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Realtors lobby spent $5.6M in 4Q

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Association of Realtors spent $5.6 million lobbying the federal government in the 2009 fourth quarter as it pressed for measures to aid the hobbled housing market, according to a recent disclosure form.

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers spent $425,000 in the fourth quarter, according to the report.

The Chicago-based NAR’s spending was down 14 percent from the $6.5 million it spent in the same quarter a year earlier, but up 33 percent from $4.2 million spent in the third quarter of 2009.

The Mortgage Brokers’ total is up from the $340,735 the group spent in the year-ago period, an increase from the $409,509 it spent in the third quarter of 2009.

NAR is one of the most powerful lobbying forces on Capitol Hill. Along with allies in the real estate industry, the group and its members successfully pressed last year for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homeowners.

Lawmakers then decided, after intense lobbying, to extend and expand those tax incentives until April 30.

NAR also lobbied on other issues, including foreclosure relief, predatory lending, protections for endangered species and health care for small business owners, according to a Jan. 19 filing with the House clerk’s office.

The mortgage broker group also lobbied the federal government on issues related to mortgage disclosure issues, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

Mortgage brokers’ interests are closely tied to state of the housing market and rules related to home loans for consumers.