The final presidential debate on foreign policy Monday night avoided the topic of housing altogether. But it seems presidential contender Mitt Romney is diligently doing his 'housing policy' homework behind the scenes.

Ty Jenkins, founder and CEO of compliance solutions provider DocuTech, sat down with HousingWire Monday to discuss his recent role as coordinator for a Mortgage Banking Industry Leadership Roundtable that Mitt Romney attended to learn more about issues impacting the industry.  

As for what Romney wanted to know? The roundtable, which included 25 mortgage industry leaders, discussed everything from the qualified mortgage rule under the Dodd-Frank Act to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as well as the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"He's trying to understand why the housing market is not taking off," Jenkins said of Romney's roundtable visit. "Our answer to him was – tell us what the rules are." He added that the overall message to policy makers is simple: "If you want to pass legislation, don't pass open-ended legislation."

Jenkins said the presidential contender learned more about the industry's concerns in regards to the qualified mortgage rule for determining ability to repay, which remains largely undefined.

Apparently, Governor Romney reached out to the group, so he could prepare for the debates and remain atop of issues impacting the industry. However, to date, there has been only one significant mention of the qualified mortgage rule at the debates.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com