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There’s good news and bad news. First the good news …

On Monday, September 26, the U.S. Senate passed the Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 2608), which also includes a provision extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until November 18, 2011. Next week, the House is expected to approve this extension and has ensured that there will be no lapse in NFIP authority in the interim.

The National Association of REALTORS® is urging Congress to finish its work on the 5-year reauthorization bill (H.R. 1309) before this latest extension ends, in order to provide certainty and avoid further disruption to real estate markets.

And the bad news …

After an unsuccessful attempt to include an extension of the existing loan limit in the continuing resolution to keep the federal government running, Congress failed to extend the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and GSE (Government-sponsored Enterprise) mortgage loan limits.

On Oct. 1, the conforming loan limits will decline in 669 counties in 42 states, including San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The new limits will be equal to 115 percent of the local area median home price (down from 125 percent). The high cost cap will fall from $729,750 to $625,500.

The National Association of REALTORS® will continue to work with Congress to attempt to restore the higher limits as quickly as possible.

VIEW NEW LOAN LIMITS HERE

Time is running out on important housing-related issues before Congress. We need REALTORS® to contact their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., today. 

Here is what REALTORS® can do:

Reauthorize National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ensure access for millions of Americans to affordable flood insurance which is not available in the private insurance market. The House has passed its bill. Now we need you to urge the Senate to act.

Without reauthorization, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire on September 30, 2011. Today, 5.6 million property owners rely on the program in 21,000 communities where flood insurance is required for federally related mortgages. Both consumers and your fellow REALTORS® are counting on your to help get this bill passed.

Tell Congress to Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program

Make permanent the current loan limits for FHA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to ensure the affordability of mortgage credit for hundreds of thousands of responsible and credit-worthy American families.

The cost of a mortgage could rise significantly if loan limits are reduced. If this happens, many of your clients run the risk of being priced out of the American Dream of home ownership. This could hold back the housing recovery. The new loan limits show that more than 669 counties in 42 states and the territories would be negatively impacted by the loan limit change. 

Take Action to Ensure Your Clients Have Access to Affordable Mortgages

This is a call for all REALTORS® to respond to the Loan Limits Call for Action. It seems the National Association of REALTORS® may have an opportunity to get an amendment to a bill that’s being debated on the Senate floor as early as Monday.

FHA and Conforming loan limits will drop DRAMATICALLY on September 30th. Bank of America has already lowered its loan limits for new loans, and others will follow suit. Early next week, the U.S. Senate will consider amending the Military Construction Appropriations bill to maintain the current loan limits for at least another year. The National Association of REALTORS® and the California Association of REALTORS® support this effort.

Please respond to this Call for Action NOW to urge California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to work to maintain the current loan limits through this amendment or some other means.

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