CREF Policy Update: Owen Lee of Success Mortgage Partners Inc., Nominated to Be 2025 MBA Vice Chairman

Owen Lee of Success Mortgage Partners Inc., Nominated to Be 2025 MBA Vice Chairman

MBA last Wednesday announced that Owen Lee, Chief Executive Officer at Success Mortgage Partners, Inc., (SMP) has been nominated to serve as MBA’s Vice Chairman for the 2025 membership year.

• Lee will be installed at MBA’s 111th Annual Convention in Denver in October. Per MBA’s bylaws, after serving a year as Vice Chairman, Lee is expected to be Chairman-Elect in the 2026 membership year, before ascending to be the Association’s Chairman in 2027. 

What they’re saying: Mark Jones, 2024 MBA Chairman and President of Union Home Mortgage, said, “For years, Owen has been one of MBA’s most active members, and I am confident his innate ability to influence, endless energy, and relentless passion in pushing for positive change will lead to successful outcomes for homeowners, renters, and our membership.”   

FHFA Issues RFI on 2025-2027 Duty to Serve Plans

Last Tuesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a Request For Input on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s (the GSEs) proposed 2025-2027 Underserved Markets Plans under the Duty to Serve (DTS) program.

Why it matters: The Duty to Serve program holds the GSEs accountable for serving three important markets–rural housing, affordable housing preservation and manufactured housing.

What’s next: Comments on the proposed plans are due to FHFA by Aug. 12, 2024.

• FHFA will hold public listening sessions on each of the three targeted markets – rural housing (July 15, 2024), manufactured housing (July 16, 2024), and affordable housing preservation (July 17, 2024).

• MBA will review and further analyze the updated plans in the coming weeks and will continue to partner with FHFA on this and other critical housing issues.

For more information, please contact Sasha Hewlett at (202) 557-2805 or Stephanie Milner at (202) 557-2747.

CFPB Director Chopra Offers Semi-Annual Testimony to House and Senate Authorizers

Appearing before both the House Financial Services (HFSC) and Senate Banking Committees (SBC) last week, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra fielded questions from lawmakers on various policy initiatives undertaken by his agency. The hearings marked Chopra’s first appearance before Congress since the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Bureau’s funding mechanism.

Why it matters: Of particular interest to lawmakers–in both committees and on both sides of the aisle–was the CFPB’s review of “junk fees,” standards for data sharing and privacy rights, and the impact of AI on financial services. A summary of both hearings can be found here and here, and a recording of the hearing can be found here.

Go deeper: Among other topics, Director Chopra fielded direct questions from lawmakers regarding their concerns with his agency’s final rulemaking and implementation of Section 1031 small business lending disclosure requirements. 

What’s next: MBA will continue to advocate for members’ policy interests – both commercial/multifamily and residential – before the CFPB and with the Congress.

For more information, please contact Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913, George Rogers at (202) 557-2797, Rachel Kelley at (202) 557 2816, or Madisyn Rhone at (202) 557-2741.

Senate Budget Committee Holds Hearing on “Tax Fairness”

Last Wednesday, three private sector witnesses testified on tax code “loopholes,” tax treatment of capital gains, Section 199A deduction for pass-through businesses, financial transactions tax, stock buybacks, inequality, and provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) that expire next year.

The witnesses were Joseph Stiglitz, Ph.D., who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, Ms. Sarah Anderson, and the Hon. Michael Faulkender, Ph.D.
• Discussion and questions from the Senators broke along party lines with messaging directed more at the upcoming elections than toward in-depth assessments of the issues. Generally, Democrats criticized tax cuts for the wealthy and discussed the need for more revenue for important government programs, while Republicans focused on the benefits of lower taxes and the need to cut government spending. A full summary of the hearing is here.

Go deeper: Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Dr. Stiglitz criticized the tax code for contributing to real estate speculation and alleged, for example, that the 20% pass-through deduction for small businesses has helped large real estate investors get big tax breaks.

• Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) discussed the high cost of housing and the need to reign in hedge funds from buying up large amounts of both single-family and multifamily housing. Ranking Member (and former Chair of the Senate Finance Committee) Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Congress should examine both tax loopholes and excessive government spending.

What’s next: The hearing previewed many of the elements that will help frame the tax policy debate in Congress next year. MBA will continue to be closely engaged with elected officials – in both chambers of Congress – on tax matters as the expiration of the TCJA approaches.

For more information, please contact George Rogers at (202) 557-2797 or Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913.

Federal Reserve Keeps Rates Unchanged

The Federal Reserve held the federal funds rate at a target range of 5.25-5.50% on Wednesday.

Read more of MBA Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Mike Fratantoni’s commentary here.

For more information, please contact Mike Fratantoni at (202) 557-2935.

MORPAC Action Week Launches National Campaign

Earlier this month, MBA’s Political Action Committee (MORPAC) kicked off its annual fundraising campaign with nearly 30 MBA member companies participating.

• Roughly 500 eligible industry professionals collectively pledged more than $206,000 to MORPAC–$50,000 over the previously stated fundraising goal. MORPAC also hosted its four-part PAC Speaker Series event with the executive/political directors from the national party campaign committees, who covered a targeted set of key U.S. House and Senate races around the country–and the possible impact those races could have on the 119th Congress.

Why it matters: MORPAC is our industry’s federal PAC and a vehicle used to help our members engage in the political process through demonstrated support for candidates whose policies align with the needs of real estate finance industry.

What’s next: MORPAC will continue to mobilize support to hit our readjusted $2 million fundraising goal for the 2024 election cycle. From MBA to you – thank you for all you do to support our advocacy efforts!

For more information on how to run a successful MORPAC campaign, please contact Jamey Lynch, AMP at (202) 557-2818 or Erin Reilly at (202) 557-2751.

Upcoming MBA Education Webinars on Critical Industry Issues

MBA Education continues to deliver timely single-family and commercial/multifamily programming that covers the spectrum of challenges, obstacles and solutions pertaining to our industry. Below, please see a list of upcoming and recent webinars–which are complimentary to MBA members:

Adding Reverse Mortgages to Your Business Line: The Value Proposition – June 20
Unpacking the Costs and Current State of Homeowners Insurance – June 20
Fundamentals of Loss Mitigation for Residential Servicers – June 25
What is the True ROI for Digital Closings? – June 25
Loan Servicing Transfers that Deliver Results – July 11
Adding Reverse Mortgages to Your Business Line: The Roadmap – July 23

MBA members can register for any of the above events and view recent webinar recordings by clicking here.  

For any questions, please contacDavid Upbin at (202) 557-2931.