In her Op-Ed piece for The Hill newspaper, Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-ILL) argues for housing reform, including greater support for key appraisal legislation.
Additionally, Congress must address the shortcomings of the home-buying process that have contributed to the rapid rise in fraud and predatory lending. Without greater transparency and independence in the appraisal process, consumers will continue to be targets, and investors will continue to lack confidence in the value of financial products like mortgage-backed securities. When the integrity of the appraisal process is in question, everyone loses.
To address this issue, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and I have joined with Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) to develop a bipartisan, bicameral proposal. H.R. 3837 and its companion S.2860, the Fair Value and Independent Appraisal Act, will add important disclosure requirements, prohibit deceptive practices and improve appraisal standards. The Senate should quickly act on this proposal, which passed the House on Nov. 15 as part of H.R. 3915.
While it is unlikely that Congress will act on this legislation by the end of the year, it is not out of the realm of possibility. And with housing still a top issue for the nation, I suspect there will be some activity in the coming months. The extent of that activity; however, remains to be seen.