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Kentucky REALTOR® News

GSEs appraisal-free purchase mortgages
September 18, 2017

On August 18, 2017, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, collectively the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs), announced they would allow for the use of their proprietary automated valuation tools in lieu of traditional appraisals for some purchase loan transactions.

Freddie Mac will utilize their automated collateral evaluation (ACE) to determine home value by using data from multiple listing services and public records as well as their own data of historical home values to determine collateral risks. Homes must have an 80% or lower loan to value, be a one unit single-family residence, and the borrower’s primary residence. Prior appraisals on the property are not required. Lenders will find out if a property is eligible for ACE by submitting the loan data through Freddie Mac's Loan Product Advisor®. Freddie Mac does not have an estimate for how many loans will be affected. ACE will be available for qualifying home purchase loans on September 1, 2017.

Fannie Mae will allow lenders to receive a Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) on certain one-unit principal residence and second home purchase transactions with loan to value ratios up to 80%. Home value is determined through Fannie Mae's data based valuation methods. Unlike Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae will require that the property in question have a prior appraisal in electronic format that has been analyzed by Fannie Mae's Collateral Underwriter®. Lenders must submit the loan data through Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter®. Fannie Mae anticipates no more than 5% of loans will be affected, but that could change in the future. PIWs for purchase loans are available immediately.

Freddie Mac Press Release(link is external)

Fannie Mae Press Release 

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CFPB final rule on CD sharing effective date
September 17, 2017

On July 7, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the final rule amending the “Know Before You Owe” (KBYO or TRID) mortgage disclosure rule. As advocated for by NAR, the final rule clarifies the ability to share the Closing Disclosure (CD) with third parties - a victory for real estate professionals nationwide.

As outlined in the 2016 proposed rule, the final rule highlights an existing exception within the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and implementing Regulation P that allows lenders to share the CD with third parties (sections 502(e)(1) and 509(7)(A)). The CFPB recognizes the CD as a “record of the transaction,” which is “informative to real estate agents and others representing both the consumer credit and real estate portions of residential real estate sales transactions.” The CFPB notes that CD sharing is permissible to the extent it is consistent with GLBA and Regulation P and is not barred by applicable State law.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 11, making it effective on October 10, 2017. Mandatory compliance is required by October 1, 2018.  

CFPB Press Release(link is external)

CFPB Final Rule(link is external)

October 19, 2016 - NAR Comment Letter to CFPB

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Kentucky unemployment remains unchanged in August
September 15, 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary August unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for August 2017 was unchanged from the revised 5.4 percent reported for July 2017.

The preliminary August 2017 jobless rate was up 0.4 percentage points from the 5.0 percent rate recorded for the state in August 2016.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for August 2017 was 4.4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S. unemployment rate for August was up 0.1 percentage points from the 4.3 percent reported for July 2017.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

 

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In August 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,059,885, a decrease of 7,294 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was down by 8,552 while the number of unemployed increased by 1,258.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment increased by 8,300 jobs in August 2017 compared to July 2017. Kentucky has added 30,500 jobs since August 2016, a 1.6 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate is holding at relatively low levels and nonfarm payrolls continue to show good growth. The increase of 8,300 jobs in August was the largest increase shown so far this year. On average Kentucky has added approximately 2,000 jobs per month so far this year,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger, Ph.D.

 

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Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, seven of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors experienced employment growth from the previous month. Three sectors declined from the previous month and one was unchanged.

Kentucky’s professional and business services sector showed the largest employment gains, adding 3,400 jobs from July 2017 to August 2017. This represents an increase of 1.5 percent from July 2017. Within this sector, professional, scientific and technical services subsector increased by 1,200 jobs and the administrative, support and waste management subsector increased by 2,000 jobs.

The education and health services sector also added 3,400 jobs in August. Education services decreased slightly by 100 jobs in August. Health care and social assistance added 3,500 jobs. This represents an increase of 1.4 percent from July 2017 and an increase of 2.1 percent since August 2016.

Construction added 2,400 jobs from July 2017 to August 2017. Since August 2016, construction employment has grown by 6,300 jobs.

“Kentucky’s construction labor market has shown strong growth this year, increasing by 8.3 percent from a year ago,” Bollinger said. “Construction has also increased nationally but by only 3.2 percent from a year ago.”

Kentucky’s manufacturing industry added 1,100 jobs from July 2017 to August 2017. This represents an increase of 0.4 percent for the month. Jobs in durable goods manufacturing increased by 1,400, or 0.9 percent, this month. Jobs in non-durable goods manufacturing decreased by 300.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector added 500 jobs from July 2017 to August 2017. This represents an increase of 0.1 percent since July 2017 and 1.5 percent since August 2016.

The financial activities sector gained 500 jobs in August 2017. Since August 2016, this sector has gained 2,300 jobs or 2.5 percent.

Other services sector gained 100 jobs in August 2017. This sector is up 2,200 jobs since August 2016. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

The government sector did not change from July 2017 to August 2017. State government employment increased by 500 jobs in August 2017. Federal employment decreased by 100 jobs and local employment decreased by 400 jobs in August 2017.

Employment in the mining and logging sector declined by 100 in August 2017. This sector has declined by 400 positions, or 4 percent, since August last year.

The information services sector decreased by 500 jobs from July 2017 to August 2017. This sector has grown by 4.4 percent since August 2016, adding 1,000 positions. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Leisure and hospitality decreased by 2,500 jobs in August 2017. Within this sector, accommodation and food services lost 2,300 jobs and arts, entertainment and recreation decreased by 200 jobs.

“While the number of jobs in leisure and hospitality decreased last month, this sector has generally increased since the beginning of the year,” Bollinger said.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Learn more about the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics at http://www.kylmi.ky.gov/.

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Kentucky home sales remain strong in 2017
August 23, 2017

Sales and prices increase for the first six months of the year

In the first six months of 2017, Kentucky’s real estate market remained strong in every category tracked. Total home sales continue to exceed the totals seen through the same period in 2016 with an increase of 4.7 percent, from 24,786 in 2016 to 25,943 in 2017.

Housing inventory for the first half of 2017 reached a cumulative 6-month low of 4.32 months, down 17.4 percent from the time frame in 2016 when inventories were 5.23 months. Days on market also hit a record low for the first half of the year, dropping to 122.7 days from 140.3 in 2016, a decrease of 12.5 percent.

 

“The market is very active with the homes available going very quickly if they are priced correctly,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Supply is certainly low but homes continue to move once they come up for sale.”

 

The median price over the first half of the year increased 2.3 percent from 2016 reaching $123,610 (from $120,808). This pushed the total volume of all home sales to almost $4.7 billion through June.

 

In June, total home sales hit 5,500 which was an all-time high for the month, increasing 1.7 percent over June 2016. The median price for the month reached $133,674 which was another record month, the highest it’s ever been for a single month in Kentucky. This resulted in only the third time that total sales volume broke $1 billion in a month (June 2016 and May 2017) but this month set a new record at $1.08 billion.    

 

On the national front, home sales slipped in June by 1.8 percent due to a lull in contract activity over the past three months although home prices increased 6.5 percent. The decline in home sales, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, were due to the low housing supply and price growth experienced across much of the country. He added that the demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession and the good news is “sales are still running slightly above last year’s pace despite the persistent market challenges.”

 

“I am encouraged by the overall performance of Kentucky’s housing market in 2017,” stated Becker. “Housing starts are up, nationally, compared to a year ago. In the southern states, which includes Kentucky, single family housing starts are up over the same period in 2016 by more than 10 percent. As these homes are completed, the market should be stimulated with a ripple effect of sellers moving up, and creating a greater availability of homes on the market. Coupled with interest rates that continue to hold below 4%, we look forward to a strong finish for the year.”

