Joseph Murin is the chairman of JJAM Financial Services in Pittsburgh. He has a held a number of leadership and executive positions throughout the mortgage industry over the course of his 40+ year career.” Murin has served as president of Ginnie Mae (2007–2008), after being nominated for the position by President Bush on Oct, 11, 2007. He served as a consultant to the White House until he was confirmed by the Senate in June, 2008.
Fraud is an issue that we don’t like to think about in the mortgage industry. Yet it always seems to be there, lingering on the fringe of our focus. From time to time, the topic bubbles up in the news or at a convention. We talk about it, give it the proverbial “15 minutes of fame", but rarely are we forced to alter the way we do business or invest large amounts into protecting ourselves from it.
[Expert commentary] I call today upon our industry to work even harder to make the fully digital mortgage a reality. While there are risks to changing the way we originate, record and transfer mortgage loans, the benefits far outweigh those risks. It’s in the consumer’s best interest, and in our best interests as well.
[Expert commentary] Not too long ago, I posed to you a fairly significant question: Is America’s housing policy at a crossroads? Now may be the perfect time to ask such a question since our industry seems to have reached a bit of a plateau. Perhaps it’s time to revisit fundamental tenets of a housing policy that has gone unquestioned for decades.
[Commentary] Between GSE reform and a regulatory blitz seemingly stalled, it’s time to revisit some key assumptions. We’re not quite halfway through 2017 yet, and already it’s safe to say that as far as the housing and mortgage world is concerned, this has been a year unlike any we’ve seen in awhile.
[Guest commentary] While political pundits and talking-heads focus on your views on affordable housing and plans for urban renewal, very little has been said about an institution which has become a driver in the American economy—and one which will fall under your oversight shortly: Ginnie Mae. This is certainly not to belittle any of the other matters discussed in your recent testimony before the U.S. Senate. However, I hope you’ll agree that you’re inheriting an important entity of which too little is understood by far too many.
As President-elect Donald Trump and his team begin the arduous task of transitioning, it's important that as he addresses his long list of campaign promises he does not forget housing, says Joseph Murin, former president of Ginnie Mae. "This is a plea for this administration not to underestimate the importance of the housing and real estate industry to America’s economy. It is way past the time for our industry leadership to stop kicking the proverbial can down the road."
After reviewing various GSE reform options, I strongly believe our strongest course of action would be to combine the existing GSEs into a single, super GSE operated similarly to Ginnie Mae. Ginnie is already a proven success story, in spite of underfunding and hurricane-like market headwinds in the past ten years, so why not build upon something that we know works?
Ginnie Mae would be considered a blue-chip institution in the private sector but is unable to plot its own budgetary course, which is a major impediment to growth and stability. Today, Ginnie is a success story. It has outgrown its role as a specialist supporting HUD and, instead, has ballooned to become a core industry driver. Something needs to change.
Former Ginnie Mae president Joseph Murin knows first-hand how important the government backstop to the mortgage industry is…and it’s not just for lenders. Without the government guarantee for mortgages, it will be the consumer who suffers most, Murin says.
In the days following the 2016 election, business leaders across many industries were hopeful that the new president would make good on his promise of widespread deregulation. Banks and other financial institutions were especially optimistic. Here at last was the relief they had been looking for. Or not.
Even Hollywood knows better than to produce a sequel when the original movie is truly, horrifically bad. That’s why, thankfully, we haven’t seen sequels to such all-time cinematic disasters as Howard the Duck, Gigli, The Last Airbender, Jack and Jill, Glitter, or Battlefield Earth. Which brings us, in an admittedly roundabout way, to the question of whether we’re about to see a sequel of sorts in the mortgage industry: The Return of the Subprime Loan.
With FHFA director Mel Watt’s term due to expire in January 2019, the question of whether to move ahead on some version of administrative reform may rest with his successor. In the meantime, policy makers would be well-served to work together to come to some agreement on options for administrative reform. At a minimum, agreeing on a common definition would be a good first step.