Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry kicked off the American Securitization Forum's keynote address on Monday, saying an improving housing sector and the resolution of legacy mortgage issues has created the environment necessary to support a stable securitization pipeline.
With home prices starting to improve and foreclosures dropping to very low levels, the housing market has taken a positive turn, which will benefit the securitization and lending environment, he said.
"Housing is lending strength to the economy rather than sapping it," Curry added.
Going forward, housing, as well as a resolution of regulatory uncertainties, will provide confidence to investors who have sat on the sidelines due to all of the uncertainty.
Curry said current settlements to resolve old mortgage issues are bright spots pointing to a positive turnaround in the mortgage space, specifically the multibillion deal between Bank of America (BAC) and Fannie Mae, as well as the $8.5 billion Office of the Comptroller of Currency foreclosure review deal that replaces independent file reviews with a one-time settlement.
Dodd-Frank also had a positive impact on mortgage lending and will continue to do so in the future, Curry noted.
The main challenge on the horizon is understanding that not all securitization assets are equal.
"Securitization of different asset classes is not a one size fits all approach" and the work being done to identify the difference is vital for the market, Curry concluded.