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,400 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.
 

To view housing statistics for the state, as reported to Kentucky REALTORS®, visit housingstats.kyrealtors.com.

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RPAC Major Investors get exclusive event at Convention
August 11, 2017

Kentucky and Ohio RPAC Major Investors will have exclusive access to the Cincinnati Reds vs. Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, September 24. The baseball game leads off what promises to be four days of fun and excitement occurring throughout the first-ever joint Annual Convention & EXPO in Cincinnati, being held September 24-27.

RPAC Major Investors (members that have invested $1,000 or more in the 2017 RPAC campaign) will enjoy food, drinks and a rematch of the memorable 1975 World Series from the private comfort of Great American Ball Park’s Machine Room Grille, which is being reserved solely for REALTORS from the Buckeye and Bluegrass states!

Click here to register

NOTE: When registering, make sure to identify as a “Major Investor” and you’ll be provided the opportunity to secure your complimentary ticket, as well as purchase guest tickets ($65).

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Gregory joins Kentucky REALTORS® as Director of Governmental Affairs
July 27, 2017

Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR) announced that Pamela Gregory has been hired as the Director of Governmental Affairs. Pamela comes to KYR with an extensive background in managing various aspects of advocacy, governmental relations and outreach. 

 

Gregory was previously the manager of the Southeastern Region for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce based in Atlanta, GA. She supported congressional and public affairs for eight southeastern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The mission of the Southeastern Regional Office is to develop and maintain the region’s legislative, political, and grassroots resources to achieve the U.S. Chamber’s public policy goals.

 

Pamela joined the Chamber directly from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. There, she served as the Southeast regional outreach manager and built relationships and coordinated all aspects of the coalition in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Previously, she spent more than five years in outreach roles for former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Charleston.

 

“The breadth of Pamela’s expertise in governmental relations and from working for one of the nation’s strongest business advocacy organizations is the perfect fit to help KYR achieve its legislative and political involvement goals.” said Steve Stevens, CCE, KYR’s CEO. “We look forward to having her take us to a new level of member engagement at KYR.”

 

KYR, the voice for real estate in Kentucky, is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, KYR represents more than 10,400 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

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Kentucky's unemployment rate increases to 5.1% in June 2017
July 24, 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary June unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The unemployment rate for June 2017 was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent reported in May 2017.

The preliminary June 2017 jobless rate was up 0.1 percentage points from the 5 percent rate recorded for the state in June 2016.

The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for June 2017 was 4.4 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S. unemployment rate for June was also up 0.1 percentage points from the 4.3 percent reported in May 2017.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.

In June 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,077,465, a decrease of 8,530 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was down by 10,721, while the number of unemployed increased by 2,191.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate has remained steady around 5 percent for the past 24 months,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Chris Bollinger, Ph.D.

The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) recently partnered with the CBER to prepare economic analyses on the state’s workforce and labor market data, including the monthly statewide and county unemployment rate news releases.

In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment decreased by 500 jobs in June 2017 compared to May 2017. Kentucky has added 30,900 jobs since June 2016, a 1.6 percent employment growth.

“Kentucky has experienced solid and steady employment growth since 2010. However, both measures of employment suggest that Kentucky’s employment growth has slowed recently,” said Bollinger. “The survey of businesses indicates that Kentucky employers added about 7,600 jobs in the first quarter of 2017, but only 600 jobs in the second quarter.”

Nonfarm data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics program. According to this survey, five of Kentucky’s 11 major nonfarm North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) job sectors registered gains in employment, while six declined from the previous month.

Kentucky’s trade, transportation and utilities sector showed the largest gain, adding 1,800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. This represents an increase of 0.4 percent since May 2017 and 2 percent since June 2016. Since June 2016, this sector is up by 8,100 jobs.

“This sector’s employment has steadily increased since early 2010, supported in part by the growth in other sectors such as manufacturing,” said Bollinger. “Kentucky has a number of important location and infrastructure features such as major interstates that help support this important industry.”

