MBA Mortgage Action Alliance

With the New Year just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to take stock of what the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) accomplished in 2017 and underscore just how important it is for people in the real estate finance industry to stay engaged with MAA, MBA’s free grassroots advocacy network. MAA provides a quick, free and easy way to advocate directly to elected officials on issues that affect mortgage professionals’ day-to-day lives on issues including licensure, regulatory relief, and reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)—just to name a few of the issues that our advocates have spoken up about this year.
 
It became easier than ever to participate in MAA this year with the release of the MAA App. It’s a one-stop-shop for MBA Advocacy where users can join MAA, connect with elected officials, respond to Calls to Action and learn about MORPAC, all from your mobile device. You can download the app at MBA.org/MAAapp.
 
The numbers show how active MAA members were throughout 2017:
 
►Sent more than 30,000 letters and tweets to elected officials on Calls to Action, a 218 percent increase from last year.
►Ninety-eight percent of senators and 94 percent of representatives were contacted by advocates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through MAA’s advocacy platform.
►There are now a total of 23,002 MAA members, a 46 percent increase over 2016.
►Seventy-five companies ran MAA campaigns.
 
MAA’s Second Annual Action Week took place the first week of October this year. Action Week is a week-long event dedicated to helping real estate finance professionals learn how to become more engaged in political advocacy that supports our industry. This year, 63 companies participated in Action Week, up from 58 last year. The work of these companies resulted in 4,500 new MAA members, which was 84 percent more than last year and put us ahead of our membership goal for the year. One thousand, three hundred and twenty-two advocates downloaded the MAA App during Action Week, surpassing our goal of reaching 1,000 downloads.
 
We like to say that MBA is the ‘One Voice’ of the real estate finance industry. MAA amplifies that voice by helping industry professionals contact their elected officials directly to let them know how legislation can impact local businesses in their communities. I encourage everyone in the mortgage industry to join MAA if you haven’t already by visiting MBA.org/JoinMAA. Your voice matters.
 
Finally, I would like to thank all MAA members for speaking up for our industry in 2017, and wish everyone a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year.
MBA.org/ActionWeekGene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

 
This month, the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is gearing up for our 2017 Action Week, taking place from Oct. 2-6 this year. Action Week is a week-long event dedicated to helping real estate finance professionals learn how to become more engaged in political advocacy that supports our industry. Why should you get involved? Because MAA is a non-partisan nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals that allows our industry to speak to our elected officials with one voice.
 
Our goal this year is to get 1,000 MAA App downloads and surpass 20,000 MAA members. Last year, we had about 60 companies participate and signed up just over 2,400 new MAA members. We are hoping to surpass those numbers this year. We'll be recognizing all participants at MBA’s Annual Convention and will be spreading the word on social media.
 
If you aren’t an MAA member, you can join for free at MBA.org/JoinMAA. To download the App, visit MBA.org/MAAapp or search for "Mortgage Action Alliance" in the App Store or Google Play.
 
Your participation makes a difference, and the MAA App couldn’t make taking action any easier. During Congress’ August Recess, more than 2,500 industry professionals contacted their elected officials, sending 6,500-plus letters to Congress about key issues, including GSE reform, transitional authority to originate mortgage loans for experienced MLOs transitioning between federally-insured depositories and non-depositories and across state lines, and reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
 
A big thank you to the three companies with the most individuals taking action in August: New American Funding, with 894 employees taking action; FBC Mortgage, with 146 employees participating; and Union Home Mortgage, with 108 employees contacting their elected representatives.
 
The more MAA members we have, the stronger our voice will be as we play an active role in how laws and regulations that affect the industry and consumers are created and carried out. Help us reach our goal by enrolling your company to participate and running a MAA membership campaign within your office. For more information, visit MBA.org/ActionWeek
MBA.org/ActionWeekGene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

 
With the August recess looming, members of Congress are preparing to head home to their states and districts. It’s a perfect time for members of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) to engage with your elected representatives. The MAA is a non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that allows our industry to speak with elected officials with one voice. If you aren’t an MAA member, you can join for free at MBA.org/JoinMAA.
 
