David H. Stevens is a housing policy finance advisor. He is the former president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association and former commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration. Stevens currently serves on the board of directors at Dynex Capital.
With the recent turnover in leadership at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, we may be standing at the precipice of great change in the government’s role in supporting the mortgage market through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
If indeed we are weeks away from a plan for overhauling the GSEs, there is currently no telling what this might entail, leaving stakeholders to project onto the future whatever their hopes and fears might lead them to. The administration needs to clarify its position, and sooner rather than later. Signaling movement in the absence of any clear sense of direction comes at too high a cost for a market that shouldn't have to bear it.
[Expert commentary] Recently, Reveal News wrote a story lobbing accusations at some banks and mortgage firms of engaging in discriminatory lending practices. Addressing concerns around discrimination is important and this discussion around the issue is long-standing as the nation works to meet the housing needs of American families. Therefore, publishing factual, complete data is critical so the topic can be discussed based on the merit of the facts and without bias.
[Expert commentary] In an exclusive guest post, Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens presents the MBA's view on the "right" reform plan for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. How much should the government be involved in the mortgage market? Stevens presents the MBA case.
[Expert commentary] To be clear, we need a well-regulated lending industry to protect taxpayers, homebuyers, and communities. This is a good thing. But the use of False Claims Act is an inappropriate and harmful response that only reduces access to credit for qualified borrowers. It’s time to stop this.
Today, MBA is releasing a plan detailing how a future secondary mortgage market can work – describing a post-conservator end state for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Our proposal includes transition steps detailing how to get from here to there and is the only paper that comprehensively addresses how the reformed secondary market would serve all Americans along the broad continuum of affordable housing needs.
Responding to the crisis in housing will require aggressive action. Here are three ideas from MBA President and CEO David Stevens to America's next president. When it comes to meeting the housing needs of its people, America has always responded forcefully. Will the next president do the same?
The calls to allow the GSEs to rebuild capital amplify an important issue and are based on valid and reasoned concerns that we all share. Unfortunately allowing them to just recapitalize is simply not a mathematical possibility.
Right now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are providing liquidity in the secondary market for residential mortgage in the absence of private capital. The unbalanced dependence here puts the entire system on untenable ground and presents enormous risks to taxpayers.
HUD’s objectives are sometimes distributed by factors ranging from politics, socio-economic disparities and even natural disasters. When American homeowners fall victim to any of these elements, HUD is not only there to offer a helping hand, but often serves as the tool that leads to recovery.