Prepared Remarks of MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, at the 2018 MBA Annual Convention and Expo

Adam De Sanctis
(202) 557- 2727

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 15, 2018) - Bob Broeksmit, CMB, MBA President and CEO, delivered the following remarks at MBA's 2018 Annual Convention and Expo in Washington, D.C.

[Please Note: These are prepared remarks. Mr. Broeksmit may add to or subtract from these remarks during the course of his presentation. Portions of the text may be omitted during the speech.]

Mortgage market regulations are increasing costs and limiting YOUR ability to serve YOUR customers.

I've gotten so much valuable input from members during my first 8 weeks on the job, and THAT is the number one theme.

And we're going to fix it.

Good morning, everyone.

And thank you Chris for that generous introduction.

I'd also like to wish Dave Motley all the best and thank him for his leadership.

I am looking forward to working with Chris as Chairman, along with Chair-Elect Brian Stoffers and Vice-Chair Susan Stewart.

The question I get asked the most is, "Why did you want to be CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association?"

I get that question from MBA members.

I get it from the press.

I even get it from my own employees-- I THOUGHT the job interview process was over!

It turns out that the CEO search committee asked me the same thing.

And RATHER than telling them what I thought they wanted to hear, I took the NOVEL approach of answering their question in a straightforward way...

It's because I want to work FOR YOU... and for our ENTIRE industry.

Lo and behold, that was a pretty good approach, and here I am.

For me, this is the high point of a 33-year career in mortgage banking.

I started my career as a temp typing forms at The Money Store in Union, New Jersey.

Remember The Money Store?

As my career progressed and my thirst for knowledge grew, I did every job I could.

I know every facet of the mortgage business intimately.

So, I've sat in many of your seats.

I've sat in your seat facing a first-time homebuyer, a delinquent borrower, and an auditor.

I've sat in your seat facing regulators and legislators, even representing some of you from my former position at Treliant.

Now I have the opportunity to represent ALL of you.

I want to LEAD our industry and be YOUR spokesperson.

I'm thrilled to be serving our industry.

I owe a debt of gratitude to Dave Stevens and his remarkable tenure at MBA.

And I'm so fortunate that we're starting from a position of incredible strength.

The MBA staff is highly effective and the organization is on strong financial footing.

Today we have an opportunity to drive MBA's agenda...YOUR agenda...for the long-term success of OUR industry.

New leadership in seven regulatory offices that oversee our industry presents new opportunities to educate and inform policymakers.

Mick Mulvaney has set a new tone at the BCFP and soon, Kathy Kraninger is expected to take the helm as the new director.

We will hear from Acting Director Mulvaney this afternoon.

There is new leadership at FHA with Commissioner Brian Montgomery, whom you will hear from later this morning.

A new FHFA director will be appointed to succeed Director Watt in January.

And there is new leadership at the Federal Reserve, FDIC, OCC, and SEC.

The entire alphabet soup!

You may have heard there's an election coming up.

We're going to elect a new Congress.

And MBA will be working for you regardless of who wins and who loses.

MBA is also working for you with regulators.

Just a couple weeks ago, I met with Craig Phillips, Secretary Mnuchin's senior advisor at Treasury, whom we will ALSO hear from later this morning.

We've got quite a line up for you today!

Craig listened to our issues, and we were clearly understood.

We set plans for following up at both the principal and staff levels.

And we received an open-door invitation to return on YOUR behalf.

We're working for YOU by recommending REASONABLE changes to the regulations and laws that have increased costs or prevented you from serving your customers.

We've met with HUD Secretary Carson and Commissioner Montgomery seeking refinements and reforms to the FHA program to address the issues that are inhibiting many of you from lending to many qualified low- and moderate-income families.

Specifically, we're addressing loan-level and annual certifications and the use of the False Claims Act to extract treble damages from lenders for what are often TRIVIAL loan defects that have no bearing on loan performance.

