Last week President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus Appropriations Bill into law. A provision of this law permanently bans banks and other financial institutions from engaging in the practice of selling real estate by preventing the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve from creating rules that would allow these activities.
This has been a long and hard fought battle that began eight years ago when banks lobbied to expand their authority to engage in real estate development and other real estate related practices. This expansion, that the banks fought hard to win, would have allowed unlicensed national bank employees, conceivably a bank teller, to also sell real estate.
The very banks and financial institutions that led us into the current market meltdown, in the business of selling real estate without license or regulation…..a frightening concept, in light of what we now know.