Professional and business services rose by 1,600 jobs, a 0.7 percent increase in June 2017. This sector has added 8,900 jobs since June 2016, a 4.1 percent growth. This sector includes administrative and support and waste management and remediation services.

Leisure and hospitality expanded by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, employment in this sector has risen 3,300 or 1.7 percent. This sector includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services.

The information services sector increased by 200 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Kentucky has seen a 6.1 percent growth in information jobs since June 2016 with 1,400 more positions. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures and broadcasting; and telecommunications.

Other services sector gained 900 jobs in June 2017 and 2,200 since June 2016. Other services includes repairs and maintenance, personal care services and religious organizations.

Kentucky’s manufacturing sector lost 1,600 jobs, a 0.6 percent decrease, in June 2017. However, since June 2016, this sector has added 1,900 jobs, a 0.8 percent increase. Both durable and nondurable manufacturing showed decreases in employment from May 2017 to June 2017 but added positions over the year.

The education and health services sector decreased by 1,000 jobs in June 2017. This sector has added 2,600 jobs since June 2016, a 1 percent growth rate. Within this sector, employment in educational services increased by 700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. Health care and social assistance employment dropped by 1,700 jobs.

Construction employment fell by 800 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017. However, construction employment is up 2,900 jobs or 3.8 percent since June 2016.

The financial activities sector lost 800 jobs in June 2017. Since June 2016, this sector has gained 2,000 jobs or 2.1 percent.

Mining and logging decreased by 100 jobs in June 2017. This sector has dropped by 600 positions, or 5.8 percent, since June last year.

The government sector declined by 1,700 jobs from May 2017 to June 2017, and 1,800 since last June. In June 2017, state government employment decreased by 1,000 jobs, while local government jobs fell by 800 and federal government was up by 100.

Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks.

Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

For more information about Kentucky’s labor market, visit https://kcews.ky.gov/KYLMI.

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Kentucky home sales continue to climb
July 20, 2017

May sees increase in sales, slight drop in price

 

Real estate sales in Kentucky continue to exceed the totals seen through this time in 2016. Total home sales in May increased 8.6 percent, from 4,963 in 2016 to 5,391 in 2017, the first time sales have pushed over 5,000 in May. Housing inventory in May reached an all-time low at 3.5 months, down 14.6 percent from May of 2016.

 

“The fact that inventory remains so low and sales continue to grow shows a very active real estate market,” said Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Buyers who are in the market need to move quickly if they find a property they want to move on. Available inventory is in tight supply.”

 

In fact, days on market decreased to 123 days, down 7.5 percent from the 133 days last May. Near historic lows, the homes on the market aren’t staying around as long, mainly due to the decrease in the current housing stock in many areas of the state. Nationally, properties typically stayed on the market for 27 days in May, which is down from 29 days in April and 32 days in May last year. This is the shortest timeframe since tracking began nationally in May 2011.

 

But news may be good for buyers moving forward as an increased share of homeowners believe now is a good time to sell their home. This quarter, according to NAR's quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, 71 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (69 percent) and considerably more than a year ago (61 percent). Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said of the findings, “Perhaps this notable uptick in seller confidence will translate to more added inventory later this year.”

 

The state’s median home price dropped slightly in May, less than one percent, from $131,636 in 2016 to $130,583 in 2017. This is a departure from what rest of the country saw in May as the national median price hit a new peak at $252,800.

 

“A slight drop in price for the month seems to be normal considering the state of the market,” stated Becker. “More activity on homes available in the lower price ranges will eventually bring down the median home price. Total sales volume for May, however, was just north of one billion dollars for the state, which was a record for the month.”       

 

Yun says sales activity expanded in May as more buyers overcame the increasingly challenging market conditions prevalent in many areas. He reiterated that the job market in most of the country continues to be healthy and mortgage rates remain favorable to buyers that qualify. He continued by saying those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved. Listings in the affordable price range are scarce and homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace.