We have also suggested amendments to existing FHA origination and servicing guidelines and other policies like technology funding and the defect taxonomy.

We are working with both HUD and the Department of Labor to address disruptive and unwarranted Davis-Bacon split wage rates that raise costs on FHA-financed multifamily projects.

And we are working with Ginnie Mae to improve the liquidity of Ginnie securities and mortgage servicing rights.

These are issues many of you have brought to our attention, and we continue to work with HUD, FHA, and Ginnie Mae. 

We are working with Treasury and the IRS to ensure that commercial and residential Independent Mortgage Banks receive the full benefits of the recent tax reform legislation.

We're working with the BCFP to ensure the Bureau upholds its intended mission to protect consumers and enable more consumer choice.

We're helping to rationalize and streamline those regulations that impede competition but don't benefit consumers.

For example, we spearheaded a letter with eleven other industry groups and also organized a separate MBA member letter urging the BCFP to improve the loan officer compensation rules.

You told us this was YOUR NUMBER ONE priority, and we're on it.

Rules should provide the appropriate guidance to help lenders comply with the law.

So when the BCFP issued requests for information on several Dodd-Frank era rules, MBA responded.

We offered detailed comments urging the BCFP to re-examine some of its regulations, including Loan Officer Comp, Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage, the Consumer Complaint Database, and HMDA.

And on HMDA, by the way, we're working to ensure its scope does not needlessly sweep in business-to-business lending on multifamily properties.

MBA continues to work for you on GSE reform.

Our Chairman just emphasized the importance of GSE reform to your businesses, and THAT is why it will remain a top priority.

As I mentioned, a new FHFA director will be in place in January.

We will continue educating officials on the impacts of GSE reform to our industry and to the whole market.

We recently passed the 10th anniversary of Fannie and Freddie's conservatorship, and times have changed.

Home prices have broadly rebounded.

Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures are at 12-year lows.

And the multifamily market has met the increased demand for rental housing.

The GSEs continue to play a vital role in the marketplace, and changes implemented during conservatorship have leveled the playing field, enabling more equal access to the secondary market.

But these reforms are not etched in stone.

And so last month MBA authored a letter to the Administration and the Congress with 28 co-signers on the importance of completing GSE reform.

The GSEs' long-term ability to support the housing market greatly depends on permanently reforming some of the structural problems that contributed to the crisis.

We will continue pushing for an explicit government guarantee on mortgage backed securities issued by the GSEs and equal access to the secondary market regardless of business model or size.

And, we will pave the way for the return of private capital to the secondary market.

Our work on GSE reform is NOT finished.

It is critical we continue to advocate for permanent reforms that will safeguard a diverse and robust market for lenders of all sizes and business models, and protect taxpayers' interests.

Meanwhile, MBA is ALSO working for you on Capitol Hill.

One of the things that I have been most surprised by is the number of BIPARTISAN housing bills that have been introduced, approved in Committee, or passed by the full House in the time I've been on the job.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, along with Democrat John Delaney, introduced the Bipartisan Housing Finance Reform Act of 2018.

This is the latest in legislative GSE proposals.

In August, Senators Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, and Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, introduced the bipartisan Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act, which would expand access to credit for creditworthy borrowers with non-traditional forms of income.

MBA is working both sides of the Hill to pass the Give Useful Information to Define Effective Compliance Act, or GUIDE Act, which would compel the BCFP to issue guidance according to clear standards and provide a safe harbor for good faith reliance on such guidance.

Got all that?

When enacted, it will better protect consumers by ensuring that companies regulated by the BCFP have a clear understanding of how to comply with important consumer finance laws.

Finally, the House passed a bipartisan bill to help recently refinanced VA loans remain eligible for pooling in Ginnie Mae securities.

We are working with members of the Senate to get it to the President for his signature.

The mid-term elections are just around the corner.

We know there will be newcomers to the Hill.

We may also see a shift in leadership in the House and/or the Senate.

