STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Staten Island Board of Realtors is standing with Realtors across the nation who are urging Congress to change new regulations limiting affordable borrowing options.

Congress should consider redefining the new ability-to-repay requirements for Qualified Mortgages to avoid limiting affordable borrowing options for creditworthy buyers, said the National Association of Realtors® today in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.

NAR President Gary Thomas implored Congress to revisit the definition of fees and points applied to affiliated mortgage lenders that require the counting of title company charges, the amount of homeowner’s insurance held in escrow, loan level price adjustments, and payments made by lenders in wholesale transactions towards the 3 percent cap in the QM rule. Thomas said the current calculation of fees and points discriminates against affiliated title companies, small and mid-size lenders, community banks and credit unions.

“Many of the mortgages available from affiliated businesses might not qualify as a QM without a higher interest rate,” said Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “As the leading advocate for housing issues, NAR is committed to working with Congress to fix the unintended consequences of the ability-to-repay rule. To that end, NAR supports the bipartisan H.R. 1077/S.949, the Consumer Mortgage Choice Act, which would address the problematic fees and points definition and ensure broad consumer choice and access to safe, affordable mortgages.”

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,600 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-979-0007 and viewed online at SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors,” on Twitter via @SIBOR, and on YouTube at the Staten Island Board of Realtors and RelevantPR channels.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

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