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NAR lobbying to preserve mortgage interest deduction, 30-year fixed mortgage

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The National Association of Realtors wants lawmakers to preserve some type of government-guarantee for the secondary mortgage market as it moves forward with housing finance reforms, the association's president Ron Phipps said in a podcast Thursday. Phipps said his organization has representatives in Washington fighting to preserve mortgage interest deductions and the standard 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. NAR's concerns — like those of many homeownership advocacy groups — rose after the Treasury Department revealed mortgage finance reforms that envision a private-sector led market with very limited government-guaranteed loans. NAR's concerns about the changes mirror those of small community banks. "A reliable secondary market is essential so that the nation's Main Street community banks can continue to offer residential mortgages to their customers," according to Jim MacPhee, chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America. "While reform should focus on preventing future crises in the housing market and embracing the common-sense underwriting standards long practiced by community banks, it should not eliminate all government involvement in the secondary market while turning it over to Wall Street," MacPhee said following the Treasury's proposals were announced Community bankers also showed up in Washington this week to testify against reforms they believe could disrupt lending in rural and small town America. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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