NAR 2012 Treasurer Bill Armstrong’s podcast wrapping up the year in legislative issues for REALTORS® touched on a series of important issues affecting commercial real estate. Podcasts are great (I like to listen in the car), but when the issues include far-reaching legislation, it’s important to break out and take a closer look at the content in text – to make it visible to readers and in the search engines. So let’s break it out:
- NFIP Flood Insurance: The House and Senate recently signed off on a second short-term extension (through December 16th 2011) to the National Flood Insurance Program. This benefits both commercial and residential real estate practitioners. That means there’s been no lapse in the NFIP authority to issue flood insurance. Bill also mentioned that NAR will continue to urge Congress to pass a five-year extension, and reminded REALTORS to respond to NAR’s call to action in support of the NFIP extension at realtoractioncenter.com
- FHA Mortgage Loan Limits: Congress restored a two year extension to FHA mortgage loan limits. Through 2013, the limit stands at 125% of local area median home prices. “While that doesn’t impact commercial real estate directly, our industry depends on a thriving workforce and housing market, so this is an issue that all commercial practitioners will benefit from”, said Armstrong.
- Credit Union Member Business Lending Bill: The House Financial Services Subcommittee held a hearing after NAR’s support for this idea. This bill impacts commercial practtcioners by raising the cap on credit union member business lending lending from 12.15% to 27.5% of total assets (for well-capitalized credit unions). This allows more capital to be available to struggling small businesses occupying commercial buildings. “NAR will continue to engage Congress and other stakeholders to push for a raise of the business lending cap for credit unions,” said Armstrong.
- As part of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, NAR was able to help create a new commercial refinance program implemented by the Small Business Administration. This allows small businesses to refinance certain owner-occupied commercial real esatte loans. The new refi option was initially restricted to small businesses with CRE mortages maturing by end of 2012. After extensive NAR lobbying, small business borrowers will be allowed to refinance certain CRE loans maturing after that date.
- Congress Restores FHA Loan Limits to NAR-Backed Levels (ccarblog.wordpress.com)
- Webinar to Give Credit Unions Inside Scoop on Mortgage Compliance (prweb.com)
- Matthew Dornic: Flood Insurance Lapse Puts Home Owners, Housing at Risk (huffingtonpost.com)