MBA Chairman Motley: ‘We Won’t Back Down’

DENVER–Dave Motley, CMB, began his tenure as Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association with an energetic agenda for the path forward for the real estate finance industry.

“Because we represent businesses of all sizes and from every sector of real estate finance, we have the best, and most unique, perspective to impact policies that affect our industry,” Motley said here this morning at the MBA Annual Convention & Expo. “I have personally witnessed what we can accomplish for our companies and our customers by learning, listening and advocating for better laws, systems and access to credit for all consumers.”

DaveMotleyMotley has been an MBA member for two decades, representing Colonial Savings F.A., Fort Worth, Texas, and its divisions–Colonial National Mortgage and CU Members Mortgage, where he rose from loan officer to President.

“For me, being in Colorado feels like a homecoming,” Motley said. “You see, Colorado is where my mortgage banking career began, where I started out as loan officer and closed my first single-family home loan. And today, my career comes full-circle–returning to my roots as I begin my year as your 2018 Chairman.”

Motley said his company and MBA have common goals, which makes his job as Chairman easier. “Just as my goals for Colonial are to grow and continue serving our customers and community, I want the same for our industry,” he said. “Like many of you, my commitment and passion for this business has been driven by that desire to help people. I truly believe that we can have a profound influence and change people’s lives for the better.”

Motley outlined three key priorities for his tenure as Chairman: Improving the supply of safe and affordable housing; fix regulatory and legislative burdens on the industry; and improve diversity and inclusion in the industry.

“Housing supply and consumer demands aren’t matching up,” Motley said. “For the last nine years single family home starts have averaged less than half the normal equilibrium level of 1.2 million new homes per year. At the upper end of the market, that means that not enough homes have been built to meet the demands of the move-up buyer. And, as a result, homeowners are simply staying put, which limits supply and pushes up the prices of entry-level housing stock.

Motley said the industry’s role should be that of a “thought leader” on ways to prudently grow supply. “We must engage with our sister trades–the home builders, realtors, multifamily lenders and developers–to find solutions to the problem at the national, state and local levels,” he said. “We all basically share the same goal–a healthy, vibrant market that provides consumers with access to homes that best suit their families’ wants and needs. We are aligned on this issue and can work together as a strong, unified coalition.”

Motley also called for greater collaboration with the settlement and title services industries, as well as consumer advocacy organizations and other trade groups. “Even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be our ally in this, as we share the common view that the best consumer is an informed consumer,” he said. “MBA can create these coalitions, but it takes engagement by each of us to get the job done. This particularly includes working with state MBAs and helping them engage with local coalition partners to address barriers with state regulators and legislators.”

With collaboration, Motley said, the industry can work with policymakers to “finally” fix the regulatory and legislative burdens that are driving up costs to consumers and constraining the industry’s ability to serve customers.

“We have a genuine opportunity with an administration and Congress that both profess to want to reduce burdensome regulations and create laws that make sense,” Motley said. “We can’t let this opportunity slip by, not when real change is within our reach.”

Motley noted major impediments remain “that are preventing us from solving the supply and affordability problems that are plaguing the market. We need to appeal to lawmakers and regulators to work with us to fix these burdens. As an industry, we must support good regulation that protects consumers, supports a vibrant housing market and prevents a repetition of past mistakes. But we also need regulation that articulates clear standards, establishes reasonable tolerances and proportional remedies, and encourages common-sense lending.”

Those efforts, Motley said, include GSE reform. “We’ve been talking about this for nine years,” he said. “But, we’re not talking anymore…we’re doing. MBA has released the authoritative white paper on the topic. Congress and the White House are moving forward and MBA is right in the middle of it, briefing staff in the White House, on Capitol Hill and in the agencies themselves. Why? Because the status quo is not sustainable with the GSEs in their current form.”

Motley said it was imperative that the industry transform how they work and look.

“Here’s the problem–our industry is, to too great of an extent, ‘Pale, Stale and Male,'” Motley said. “We are quickly becoming an industry that no longer reflects the people and communities we serve.”

Motley noted MBA research shows over the next decade, 16 million new households could potentially be created, with most of those ultimately wanting to be homeowners. “The Millennial generation–many now of home buying age–proportionally has the largest share of immigrants of all age cohorts,” he said. “Minorities will become the majority. In fact, that has already occurred in California and Texas. Since 2010 Hispanics have seen a net gain of more than 1.1 million homeowners. And they are the only ethnic group to show homeownership growth in each of the past two years, although there are promising signs that black homeownership rates may be starting to increase. We know where the opportunities lie. We agree on and believe in the business case for diversity. Now let’s really do something about it…Folks, this is the future. Companies that don’t embrace diversity and inclusion are going to get left in the dust. It’s just that simple.”

Motley called for industry unity. “Join me in engaging with our industry partners–builders, developers, realtors and consumer groups–so we are all working together to find common solutions to solve the affordable housing crisis,” he said. “Join us in helping policymakers and regulators fix the rules that are holding back the market. Lend your voice to our efforts, bring your expertise and experiences to the table. We need your voice with us to advocate as one to resolve these issues and better reflect the people we serve…we can only accomplish this as one industry, with one voice, one vision and as one resource. We won’t back down.”