The Source Media Mortgage servicing conference is underway, with more HousingWire coverage coming.
So far, the conference has been popular, with early panels well attended.
Here are three takeaways from those panels and the opening remarks from John Dalton, president of the Housing Policy Council.
1: American taxpayers are too exposed to the mortgage market.
This is Dalton's main point. Housing reform needs to preserve homeownership, but also clear taxpayers. "As it stands, the American taxpayer is exposed to just about every single mortgage in the nation. That needs to change," Dalton said.
"We believe the Johnson-Crapo proposal is the best option for achieving housing finance reform," he said. "The time to act is now." Everyone pretty much seems to agree with Dalton on this point.
2: The CFPB is prime subject matter for rumor mills.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is on everyone's mind. It must be a nightmare for the regulator to keep everyone in line with the truth with so much gossip about the CFPB's next move. Conferences in the mortgage space are frequently dominated by conversations about the CFPB and this one is no different.
The latest rumor-of-the-day is the CFPB creation of an "elderly policy." This would offer special protections for seniors, "one of the most vulnerable segments of society," one panelist said. The CFPB had no comment.
However, the panelist mentioned that the elderly policy would afford extra protections, similar to what the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act does for the military.
3. Getting into mortgage servicing is not as popular as some thought.
With all the successes of recent mortgage servicing rights deals, some better than others, you'd think more firms would be looking to cash in. And you'd be wrong.
In a packed room, a panelist asked who was currently a servicer (many,many hands), who was a subservicer (many, but fewer hands) and who was looking to "get into" servicing (one hand). The panelist then address that one person and said "Oh, you poor thing."