Debra Still WIH

Many know Debra Still as the chief executive officer of Pulte Financial Services. But where she yields the lion share of her influence is as chair of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Under Still’s influence, the MBA entered into a growth phase and began to lobby much more effectively than ever before. The trade group worked behind the scenes to create a standardized version of the qualified mortgage and the qualified residential mortgage rules.

In testimony this year in front of the House Financial Services Committee, she said, “Access to credit is clearly constrained with firsttime and low-to-moderate income buyers unable to qualify for a mortgage,” she told subcommittee chair Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.). Still argued that many of QM’s provisions were already banned under Federal Reserve regulations.

It is unlikely mortgage brokers would steer customers into higher risk/fee loans, as a result, so additional regulatory layering isn’t necessary. Under the QM, Still argued, if two consumers get the same loan, one from a broker and the other from a retail lender, the brokered loan could exceed the points and fees trigger, while the retail loan would be treated as a QM.

“This perverse result means that the consumer would lose the ability to choose between two loans, from different businesses, that are essentially identically priced,” she said in her testimony. By harming competition, credit opportunities will be taken away from borrowers.

Eventually, regulators will come in line with Still’s thinking. She’s already laid the groundwork and uses influential channels to bring about change.

Click below to read about each of this year's 2013 Influential Women in Housing Finance:

Amy Brandt, Prospect Mortgage | Angela Cheek, Ellie Mae | Cari McCue, Guardian Mortgage | Deborah Jenkins, Freddie Mac | Dianna Serio, CoreLogic | Elsa Lewis, Williams & Williams Worldwide Real Estate Auction | Laurie Pyle, Stewart Lender Services | Lisa Binkley, Platinum Data Solutions | Maxine Waters, D-Calif. | Pamela Hughes-Patenaude, Bipartisan Policy Center | Renee Deane, Carrington Property Services | Shana Lakso, Equator | Tanya Reu, Realogy Franchise Group | Toni Moss, Americatalyst | Vicki Beal, Clayton Holdings | Debra Still, Pulte Financial Services | Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. | Janet Yellen, U.S. Federal Reserve | Joy Cianci, Fannie Mae | Laurie Maggiano, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau