Friday, March 14, 2014

Flood Insurance Affordability Act Passses

Steven Palazzo, R-Miss urging the Senate to vote yes
 The Flood Insurance Affordability Act passed in the Senate by an overwhelming 72-22 margin. NAR had been pushing strongly for this. It is good to see that sometimes when things are this unfair, both sides of the aisle see that, and make sure that tax dollars are going towards something that makes sense. (It is not too often you can say that!) In fact it was republican Rep. Michael Grimm (of "I'll break you in half" fame.) who sponsored the bill. Although most of the nays did come from the right wing side of the aisle.

This bill effectively repealed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 which came along and among other things, changed flood zone maps throughout the country. They also changed the rules for second homes and "repetitive loss" homes, did away with the "grandfathering" of some zones and lessened the potential government subsidies for flood victims. The result was much higher premiums and in some cases homes that insurance companies would not touch, making them un-lendable.

On paper the Biggert-Waters bill made some sense. There was too much convolution, and this was supposed to make things simpler. But in true government form, it didn't. And in some cases it literally forced people out of their homes.

NAR got involved once there came reports that deals were falling through because banks were refusing to lend on homes that could no longer get insurance. There was the typically finger pointing, but FIAA has made it through the Senate. Now all it needs is Obama's stamp, and hopefully it will ease things for folks in the flood zones.

In other National Association of Realtor News, we finally have a new general counsel. Katie Raynolds Johnson was chosen to replace Laurie Janik who retired last year after many years of service.
“I am excited and honored to be offered this opportunity,” said Johnson in a written statement. “I am looking forward to my new leadership role as part of NAR’s stellar legal team, continuing our work on behalf of the association and its Realtor members.”
Johnson was chosen as NAR’s senior vice president and general counsel as part of a comprehensive national search. She was chosen after narrowing down over fifty high level applicants.

What is the pay? Well that is a bit of a secret, but it is safe to say that our dues are bein put to good use.