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Received today from the National Association of Realtors:

NAR members recently received word that the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development would be implementing a new policy on Oct. 1, 2013, that would prevent dual agency agreements in FHA pre-foreclosure transactions.

The National Association of REALTORS® immediately began talks with HUD officials on the proposed change. On Wednesday afternoon HUD officials reported to NAR that they would reissue the July Mortgagee Letter (#2013-23) and remove all dual agency language (Part Three of the PFS Participation Requirements).

The result is that the dual agency policy will not be implemented on Oct. 1, allowing NAR to continue the dialogue with agency officials on a formal solution to the dual agency issue.

HUD had proposed the policy change in response to fraud and abuse detected by the HUD Inspector General in the pre-foreclosure sales process.

NAR, working with state and local association presidents, sent a letter to HUD highlighting the concerns about the policy and the disruptive effect its implementation would have on communities across the nation.

The NAR has applied their considerable political weight to stall the implementation, summarized in the linked letter.  It’s a real hoot, scoring high on the David Lereah Comedy Scale:

1.  It quickly dives into the standard NAR blast:  “NAR takes fraud very seriously. Our members adhere to a strict code of ethics.”

2.  He then plays the naive’ card: “One-hundred years after its adoption, the Code of Ethics continues to be what sets us apart as REALTORS.  If there is evidence of fraud by our membership, we would like to be a part of an effort to develop policies that effectively address these issues.”

Come on, Gary – everyone has known about the rampant short-sale fraud for years, and N.A.R. has done NOTHING to stop it.  Now you are going to play stupid, and forge some phony-baloney compromise with HUD?

All national, state, and local associations, as well as every broker charged with supervising realtors, should take immediate action to stop short-sale fraud.  If we don’t, somebody else will.

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