This summer, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) capped off another successful National Advocacy Conference (NAC), with more than 365 attendees from 43 states. NAC is an annual opportunity for mortgage professionals from across the country to engage their elected officials face to face, and this year, industry advocates were able to attend 225 meetings on Capitol Hill. Couldn’t make it to Washington? At NAC, MBA announced the launch of the MAA App.
 
The MAA App is designed to make standing up for the real estate finance industry easier than ever. On the App, you can:
 
►Receive updates on bills affecting the real estate finance industry
►Let your elected officials know how those bills will impact you directly
►Research bills that MBA is watching
►Find contact information for your members of Congress
►Join MAA
►Learn about MORPAC, MBA's political action committee
 
To download the app, visit MBA.org/MAAApp or search for "Mortgage Action Alliance" in the App Store or Google Play.
 
With members of Congress returning to their states and districts, August is a perfect time to reach out to your elected officials. Visit Action.MBA.org to look up your elected officials and view a list of current calls to action. Current Calls to Action include a Call to Action in support of HR 2948, the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act, which would provide a temporary license for loan originators transitioning between federally-insured depositories and non-depositories, as well as across state lines.
 
Whether you come to Washington for the NAC, talk to your members of Congress in your home district, or take action using the App, your voice matters. MAA is working hard to make it easy to take action—and your elected officials need to hear from you.
 Gene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

A bipartisan duo of senators is reportedly working on a proposal that would break up the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)
With the August recess looming, members of Congress are preparing to head home to their states and districts. It’s a perfect time for members of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) to engage with your elected representatives. The MAA is a non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that allows our industry to speak with elected officials with one voice. If you aren’t an MAA member, you can join for free at MBA.org/JoinMAA.
 
This summer, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) capped off another successful National Advocacy Conference (NAC), with more than 365 attendees from 43 states. NAC is an annual opportunity for mortgage professionals from across the country to engage their elected officials face to face, and this year, industry advocates were able to attend 225 meetings on Capitol Hill. Couldn’t make it to Washington? At NAC, MBA announced the launch of the MAA App.
 
The MAA App is designed to make standing up for the real estate finance industry easier than ever. On the App, you can:
 
►Receive updates on bills affecting the real estate finance industry
►Let your elected officials know how those bills will impact you directly
►Research bills that MBA is watching
►Find contact information for your members of Congress
►Join MAA
►Learn about MORPAC, MBA's political action committee
 
To download the app, visit MBA.org/MAAApp or search for "Mortgage Action Alliance" in the App Store or Google Play.
 
With members of Congress returning to their states and districts, August is a perfect time to reach out to your elected officials. Visit Action.MBA.org to look up your elected officials and view a list of current calls to action. Current Calls to Action include a Call to Action in support of HR 2948, the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act, which would provide a temporary license for loan originators transitioning between federally-insured depositories and non-depositories, as well as across state lines.
 
Whether you come to Washington for the NAC, talk to your members of Congress in your home district, or take action using the App, your voice matters. MAA is working hard to make it easy to take action—and your elected officials need to hear from you.

Gene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

As the 2017-2018 chair of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA), it is my honor to lead this voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). There are a variety of ways you and your company can get involved with MAA that I encourage you to try.
 
MAA regularly sends updates to members on legislative activity that would affect our industry and issues Calls to Action asking our members to contact their elected representatives with one unified, powerful voice. I can tell you that when constituents contact their elected officials, they listen. MAA members put a face on the challenges our industry faces in helping customers obtain affordable housing finance.
 
Last month, MAA issued a Call to Action, urging its members to encourage Congress to read MBA’s new GSE reform white paper and act on this important issue. So far, over 1,000 MAA members have contacted their elected officials. If you haven’t done so, please take action now at Action.MBA.org.
 
Comprehensive GSE reform will also be a major topic at MBA's National Advocacy Conference (NAC), being held June 20-21 at the Grand Hyatt Washington. NAC attendees will hear from MBA’s policy experts about GSE reform, and also attend meetings with their local elected officials. The remainder of the NAC program will include thoughts on the new Presidential Administration, as well as potential congressional actions affecting our industry. We will be also launching our new MAA Mobile App, which will make getting involved in advocacy even easier, by sending notifications directly to your phone when a Call to Action is issued.
 
