Of course, simply NOT doing harm is just the first step. Like good doctors, we must also be able to diagnose problems and fix them – before they become major ailments.
That’s exactly what we are trying to do on the issues of affordable property insurance. The fact is, there are many areas of our country who do not have access to affordable property insurance. While this may not seem like a national problem, it most certainly is. Every area of our nation is prone to natural disasters, and when catastrophe occurs, we all foot the bill for the clean-up.
On Wednesday, I was part of a panel that shared views with Congress on how we can implement a more proactive approach to property insurance for natural disasters. Again, I urge you to read my testimony and help us educate REALTORS® in your state about the risks and costs that we all face on this issue.
There is a good reason why our reputation as REALTORS® is right up there with America’s doctors – we care as much about the people we serve as they do. That’s a credit to you – our members. I am grateful to President Vicki Cox Golder for assigning me to this important task, and am so proud to represent her, and you, on the Hill or wherever I go. – Charles McMillan, 2010 Immediate Past President