MBA MAA ‘Call to Action’ on GSE ‘G-Fees’

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s grassroots advocacy arm, the Mortgage Action Alliance, issued a ‘Call to Action’ on Monday to its 70,000-plus members urging them to tell their elected officials to not use government-sponsored enterprise guaranty fees (g-fees) as a source of funding offsets.

The effort comes as Senate negotiators are working on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, a massive infrastructure bill aimed at jumpstarting key parts of the economy. MBA and other industry trade groups expressed concern that negotiators could use the g-fees, which are a risk management tool used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to protect against losses from loans that default, to offset certain funding measures.

Last Thursday, MBA led a coalition of housing trades and consumer advocates that sent a letter to Senate negotiators emphasizing that homeownership must not be used as the nation’s “piggybank” to cover the cost of unrelated federal programs.

“Increasing g-fees for other purposes effectively taxes potential homebuyers, as well as existing homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages,” the letter said. “It is important to note that g-fees are included within the cost structure of all mortgages, including those for first-time homebuyers, veterans and rural communities.”

In 2011, Congress increased g-fees for a decade to pay for a payroll tax cut for only two months. “That maneuver has negatively impacted homeowners and continues to do so even today,” MBA said. ‘Since then, whenever Congress has considered using g-fees to cover the cost of programs unrelated to housing, whether for deficit reduction, highway reauthorization legislation, immigration reform, or Gulf Coast restoration, MBA has used MAA to send direct and emphatic messages to lawmakers that they cannot, and must not, be used in such a manner.”

The Call to Action urges MAA members to contact their representative/Senators and urge them to not use g-fees as a “pay-for” for either the BIF or the upcoming House/Senate budget resolutions. “As our economy recovers from the impact of the pandemic, it is wrong for Congress to push the goal of home ownership further out of reach for all Americans,” MBA said.

More information about MAA and the Call to Action can be found here.