 

But he also states that monthly closings have recently been oscillating back and forth, but this third consecutive monthly decline in contract activity implies a possible topping off in sales. Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand and prospective buyers are being sidelined by limited choices. Within the state, home sales have fluctuated monthly over 2017, with declines in two of the five months (February and April) so far this year.

 

Year to date, however, home sales in Kentucky are still up over last year by 5.4 percent, with 20,438 homes sold in 2017 versus 19,379 in 2016. Median prices to date have remained solid at $121,577 in 2017, an increase of 1.7 percent over the $119,463 in 2016.

 

Kentucky REALTORS® is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, Kentucky REALTORS® represents more than 10,400 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

 

To view housing statistics for the state, as reported to Kentucky REALTORS®, visit housingstats.kyrealtors.com.

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Wiseman appointed to the Kentucky Real Estate Commission
July 10, 2017

Shirley Wiseman, a real estate broker, appraiser, builder and developer in Lexington and member of Kentucky REALTORS® (KYR), was appointed by Governor Bevin as a Commissioner with the Kentucky Real Estate Commission (KREC). Her term runs through June 15, 2020.

Ms. Wiseman began her real estate career in 1965 as a home builder in the central Kentucky area. After serving as a director for the Home Builders Association of Lexington in 1972 and the Home Builders Association of Kentucky in 1974, she became the first woman ever elected to a senior officer position with the National Association of Home Builders, serving as Area VI vice president in 1986, treasurer in 1987 and president in 1989.

She was named Builder of the Year in 1978 at the local level and in 1980 was awarded the same honor at the state level. Wiseman was named to the Kentucky Housing Hall of Fame in 2000 and the National Association of Home Builders Hall of Fame in 1995.   

Ms. Wiseman served the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the Assistant Secretary for Housing. She is also a past member of the Rural Housing Preservation National Task Force, the Federal National Mortgage Association Advisory Council and the National Wetland Policy Task Force.

“I am honored to serve the real estate community of home owners, buyers and sellers as well as the thousands of real estate professionals across the state,” stated Ms. Wiseman. “I am ready to do what I can to make the real estate environment the best it can be for citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Ms. Wiseman was a charter designee of the American Association of Certified Appraisers, served as an advisor to the Urban League and is a member of the Order of Eastern Star. She held numerous positions with the Small Business Administration, was founder of Lexington Housing for the Handicapped and is a Kentucky Colonel.

“KREC is getting someone with a tremendous background in real estate and a vast amount of experience in the building industry,” stated Mike Becker, president of Kentucky REALTORS®. “Ms. Wiseman will bring the Commission unmatched knowledge in many areas of the business that will be a source of support for consumers across the state.”

As an agency of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Real Estate Commission is empowered to regulate state licensing and education of real estate brokers and sales associates and to safeguard and protect the public interest. The Commission strives to elevate the real estate industry to the highest standards possible through communication, education and the latest technology.

KYR, the voice for real estate in Kentucky, is one of the largest and most influential associations in Kentucky. Founded in 1922, KYR represents more than 10,400 REALTORS® who are involved in all aspects of real estate, including residential and commercial real estate brokers, sales agents, developers, builders, property managers, office managers, appraisers and auctioneers.

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House Passes Bill Aimed At Reversing Dodd-Frank
June 9, 2017

House Republicans voted Thursday to deliver on their promise to repeal Dodd-Frank — the massive set of Wall Street regulations President Barack Obama signed into law after the 2008 financial crisis.

In a near party-line vote, the House approved a bill, dubbed the Financial Choice Act, which scales back or eliminates many of the post-crisis banking rules.

The legislation is the brainchild of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.

"Dodd-Frank represents the greatest regulatory burden on our economy, more so than all the other Obama-era regulations combined," Hensarling told reporters Wednesday. "There is a better way: economic growth for all; bank bailouts for none." Read More

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