You can also connect with MAA on social media. Check out our Facebook page at Facebook.com/MortgageActionAlliance. Stay updated on current events in Washington, D.C. and your state capital. We will post the latest political news as well as MAA “Calls to Action.” You can also join our group on LinkedIn to connect with fellow advocates and expand your network.
 
Getting involved with MAA allows industry professionals to play an active role in how laws and regulations that affect the industry and consumers are created and carried out by lobbying and building relationships with policymakers. It only takes a moment to get started at MBA.org/JoinMAA, and you do not have to be a member of MBA to enroll. The larger the group, the louder the voice!

MBA.org/ActionWeekGene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

 
My name is Gene M. Lugat, executive vice president at PrimeLending, and I’m the 2017-2018 chairman of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) Steering Committee. MAA is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
 
As the new Congress and new presidential administration ramp up their activity, it’s more important than ever that you get involved in grassroots advocacy to ensure the fair treatment of the real estate finance industry.
 
Recently, we issued a MAA Call to Action (https://goo.gl/Wj9X2Q) asking our members to support H.R. 916, a bill that would prohibit Congress from counting increases to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's guarantee fees (g-fees) as sources of funding for unrelated spending. Increasing these fees makes loans more expensive and increase costs for borrowers. So far over 2,000 individuals have taken action and contacted their representatives. Please view the Call to Action and Take Action today! If you've already taken action, please pass the information along to your colleagues and make our voice even stronger.
 
Of course, one of the biggest pieces of news which affects the entire mortgage banking industry is the confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the MBA, filmed a quick update video about the industry’s policy priorities, as well as other key government appointments. You can watch the video at https://goo.gl/G6m3pL.
 
MAA needs your help to grow the influence of our industry. The MAA Company Captain program lets you take a leading role by bolstering MAA within your company. Company Captains will be responsible for enrolling colleagues in MAA, supporting our Call to Action participation, and engaging their company and colleagues in other MBA advocacy platforms. Visit http://Action.MBA.org/MBA/MAACaptain to sign up to become a Company Captain.
 
You can visit MBA.org/MAA to join MAA or for more information. You can also can stay up-to-date on current events in Washington, D.C. and your state capital by connecting with MAA on social media. We post the latest political news as well as MAA “Calls to Action” on Facebook at Facebook.com/MortgageActionAlliance. You can also find our group on LinkedIn to connect with fellow advocates and expand your network.
 
If you have any questions regarding MAA, or if you would like to run an MAA enrollment campaign at your office, please contact Peter Shapiro at (202) 557-2933 or e-mail PShapiro@MBA.org.
 
Remember, MAA truly does make a difference in our industry. The larger the group … the louder the voice.

MBA.org/ActionWeekGene M. Lugat is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. Gene is executive vice president, national industry and political relations for PrimeLending Inc.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

 
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has announced the appointment of Elizabeth Blosser as its new director of grassroots and state government affairs

The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

As the House and Senate return from congressional recess for the final push to Election Day, mortgage-related regulatory developments continue, including the implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and actions by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) related to downpayment assistance and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs).

In response to a push by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt announced that the new Uniform Residential Loan Application would not ask borrowers for their language preference—a key win for lenders.

On the legislative front, President Obama signed into law HR 3700, a HUD reform bill that requires FHA to streamline its condominium guidelines.

With election season fully underway, you can use the new feature on MBA’s Advocacy Action Center, the Elections Page to easily look up the federal and state candidates running for office in your area along with information about the election, and even register to vote. Visit Action.MBA.org to visit the Elections Page and try it out yourself!

You can also connect with MAA on social media. Check out MAA’s Facebook page. Stay updated on current events in Washington, D.C. and your state capital. We will post the latest political news, as well as MAA “Calls to Action.” You can also join MAA’s group on LinkedIn to connect with fellow advocates and expand your network!

The Mortgage Action Alliance recently sent out a letter asking MAA members about any personal relationships that they have with their elected officials. These relationships can be incredibly valuable to our advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry. Please consider joining MAA and helping us leverage your personal relationships to advocate on behalf of our industry. The industry’s ability to navigate and manage these policy challenges is critical to our efforts in serving consumers around the nation. Visit Action.MBA.org to learn more.

