Advocacy Update: MBA Chairman Mark Jones Hill Hearing on VA Lending; SALT ‘Marriage Penalty’ Bill Stalls; State Review on NMLS Usage Fees

MBA 2024 Chairman Mark Jones Offers VA Home Loan Program Recommendations on Capitol Hill

On Thursday. Mark Jones, MBA’s 2024 Chairman and President of Union Home Mortgage, testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee.

The hearing, “Sink or Swim? A Deep Dive into the Current State of VA’s Home Loan Program in a Competitive Market,” began with an initial panel featuring John Bell, Executive Director, Loan Guaranty Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A second hearing panel included Jones, along with Ed DeMarco, President, Housing Policy Council, and Steve Sharpe, Staff Attorney, National Consumer Law Center.

Go Deeper: Reactions from key subcommittee members focused primarily on Bell’s testimony – and his responses to questions – regarding VA’s proposed Veterans’ Assistance Servicing Purchase (“VASP”) program. A video recording of the hearing can be found here. Click here for MBA’s written testimony and here for Jones’ oral statement.

Why it matters: Jones’s testimony centered on the following MBA recommendations the VA should consider, including 1) implementing a permanent partial claim option; 2) tying the level of the VA Home Loan funding fee to the actual credit risk within the program, which would lower costs to Veterans by removing recent fee increases imposed to pay for unrelated benefits; and 3) delegating management of VA appraiser panels to lenders – the same way that the process works with every other government mortgage loan program.

Jones also highlighted the need for more details from the agency regarding VASP, and effectively responded to a number of questions related to the current state of VA Home Loan program operations.

What’s next: MBA supports Senate legislation (S. 3728) that directly authorizes permanent partial claim authority for the VA. MBA staff will continue to work with key members of both the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs authorizing committees – and the agency itself – to push for the recommendations Jones emphasized within his testimony.

For more information, please contact Rachel Kelley at (202) 557-2816 or Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736.

House Fails to Move to Debate on SALT “Marriage Penalty” Bill

On Wednesday, the full U.S. House considered a procedural motion to move to debate on H.R. 7160, a bill offered by New York Republicans that would double the maximum amount of the deduction for state and local taxes (“SALT”) for married couples against their Adjusted Gross Income – thus eliminating the tax effect known as the SALT “marriage penalty.”

The vote on the underlying House rule (H.Res. 994) to advance to a full House floor debate on H.R. 7160 failed by a margin of 195-225.

Why it matters: State and local income taxes – including property taxes – generally place a greater burden on homebuyers in high-tax burden states. Some real estate groups (and many “blue state” lawmakers) believe the $10,000 SALT deduction cap against federal income (imposed in 2017) dampens the demand for homes and real estate in their states – particularly in high-cost regions and coastal areas.

What’s next: This failed procedural vote likely kills any momentum to advance SALT-related changes in either the House or Senate this year. MBA will continue to closely monitor any legislative movement on all housing and real estate-related tax provisions – such as the favorable Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) enhancements within the recent House-passed, bipartisan tax package (H.R. 7024) – for the duration of the 118th Congress.

For more information, please contact Rachel Kelley at (202) 557-2816 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 Raises Several Issues with the NMLS Mortgage Call Report at Key State Regulator Conference

Last week, MBA staff and members attended the annual National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) User Conference, which took place in San Antonio, Texas and featured representatives from approximately 60 different state regulators.

MBA focused on its several issues with the quarterly NMLS Mortgage Call Report (MCR), including the problematic implementation timeline of Version 6 MCR.

Go deeper: During the NMLS Ombudsman meeting, MBA detailed members’ many issues in their good faith efforts to operationalize V6MCR on an extremely compressed timeline. MBA staff and members appealed to all state policy makers to offer official public grace periods for Q1 2024 MCR filings due in mid-April.

MBA also express frustration that only three states (New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Washington) have thus far embraced the new NMLS State-Specific Supplemental Form (SSSF), which was designed specifically to reduce the duplicative filings among those states that in addition to quarterly MCR reporting also mandate separate individual submissions.

Lastly, MBA and members also urged states and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) to take action to end the inappropriate release of confidential member company information in certain states, which has been uploaded to the NMLS via the MCR and licensing process.

Why is this important: Since the announcement last June of the Q1 2024 implementation of V6MCR, MBA has cautioned regulators that the 6-month implementation period was too brief – especially considering that much of the implementation time frame coincided with the busy annual state licensing renewal season. Regarding member data privilege, MBA urged regulators to do much more to close down public, non-regulator access to confidential supervisory information.

What is next: MBA will continue to work with CSBS to provide member companies resources and tools to help prepare for V6MCR. A new tool released during the Conference this week is an online version of the V6MCR training session offered to attendees. It is available for free here:

For more information, please contact William Kooper (202) 557-2737 or Liz Facemire (202) 557-2870.

State Regulators Announce Review NMLS Usage Fee Structure

Last Wednesday at the NMLS User Conference, state regulators announced they will conduct a review of the fee structure of the NMLS system, including fees associated with testing, education credit banking, and criminal background and credit checks. CSBS President and CEO Brandon Millhorn noted in his remarks to industry stakeholders and regulators that “rising vendor fees and competition for talent continue to put upward pressure on costs,” and that “NMLS processing fees have not changed since the system was launched.”

Why it matters: MBA believes that increasing costs on state-licensed companies at this time is ill-advised, given the challenging market environment.

What’s next: MBA will work with member committees to review the forthcoming proposal and submit comments to CSBS.

For more information, please contact William Kooper (202) 557-2737 or Liz Facemire (202) 557-2870

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:

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

Increasing Your Overall Productivity Through Special Purpose Credit Programs (SPCP) – March 13

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 at (202) 557-2931.