MBA Advocacy Update: House Trigger Leads Bill Introduced; Broeksmit Defends IMBs; MBA Letters to FCC and FTC

Harmonized, MBA-Supported House “Trigger Leads” Bill Introduced; Act Today on MBA’s MAA Call to Action

Last Wednesday, Reps. John Rose (R-TN) and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) introduced H.R. 7297, the Homebuyer Privacy Protection Act of 2024. This revised House bill is identical to companion Senate legislation, S. 3502, introduced late last year by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).

The bill would allow for prescreen reports (trigger leads) to be permissible under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) only in limited circumstances during a real estate transaction.

A consumer reporting agency (CRA) would not be able to furnish a trigger lead to a third party unless: (1) the third party certifies to the CRA that the consumer has authorized the solicitations; OR (2) the third party certifies it has originated the consumer’s current residential mortgage loan, is the servicer of the consumer’s current residential mortgage loan, or is an insured depository institution or insured credit union and holds a deposit account for the consumer to whom the consumer report relates.

Why it matters: Eliminating trigger lead abuses while preserving their use in appropriately narrow circumstances remains an MBA priority. The introduction of this revamped House bill furthers the momentum for legislative action on this issue.

What they’re saying: In a press statement, MBA’s Broeksmit said, “We commend Reps. John Rose (R-TN) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY) and Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) for introducing these bills and continue to call on House and Senate leaders to pass them into law as soon as possible.”

What’s next: Your advocacy matters! Participate in MBA’s Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) Call to Action TODAY and urge your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to co-sponsor H.R. 7297 and/or S. 3502, the bipartisan, bicameral MBA-supported “trigger leads” bills.

For more information, please contact Rachel Kelley at (202) 557-2816, George Rogers at (202) 557-2797, Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913, or Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736.

Treasury Secretary Yellen Testifies on Capitol Hill; Broeksmit Defends IMBs

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week appeared before the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees to discuss the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) Annual Report to Congress.

Secretary Yellen’s testimony and responses to questions centered on last year’s bank failures, the Basel III Endgame capital requirements proposal and other proposed banking regulations, commercial real estate risks, and FSOC’s nonbank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) designation guidance. Full summary of the hearings can be found here and here.

What they’re saying: In a press statement in response to commentary made on IMBs, MBA’s Broeksmit said, “If regulators are concerned about the market share and stability of IMBs, they ought to go back to the drawing board on the Basel III endgame proposal, which would drive banks even further out of the mortgage business and make it more difficult for them to serve consumers directly and provide the vital financing that sustains IMBs.”

MBA does not believe IMBs – individually or as a sector – pose a systemic risk to the entire U.S. financial system and highlighted these concerns in a July 2023 comment letter.

Go deeper: Republicans and Democrats also expressed concerns about the potential risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI) to financial stability and consumers. To a lesser extent, other issues discussed include payments, digital assets, cloud computing, cybersecurity, tax policy, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) climate disclosures proposal, and the potential for the housing GSEs to exit from conservatorship.

What’s next: MBA will continue to monitor for any additional information that FSOC and the Treasury provide to the two committees in follow-up communications to lawmakers.

For more information, please contact Rachel Kelley at (202) 557-2816, George Rogers at (202) 557-2797, Ethan Saxon at (202) 557-2913, or Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736.

REGISTER: MBA’s National Advocacy Conference on March 19-20; Great Speaker Lineup Confirmed!

Join us in Washington, D.C. to meet with key policymakers, network with colleagues across the industry, and hear from policy experts on the topline issues impacting the industry.

Confirmed speakers for the conference include: Senate Banking Committee members Jack Reed (D-RI) and Katie Britt (R-AL), House Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), key House Financial Services Committee member Brittany Pettersen (D-CO), HUD Chief of Staff Julienne Joseph, and renowned political pundit Charlie Cook.

An exclusive reception will be held on Tuesday, March 19, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Lend your voice to our efforts and bring your expertise and experiences to the table.

Check out MBA’s group passes pricing.

Why it matters: Your participation at NAC ensures that members of the 118th Congress and the administration understand how proposed legislation affects your employees, your end users, and the communities you (and they) serve.

What’s next: MBA will continue to advocate for issues impacting the real estate finance industry.

For more information, please contact Jamey Lynch, AMP, at (202) 557-2818.

MBA Submits Coalition Letter to FCC on Revocation of Consent Under TCPA

Last week, MBA and other trades sent a joint letter in response to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Draft Revocation Order proposal that clarifies how consumers may revoke consent to receive calls or texts under the Telephone Consumer Protect Act (TCPA). Specifically, the letter recommends that the FCC:

Require that consumers that use a non-standard or non-conforming means of revocation to prove that the method used was reasonable in the event of a dispute;

Provide that revocation will not be presumed to extend to specified informational messages such as fraud alerts, breach notifications, and multifactor authentications, absent a specific direction from the consumer;

Replace the five-minute response rule for confirmation texts with a next business day requirement; and

Remove the “soon as practicable” requirement for honoring revocations.

