Congress passes flood insurance stopgap extension

WASHINGTON – Oct. 5, 2011 – Congress finally agreed on – and President Obama signed earlier today – a bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until Nov. 18, 2011. The move allows closings to go through if a mortgage lender requires flood insurance as a condition. However, it’s only a short-term solution.

“The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is pleased that a continuing resolution passed by Congress … included a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program,” says NAR President Ron Phipps. “But NAR still believes a longer-term extension is needed to ensure access to affordable flood insurance for millions of homeowners.”

Phipps asks Congress to pass a five-year NFIP extension.

“The NFIP was created because of the lack of available and affordable flood insurance in the private market, which remains true today, and serves as an alternative to expensive taxpayer-funded disaster relief for flood victims,” Phipps says. “The program writes and renews flood insurance policies for more than 5.6 million home and business owners in 21,000 communities across the country.”

Phipps also pushed for higher loan limits for mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

“The lack of mortgage availability is already a real concern, and lowering the loan limits will only further restrict liquidity for creditworthy homebuyers,” Phipps says.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

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