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Congressional hearings anticipated on Responsible Lending Act, Appraisal Institute-backed legislation.

THE RESPONSIBLE LENDING ACT (H.R. 1295), INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS ON MARCH 15 BY REPS. BOB NEY, R-OHIO, AND PAUL KANJORSKI, D-PA., ENJOYS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT WITH OVER 30 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CURRENTLY CO-SPONSORING THE BILL, INCLUDING THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES, REP. MICHAEL OXLEY, R-OHIO.

Bill Garber, Director of Government Affairs for the Appraisal Institute, said, "The chairman being added as a co-sponsor increases the bill's chances of passage dramatically. While there are no guarantees, the addition of the chairman is essentially a 'green light' signal for the bill sponsors to continue to move ahead."

Besides setting national standards to protect consumers against deceptive lending practices and requiring the licensure of mortgage brokers, it also establishes much needed protections against appraiser intimidation by anyone in the mortgage lending chain. The bill has the backing of the Appraisal Institute, for other good reasons as well. It updates national laws governing appraisals to enhance appraiser education and promote professionalism, while increasing accountability of both federal and state appraisal regulators. Staff members of the Financial Services Committee are indicating that two subcommittee hearings are likely to be held on the bill around press time in late May or June. The appraisal provisions (Title IV) of H.R. 1295 will be heard in the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, chaired by Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., while other portions of the bill will be heard in the Subcommittee on Housing. Bachus is supportive of the bill, but he is not yet a cosponsor. His staff told the Apprasisal Institute in late April that he only cosponsors bills when it's favorable in the eyes of Chairman Oxley. Now that Oxley is cosponsoring the bill, Bachus was asked if he will reconsider. His decision was not known at press time.

Action Alert: Contact Congress

The Appraisal Institute is leading efforts to support passage of the legislation by issuing two alerts to all members asking that they contact their members of Congress to encourage that they cosponsor the bill. Generally, the more cosponsors a bill has, the better chance it has of being considered and passing.

The Action Alerts, available at http://capwiz.com/appraisal/home/, are user friendly and only take a minute to complete. Two options are available, allowing members to send e-mails, or preferably, make phone calls to Congressional offices. Talking points are included in the alerts, and the staff of the Appraisal Institute Washington office is available to answer any questions that you might have.

For more information on H.R. 1295, visit the Appraisal Institute's Government Affairs Web page, www.appraisalinstitute.org/govtaffairs/default.asp. In addition, appraisers should contact their members of Congress weighing in on this important issue.

Sponsor:

Rep. Robert W. Ney, R-Ohio

Co-Sponsors (as of May 17, 2005):

Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz.

Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif.

Rep. John T. Doolittle, R-Calif.

Rep. Gary G. Miller, R-Calif.

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.

Rep. F. Allen Boyd, Jr., D-Fla.

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla.

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla.

Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Fla.

Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., D-Ga.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.

Rep. David Scott, D-Ga.

Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky.

Rep. Ray H. LaHood, R-III.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.

Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C.

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.

Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y.

Rep. Steve Israel D-N.Y.

Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y.

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, D-N.Y.

Rep. Major R. Owens, D-N.Y.

Rep. Paul E. Gillmor, R-Ohio

Rep. Steve C. LaTourette, R-Ohio

Rep. Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio

Rep. Patrick J. Tibieri, R-Ohio

Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore.

Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.

Rep. Jim Grelach, R-Pa.

Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Pa.

Rep. J. Gresham Barrett, R-S.C.

Rep. Harold E. Ford, Jr., D-Tenn.
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Title Annotation:GOVERNMENT SPOTLIGHT
Publication:Valuation Insights & Perspectives
Date:Mar 22, 2005
Words:627
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