MBA Advocacy Update Sept. 26 2022

Bill Killmer; Pete Mills

On Wednesday, MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, joined a small group of industry and affordable housing leaders at the White House for a constructive meeting on ways to address housing supply and affordability challenges across the country. On Tuesday, MBA member David Battany, Executive Vice President of Capital Markets at Guild Mortgage, testified before a Senate subcommittee on USDA’s Rural Housing Service lending program.

Also last week, CEOs from the largest banks testified before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee on several topline topics, including mortgage issues. And on Thursday, the CFPB asked for public input on ways to improve mortgage refinances and loss mitigation options for homeowners.

MBA Participates in White House Meeting on Housing Supply and Affordability 

On Wednesday, MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, joined a small group of industry and affordable housing leaders at the White House for a constructive meeting with National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson. The group discussed legislative, administrative, private sector and state and local solutions to address housing supply and affordability challenges across the country. 

  • Why it matters: Though not an exhaustive list of everything discussed, Broeksmit’s remarks focused on many of MBA’s top single-family and multifamily advocacy priorities, including: supporting a reduction of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums; a reconsideration of a risk-based capital requirement in Ginnie Mae’s recently finalized capital and liquidity standards; increasing Area Median Income limits for the GSEs’ low down payment programs; expanding the use of Special Purpose Credit Programs; FHA multifamily loan limit and statutory loan changes; enhancements to environmental reviews; support for the GSEs’ proposed multifamily housing goals; and support for state programs that have successfully produced affordable rental housing.
  • What’s next: MBA remains committed to working with our members, the administration, Congress and industry stakeholders on safe and responsible policies that increase homeownership and affordable rental housing options for all households.

For more information, please contact Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736 and Mike Flood at (202) 557-2745.

CFPB Releases RFI Regarding Mortgage Refinances and Forbearance

On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a 37-question request for information seeking comments on how to facilitate mortgage refinances for consumers who would benefit from refinancing, especially consumers with smaller loan balances. The RFI also asks questions about ways to reduce risks for consumers who experience disruptions in their financial situation that could interfere with their ability to remain current on their mortgage payments.

  • Why it matters: This is the initial step the Bureau would take before making changes to the rules necessary to achieve the objectives discussed in the RFI. MBA has an opportunity to communicate its thoughts on how to increase refinancing access for borrowers with small balances, increase access to refinancing through new loan products, and streamline loss mitigation options.
  • What’s next: MBA will work on responding to the RFI and will develop a comment letter through its policy committees.

For more information, please contact Justin Wiseman at (202) 557-2854, Brendan Kelleher at (202) 557-2779, or Gabriel Acosta at (202) 557-2811.

Senate Banking Subcommittee Committee Holds Hearing on Rural Housing Lending Programs  

On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development held a hearing on stakeholder perspectives on rural lending. David Battany, Executive Vice President of Capital Markets at Guild Mortgage, testified on behalf of MBA. A summary of the hearing can be found here.

  • Why it matters: Battany’s testimony (written and oral) highlighted the need for the Rural Housing Service program to have better workflow, technology and loan products to support lenders, mortgage servicers, and consumers. 
  • What’s next: The Senate is working to develop a bipartisan package of reforms to RHS lending that could be considered after the November 2022 midterm election.

For more information, please contact Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913 or Tallman Johnson at (202) 557-2866.

Major Bank CEOs Testify Before Congress

Last week, CEOs from U.S. Bancorp, PNC, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Truist and Wells Fargo testified before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. Many Democrats asked questions regarding company diversity, overdraft policies, mortgage rates and ways to increase homeownership. Republicans focused on inflation and asked questions about the future of the economy and U.S. banks competing with China. 

  • Why it matters: Bank executives responded to questioning about the reasons for their retreat from mortgage lending via the Ginnie-securitized housing program platforms, citing regulatory requirements that raise the costs of loans. Lawmakers also pressed the witnesses on local solutions to tackling the affordable housing crisis, including supporting the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and financing the construction of affordable dwelling units (ADUs).
  • What’s next: A summary of the hearings can be found here. MBA will continue working with key lawmakers on all issues impacting our members – regardless of their business model.  

For more information, please contact Alden Knowlton at (202) 557-2741, Borden Hoskins at (202) 557-2712, Ethan Saxon at (202) 557 2913 or Tallman Johnson at (202) 557-2866.

Federal Reserve Raises Short-Term Rates Again; Indicates More to Come to Curb Inflation 

The Federal Reserve in its ongoing efforts to slow inflation raised the federal funds rate by another 75 basis points to a target range of 3.00-3.25% on Wednesday.

  • Why it matters: This short-term rate hike marks the third consecutive increase of 75 basis points and the fifth overall increase since March. The FOMC also indicated that more rate hikes are to come until there are signs that inflation slows and moves closer to its target of 2%.
  • MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni noted, “The FOMC members’ projections indicate slower growth, slowly decelerating inflation, and a fed funds rate that will likely top out well above 4%. The surprise for the market might be the median expectation that they could increase rates to 4.4% by the end of this year. Mortgage rates have jumped the past few weeks following the August inflation report, which indicated that the Fed will continue to be aggressive in combating stubbornly high inflation levels.”

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

[WATCH] mPower Moments: On the Power of Intelligence with Sue Gordon

In this mPower Moments episode, mPower Founder Marcia M. Davies sits down with Sue Gordon, a 30-year national intelligence leader and Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. During this inspiring discussion, Gordon discusses her career journey and how she was able to climb the ladder at the CIA.

  • Why it matters: Gordon also provides helpful insight on how organizations can better help women excel in leadership roles and provide them with learning opportunities to help them succeed. She also offers great advice on how women can stay focused when navigating their career and discusses the importance of doing your job well in order to get to the next level. Furthermore, Gordon offers tips on how women can be more vigilant in combatting ongoing cybersecurity threats and how we can better protect ourselves within the digital space.
  • What’s next: To watch more mPower Moments, click here.

For more information, please contact Marcia Davies at (202) 557-2707.

Upcoming MBA Education Webinars on Critical Industry Issues

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

  • State of Non-QM Lending & What You Need to Know Now – September 27
  • Empowering Mortgage Servicers with Proactive KPIs – September 29
  • Managing Liquidity and Operational Efficiency in a Fiercely Competitive Market – October 4
  • Prioritizing Compliance in Loan and Mortgage Digitization – October 12
  • Marijuana and Real Estate in 2022: What Every CRE Professional Should Know – October 19

MBA members can register for any of the above events and view recent webinar recordings. For more information, please contact David Upbin at (202) 557-2931.