Posted by: RAPV | May 17, 2010

RAPV Leadership in Washington D.C.


RAPV members and staff joined several thousand Realtors® who ascended on Capitol Hill May 12 and 13.  The trip was made to persuade members of Congress to protect affordable and safe financing for American families and to reform government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

Eleven members and staff were among more than 7,700 attending the National Association of Realtors® annual Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. May 10-15.  Other top issues carried to Congress were affordable and available property insurance including the National Flood Insurance Program and natural disaster coverage, and enhancing liquidity in the commercial real estate market.

“You must tell your Senators and Representatives that legislation should not increase buyer down payments,” said Jerry Giovaniello, NAR senior vice president and chief lobbyist, at a Realtor® rally early morning of May 12, “and that we oppose the amendment that would shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two GSEs are unique in the world and must continue in some form in the future.”

(left to right) Vincent Walsh – RAPV President-Elect, Brian Sears – RAPV Treasurer, Kathleen Witalisz – RAPV President, Congressman Richard Neal, Kevin Sears – MAR President, Paul Chasse – MAR Executive Assistant & Executive Programs Director and Ben Scranton – RAPV Executive Vice President

Realtors® support House and Senate bills that would strengthen FHA while still allowing access to safe and affordable financing by responsible borrowers.  We pressed legislators to pass H.R. 2483 that would make the current FHA loan limits permanent. The current limit in high-cost areas, set to expire Dec. 31, 2010, is $729,500.

“Congress must restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a way that keeps the federal government involved in the secondary market to ensure mortgage liquidity. In past economic crises, private capital flees the market first,” said Giovaniello.  Although, he noted legislative action on GSEs is not likely until 2011.

The Senate and House have not yet agreed on long-term flood insurance extensions or program reform. NAR is urging that Congress reauthorize the NFIP for five years, instead of the usual short-term reactive extensions that disrupt the flow of business. Since September 2008, Congress has approved seven short-term extensions and allowed the NFIP to expire twice.

Insurers have responded to recent natural disasters by raising premiums or declining to write policies in many parts of the U.S.; and because the standard homeowner’s policy does not cover flooding, windstorms or earthquakes, most Americans rely on the NFIP or a state program for coverage for natural disasters. NAR supports such legislation that encourages state property insurance programs to proactively address the need for national disaster insurance coverage.

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and Corinne Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Real Estate

Realtors® also urged Congress to take action to enhance liquidity in the commercial real estate market to avoid driving down economic recovery. Most commercial mortgages, unlike residential mortgages, are short-term loans that readjust rates every few years, or must be refinanced. Lenders have not been willing to refinance such loans in the current economic crisis, thus throwing many commercial real estate properties into default. 

RAV members attending: Kathleen Witalisz, President, Vinnie Walsh, President-Elect, Ben Scranton, Executive Vice President, Edward Alford, Corinne Fitzgerald, Federal Political Coordinator to Senator Scott Brown, Meli Morash, NAR Presidential Ambassador to Turkey, Susan Renfrew, NAR Issues Mobilization Committee, Linda Rotti, Tini Sawicki, Federal Political Coordinator to Congressman John Olver, NAR Professional Standards Committee, Brian Sears, NAR Young Professionals Network, NAR Business Issues Committee, and Kevin Sears, MAR President, Federal Political Coordinator to Congressman Richard E. Neal.



  1. Great video, blogg, web cam, etc…….Whatever I watched it was great. i do have to brush up on my terminology for the 21st century.

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