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GA Blog: National issues

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1.11.19 National News: Federal Government Shutdown Making Some Buyers Nervous

For three weeks, a partial government shutdown has left thousands of federal workers without a paycheck. This week, President Donald Trump was quoted as saying in a meeting with top Democrats that the shutdown could stretch on for “months or even years” as he and Congress continue to stall on a spending bill and funding over a border wall.

And as each day the partial shutdown goes on, you could find it costing you more and more in sales. Roughly one-tenth of more than 2,000 respondents to a National Association of REALTORS® survey conducted Monday reported an impact on potential clients. Another one-tenth reported an impact on current clients. Among REALTORS® who reported a business impact since the shutdown began three weeks ago, 25 percent said that they had a buyer who decided to hold off on purchasing a home even though they were not government employees.

More on the government shutdown is available here including a video from NAR Economist NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun on how the partial shutdown of the federal government is hurting real estate markets.


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1.8.19 National News: US Treasury to Begin Processing IRS Tax Transcript Requests to End Loan Delays

Information from the National Association of REALTORS®: 

Due to the government shutdown, the IRS had closed down and suspended the processing of all forms, including requests for tax return transcripts (Form 4506T) as of December 22, 2018. While the FHA and VA do not require these transcripts, they are required by many lenders for many kinds of loans, including FHA and VA, which had delayed many loans from being processed. 

Information via NAR from the Mortgage Bankers Association: 

While the IRS remains closed during the partial government shutdown, on Monday, January 7, 2019, thanks to direct advocacy to the Treasury Department from MBA and close coalition partners, the agency announced that it will begin processing requests for tax transcript information made through the Income Verification Express Service (IVES) program. Because it will take time to ramp up this service to normal operating status, it may initially take a few days to process requests that have been backlogged since the funding lapse began on December 22, 2018.

More information on what a Government Shutdown means for REALTORS® is available here from the National Association of REALTORS®. 

More coverage also available at HousingWire.


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12.31.18 National News: NAR Helps Secure FEMA Reversal On New Flood Policies During Shutdown

In a critical win for home sales while the partial shutdown of the federal government is ongoing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will issue and renew flood insurance policies, reversing an unexpected and controversial ruling the agency released earlier this week.

On December 21st, Congress passed legislation that extended the National Flood Insurance Program until May 31, 2019. In an unexpected policy decision, though, FEMA on December 26th said it couldn't allow insurers to issue and renew federal policies while the partial government shutdown was ongoing. That ruling was unexpected because in past government shutdowns, FEMA continued to operate the program as authorized. NAR, along with other organizations, including the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, urged policy makers to reevaluate the decision. Congress expressed concern as well.

Link to FEMA's reversal announcement available here

More from the National Association of REALTORS® available here.



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12.27.18 National News: FEMA Issues Opinion Halting Sale or Renewal of Flood Insurance Policies During Government Shutdown

Yesterday, FEMA notified insurers that they would not be able to sell or renew flood insurance policies under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) during the partial government shutdown. Insurers could however still pay claims on existing policies.

NAR, together with most of the insurance groups, responded strongly and swiftly, noting that Congress and President Trump last Friday enacted legislation specifically reauthorizing the NFIP through May 31, 2019. NAR and insurance groups are now working with FEMA, the White House and Congress to find a way forward and resolve this situation.

More from the National Association of REALTORS®


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12.26.18 National News: What A Government Shutdown Means for REALTORS®

Below is information on how REALTORS® will be affected by the partial federal government shutdown based on a National Association of REALTORS® staff review of agency contingency plans for the current shutdown and experience with previous shutdowns:

Federal Government Shutdown FAQ for REALTORS®


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12.21.18 National News: National Flood Insurance Program Extended Until May 31, 2019

Late Friday, December 21, Congress passed an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until May 31, 2019 avoiding a lapse that would have begun at midnight.

More here from the National Association of REALTORS®.


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