The Federal Housing Finance Agency appointed Clinton Jones as its new general counsel, saying this was the next step in turning the FHFA into a “world-class regulator.”
Jones will step into the role immediately, taking the place of Alfred Pollard, who will retire from the FHFA at the end of March.
“Alfred has served admirably as General Counsel to every FHFA Director,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “I am grateful for his wise counsel, hard work, and dedication to the Agency. Clinton’s long-standing career in public service, in-depth legal expertise in housing policy and executive leadership skills will help bolster FHFA’s work as a world-class prudential regulator.”
When Calabria first took over as head of the agency, he focused on mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their future in conservatorship. But Calabria also expressed his hope that he could make the FHFA an agency of progressive thinkers.
“I want it to be in a spot where, for instance, if you’re a young lawyer coming out of law school and you have an offer from the Fed or the OCC, that you may be willing to entertain an offer to come work at FHFA,” Calabria told HousingWire at the time. “I think it’s critical that we have a deep research function and are viewed as cutting-edge thinkers.”
As call volumes have spiked to a level not seen since last April, lenders and servicers need to prepare for a significant increase in their workload as they help borrowers through difficult times.
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Calabria said the hiring of FHFA Senior Advisor for Economics Lynn Fisher, who previously served as vice president of economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association, early on in his tenure, was in pursuit of this goal.
Since 2019, Jones has served as a senior advisor at FHFA. Prior to joining the agency, he served for 24 years in various senior legal roles at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, including General Counsel, Parliamentarian, and, most recently, Senior Counsel for the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee. Jones was also a vice president at Fannie Mae and an attorney advisor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has been adjunct faculty at Howard University since 1990.
Until now, Pollard had been the only general counsel to serve the agency since it was formed in 2008, and served as general counsel to its predecessor, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. He has also served on several presidential mortgage fraud task forces and as a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States. In 2014, Pollard was named by National Law Journal as one of “America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel.”