Getting involved with MAA allows industry professionals to play an active role in how laws and regulations that affect the industry and consumers are created and carried out by lobbying and building relationships with policymakers. It only takes a moment to get started, and you do not have to be a member of MBA to enroll. The larger the group, the louder the voice!

If you would like to run an MAA campaign, please contact Peter Shapiro at (202) 557-2933 or e-mail PShapiro@MBA.org to receive an Enrollment Campaign Kit and learn more about how you can engage your colleagues and employees in MBA’s advocacy programs.

Real estate finance industry professionals who wish to join or learn more about MAA can do so at Action.MBA.org. If you have any questions regarding MBA’s advocacy programs, please contact MBA’s Director of Political Affairs Annie Gawkowski by phone at (202) 557-2816 or e-mail AGawkowski@MBA.org.



Fowler Williams is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. He is also president of Atlanta, Ga.-based Crescent Mortgage. He may be reached by phone at (800) 851-0263 or e-mail FWilliams@CrescentMortgage.net.



This article originally appeared in the September 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). And MAA gets results, as Congress heads towards its summer recess, several MAA member priorities are advancing.

The House of Representatives gave its resounding approval to the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act last month, giving the MBA-supported bill fresh momentum as it heads to the Senate. The bill’s unanimous passage was the product of extensive advocacy efforts over the course of the past year by MBA and members of the Mortgage Action Alliance, who sent nearly 3,000 letters to House members in the weekend leading up to the vote.

Also, the House Appropriations Committee advanced the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) funding bill, which is expected to be considered by the full House shortly. The bill contains many priorities important to MBA. Most notably, the bill explicitly blocks FHA from charging lenders a per-loan fee to fund its administrative costs. The measure also maintains level funding for FHA’s administrative needs, and fully funds Ginnie Mae’s staffing, training, and technology needs. For the third consecutive year, the House maintained a prohibition on federal funds being used to facilitate eminent domain seizures of performing loans. The bill also contains funds for housing and homeownership counseling. The legislation may be considered by the House in June, while the Senate passed its version of the funding bill mid-May.

And finally, the Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee approved its bill. Included in the legislation is an MBA-supported provision that would subject the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to the congressional appropriations process. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB receives its funding directly from the Federal Reserve, thus limiting the ability of Congress to conduct meaningful oversight of the Bureau.

The Mortgage Action Alliance recently sent out a letter asking MAA members about any personal relationships that they have with their elected officials. These relationships can be incredibly valuable to our advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry. Please consider joining MAA and helping us leverage your personal relationships to advocate on behalf of our industry. The industry’s ability to navigate and manage these policy challenges will be critical to our efforts to serve consumers.

Getting involved with MAA allows industry professionals to play an active role in how laws and regulations that affect the industry and consumers are created and carried out by lobbying and building relationships with policymakers. It only takes a moment to get started, and you do not have to be a member of MBA to enroll. The larger the group, the louder the voice!

If you would like to run an MAA campaign, please contact Peter Shapiro at (202) 557-2933 or e-mail PShapiro@MBA.org to receive an enrollment campaign kit and learn more about how you can engage your colleagues and employees in MBA’s advocacy programs.

Real estate finance industry professionals who wish to join or learn more about MAA can do so at Action.MBA.org. If you have any questions regarding MBA’s advocacy programs, please contact MBA’s Director of Political Affairs Annie Gawkowski at (202) 557-2816 or e-mail AGawkowski@MBA.org.



Fowler Williams is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. He is also president of Atlanta, Ga.-based Crescent Mortgage. He may be reached by phone at (800) 851-0263 or e-mail FWilliams@CrescentMortgage.net.



This article originally appeared in the June 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

The nation’s leading mortgage industry trade association has announced its backing of a new bipartisan bill that would amend the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act)

The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Congress is currently in recess, as members are in their districts meeting with constituents. As you may have seen in the past few weeks, MBA and MAA had a presence at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. This included a number of events and, in particular, two separate real estate media events at each Convention. These panels were hosted by The Hill newspaper and sponsored by a broad coalition of real estate-focused trade associations. MBA Vice Chairman Rodrigo López moderated a panel at the Republican Convention event and MBA President and CEO David Stevens moderated a parallel panel at the Democratic Convention.

