Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David Stevens told the Independent Mortgage Bankers Conference that his hope is for more transparent policy making at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Stevens added that those mortgage players outside of the government-sponsored enterprises should also be able to provide their own input.
“Fannie and Freddie need to start making clear, detailed, fully-baked presentations of planned policy changes of significance in advance,” Stevens said. “Our market is fragile, and the stakes are too high to allow these two companies to continue to throw change after change at lenders, with no avenue for input in the formative stages.”
Newly enforced rules and regulations are making it even more difficult for borrowers to qualify for a home loan, the CEO mentioned. Policies are intersecting and decidedly influencing the future opportunities of homeownership and rental.
Stevens did not skip over the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act and what he perceives is misguided regulation. “This patently unfair and ineffective law does little to provide assurances to consumers that their loan officer meets minimum qualification and testing standards,” Stevens said.
Additionally, the SAFE Act forces the cost of licensing onto independent mortgage bankers and does not allow talented loan originators to compete fairly in the labor market. “This is unfair, and we aim to change it. It won’t be easy, and it will take time, but we are committed to the objective of securing uniform, federal qualifications and testing standards for all loan originators, regardless of whom they work for,” the CEO said.
In an interview with HousingWire after the session, Stevens reemphasized what he addressed at MBA's annual Chicago conference last month. “These are really important times because we’ve got these plethora of rules coming out; nobody’s coordinating any of this," Stevens said. "We’re all in favor of rule makings, we need better regulation, but we need clear coordinating.”
Encouraging his audience to become MBA members in 2013, Stevens emphasized that the time to join is now. “If you don’t join this year and you don’t like Washington, I don’t want to hear it,” Stevens said.
2013 MBA Chairman Debra Still encouraged the conference to see clearly, face squarely the changes that are seen in the mortgage industry and to step up and be the change. “As leaders, it’s our job to create direction and focus for our organizations,” Still said.