Mortgage bankers call for reform at MBA conference

by Steve Randall27 Oct 2017
Representatives of lenders from across the country attended the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Annual Conference and Expo in Denver this week, and discussed reform of housing finance.

Speakers including HUD secretary Ben Carson and FHFA director Mel Watt set out the issues surrounding housing finance. This includes the role of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and how the regulatory framework might evolve.

Among those taking part in the event was Phil DeFronzo, President of Norcom Mortgage.

"The need for housing finance reform grows more urgent each day," he said "Affordable housing concerns are real and Congress must lock in the reforms made to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

"Hearing Secretary Carson and Director Watt reiterate our concerns exemplifies that this is a problem across the country," added DeFronzo. "Massachusetts, in particular, is suffering from an exorbitantly high cost of living. People can't buy homes and they're not able to afford rental prices."

Jon Gedde, Chairman of the Nevada Mortgage Lenders Association and Senior Mortgage Advisor at Alderus Mortgage said that Freddie and Fannie have been left in conservatorship for too long already.

"With a temporary band aid left on our housing finance system from the 2008 financial crisis, many Nevadans could be at risk unless action is taken," said Gedde. "We need smart reforms that will ensure affordable housing and competition in the market place."

Key prinicples of the reforms that the MBA has set out include protecting what works, such as 30-year fixed rate single-family mortgage, TBA market, and long-term multifamily financing options; and new guardrails to protect taxpayers.

Mortgage banker Fowler Williams, MBA State Ambassador and President and CEO of Crescent Mortgage Company said at the conference that Congress must work together in the common interest.

"While many issues do not garner bipartisan support in Washington, D.C., the need for housing finance reform transcends political party lines. That is why I urge my Congressional Delegation to find common sense solutions that protect taxpayers and drive competition throughout the market as soon as possible," Williams concluded.

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