MBA, Trade Groups Renew Fight on G-Fee Offsets

As the House and Senate Budget Committees take up fiscal 2017 spending bills, the Mortgages Bankers Association and more than a dozen industry trade groups reiterated their opposition to use of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guarantee fees to offset unrelated appropriations.

In letters to House and Senate Budget Committee leadership, MBA and the trade groups said g-fees should be used for their intended purpose, to support homeownership stability.

“By preventing g-fees to be used as a funding offset, this budget point of order gives lawmakers a vital tool to prevent homeowners from footing the bill for unrelated spending,” the letters said. “We urge you to once again include it in this year’s Budget Resolution.”The letters pointed out that when g-fees were raised by 10 basis points for 10 years to fund a two-month extension of payroll tax relief back in 2011, that increase harmed homebuyers and consumers and continues to do so during the duration of the provision’s 10-year lifespan.”

Since then, whenever Congress has considered using g-fees to cover the cost of programs unrelated to housing, our organizations have united to emphatically let lawmakers know homeownership cannot, and must not, be used as the nation’s piggybank,” the letters said. “Yet the threat remains very real–in fact, just last year, the Senate attempted to use these fees to replenish the Highway Trust Fund.”

The letters urged House and Senate Budget Committee leadership to include a provision in the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution that would prohibit use of g-fees as a funding offset. “Such a provision was included by both the House and Senate in last year’s Budget Resolution and was instrumental in preventing Congress from taxing homeowners to pay for unrelated spending.”

Joining MBA in the letter: the American Bankers Association; the American Land Title Association; the Community Home Lenders Association; the Community Mortgage Lenders of America; the Consumer Mortgage Coalition; Credit Union National Association; Habitat for Humanity International; the Independent Community Bankers of America; Leading Builders of America; the National Association of Federal Credit Unions; the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals; the National Association of Home Builders; the National Association of Mortgage Brokers; the National Association of Realtors; The Realty Alliance; and U.S. Mortgage Insurers.