Extension Again Sought for TRIA

A bill has been introduced to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 which is due to expire by the end of the year.

The Terrorism Insurance Backstop Extension Act of 2005 seeks to extend the insurance backstop provided in the 2002 bill until 2007.

Reps. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Barney Frank, D-Mass., Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., and Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., are the sponsors of the bill, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

Kurt Pfotenhauer, senior vice president of government affairs, MBA, said, "There is a growing Hill recognition for the vital role TRIA plays in maintaining the stability of the commercial real estate finance industry."

The mortgage bankers' trade association is "hopeful that the House Financial Services Committee can forge a bipartisan solution and act now to extend the program."

In the absence of such a backstop, it is possible that there will be fewer commercial real estate finance transactions, the MBA believes.

And servicers might have to "force-place" terrorism insurance which might lead to litigation.

Martin L. DePoy, a spokesman for the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism, a group representing the interests of some industries that have an interest in the availability of terrorism insurance, said in a written statement, "Amid warnings that further attacks on the homeland are likely and an acknowledgment by the Federal Reserve Chairman that the private market alone cannot adequately insure against the continuing threat, these lawmakers realize that Congress must act sooner rather than later to provide for the availability of terrorism insurance into next year."

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