MBA Advocacy Update

Steve O'Connor; Bill Killmer  

December 17, 2018


President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Mark Calabria as the next Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, issued a statement congratulating Calabria on his nomination.  

Also last week, the Senate voted 55-44 to confirm Justin Muzinich as Deputy Secretary of Treasury, the department's No. 2 position.   Congressional leaders continue to negotiate with the Trump administration over the remaining seven budget/appropriations bills (including HUD's) for Fiscal Year 2019, against a December 21 "shutdown" deadline. And the 116th Congress will be officially sworn in on January 3, 2019.  

Mark Calabria Nominated to Replace FHFA Director Mel Watt
Following months of speculation and a recent flurry of rumors in the press, President Trump on Tuesday announced his intention to nominate Mark Calabria as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  

Calabria currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence's Chief Economist and has had significant experience in housing policy as a senior staff member for the Senate Banking Committee, as well as roles at HUD and the Cato Institute, among others. MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, issued a statement congratulating Calabria following the president's announcement (  

For more information, contact Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736  

FHFA Proposes Rule on GSE Credit Score Models
On Dec. 13, the Federal Housing Finance Agency proposed a rule ( outlining a new process for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to validate and approve credit score models. This process was required under the financial regulatory reform legislation passed earlier this year.  

The rule outlines four steps in the process for the GSEs: soliciting applications from credit score model developers; reviewing submitted applications; conducting a credit score assessment; and running an assessment of the model in conjunction with the GSEs' business systems. FHFA estimates that the full solicitation and approval process will take 24 months. Notably, the rule also prohibits the GSEs from approving credit score models developed by companies that are affiliated with consumer data providers.  

As a reminder, FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been evaluating potential changes to the GSEs' credit score requirements since 2015, including a request for input to which MBA submitted extensive comments in March. In its comments, MBA called for a data-driven process that features rigorous testing and transparent requirements, while also harnessing the benefits of competition.   Comments on the proposed rule will be due 90 days following its publication in the Federal Register.  

For more information, please contact Dan Fichtler at (202) 557-2780  

Funding for Certain Federal Government Agencies to Expire Dec. 21
Congress has until just past 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 21 to enact legislation that would prevent a partial federal government shutdown from occurring. Because Congress has already approved a portion of the various appropriations bills, only certain agencies would be impacted by a shutdown, such as HUD (including FHA and Ginnie Mae), USDA (including RHS) and Treasury (including the IRS). Authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program is also set to expire at this deadline.  

MBA has created a guide for its members should a partial federal government shutdown take place on December 22 (  

For more information, please contact Dan Fichtler at (202) 557-2780; or Erin Barry at (202) 557-2913  

MBA Webinar Prepares Lenders for Single Security Transition
Last week, MBA hosted a complimentary webinar to help prepare lenders for the upcoming transition to the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (  

The webinar, which featured speakers from FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and BB&T, included detailed descriptions of changes that will take place when UMBS issuance begins on June 3, 2019, as well as steps that GSE sellers/servicers should be taking to ensure their readiness.  

Notably, the webinar featured polling questions to gauge lender preparations to date. When asked if they had reviewed internal systems and processes, nearly 86 percent of webinar respondents replied "No." Similarly, when asked if they had a coordinated effort underway to work on any necessary changes, 84 percent of webinar respondents replied "No" or "Don't Know."  

MBA is committed to helping its members ensure that they are ready for the transition to the UMBS. In addition to the webinar, which can be viewed by MBA members free of charge, there are numerous resources that have been developed by FHFA and the GSEs. These resources include the Market Adoption Playbook (, as well as the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHFA Single Security websites and the Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer Checklist.  

For more information, please contact Dan Fichtler at (202) 557-2780  

Bureau Proposes Product Sandbox, Revisions to No-Action Letter Policy
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau/Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection requested comment on its Proposed Policy Guidance on No-Action Letters and the Bureau Product Sandbox. MBA had called for many of these proposed changes, including in letters and during an in-person meeting with the Office of Innovation.  

The proposal includes key revisions to the 2016 NAL policy and creation of a regulatory sandbox to test potentially innovative products or processes. The Bureau's proposed policy includes the following overarching goals: streamlining the application process, expanding benefits available to participants, establishing procedures for extension of benefits, and providing coordination with other regulators.  In addition to revisions of the NAL policy, the Product Sandbox will expand no-action letter relief to participants by providing exemptions under statutory safe harbor provisions. Comments on the Proposed Policy Guidance will be due 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.  

For more information, please contact Justin Wiseman at (202) 557-2854; Blake Chavis at (202) 557-2930; or Sheraz Syed at (202) 557-2941  

FCC Approves Creation of Recycled Number Database
Last week the Federal Communications Commission held its December Open Commission Meeting. Of note to the mortgage industry was the unanimous vote in favor of creating a database of reassigned numbers. This is a welcome change in light of the recent string of cases involving robocalls.  

This move would create a comprehensive database to enable callers to verify whether a telephone number has been permanently disconnected and is therefore eligible for reassignment. This database would be accessed prior to making a call, thereby helping to protect consumers with reassigned numbers from receiving unwanted robocalls. The approved proposal includes a safe harbor for callers who demonstrate they made use of the database prior to a call.  

In comments sent to the FCC earlier this year, MBA urged creation of a reassigned number database. While the FCC did not yet address the broader effects of ACA International on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Commissioner Michael O'Rielly believes establishing the database is a "positive development in reversing the previous FCC's deeply-flawed 2015 TCPA Order."  

For more information, please contact Justin Wiseman at (202) 557-2854; Blake Chavis at (202) 557-2930; or Sheraz Syed at (202) 557-2941  

Ohio Legislature Passes Remote Online Notarization Legislation
The Ohio House and Senate have passed legislation (SB 263 ( that would, if signed, allow Ohio to join Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Montana, Texas, Nevada and Vermont in permitting remote online notarization.  

Ohio would be the sixth state in 2018 to enact RON legislation thanks to the leadership of the Ohio MBA. The bill will now be prepared for Gov. John Kasich's signature. The language of the Ohio bill closely follows the contours of the MBA-ALTA model bill, which can be found on the MBA Remote Online Notarization Resource Center (  

For more information please contact William Kooper at (202) 557-2737; or Kobie Pruitt at (202) 557-2870  

MBA Education's Webinar Jan. 17 on 10 Things Your Company Must Do in 2019
Join MBA Education on Jan. 17 for its popular annual kick-off webinar that every lending executive should join. For most companies, 2018 was a challenge with volumes dropping and profits shrinking, and 2019 looks to start out the same way. Now, early in the year, is the right time to make take steps to improve your business for 2019, while it can make a real difference. This webinar will provide participants with a Top 10 list of strategic initiatives that all mortgage bankers should be implementing in 2019. To register for the webinar, click  

For more information, please contact Laura Vanegas at (202) 557-2785

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