REALTORS® meet with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.

REALTORS® meet with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.

On May 11-16, REALTOR® leaders from across the country converged on the nation’s capital to advance key real estate issues with regulators and members of Congress during the National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. SILVAR’s leadership was among nearly 8,000 REALTORS® and guests who met with legislators, regulatory officials and top industry executives to ensure qualified buyers and investors have access to safe and affordable mortgage financing and protect and advance the operations of REALTOR® businesses and real estate-related tax policies.

SILVAR REALTORS® met with U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, Jackie Speier, and staff of Congressman Mike Honda. They urged their elected officials to preserve current real estate-related tax policies and extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which expired at the end of 2014 and prevents distressed homeowners from facing excessive income tax bills on forgiven home loan debt. They also actively engaged with lawmakers on protecting commercial real estate related tax provisions, such as retaining like-kind exchange provisions and making permanent the 15-year depreciation period for leasehold improvements. In addition, REALTORS® urged members of Congress to enact legislation reforming patent demand letters, setting nationwide data security standards.

REALTORS® likewise raised concerns about the upcoming implementation of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID). The new rule takes effect August 1, and if not understood by all parties involved, could delay the closing of escrow. SILVAR REALTORS® requested that Congress approve a grace period for the enforcement of the new closing process, so parties can become accustomed to the changes.

REALTORS® also attended sessions with government officials and industry experts, including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Republican political strategist and 61st chair of the Republican National Committee Ed Gillespie.

Attending the NAR Legislative Meetings from SILVAR were SILVAR President Chris Isaacson, President-elect Karen Trolan, NAR Directors Leannah Hunt, John Tripp and Suzanne Yost, Carole Feldstein (Federal Political Coordinator for U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo), Judy Ellis (NAR Committee member), Jim Hamilton (NAR Executive Committee members), Jeff Barnett (NAR Finance Committee member), Executive Officer Paul Cardus and Government Affairs Director Jessica Epstein.