MBA Advocacy Update

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

March 18, 2019

   

Last week, the Trump Administration released its proposed budget blueprint (which holds no force of law) for Fiscal Year 2020.  

In Congress, the Senate Banking Committee held an oversight hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with Director Kathy Kraninger, while the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on flood insurance.  

And MBA's National Advocacy Conference is just around the corner on April 2-3 in Washington, D.C.  

MBA Releases The Roadmap to CFPB 2.0

On Mar. 11, MBA released a new paper, The Roadmap to CFPB 2.0 (https://www.mba.org/issues/cfpb-20-advancing-consumer-protection), which details recommendations to ensure stability and consistent consumer protections in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's practices and consumer financial laws.  

The paper draws from the detailed responses MBA submitted to the series of 12 requests for information the Bureau released in 2018 seeking suggestions for how it could better align its supervisory practices and the regulations it administers with its statutory mandate and generally accepted principles of sound prudential regulation.  

MBA CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB, issued a statement (https://www.mba.org/2019-press-releases/march/mba-releases-new-paper-the-roadmap-to-cfpb-20) and published a blog post announcing the Roadmap (https://2thepoint.blog/2019/03/11/the-roadmap-to-cfpb-2-0/). The Roadmap is a follow-up to MBA's 2017 paper, CFPB 2.0: Advancing Consumer Protection (  

For more information, please contact Justin Wiseman at (202) 557-2854 jwiseman@mba.org.  

Trump Administration Releases 2020 Budget Proposal

On Monday, the Trump Administration released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2020 (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/budget-fy2020.pdf). The Trump blueprint includes the following key elements:  

GSEs

--Recommends an increase of the 10-basis point tax on g-fees to 20 basis points and would extend the tax to 2023 (currently set to expire in 2021);

--Recommends suspending contributions to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund;

--With respect to GSE reform efforts, "The Administration has publicly expressed its desire to work with members of Congress to facilitate a more sustainable housing finance system."  

HUD/FHA/Ginnie Mae

--Requests $44.1 billion in funding for HUD, an $8.7 billion or 16.4 percent decrease from the 2019 request;

--Proposes a lender fee to raise $20 million to fund FHA IT infrastructure improvements;

--Requests $550 billion in new guarantee authority for Ginnie Mae;

--Eliminates funding for CDBG and HOME Investment Partnership Programs.  

VA

--Requests $93.1 billion in funding for VA, a $6.5 billion or 7.5 percent increase from the 2019 enacted level; --Provides $4.3 billion for technology improvements, an increase of more than $200 million.  

USDA/RHS

--Requests $20.8 billion in funding for USDA, a $3.6 billion or 15 percent decrease from the 2019 estimate  

The annual budget proposal is a framework that does not have the force of law, and represents the first step in the much lengthier federal budget/appropriations process. Throughout the process of discussing key elements of the budget plan, MBA will work to ensure continued support for vibrant real estate markets that benefit all market participants.  

For more information, please contact Pete Mills at (202) 557-2878 pmills@mba.org; or Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736 bkillmer@mba.org.  

MBA National Advocacy Conference Apr. 2-3

This year's MBA National Advocacy Conference will take place April 2-3 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. (https://www.mba.org/conferences-and-education/event-mini-sites/national-advocacy-conference-x241593).  

The NAC is an annual tradition that enables MBA members to speak directly to their elected officials as advocates for our industry. Speakers at NAC will include HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Senate Banking Committee Member Doug Jones, D-Ala., House Financial Services Committee member Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.; and Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace, in addition to a memorable reception with elected officials in the Great Hall at the Library of Congress. Register today to be a part of our industry's largest advocacy event of the year (https://www.mba.org/conferences-and-education/event-mini-sites/national-advocacy-conference/pricing-x241605?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=mba%2Eorg&_zs=mB8cN1&_zl=EItt4).  

For more information, please contact Alden Knowlton at (202) 557-2816 aknowlton@mba.org.  

Senate Banking Committee Receives Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Semi-Annual Report

On Mar. 12, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Semi-Annual Report to Congress. CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger was the sole witness. A summary of the hearing can be found at http://mba-pc.informz.net/mba-pc/data/images/AdvocacyDocuments/2019-03-15%20AU%20Update%20Attachment%20%5BSBC%20CFPB%20Hearing%20Summary%5D.pdf.  

Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, noted the positive steps the CFPB took recently regarding HMDA reporting requirements, and said he hoped the CFPB would identify opportunities to update the Fair Credit Reporting Act so that it works in a digital world. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., expressed concern--and Kraninger agreed--that the termination of the QM Patch would be detrimental to affordable housing and said he was optimistic that the Senate would find a legislative solution.  

Ranking Member Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and other committee Democrats were sharply critical of Kraninger and the CFPB's efforts to eliminate the ability to repay requirement in its payday loan rule, its decision to discontinue Military Lending Act compliance examinations and the decline in CFPB enforcement activity with regard to fair lending and student loan servicing.  

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

Senate Banking Committee Hearing on FSOC Designations

On Mar. 14, the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing, Financial Stability Oversight Council Nonbank Designations. Witnesses were Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, Paul Schott Stevens of the Investment Company Institute and Jeremy Kress of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.  

During the question and answer portion of the hearing, Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., highlighted S. 603, the FSOC Improvement Act, that would require FSOC to consider non-designation alternatives but would not take away from FSOC's emergency designation process. Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, noted S. 603 in his statement and emphasized that FSOC's designation process must be clear, robust and focused on addressing real underlying risks.  

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

House Panel Discusses National Flood Insurance Program

On Mar. 13, the House Financial Services Committee held a two-panel hearing, Preparing for the Storm: Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.  

