Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for holding this very important hearing. I would like to thank Secretary Martinez for testifying today.
I don't think anyone here is not thinking about the military action in the Middle East. Many brave Americans have gone and will soon go into harm's way. Our thoughts and prayers are with those brave young men and women and their families.
We must continue, however, with the work of the Senate, and we do have a very important issue before us today. I certainly applaud what Secretary Martinez has undertaken. Anyone who has recently bought a home knows how complicated it is. At the end of the process, many home buyers have no idea what they are signing. Many feel like they have "signed their lives away". Many times there are new last minute charges that require cash that suddenly appear. It is not always fun process.
However, the housing market has been one of the very few bright spots in our economy. I understand the fear of having rules adversely affect that market. I think your charge on any change to RESPA should be: "first do no harm". I know HUD has received many comments on this proposed rule. I know the Secretary has and will study them carefully.
Opponents of this rule are making the case that this is a big guy vs. little guy fight. They are telling me the little guys cannot compete. I would like to hear the Secretary address that and also some other process questions, about economic impact for example that have been raised. I know our colleagues in the House made the Secretary aware of some of these questions last week.
I also believe that some in the housing industry don't want any reform. The housing industry is vibrant and they don't want to fix what ain't broken. I can understand that. I also believe that it is in the best interest of some in the industry to keep the process as complicated as possible. That I cannot accept. We need to make it easier on the consumer to be able to purchase housing. We want more people in the market and we don't want them to feel intimidated. But we also must make sure that any solutions to the complications of RESPA are fair, and do not harm the industry. We really must try to minimize unintended consequences.
Once again, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding this important hearing. And thank you, Mr. Secretary for testifying today.