Contact FreedomWorks

400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite 765
Washington, DC 20001

  • Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
  • Local 202.783.3870

All the Latest

    Everything
  • Blog
  • Events
  • Press
  • Key Votes
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Tweets
  • Photos

About

Groups' Support for RESPA Change Hinges on GMP
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Groups' Support for RESPA Change Hinges on GMP

BY Brian Collins

Copyright (c) 2003 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved Vol. 12, No. 9

05/28/2003
Groups' Support for RESPA Change Hinges on GMP
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Groups' Support for RESPA Change Hinges on GMP

BY Brian Collins

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage lenders will continue to support reform of the mortgage application and settlement process, according to six trade groups, provided the Department of Housing and Urban Development allows lenders to offer guaranteed mortgage packages without itemizing costs.

05/28/2003
Groups' Support for RESPA Change Hinges on GMP
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Groups' Support for RESPA Change Hinges on GMP

Mortgage lenders will continue to support reform of the mortgage application and settlement process, according to six trade groups, provided the Department of Housing and Urban Development allows lenders to offer guaranteed mortgage packages without itemizing costs. In a letter to HUD, the industry associations point out that the GMP proposal would reduce settlement costs by allowing volume discounts, average cost pricing and other pricing structures currently inhibited by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. "With a few refinements, the GMP option can thrive in the marketplace," the April 30 letter to HUD says. Under HUD's GMP proposal, lenders could guarantee settlement costs, as well as the interest rate, without itemizing costs. However, Senate Banking Committee chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., has been pressing HUD to require itemization. But the lender groups claim itemizing the cost of individual services at the time of application is not practical and the disclosure would come too late in the process to help consumers comparison shop. It would "effectively eviscerate the GMP" and "prevent the GMP from becoming a reality in the marketplace," the trade groups say in the letter. The American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, America's Community Bankers, Consumer Bankers Association, Consumer Mortgage Coalition and Mortgage Bankers Association signed the April 30 letter. The letter sends a strong message at a time when most participants in the debate over RESPA are getting edgy - because no one seems to know where HUD is going with its reform proposal. And the lenders want to make sure HUD knows where they stand. "We are gravely concerned that the department might undertake to revise the good faith estimate (disclosure) as part of a final rule, while delaying or forgoing any efforts to allow GMPs. Such a move would have severe consequences," the trade groups warn. They also are concerned that HUD is reviewing newly "fleshed out" proposals for a two-package approach, advocated by the American Land Title Association and the Real Estate Services Providers Council (RESPRO). The two-package approach would create a lender's package that would include origination fees, appraisals, credit reports and flood certifications that are required by the lender, and a settlement services package would include title services, recordation fees, pest inspections and other fees. Meanwhile, lender groups are also concerned about the consumer groups and their lackluster support for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act reform. "All they care about is predatory lending," one trade official said. To bolster the reform effort, the lenders have solicited support from conservative interest groups, such as former HUD secretary Jack Kemp's Empower America, the National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste. These groups are urging secretary Martinez to move ahead with RESPA reform, despite warnings from key Republicans, such as Sen. Shelby, that HUD should slow down and reissue the proposal (with revisions) for another round of comments. "We applaud your efforts and hope that you will move quickly to issue a final rule," according to the joint letter to HUD secretary Martinez. The Seniors Coalition and Citizens for a Sound Economy also signed the letter. "HUD's proposed rule to revise the nearly 30-year-old Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to allow for greater competition in the market for home mortgage lending and settlement services will benefit consumers greatly without additional government spending," the letter says. In a separate letter, Americans for Tax Reform also expressed support for HUD's effort to simplify the regulatory process and increase competition in the real estate market.

05/28/2003
Insurance Reform Passes NJ Legislature
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Insurance Reform Passes NJ Legislature

The New Jersey General Assembly yesterday approved legislation correcting years of politically influenced auto insurance regulations, which have eroded the availability of coverage for the state's drivers. The New Jersey Automobile Insurance Competition and Choice Act (S-63/A-2625) aims to attract more auto insurers to do business in New Jersey and provide consumers greater and easier access to auto insurance coverage. "Years of excessive regulations have turned New Jersey into a horror story for drivers seeking insurance," said John Friedman, chairman of the Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition. "Thanks to bipartisan leadership, New Jersey drivers are closer to reaping the benefits of a more competitive auto insurance marketplace." Politicizing and over regulating auto insurance is the root cause of the state's exodus of auto insurers, leaving consumers too few companies from which to purchase auto insurance. Five of the six largest auto insurers in the nation do not sell auto coverage in the state and more than twenty auto insurers have left New Jersey in the past decade. The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition, a New Jersey-based group of businesses, associations and consumers, has been the leading voice calling for reforms to stimulate competition and greater choices for consumers. "Considering New Jersey's nationwide reputation for over regulating auto insurance, today's final legislative passage has tremendous significance," said Friedman. Having passed both legislative houses the bill now goes to Governor James McGreevey for his expected signature. The Coalition members include the National Association of Independent Insurers, Insurance Council of New Jersey, American Insurance Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey, Citizens for a Sound Economy, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, New Jersey Association of REALTORS(R), Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey, New Jersey Food Council, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, NJ SEED (Society for Environmental, Economic Development) Latino Chamber of Commerce of Mercer County, and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

05/16/2003
NJ Insurance Reform Approved by Assembly Committee
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

