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2008-06-24 10:59:25

REALTORS® Enlist Nation's Mayors in Fight Against Foreclosure

The National Assn. of REALTORS® today joined officials from the Federal Housing Administration, Mortgage Bankers Association and NeighborWorks® America to address the foreclosure crisis and its impact on American cities.

The organizations shared their insights with mayors from across the country as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting in Miami. Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton will also address the nation’s mayors during the meeting, which runs through June 24.

“The recent slowdown in the real estate market has created significant challenges for America’s cities, for mayors, and for REALTORS®,” said NAR President-elect Charles McMillan, who spoke on NAR’s behalf. “REALTORS® build communities, and we share a common mission with our country’s mayors – to support and strengthen the communities we serve.”

In a recent NAR survey of its members, more than half of all REALTOR® respondents believe that borrowers who are in trouble are not receiving adequate assistance to avoid foreclosure. McMillan urged attendees to share challenges and best practices and explore creative ways to revise existing programs to meet the needs of today’s homeowners and buyers.

On the national level, housing stimulus packages have been proposed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and NAR has been working diligently with Congress to pass legislation that will help stem the rising tide of foreclosures and stimulate the housing market before Congress adjourns for the July 4 recess.

NAR supports modernizing FHA to help more buyers obtain safe, affordable financing and provide upfront counseling and support. In addition, NAR advocates making permanent increases to FHA and conforming loan limits, which would allow thousands of families to refinance existing mortgages and keep their homes as well as help buyers in high-cost areas become homeowners. Ideal legislation would also include a tax credit for first-time home buyers.

“REALTORS® care as much about keeping families in their homes as they do about helping them find the home of their dreams,” said McMillan. “REALTORS® and mayors have already proven what we can accomplish when we work together. Now, let’s build on that great work and launch a new era for America’s cities and the American Dream together.”

The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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