Statement by the Coalition to Preserve Community Funding Regarding October 20, 2010 Conference Call of Representatives Waters and Sherman

Oct 22, 2010, 18:57 ET from Coalition to Preserve Community Funding

NEW YORK, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition to Stop Home Resale Fees (CSHRF), reportedly led by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the American Land and Title Association (ALTA), held a conference call about private transfer fees.

The call featured Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), who together recently introduced H.R. 6260, a bill to restrict or prohibit private transfer fees.

As The Coalition to Preserve Community Funding, an organization of over 150 members nationwide, including banks, developers, realtors, homeowner associations, non-profits and others dedicated to preserving private transfer fees as a way to provide important community funding, we urge Representatives Waters and Sherman to consider lending their support to The Homebuyer Enhanced Fee Disclosure Act of 2010 (H.R. 6332), a sensible alternative to H.R. 6260.  H.R. 6332, a bill to standardize disclosure of private transfer fees, would help ensure that consumers are properly informed before making a purchase decision.

During the call Rep. Sherman challenged the "smart, innovative guys on Wall Street… to focus their attention on new ways to help business expand, new ways to help our economy."  Ironically, the Waters-Sherman bill inhibits these very same objectives by seeking to eliminate the use of capital recovery fees, a type of private transfer fee used to spread infrastructure costs and, in the process, reduce negative equity, restart failed projects and create jobs.

Despite an aggressive marketing campaign centered around the concept of "hidden fees", a CSHRF representative admitted on the call that clear and prominent disclosure would not actually satisfy their group, alleging that the only "legitimate fees" are those that benefit the homeowner or the property.  This argument lacks merit.  Few can legitimately argue that neither the homeowner nor the property benefit from spreading the cost of streets, utilities, wastewater lines and similar improvements, which results in a lower purchase price and lower carrying costs over the life of their mortgage.

Private transfer fees are an innovative real estate financing tool that can inject badly-needed capital into stalled development projects, put construction workers back to work and revive communities, while also lowering homeownership costs. They should be preserved and strengthened.

SOURCE Coalition to Preserve Community Funding