MBA Identifies Legislative Agenda for 2007
The Mortgage Bankers Association highlighted four key issues on Thursday that the trade organization says will serve as the center of its advocacy and legislative efforts during 2007. â€œThe real estate finance industry made steady progress in 2006, highlighted by the enactment of mortgage insurance premium deductibility and significant progress toward GSE reform and FHA modernization, but there is plenty to be done in 2007,â€? said Kurt Pfotenhauer, senior vice president for government affairs at MBA. â€œWe will fight to push GSE reform over the goal line, reauthorize TRIA and enact a uniform national standard against predatory lending.â€? At the top of the list is a continued push for GSE reform, with the MBA saying it will work for "reintroduction and quick passage of legislation that will create a strong, independent, well-funded and effective regulator who will assure that the GSEs' activities focus on their proper mission in the secondary market, set appropriate affordable housing goals and activities, and ensure a strong and competitive secondary market through bank regulator-like oversight." Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation's two largest government-sponsored entities, have been the subject of ongoing government and regulatory scrutiny over numerous accounting and financial errors, with some U.S. legislators calling for an overhaul of the government charter the GSEs operate under. Other priorities will include: TRIA Reauthorization. The MBA said it is looking for consensus on a long-term solution to ensure that terrorism coverage remains available and affordable for commercial and multifamily real estate beyond TRIA's current expiration date of December 31, 2007. Predatory Lending. The organization said it will focus this year on combating predatory lending by working to enact what it says should be a balanced, uniform national anti-predatory lending law. Currently, many U.S. states have enacted their own laws to this effect, a "patchwork" of state laws that the MBA has said stifle lending operations nationally. FHA Reform. FHA reform has been on the trade group's agenda for many years, and 2007 proves no different. The mortgage banking industry wants to push to government insurer to adopt risk-based pricing standards common in the private market for both single-family and multifamily markets, which it says will make the FHA competitive in more modern mortgage markets across the United States. For more information, visit http://www.mortgagebankers.org.