H.R. 2446: RESPA Home Warranty Clarification Act of 2011

H.R. 2446

RESPA Home Warranty Clarification Act of 2011

Date
August 1, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2446, the RESPA Home Warranty Clarification Act of 2011, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval.  The bill was introduced on July 7, 2011, by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), and referred to the Committee on Financial Services.  The committee held a mark-up session on March 27, 2012, and ordered the bill to be reported by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2446 would amend the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to exempt home warranty companies as “settlement service providers” and would require that consumers are given clear notice that their real estate agent could receive a referral fee for selling them a home warranty.

Background

Under current law, entities that provide settlement services for real estate transactions involving federally related mortgages may pay or accept fees to recommend a specific service provider only if that provider actually performs the service for which the fee was paid. (Settlement services include activities such as document preparation, title searches, and property appraisals.) H.R. 2446 would amend current law to allow such fees to be paid for home warranty services or service contracts to repair or replace home appliances and other components of a home, regardless of who provides the service.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that “enacting H.R. 2446 would increase direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO expects that such effects on spending would be insignificant, that is, less than $500,000 annually. Further, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not affect revenues or discretionary spending.”