With election season now fully underway, we are excited to launch a new feature on MBA’s Advocacy Action Center, the Elections Page. On the Elections Page, you are able to easily look up the federal and state candidates running for office in your area, information about the election, and even register to vote. Go to Action.MBA.org to visit the Elections Page and try it out for yourself!

You can also connect with MAA on social media. Please check out MAA’s Facebook page. Check-in with MAA often to stay up-to-date on the happenings in Washington, D.C. and your state capital. We will post the latest political news as well as MAA “Calls to Action.” You can also join MAA’s group on LinkedIn to connect with fellow advocates and expand your network!

The Mortgage Action Alliance recently sent out a letter asking members about any personal relationships they may have with their elected officials. These relationships can be incredibly valuable to our advocacy efforts on behalf of the industry. Please consider joining MAA and helping us leverage your personal relationships to advocate on behalf of our industry. The industry’s ability to navigate and manage these policy challenges will be critical to our efforts to serve consumers. Visit MAA’s Web site to learn more.

Getting involved with MAA allows industry professionals to play an active role in how laws and regulations that affect the industry and consumers are created and carried out by lobbying and building relationships with policymakers. It only takes a moment to get started, and you do not have to be a member of MBA to enroll. The larger the group, the louder the voice!

If you would like to run an MAA campaign, please contact Peter Shapiro at (202) 557-2933 or e-mail PShapiro@MBA.org to receive an Enrollment Campaign Kit and learn more about how you can engage your colleagues and employees in MBA’s advocacy programs.

Real estate finance industry professionals who wish to join or learn more about MAA can do so at Action.MBA.org. If you have any questions regarding MBA’s advocacy programs, please contact MBA’s Director of Political Affairs Annie Gawkowski by phone at (202) 557-2816 or e-mail AGawkowski@MBA.org.



Fowler Williams is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. He is also president of Atlanta, Ga.-based Crescent Mortgage. He may be reached by phone at (800) 851-0263 or e-mail FWilliams@CrescentMortgage.net.



This article originally appeared in the August 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals

The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). MAA is dedicated to strengthening the industry's voice and lobbying power in Washington, D.C. and state capitals across America.

Membership in MAA achieves real results. In late April, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a letter in response to an MBA-led effort seeking additional clarity on several aspects of the Know Before You Owe rule. The Bureau’s response outlined an expedited rulemaking process that should provide lenders, the secondary market and consumers the clarity and consistency of disclosures that are sorely needed. Also, the House recently unanimously passed an MBA-supported bill that would make it easier for private insurers to offer flood insurance coverage. None of this could happen without the grassroots support of MAA leaders!

But much work remains to be done. Over the past few months, 1,862 MAA members have written letters to 351 Congressional offices in support of HR 2121, a bill that would provide transitional licensing authority to originate mortgages for individuals who move from a federally-insured institution to a non-bank lender or from one state to another while they work to meet the SAFE Act’s licensing and testing requirements.

Thank you to those MAA members who have already taken action. For those who haven't—visit Action.MBA.org and help make sure the bill is considered by the full House!

Getting involved with MAA allows industry professionals to play an active role in how laws and regulations that affect the industry and consumers are created and carried out by lobbying and building relationships with policymakers. It only takes a moment to get started, and you do not have to be a member of MBA to enroll. The larger the group, the louder the voice!

If you would like to run an MAA campaign, please contact Peter Shapiro at (202) 557-2933 or e-mail PShapiro@MBA.org to receive an enrollment campaign kit and learn more about how you can engage your colleagues and employees in MBA’s advocacy programs.

Real estate finance industry professionals who wish to join or learn more about MAA can do so at Action.MBA.org. If you have any questions regarding MBA’s advocacy programs, please contact MBA’s Director of Political Affairs Annie Gawkowski at (202) 557-2816 or e-mail AGawkowski@MBA.org.



Fowler Williams is chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Action Alliance. He is also president of Atlanta, Ga.-based Crescent Mortgage. He may be reached by phone at (800) 851-0263 or e-mail FWilliams@CrescentMortgage.net.



This article originally appeared in the May 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.