The first panel featured six members of Congress, while the second featured a broad array of industry participants. Before the hearing, Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., introduced a package of legislation to reform and reauthorize the long-debated insurance backstop. The package would extend the program until 2024, provide discounted premium rates for people with lower incomes, expand flood mapping, and cancel the program's debt of more than $20 billion. While Republicans agree with the majority that the program requires significant overhaul ahead of its May 31 expiration, forgiving the program's mounting debt was noted by GOP members as a non-starter.  

While both Waters and Republicans said they hoped to work together to tackle the issues and reauthorize the program, odds are long that legislation could be agreed upon given the time frame. Current expectations are for bipartisan discussions to continue while another short-term extension of the program is enacted close to the deadline.  

A copy of the official hearing memorandum can be found at http://mba-pc.informz.net/mba-pc/data/images/AdvocacyDocuments/HHRG-116-BA00-20190313-SD002.pdf; a summary of the hearing can be found at http://mba-pc.informz.net/mba-pc/data/images/AdvocacyDocuments/3-13%20HFSC%20on%20flood%20insurance.pdf.  

For more information, please contact Dan Grattan at (202) 557-2712 dgrattan@mba.org; or Bill Killmer at (202) 557-2736 bkillmer@mba.org.  

FHA Expands Manual Underwriting to Address 'Risk Layering'

Last week, FHA released a memo (https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/SFH/documents/SFH_FHA_INFO_19-07.pdf) describing new steps to address increasing risks in its single-family portfolio. Effective for loans with case numbers assigned on or after March 18, updates to the TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard will require manual underwriting for certain loans with higher-risk characteristics.  

While the memo references an earlier FHA policy requiring manual underwriting for loans with credit scores below 620 and DTI ratios above 43 percent, the new guidance does not include specific thresholds.  

MBA will engage with FHA and provide further information as it becomes available.  

For more information, please contact Dan Fichtler at (202) 557-2780 dfichtler@mba.org.  

MBA, State Associations Submit Testimony to Oppose Changes to Maryland Licensing Law

On Mar. 12, MBA was joined by the Maryland Mortgage Bankers and Brokers Association, the Maryland Bankers Association and the Maryland Realtors in testimony (http://mba-pc.informz.net/mba-pc/data/images/AdvocacyDocuments/SB%20485%20Testimony%20for%20March%2012%202018withlogosnowatermark.pdf) opposing legislation (SB 485), that would revise the implementation of the Maryland Collection Agency Licensing Act and require statutory trusts to become licensed debt collection agencies (http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=sb0485&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2019RS.)  

SB 485 and its companion in the Maryland House (HB 593 http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=hb0593&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2019RS) would reverse the well-reasoned decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals in Blackstone v. Sharma, 461 Md. 87 (2018) where the court held that statutory trusts created for the purpose purchasing and holding mortgage backed securities did not require licensure. Moreover, the legislation would not address perceived servicing issues that were described by the proponents of the legislation in the House and Senate Committee hearings and would negatively affect the ability to originate, sell, hold and enforce mortgages in the state.  

MBA staff recently met with the offices of Sen. Brian Feldman (Vice Chair of Senate Finance) and Rep. Dereck Davis (Chair of House Economic Matters) to discuss the risk to lending in Maryland and the potential harm to consumers by requiring statutory trusts to be licensed.  

For more information, please contact William Kooper at (202) 557-2737 wkooper@mba.org; or Kobie Pruitt at (202) 557-2870 kpruitt@mba.org.  

Flawed New Mexico Remote Online Notarization Bill Withdrawn; Law Enacted in North Dakota

Following a second industry coalition letter (http://mba-pc.informz.net/mba-pc/data/images/AdvocacyDocuments/NM%20HB-470%20%20March%2011%202019%20FINAL.pdf) and a Mortgage Action Alliance Call to Action opposing well-intentioned but flawed remote online notarization legislation (HB-470) in New Mexico, the bill was withdrawn by its sponsor ahead of the legislature's anticipated adjournment this week (https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/bills/house/HB0470.pdf).  

Coalition partners--MBA, the New Mexico Mortgage Lenders Association, the American Land Title Association and the New Mexico Land Title Association--gave assurances that they would help develop a bill for 2020 that would better conform to the emerging national consensus regarding RON and that would embrace the industry's core RON principles including: the need for robust provisions for ID proofing and credential analysis; that acknowledgements performed online can be readily identified and distinguished from those done in person; that technology requirements should not be so specific as to favor one vendor over another; and that legislation should conform to other legal standards and laws.  

The MBA-ALTA RON principles have been embraced in adopted and proposed legislation in several states, including North Dakota, which this week enacted HB-1110 to authorize RON. Bills continue to progress in several others states including South Dakota and Utah, where bills are awaiting gubernatorial consideration.  

For more information about the RON legislative campaign, visit the MBA RON Resource Center (https://www.mba.org/audience/state-legislative-and-regulatory-resource-center/remote-online-notarization)  or contact William Kooper at (202) 557-2737 wkooper@mba.org; or Kobie Pruitt at (202) 557-2870 kpruitt@mba.org.  

MBA Education Compliance Essentials Webinar on Social Media and Digital Advertising Regulations Mar. 20

Join MBA on March 20 for a conversation on the increasing use and application of social media and digital advertising platforms with regard to the mortgage finance industry and associated risks arising within that context. Social media is a rapidly evolving and powerful tool to generate revenue, reach new customers, and increase brand recognition. That power brings many potential pitfalls and scrutiny from regulators that impact almost everyone in your company.  

 To register for this webinar, click https://www.mba.org/store/events/webinar/ce-update-on-social-media-and-digital-advertising-regulations.  

For more information, please contact Lisa Volb at (202) 557-2919 lvolb@mba.org

Share this article