Senators serving on the Senate Banking Committee raised concerns about whether the single-securitization platform proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency will leave out community banks.
Last month, the current acting director Ed DeMarco of the FHFA outlined initial steps to move back to a mortgage market financed predominately by private capital, including the creation of a new business entity between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The establishment of the entity, which is separate from the government-sponsored enterprises, would serve as a catalyst for building a new secondary mortgage infrastructure, DeMarco explained.
However, Sen. John Tester, D-MT, is concerned about the future role of community banks accessing the single-securitization platform.
On the counter, DeMarco assured all members that allowing local lenders to assist borrowers by providing mortgages is critical to the mortgage market.
As a result, the acting director wants to create data and electronic standards that would work within the whole marketplace so community banks can operate under the same standard as all companies.
Simply put, the system would provide a unified mortgage platform that is financially accessible to all businesses.
"We are trying to build a set of mortgage industry standards that is uniformed and everyone can work on," DeMarco said.
The challenge at hand though is timing.
While DeMarco would not relay any specifics — and even joked that he gets asked about timing quite a bit — he hopes to have the system developed and in motion over the course of the next five years.
"We will roll it out incrementally. I’m not trying to build a Cadillac that will immediately roll off the lot," the acting director said.
While the next five years seems to be the standard timeline DeMarco has put in place, many believe the one-size-fits all mortgage standards can be created within the next year and a half.
"Five years is way too long. We need this to happen and if portalled the right way, it can be an asset for community banks," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., explained.