Why it matters: MBA members often provide important, sometimes critical, information to their customers through voice calls and text messages. These include suspicious activity alerts, notices of data breaches, past-due alerts, multifactor authentication texts and notices of payments due.

MBA continues to engage to ensure reasonable rules on how customers may revoke consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls or text messages covered under the TCPA. Furthermore, given the potential monetary penalties for TCPA infractions, it is important for companies to continue to track the consent status of their customers and have procedures in place to process revocation.

What’s next: MBA will continue to monitor this rulemaking and provide any relevant updates.

For more information, please contact Justin Wiseman at (202) 557-2854 or Alisha Sears at (202) 557- 2930.

MBA Submits Letter to FTC on Unfair or Deceptive Fees

On Wednesday, MBA filed a comment letter on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Trade Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees. The letter responds to the FTC’s proposed rule requiring conspicuous pricing disclosures of total costs. MBA urged FTC to exempt mortgages from the rule because it is incompatible with the existing comprehensive mortgage disclosure regime.

Go deeper: Because of an existing Federal regulatory regime specifically designed for mortgage transactions, MBA believes the application of the FTC’s rule on deceptive or unfair fees to mortgage lending is unnecessary and counterproductive, as it would present irreconcilable conflicts with the existing disclosure regime, undue compliance burdens on the industry, and consumer confusion. Accordingly, any FTC final rule should not apply to any mortgage transaction that is subject to regulation under the Truth in Lending Act.

Why it matters: MBA members have invested significant resources to come into compliance with the comprehensive regulatory regime applicable to the disclosure of the cost of mortgage transactions for consumers.

To avoid unnecessary conflict with this regime, excessive compliance burdens for lenders, and confusion for consumers, MBA urges the FTC to exclude mortgage transactions from the scope of any final Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees.

What’s next: MBA will continue to monitor this rulemaking and provide any relevant updates.

For more information, please contact Justin Wiseman at (202) 557-2854 or Alisha Sears at (202) 557- 2930.

FHA Issues Final Rule on Lender Branch Requirements

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently issued its final rule regarding lender branch office requirements. This final rule eliminates the current requirement for lenders to register the branch offices where they conduct FHA Title I or Title II loan originations, providing lenders with the option to register branch offices as they see fit.

Of note, branches not registered with FHA will not be listed on the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Lender Search List.

Why it matters: During the comment period, MBA submitted questions to HUD that included an inquiry about how HUD would continue to monitor lenders. HUD responded that it “will continue to maintain oversight and risk management of lenders and mortgagees that remain responsible to FHA for the actions of its branch offices and employees.”

What’s next: A more detailed announcement is expected to follow via Mortgagee Letter in the near future. The final rule becomes effective on March 4, 2024.

For more information, please contact Darnell Peterson at (202) 557-2922.

Senators Introduce MBA-Supported VA Partial Claim Legislation

Last Thursday, Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairmen of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Banking Committees (respectively), introduced S.3728, the Veterans Housing Stability Act of 2024, to authorize a permanent VA partial claim to help veterans who are seriously delinquent on their home loans. The text of the legislation can be found here.

Why it Matters: MBA has consistently called on Congress to authorize and fund a permanent partial claim program for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Program. The partial claim authority authorized by the new bill would complement other loss mitigation options still under consideration by VA Secretary Denis McDonough, such as a loan purchase program for delinquent loans.

What’s next: The House Veterans Affairs Committee has invited Mark Jones, 2024 MBA Chairman, to testify next week before its Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, along with the VA and other stakeholders, on the status of the VA Home Loan Program. MBA will provide more detailed commentary on S. 3728 and will share it with lawmakers in both the House and Senate in the coming weeks.

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

REGISTER: MBA’s State and Local Workshop on March 18-19

Join us in Washington, D.C. the day before the National Advocacy Conference to collaborate with industry peers on shared challenges and priorities and receive actionable advice to grow your state or local association’s member base.

Why it matters: In today’s challenging market, it’s more important than ever that state and local associations are helping members not just survive, but grow.

What’s next: Take advantage of savings and maximize your impact when you register for both the State and Local Workshop and the National Advocacy Conference.

For more information, please contact Anthony Siller at (202) 557-2944.

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:

Revisiting Your Servicing Retained Versus Released Decision – February 15

The Role of Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Affordable Housing and Community Development – March 5

Private Credit Finance 201: A Deep Dive into Debt Funds and Their Impact to Commercial Real Estate Lending – March 6

A Crisis of Identity in Lending – Best Practices for Securing the Borrower Experience – March 12

Who Are Today’s Borrowers? A Look at the Lending Preferences and Expectations of Today’s Consumers – March 14

Making Sense of Multifamily Finance – March 14

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

For more information, please contact David Upbin or (202) 557-2931.