NAMB backs passage of secondary market reform measureMortgagePress.comgovernment-sponsored enterprises, House Financial Services Committee, Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of 2007
The National Association of
Mortgage Brokers applauded passage of legislation by the House Financial Services
Committee (HFSC) that improves access to key assistance
programs for homebuyers in high-cost areas. The bill would also
reform the oversight procedures for government-sponsored
enterprises (GSEs) Fannie
Mae and Freddie
The bill, HR 1427, was introduced by HFSC Chairman Barney Frank
and approved by a 45-19 vote. Next, the bill will move to the House
floor for consideration by the entire chamber.
In a letter to the leadership of the HFSC, NAMB President Harry
Dinham, CMC praised provisions of the Federal Housing Finance
Reform Act of 2007 that would ensure the GSEs' ability to perform
their missions while creating parameters for the secondary mortgage
market to operate safely and efficiently.
Additionally, HR 1427 would create a new independent regulator
for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and utilize a percentage of the
companies' investment portfolios to fund affordable housing
initiatives with an estimated $500 million annually. The new
regulator would be granted broad oversight authority that would
focus on safety, soundness and mission considerations. NAMB
believes in a strong regulatory structure aimed at protecting the
safety and soundness of the GSEs, and NAMB supports HR 1427 to the
extent that the bill furthers these objectives. NAMB is also
encouraged by the bill's preservation of unfettered mortgage broker
access to the GSEs' automated underwriting systems.
"Passage of this bill will advance the process of establishing a
strong, even-handed regulatory framework for the housing GSEs,"
said Dinham. "NAMB supports GSE regulatory reform efforts because
they allow the entities to focus on their housing mission for the
benefit of all homeowners."
The legislation includes provisions to set regional conforming
loan limits at levels that are better designed to assist would-be
homebuyers in high-cost areas. Homebuyers in these areas are
currently penalized by not having access to assistance and benefits
from GSEs because the median cost of housing in their areas is
higher than the current conforming loan limit.
"Increasing conforming loan limits in high-cost areas is an
essential component to this legislation," said Dinham. "Those who
choose to live and work in high-cost areas should not be victimized
by the very systems intended to help them."
NAMB will be closely monitoring HR 1427 as it moves to the House
floor for debate. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and
Urban Affairs is expected to take up its own process on GSE reform
later this year.
For more information, visit www.namb.org.