MBA Statement on the Biden Administration’s Housing Affordability Initiatives Warns Against CFPB Reforms on Closing Costs, Title Insurance

MBA’s President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, released the following statement on the Biden administration’s announcements on housing at the State of the Union address:

“MBA welcomes the Administration’s focus on legislative reforms and regulatory fixes that increase single-family and multifamily housing supply and help to make homeownership more affordable and attainable for all qualified borrowers. This is even more important in today’s high mortgage rate environment.

Housing markets across the country continue to suffer from supply-demand imbalances, and we have urged the Administration to take meaningful action to remove regulatory barriers that impede development. We also have offered recommendations that would make government lending programs less costly and more effective for our members and consumers.

Some of the initiatives announced today are solutions that would boost housing availability and affordability, including expanding the volume of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocations. We urge the Senate to pass the bipartisan “Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024” (H.R. 7024) as soon as possible to produce an estimated 200,000 additional rental units over the next two years.

MBA has significant concerns that some of the proposals on closing costs and title insurance could undermine consumer protections, increase risk, and reduce competition. In 2015, the industry implemented final rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau making comprehensive reforms to mortgage disclosures to increase clarity and transparency and to help facilitate consumer shopping. In 2020, the CFPB reviewed and praised its own rules. Suggestions that another revamp of these rules is needed depart from the legal regime created by Congress in the Dodd-Frank Act and will only increase regulatory costs and make it untenable for smaller lenders to compete. 

We will further analyze these initiatives–many of which require Congressional action–as more information is released and will continue to work with the Administration, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and industry stakeholders on effective solutions that bolster housing supply, improve affordability for both renters and borrowers, and improve access to sustainable homeownership.”