Policymakers and mortgage industry leaders took to the podium Monday, highlighting the significant progress the mortgage industry has made over the past century, but also pointing out some of the critical milestones that still need to be reached.
The Mortgage Bankers Association 100th Annual Convention & Expo kicked off by highlighting some of the overcorrection still occurring in the mortgage lending market.
"There are proposals in Congress today, however, that have extraordinary indemnification provisions that will curtail credit access to even more families on the margin simply because the risk of a mistake – should those bills go through as is – is simply too great," explained MBA CEO and president David Stevens.
The biggest challenge facing the market going forward is regulation and legal actions that continue to cause great uncertainty.
These actions create serious disincentives for those considering a borrower on the margins – regardless of compensation factors.
Consequently, the impact of this tightening credit access is underserving the borrower population that is in great need of credit availability, Stevens continued.
"There has never been a more important time to work together as an industry to secure smart policies for a redesigned secondary market that works for everyone," the MBA president and CEO told the audience.
On a similar note, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said regulatory uncertainty is blocking the road to a sustained housing recovery.
While he admits the government has taken the time and the proper steps to ensure confidence, the consequence has been a tightening of credit standards to borrowers.
To correct the overcorrection of the market, HUD is working with other regulators to align the Qualified Residential Mortgage standard with the Qualified Mortgage rule, which will give a wider pool of borrowers access to credit.
Additionally, the Federal Housing Administration issued its own QM rule that will enhance the safe harbor and rebuttable presumption boundaries to prevent ability-to-repay litigation to HUD loans.
"We’re confident that we will find the right balance between responsibility and opportunity going forward," Donovan said.
MBA chairman E.J. Burke also pointed out that to address a larger platform of borrowers, he wants the MBA going forward to grow in three broad areas, including business, effectiveness and culture.
The overall goal of the MBA and the entire mortgage finance system is to reach outside of the boundaries of Capitol Hill and begin to boost consumer confidence throughout the nation and in small communities.
"Together, we share a responsibility, a duty in driving the agenda of our organization. We share a responsibility to be a significant contributor to the future of real estate finance in America," Burke concluded.