Lopez Reflects on Past Year as MBA Chairman

DENVER–His term as Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association at an end, Rodrigo Lopez, CMB, extolled attendees here at the MBA Annual Convention & Expo this morning to continue their involvement in the real estate finance industry.

RodrigoLopez“The one thing I know for sure after decades of significant involvement with this association is this: all is possible when we step up, lean in, say yes to the call and work together to make our industry the best it can be,” Lopez said.

Lopez cited progress on each of his three strategic goals over the past year: initiate legislative and regulatory changes; embrace transformational technology; and achieve meaningful diversity in our industry.

On the regulatory balance front, Lopez noted MBA led an industry coalition to secure critical TRID amendments and succeeded in getting key industry recommendations in the Treasury Department’s Regulatory Reform Report. On the legislative front, MBA led efforts to stop the FHA administrative fee and prevented FHA funds from being used to finance PACE loans.

Most notably, Lopez said, was MBA’s impact on the debate over GSE reform, citing release of MBA’s comprehensive white paper on GSE reform this past April (https://www.mba.org/issues/gse-reform), developed through extensive member input with a task force representing numerous business models and companies of every size.

“Additionally, we have been engaged with the White House, Treasury Department and Congressional leadership to advance housing finance reform legislation,” Lopez said. “When the Senate Banking Committee held its first hearing this year on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, MBA’s President and CEO, Dave Stevens, was at the witness table. We are respected as a thought leader on the topic and will continue being a voice for the entire industry. We have to keep up this momentum. We simply cannot afford to be absent from the discussion when any foreseeable change will greatly impact our industry and our customers.”

Lopez noted progress in the real estate finance industry in embracing transformational technology, such as expansion of e-mortgages and technological solutions to regulatory requirements such as TRID. “We need to continue this transformation, but also be mindful of the risks,” he said. “As we look ahead to enhanced [Home Mortgage Disclosure Act] data delivery in 2018, we must understand the importance of cyber security and ensure our customers’ data is secure.”

Lopez also cited progress in improving diversity and inclusion throughout the industry but implored attendees to improve their efforts. “The list of MBA sponsored opportunities to learn and network has expanded substantially this year,” he said. “With your increased participation, MBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Summit has continued to grow. The CREF Careers program draws from a diverse student body representing more than 45 colleges and universities. And MBA’s exciting mPower initiative, under Marcia Davies’ leadership, has grown well beyond expectations.”

Lopez thanked MBA membership and staff for working toward improving the industry and service to customers. “It has been an extraordinary experience and I am most grateful for such a unique opportunity,” he said. “It has been a true honor to serve as your Chairman.”