David Stevens will remain the CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association after all.

The trade group said in May he would leave July 16 and lead the mortgage unit at SunTrust Banks (STI). Top members and staff at the MBA successfully pressed Stevens over the past several weeks to stay.

"The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me personally and professionally. After serious thought and consideration, I simply cannot leave the MBA at such a critical time for the industry and the association." Stevens said in a statement released Monday. "Frankly, at the end of the day, stepping away now when so much progress is being made and so much still left to be done, did not feel right."

Since joining the trade group in May 2011 from his role as Federal Housing Administration commissioner, Stevens met with White House officials and policymakers as they craft key provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act such as the qualified mortgage and risk retention rules.

Lately, he pressed the Federal Housing Finance Agency to work toward allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to issue interchangeable bonds.

MBA Chairman Michael Young said the group did everything it could to retain Stevens over the past few weeks.

"Going through this experience left me encouraged by the tremendous opportunity that lies within our industry and reinforced the essential component mortgage finance will continue to play in helping our nation's economy recover," Stevens said.