A Year of Action — And a Look Ahead

washingtonmonumentIn late October during our annual convention, I delivered a simple message to our members: Over the last year, we delivered a record of results – and next year will be even better.

When I took this job in 2018, I made it my priority to listen to members and act on their behalf. I’ve spent most of the past year on the road. I’ve traveled to 24 states, hitting every geographic area. Wherever I went, our members told me what we needed to do. And that’s exactly what we did.

In response, MBA has secured victories for our members, the mortgage industry, and the consumers we serve.

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment is the White House plan for housing finance reform. From the explicit guarantee to a level playing field, it bears the unmistakable mark of the Mortgage Bankers Association, and it’s a huge step in the right direction.

We also helped improve the IRS’s qualified business income deduction, as well as the new CFPB innovation policy. Our efforts gave consumers more choice and saved our members money.

And we worked with Fannie and Freddie to implement the new uniform mortgage-backed security, creating a more liquid market. We also helped the administration reform the FHA program, protecting our members from frivolous lawsuits.

We’re proud of these victories, but we’re also preparing for what comes next. Fortunately, we’ve got a seat at every table that matters.

One issue we’re focused on is the QM Patch. Rest assured, we’re telling the CFPB that creditworthy consumers need access to qualified mortgages. We’re also working with that agency to fix the loan officer compensation rule to keep costs low for consumers and our members.

When it comes to housing finance reform, we know that the recent plans are just the beginning of the debate. We’re in communication with the White House, both parties in Congress, and every federal agency involved.

We’re telling them that before the GSEs are released from conservatorship, new policies must be firmly in place, by regulation and legislation, to protect the taxpayers, lock in a level playing field for all lenders, and ensure mortgage liquidity in all parts of the country and during all economic cycles.

Lawmakers and regulators listen to what we have to say. Why? Because they know we’re speaking for our members, and they know how much they matter to the American people and to America’s economy.

Our members want to keep contributing to their communities, and as I’ve heard from many of them, this isn’t an easy time. Uncertainty is on the rise. That’s why we’re working to give them stability.

Whether it’s the QM Patch, housing finance reform, or any other issue, we’re urging the government to get it right. This is a time for action and caution.

Our members, and American consumers, need clear policies and clear timelines. Changes should be gradual and telegraphed – using a dial, not a switch. Don’t disrupt the market and the millions of people who depend on it.

As we continue to advocate for our members, we’ll also continue to develop services and strategies to help them succeed.

For example, the MBA Board of Directors recently approved a new task force on cybersecurity, and we published a white paper on important steps members can take to reduce their risks. We’re also taking new steps to amplify our voice by increasing collaboration with other industry, consumer, and civil rights groups. Partnership with diverse groups is critically important.

And of course, the Mortgage Action Alliance and MORPAC provide tremendous opportunities to influence policy and politics and protect the cornerstone of the American dream.

As we strive to meet and exceed our members’ needs, I urge you to keep giving us your open and honest feedback.

At the Mortgage Bankers Association, we have one vision – yours.

We have one voice – yours.

And we are one resource – at your service.

Working together, I’m confident we’ll accomplish even more over the next 12 months. It may even be our best year yet.

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