The letter, purportedly sent on Dec. 21 from then-Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) to CFPB Director Richard Cordray
, discussed a possible “definitional error” in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. The letter states that Congress did not intend to count compensation paid by creditors to mortgage brokerage firms toward the 3% points and fees cap for qualified mortgages. National Mortgage News
published a story on the letter on Jan. 16. The story stated that the letter had been provided to the publication by NAMB.
The letter, however, seems to be a fraud. The CFPB never received it, and Johnson’s former chief of staff, Drey Samuelson, confirmed that the senator never wrote, signed or authorized it. That’s led for calls from the National Association of Housing Professionals for NAMB to reveal the letter’s source.
In a statement, NAMB denies producing the letter itself.
“Regarding the Senator Johnson letter, NAMB had no reason to believe the letter was anything but genuine,” the statement reads. “Any accusations that NAMB fabricated the letter are patently false.”
However, the organization continued to refuse to reveal the letter’s source.
“We are as disappointed as anyone else that the letter’s author has become the discussion rather than its content,” the statement reads. “Those who are focused on that have lost sight of what our real goal is.”
However, NAIHP president Marc Savitt said that was a disingenuous response. The content of the letter becomes irrelevant if the letter itself is fraudulent, Savitt said.
"Although I agree with many aspects of what's written in the letter, the fact that the letter is a forgery will mean it's discounted on Capitol Hill," he said.
The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) has released a statement regarding an apparently fraudulent letter, but has not revealed the letter’s source.