MBA Mortgage Action Alliance

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.

 
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. 

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.

Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee are holding a “Minority Day Hearing” today to voice their disapproval of the Financial CHOICE Act, the Republican-backed bill that would make significant changes to the Dodd-Frank Act

The U.S. House of Representatives recently took up a Senate-passed bill, the SCRA Foreclosure Protection Act, which would renew protections for foreclosure for military personnel transitioning back to civilian life. The bipartisan legislation, which the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) had testified in support of earlier this year, ensures the brave men and women of our military won’t lose their home when they transition back to civilian life. A Call to Action was issued to Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) members regarding HR 2121, an MBA priority and an important bill for the mortgage industry that would provide transitional authority to originate mortgages for individuals who move from a federally-insured institution to a non-bank lender while they work to meet the SAFE Act’s licensing and testing requirements.

House Republicans recently released their Budget Resolution, and in a victory for the industry, included an MBA-supported prohibition on the use of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee fees to pay for unrelated spending. The Budget Resolution, which serves as a fiscal blueprint for spending and tax policy, faces an uncertain future in the full House due to concerns about overall spending levels.

Please stay tuned for any future MAA Calls to Action to ensure this vital provision is included in any budget deal.

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 the 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 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 April 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

Capitol Hill

The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is a free, voluntary and non-partisan nationwide grassroots lobbying network that is dedicated to strengthening the industry's voice and lobbying power in Washington, D.C. and state capitals across America. The policies and legislation the industry faces impact our day-to-day jobs in tangible ways. We have a right and duty to join that conversation.

By the time you read this, we will have just wrapped up MBA’s 2015 National Advocacy Conference. Hundreds of industry leaders from across the country gathered at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. to learn about the legislative and regulatory issues affecting the industry, and what they could do to influence the policy and directly affects their business.

On Day Two of the Advocacy Conference, attendees put those skills into practice in face-to-face meetings with lawmakers and key policy staff. I look forward to giving you a full report about the National Advocacy Conference in a future update.

We also kicked off our inaugural “Future Leaders” MAA Campaign. The Future Leaders program is an executive leadership development program run by MBA Education that delivers a comprehensive curriculum for selected managers who have shown leadership interests and abilities. Our Future Leaders class was divided into six teams presented with the challenge to gather as many MAA sign ups as possible before their second in-person meeting during the first week of June. The first, second and third place teams will receive points toward their overall grading system, designed and run by MBA Education team, as part of their Future Leaders curriculum and experience.

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 Stephanie Graham at (202) 557-2818 or sgraham@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 www.mortgageactionalliance.org. If you have any questions regarding MBA’s advocacy programs, please contact MBA’s Associate 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. Williams speaks regularly to financial institutions and their respective organizations on compliance, regulatory changes in mortgage lending, and assessing their overall mortgage operations to maximize income, while minimizing the risks associated in today’s mortgage lending environment. He may be reached by phone at (800) 851-0263 or e-mail fwilliams@crescentmortgage.net.



This article originally appeared in the April 2015 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. 

The Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA) is a free, voluntary and non-partisan nationwide grassroots lobbying network dedicated to strengthening the industry's voice and lobbying power in Washington, D.C. and state capitals across America. The policies and legislation the industry faces impact our day-to-day jobs in tangible ways. We have a right and duty to join that conversation.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan group of House Financial Services Committee members introduced HR 2121, the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act, which would amend the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 to provide a temporary license for registered loan originators transitioning between federally-insured depositories and non-depositories, as well as for licensed loan originators moving across state lines. Led by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Luke Messer (R-IN), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) joined the bill as original cosponsors.

HR 2121 is a narrow and simple solution that would allow individuals to continue working and originating loans, while in no way weakening the important consumer protections of the SAFE Act. But without your voice being added to the conversation through membership in the MAA, common sense solutions like this can be overcome by opposition. With your voice, we can win a victory for the industry.

In the midst of MBA’s National Advocacy Conference (NAC), the House of Representatives gave overwhelming approval to HR 685, the Mortgage Choice Act—passing the legislation by a vote of 286 to 140, despite a veto threat by the White House the day before. This bipartisan legislation would make important changes to the QM definition in the Dodd-Frank Act by removing affiliated title charges from the three percent cap on points and fees. Throughout NAC, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) members advocated for this legislation and members of the MAA lent their own support by urging their Representatives to vote for the bill.

Additionally, the House approved HR 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, by a vote of 263 to 162. This legislation, which was also supported by MBA, would allow more manufactured housing loans to fit within the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) cap on points and fees. The next step for both bills will be consideration by the Senate, where passage is far from assured.

We need your voice. 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 Stephanie Graham at (202) 557-2818 or e-mail sgraham@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 www.mortgageactionalliance.org. If you have any questions regarding MBA’s advocacy programs, please contact MBA’s Associate 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. Williams speaks regularly to financial institutions and their respective organizations on compliance, regulatory changes in mortgage lending, and assessing their overall mortgage operations to maximize income, while minimizing the risks associated in today’s mortgage lending environment. He may be reached by phone at (800) 851-0263 or e-mail fwilliams@crescentmortgage.net.



This article originally appeared in the May 2015 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.