Barry Zigas is Director of Housing Policy for Consumer Federation of America and principal of the consulting firm Zigas and Associates LLC. He was President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition from 1984-1993 and Senior Vice President for Community Lending at Fannie Mae 1995-2006.
[Expert Opinion] By doubling the personal exemption and proposing to halve the mortgage eligible for the deduction to $500,000, House Republican tax proposals have opened the door to a fundamental shift in the tax treatment of housing. This is a rare opportunity to realign federal tax support for housing to help all taxpayers – renters and owners.
The fundamental problem with the recap and release approach is that starting any discussion about a future mortgage finance system with Fannie and Freddie is like looking through the wrong end of a telescope: the field of vision is very restricted and the details are hard to make out. Here's what the industry really needs to be asking about the GSEs.
It now seems all but certain that 2014 will end without any further progress on comprehensive mortgage finance legislation.
But the coming months will offer little comfort for those who rooted for such a stalemate in hope of avoiding hard decisions about fundamental parts of the current system.
Eight years after we began recognizing women for their influential work in the expanding housing and mortgage finance ecosystem, a traditionally male-dominated field, our Women of Influence list is bigger and better than ever! This year, we honor 85 women who are making lasting achievements in each sector of the housing economy. Read on to learn more about these accomplished women and the strides they are making in their industry segments.
The financial world at large is experimenting with changing its workforce culture in ways not fathomable 10 years ago. For example, in 2011, the dress code for female workers at UBS came to light with unflattering results. In it, the Swiss bank instructed female employees on not just how to dress and how to smell, but also preached the importance for ladies to apply lotion after taking showers. Fast forward to today and fellow Swiss bank, Credit Suisse has now created an official role to boost equal opportunities and create a fair treatment environment. Has the American mortgage industry made similar progress?
The conversation around student loan debt and its economic impact on Millennials, those born from 1980 to 1998, has some questioning whether the future of the American Dream is in jeopardy. The nation’s student loan debt has soared to $1.4 trillion, surpassing credit cards in becoming the largest source of personal debt outside a mortgage.