All MAR members should have recently received a Call for Action from NAR supporting their four-point housing stimulus plan to help provide more stability to the nation’s real estate market.
Since the initial plan was announced by NAR, there have been some changes. Why? Because, according to NAR, things move pretty quickly in Washington D.C. and it was apparent that NAR’s push for an interest rate buy-down as part of their 3rd point, was going to be successful. So, while NAR will continue to push the interest rate issue, they have decided to refocus their efforts on more prevalent issues aimed at stabilizing the market, like foreclosure mitigation.
In addition, NAR is reporting that it expects to announce an updated NAR housing stimulus plan that discusses using the second batch of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money for modifying existing consumer loans, preventing foreclosures to the maximum extent possible, and reexamining underwriting standards to reduce any over-correction in light of the current crisis.
NAR believes, as do most members of Congress, that the TARP was not implemented as it was intended. The $700 Billion was to focus on the removal of troubled assets from the market place, and then fixing them (via loan modification, etc.) so they would no longer be troubled. The Department of Treasury initially thought this was the way to go; however, changed its mind at the 11th hour.
At this point, members of Congress have told NAR that the disbursement of the second $350 billion of the $700 billion in TARP funds will be used differently than the first $350 billion allotment. Congress wants the money to be used for foreclosure relief and other tools the housing industry deems necessary to kick-start the real estate market, and thus the US economy.