NJ Insurance Reform Approved by Assembly Committee

The General Assembly Banking and Insurance Committee today approved legislation correcting years of politically influenced auto insurance regulations that have eroded the availability of coverage for drivers. Voting unanimously, the Committee approved the New Jersey Automobile Insurance Competition and Choice Act, which aims to attract more auto insurers to do business in New Jersey and provide consumers greater and easier access to auto insurance coverage. "Years of excessive regulations have turned New Jersey into a horror story for drivers seeking insurance," said John Friedman, chairman of the Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition. "Thanks to bipartisan leadership, New Jersey drivers are closer to reaping the benefits of a truly competitive auto insurance marketplace." Politicizing and over regulating auto insurance is the root cause of the state's exodus of auto insurers, leaving consumers too few companies from which to purchase auto insurance. Five of the six largest auto insurers in the nation do not sell auto coverage in the state and more than twenty auto insurers have left New Jersey in the past decade. "Considering the New Jersey's nationwide reputation to over regulate auto insurance, today's Committee vote has tremendous significance," said Friedman. "Today's bi-partisan vote is confirmation that lawmakers are serious about true reform. For drivers, today means there is hope that our auto insurance crisis may be near an end. The Coalition members include the National Association of Independent Insurers, Insurance Council of New Jersey, American Insurance Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey, Citizens for a Sound Economy, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, New Jersey Association of REALTORS(R), Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey, New Jersey Food Council, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, NJ SEED (Society for Environmental, Economic Development), Latino Chamber of Commerce of Mercer County, and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey. # CHOICE AND COMPETITION #

05/05/2003
HUD Reforms Would Improve Mortgage Process
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

HUD Reforms Would Improve Mortgage Process

May 5, 2003 The Honorable Mel Martinez Secretary U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Robert C. Weaver Federal Building 451 Seventh Street, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20410 Dear Mr. Secretary:

05/05/2003
Coalition Urges Assembly Banking and Insurance Committee to Support Choice and Competition Act
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW

Coalition Urges Assembly Banking and Insurance Committee to Support Choice and Competition Act

The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition is urging the Assembly Banking and Insurance Committee to favorably release the "New Jersey Automobile Insurance Choice and Competition Act," scheduled for consideration May 5, 2003. The New Jersey Automobile Insurance Choice and Competition Act (S-63/A-2625) would reform current law by giving more choices to consumers and encouraging competition among New Jersey's automobile insurance carriers. "This bill's enactment would mark a first step toward reform," said John Friedman, the Coalition's chairman. "This plan is the foundation upon which a competitive market can be built." The Coalition believes the state's excessive regulation of auto insurance is the culprit behind the lack of auto insurance choice and competition in New Jersey. In the last decade, more than 20 auto insurance companies have left the Garden State, and currently four of the six largest insurers do not write any business in the state. New Jersey has 47 percent fewer companies selling auto insurance than Illinois and more than a third fewer than neighboring New York and Pennsylvania. "Having to operate under the state's restrictive and difficult regulatory regime, where insurers are told what products to sell, to whom they must sell and how much to charge, companies will lack an incentive to remain and invest in New Jersey," said Friedman. "Drivers need a regulatory system that promotes competition, encourages companies to sell auto insurance, and creates a stable market that offers more choices for consumers." Senator Ronald L. Rice (R-Newark) sponsors S-63, and Assemblymen Louis D. Greenwald, (D-Cherry Hill) and Christopher Bateman, (R-Branchburg) are prime sponsors to the companion bill, A-2625. Co-sponsors to A-2625 are Assemblywoman Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Assemblyman Gary L. Guear, Assemblyman Matt Ahearn, Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, Assemblyman Willis Edwards, Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi, Assemblyman Robert J. Smith, Assemblyman Jack Connors, Assemblyman Richard A. Merkt, Assemblyman David W. Wolfe, Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, and Assemblyman Joseph Penacchio. The Coalition for Auto Insurance Competition includes the National Association of Independent Insurers, Insurance Council of New Jersey, American Insurance Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Independent Insurance Agents of New Jersey, Citizens for a Sound Economy, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, New Jersey Association of REALTORS(R), Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey, New Jersey Food Council, New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, NJ SEED (Society for Environmental, Economic Development) Latino Chamber of Commerce of Mercer County, and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

05/02/2003
Putting the focus on contact lens prescriptions
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Putting the focus on contact lens prescriptions

Support HB 2997: Protecting Consumer Rights

04/06/2003
Is Regulatory Reform Next?
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Is Regulatory Reform Next?

President Bush’s $674 billion tax plan is driving the domestic policy agenda in Washington. Cutting marginal tax rates, eliminating the double taxation of dividends, and removing some of the more punitive elements of the tax code are all important steps toward a stronger economy. Fundamentally, the proposal offers better incentives for economic growth; workers, investors, and entrepreneurs will all see greater gains for their efforts. However, tax reform is only half the story. If the president wants to boost economic growth, the administration needs to look beyond tax policy and include sensible regulatory reforms that eliminate unnecessary burdens that stifle economic activity.

03/11/2003
Convention Hotel Subsidies Hurt Private Businesses
null
http://d7.freedomworks.org.s3.amazonaws.com/styles/thumbnail/s3/te_social_media_share/fw_default_0.jpg?itok=mX_C44GW
Press Release

Convention Hotel Subsidies Hurt Private Businesses

Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy released a comprehensive study today that found the primary impact of tax subsidies for convention center hotels is to hurt existing, privately-financed hotels rather than to attract new conventions. GET THE FULL STUDY (large .pdf download) CSE commissioned the study as several Texas cities have proceeded with expanding convention center space and are considering various public subsidies for adjoining Convention Center hotels. One portion of the study examines Dallas' proposed convention center hotel in depth and finds that it is not financially viable. CSE is philosophically opposed to public funding of enterprises which compete with private business. Specifically, this new study examines the impact public subsidies would have on existing hotels, whose owners must pay taxes and risk their own capital in these private enterprises. The three-part study was performed by Source Strategies, Inc. of San Antonio, a company that also provides detailed analysis of hotel occupancy rates and taxes for the Texas Department of Commerce.

03/05/2003

Pages