But no matter who sits in those seats, housing is not a partisan issue. MBA is leading the way in fostering this bipartisan cooperation.

Our job-- MBA and our members-- is to connect with and educate all regulators and legislators-- regardless of party-- to get the job done and ensure a vibrant real estate market.

MBA is also working for you in the states.

We will continue leveraging the strength of our state MBA partnerships for successful state campaigns.

Securing nationwide adoption of the Uniform State Test demonstrates the success we achieve when we partner with our state associations.

We took up the challenge for all 50 states to adopt the UST and streamline the licensing process for mortgage loan officers nationwide.

The campaign was a five-year endeavor across 59 different licensing jurisdictions.

On August 1, as Minnesota became the final state to adopt the UST, we achieved our goal.

Thank you to the great state of Minnesota...and what took you so long?

We have a number of other initiatives underway with our state and local association partners, including our next 50-state campaign-- the adoption of MBA's model remote online notarization legislation which will help with e-closings across the country.

I want the public and policymakers to understand the crucial role our industry plays in the life of every American household.

And households are growing.

The Millennial Generation is the largest and most diverse segment of consumers we have ever seen.

They are also leaders in technology.

This presents a world of opportunity for your businesses.

MBA is providing you resources to navigate in the ever-changing technology space and reach this unique and diverse generation.

We want to help you improve the home-buying experience for today's tech-savvy borrowers, and reduce costs through technology solutions.

We are also supporting you with tools to improve diversity within your companies, as we're doing internally at MBA, so you can better reflect today's more diverse customer base.

mPower is championing the careers and emphasizing the advancement of women in the industry.

And mPact is engaging more young professionals and helping them advance, and expand their networks.

Each of these priorities I've presented today--

Regulatory refinement, GSE reform, state partnerships, legislative activity, and providing you with resources--

Comes from you-- our members-- through the MBA Board of Directors, RESBOG, COMBOG, committees, task forces, roundtables, and emails.

I have no predetermined agenda...

Because I want YOU to determine our next steps.

MBA is a member-driven organization, and we work for you.

I want to understand your concerns, and MBA is the best vehicle for amplifying those concerns and getting them addressed.

One thing I have determined is that the best way for me to be effective inside the Beltway, is to get outside the Beltway.

I've spent the better part of the last 29 years in this town.

And believe me... I need to get out...

YOU give us YOUR input regularly.

Now I'm going to bring MBA to YOU.

I want to spend time with member companies and the people doing the nitty gritty work.

And so, from November to February, I'll begin a CEO listening tour.

Member companies will host meetings that bring together a cross section of our members.

I'll be listening and learning YOUR priorities.

I will bring those priorities home to MBA, and we will establish the best strategy for success and execute on that strategy.

But all of this works only if you stay engaged as well.

When I was an MBA member, MBA advocated far more forcefully than my company's resources would have allowed.

As the One Voice of our industry, MBA was a force multiplier that allowed US to punch above our weight.

Having access to ALL the resources MBA has to offer meant we had exposure to senior officials in Washington.

Networking with our peers at conferences helped bring new ideas and expanded our reach.

These relationships were invaluable to our growth and success.

I have seen firsthand how MORPAC and the Mortgage Action Alliance open doors for us on Capitol Hill, where I've already met with nine Senators, even though they've had other things on their minds, and ten Representatives.

And so, it's critically important that we COLLECTIVELY remain engaged on ALL fronts.

The power of OUR collective engagement and YOUR continued service to our industry will make us stronger.

We will need you with us, connecting with and educating a new Congress.

We need you with us, working with regulators in reshaping policies so your customers and the industry are better served.

Please continue communicating with me and the entire MBA staff.

I can't say it enough...WE are working for YOU.

I'm no longer a temp filling out forms in Union, New Jersey...

I'm here, along with all of you, and together we are the ONE voice for our industry, advancing ONE vision, and MBA is the ONE resource you can count on to work for you in Washington.

Thank you.