News Briefs: May 2009

May 1, 2009

Protecting the mortgage-interest deduction.

Lawmakers throughout Congress have signaled they don’t favor the Obama administration’s proposal to cap itemized mortgage-interest deductions for high-income households. The proposal’s effect would hurt more than the wealthy; it would destabilize housing markets at all levels and disrupt economic recovery, according to NAR. Even though opposition to the proposal is growing, the association continues to educate Congress on the issue, as with this ad that appeared in popular Capitol Hill newspapers.

REALTORS® Gain Victory on Banks in Real Estate

NAR’s 8-year battle to keep national banking conglomerates out of the real estate brokerage and management business ended with a win in March when President Barack Obama signed the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act. The legislation permanently prohibits banking regulators from taking any action that would make real estate brokerage and management permissible lines of business for federally regulated banks. 

"This is a great victory for the real estate industry and consumers," says NAR President Charles McMillan. If banks had been allowed to engage in real estate brokerage, it would have created anticompetitive and anticonsumer concentrations of power within the financial services sector, according to NAR.

Robert Freedman

Robert Freedman is the former director of multimedia communications at NAR.