David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, is pushing back against a House proposal to extend g-fee hikes on government-backed mortgages to cover costs related to an immigration bill.
The MBA says the hike was proposed in a manager's amendment associated with House Bill 6429. The bill aims to provide 55,000 visas for workers who are qualified in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The proposal would extend g-fee hikes enacted last year. Initially, the 10-year hike was intended to cover lost revenue associated with tax cuts. But the MBA says the manager's amendment wants to extend the fee increase another year to cover expenses associated with HB 6429, an immigration bill.
The latest proposal would extend those g-fee hikes, which are set to expire on Oct. 1, 2021, to October of 2022. The House Rules Committee adopted the amendment for inclusion in the bill's full text Thursday, with the House expected to consider the legislation on Friday.
"Fannie and Freddie's guarantee fees are supposed to be used to help offset the risk inherent in providing mortgages, and any increases to those fees should be used for that purpose," the MBA's Stevens said in a public statement. "Dipping back into the housing piggybank to pay for unrelated policy items on the backs of America’s homebuyers sends the wrong message at a time when the housing market is starting to show signs of recovery."
Stevens is asking Congress to reconsider using g-fees for any purpose unrelated to the fees' role in the agency housing market.
"Increasing the cost of most mortgages will only add to the uncertainty that is plaguing the mortgage market and holding back a more a robust housing recovery," Stevens said in a statement.