The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) used the forum of its 2010 Conference in New Orleans to urge the lending industry to make things easier to qualified buyers to become homeowners.  NAR appealed primarily to the public sector, i.e. FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, which it said account for more than 90 percent of the mortgage market, saying that lenders refuse to make loans without assurance that FHA will insure them or the GSEs will buy them. 

Vicki Cox Golder, NAR President, said that the government agencies are impairing their own mission to provide mortgage liquidity to home buyers with unnecessarily restrictive limits on the availability of credit.  "These policies are delaying recovery both of the housing market and the larger economy."

"Under current practices, many would-be home buyers who could responsibly, affordably become home owners are unable to do so," said Golder. "NAR wants to ensure that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream."

NAR also called on FICO Corp. and private lenders to amend certain rules on the utilization of credit, how negative credit scores will affect future home purchases, and to change how they report and treat loan modification and payment plans. The Association also expressed its intentions to work with all public and private parties to encourage them to assess their credit policies on an ongoing basis.  

NAR said it will also develop educational materials for its members and consumers about credit issues, including the importance of good credit, lender credit policies, and how to find a fair and affordable mortgage.