NAR: Credit too tight

Trade group pushes for looser lending

The National Association of Realtors is pushing lenders, including mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to loosen underwriting standards so qualified buyers aren’t locked out of the housing market, the group says.

The group is simultaneously waging a public relations and lobbying campaign to protect subsidies for homeowners, such as the mortgage interest deduction, that NAR officials worry are threatened by political pressure to rein in the federal deficit.

A bipartisan deficit reduction commission — the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — is charged with examining areas in which the government might be able to cut spending and raise revenue.

The commission has heard testimony from critics of the mortgage interest deduction and other subsidies for homeownership.