Romney: The most important step the federal government can take to help creditworthy borrowers is to repeal and replace the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Banks and financial
institutions are paralyzed: Regulators are simultaneously directing lenders to reduce risk (i.e., tighten under writing) and to loosen standards. And many community banks face thousands of pages of new rules
(over 8,000 pages at last count), and half of the expected rules proposed by this administration haven’t
even been finalized yet. In short, banks are hiring
lawyers, not making loans. The rules of the road need
to be clarified so that responsible borrowers have access to mortgage credit.
Federal banking regulators have drafted rules that
would go beyond lenders’ restrictive lending policies by setting a minimum down payment amount
for home mortgage loans to be considered safe and
therefore available at more a;ordable rates. Where
do you stand on the federal government mandating
minimum down payment amounts and credit requirements for lenders to apply in their underwriting standards?
The recent U.S. Supreme
Court ruling to preserve the
A;ordable Care Act’s individual mandate says the penalty
for individuals who fail to purchase health insurance falls under
the federal government’s authority to
levy taxes. If Congress repeals the law, what
steps do you propose to address the R;;;;;;;® and
millions of other small-business owners and independent contractors for whom a;ordable health insurance isn’t available in the market?
Obama: Before the A;ordable Care Act, too many
people went without health care. Self-employed
individuals were some of the hardest hit and often
vulnerable to being denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition. Because of the law now, it will be
illegal for insurance companies to deny you coverage
or charge more because of a pre-existing condition.
When the law is fully implemented, people who
don’t get insurance through an employer, as well as
small businesses trying to find coverage for their
employees, will be able to shop in new exchanges,
where they’ll have the same purchasing power as big
businesses and be eligible for tax credits that make
coverage a;ordable. The law isn’t perfect. We are always willing to work with people of both parties to
strengthen it, but we cannot go backwards.
For the complete Q&A,
including a discussion on
and infrastructure needs, visit
Photos: Brooks Kra;/Corbis/AP Images (Obama), AP Photo/Mary Alta;er (Romney) ©2012
Romney: A big part of the problem is that the government, and not the private sector, is the dominant
force in mortgage finance today.; With taxpayers
still on the hook for trillions in mortgage loans, of
course the government will continue to play a role
in setting some basic minimum lending standards.
However, we need to encourage private markets to
provide mortgage loans at reasonable interest rates
across all market conditions, with simple and understandable contracts for home buyers.
For details on NAR’s
legislative priorities in
the Nov. 6 election, visit
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Obama: We’re committed to the goals of Wall
Street reform, which includes ending an era of reckless lending by banks without adequate skin in the
game. At the same time, we’re committed to maintaining widespread access to mortgage credit for
responsible American families, which is the key
to providing the middle class with access to home
ownership and the key to returning to a robust, but
sustainable, housing market recovery.
Romney: We can fix the challenges facing our
health care system with reforms that emphasize
market competition and patient choice. By putting
patients at the center of our health care system and
making insurers and providers compete against
each other for our business, we can lower health
care costs and protect Americans’ access to the
care they need, including the doctor they choose. W