MBA Advocacy Update

Steve O'Connor soconnor@mba.org; Bill Killmer bkillmer@mba.org  

February 11, 2019

President Donald Trump delivered the State of the Union address Feb. 5 as negotiations continue to potentially build consensus to fully fund the federal government--including HUD--for FY 2019, and before February 15.  

Also last week, MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, participated in a CEO-level panel discussion on housing finance reform. And Comptroller of the Currency and Acting Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Joseph Otting said at a separate event that the Trump administration would prefer to end government control over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through legislative action.  

MBA's Broeksmit Participates in Panel Discussion on GSE Reform
On Feb. 7, MBA President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, participated in a panel discussion, along with other major housing and financial services trade associations, to discuss prospects for secondary mortgage market reform.  

All participants, including executives from the National Association of Home Builders, the American Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors, agreed on certain core principles, including the need to: preserve the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage; provide a level playing field for lenders of all sizes and protect taxpayers through the use of more private capital as a buffer.  

For more information, please contact Erin Barry at (202) 557-2913 ebarry@mba.org; or Dan Fichtler at (202) 557-2780 dfichtler@mba.org.  

Senate Banking Committee to Consider Calabria Nomination to Lead FHFA
The Senate Banking Committee will consider Mark Calabria to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency next Thursday, February 14. The committee will also simultaneously consider nominations of Bimal Patel to be an assistant secretary of the Treasury and Todd Harper and Rodney Hood to be members of the National Credit Union Administration Board during the same hearing. And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will present his semiannual monetary policy report to the committee on February 26.  

For more information, please contact Erin Barry at (202) 557-2913 ebarry@mba.org; or Tallman Johnson at (202) 557-2866 tjohnson@mba.org.  

MBA Provides Feedback to Banking Agencies on Residential Real Estate Appraisal Threshold
On Feb. 5, MBA submitted a comment letter addressing the Federal Banking Agencies' Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Increase the Real Estate Appraisal Threshold (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/12/07/2018-26507/real-estate-appraisals).  

The proposed rule seeks to increase the threshold for appraisal exemptions from $250,000 to $400,000 on residential real estate transactions. The original threshold was set at $250,000 by banking agencies in 1994 and has not been increased since that time.  

MBA supports the agencies' desire to raise the threshold to $400,000. Such an adjustment is an appropriate response to the significant appreciation in national and regional home prices since the rule was finalized nearly 25 years ago. While MBA supports this proposal, it is imperative that the loan origination process--including property valuation--must be undertaken in a manner that does not compromise bank safety and soundness. In response, MBA has proposed additional measures that provide safeguards for responsible lending practices.  

For more information, please contact Julienne Joseph at (202) 557-2782 or jjoseph@mba.org.  

MBA Education/MISMO eMortgage Servicing Webinar Feb. 13
Join MBA Education and MISMO on February 13 for a look at the next step in MBA's eMortgage Roadmap Series.  

An increasing number of lenders are offering the convenience and efficiency of a digital signing process known as eClosing. Preparing to service eMortgage loans has both technology requirements and operational impacts. This webinar will explore both as industry experts dive into topics such as tracking eMortgage loans; eVaults and the role of the MERS eRegistry in the servicing process. Presenters will also discuss operational considerations when servicing eMortgages covering topics such as custody; payoff processing; modifications; and transfers of servicing including discussions on potential challenges and how they can be overcome.  

To register for this webinar, click https://www.mba.org/store/events/webinar/roadmap-for-moving-from-paper-to-digital-servicing.  

For more information, please contact Allison Yaworske at (202) 557-2912 ayaworske@mba.org

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