As the 2013-2014 chair of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MMA), it was great to see so many companies and individuals represented at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 100th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. last October. More than 4,500 attendees joined together to celebrate the industry and a central theme rang through the halls of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center:
“In correcting for the loose standards of yesterday, we have stifled access to the credit needed to drive this market. And in our effort to be diligent in the face of a collapse in the housing market, policymakers all over town have been making hundreds of policy decisions to clamp down on risk, decisions that may make sense in isolation, but in the aggregate, are choking off credit.”
Over the course of our own industry’s history, we have always had to balance access to credit with minimizing risk. It’s a tough act, and over the years, the market has sometimes gotten out of balance, tilting too far in one direction or the other.
There is no doubt that because of the conflicted rulemaking coming out of Washington, D.C., private capital remains on the sidelines. Policymakers can give lip service to their desire to bring more private capital into the mortgage markets, but so many of their own actions are working against that goal.
Collectively, if we don’t get this right, we won’t be able to return to a time when Americans of modest means can have solid prospects for homeownership … where working-class Americans and Hispanic-Americans, and African-Americans and single moms and dads can buy a home to raise their kids.
This is why the MAA is so important to members of the real estate finance industry. MAA is a crucial portion of MBA’s advocacy efforts as it connects real estate finance professionals with their representatives in a collective voice on the federal and state level. MAA is the individual chance to speak up about what is happening in Washington, D.C. and in our state capitals, and the opportunity to become constituent experts with the ability to educate our elected officials on our business.
Yet, despite our best efforts, MAA has less than three percent of actively engaged MBA members … this is not enough.
Our battles are far from over and active participation is needed from CEOs to receptionists, underwriters to originators. If you are an employee of a company that is engaged in, or supports the business of real estate finance, you are eligible to become a MAA member. You do not have to be a member of the MBA. Enrollment in MAA is easy … you simply fill out an online form at our Web site, www.mortgageactionalliance.org. Your membership is always free and lasts for one calendar year.
Simply put, we need you. Your voice matters and it is critical that you use it. Together, we can make a difference on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the country. The larger the group, the louder the voice. Add yours today.
Amy Swaney, CMB is governmental relations officer and branch manager with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Citywide Home Loans. Amy is also chair of the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA), a voluntary, non-partisan and free nationwide grassroots lobbying network of real estate finance industry professionals, affiliated with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Amy may be reached by phone at (480) 822-6262, ext. 2164, e-mail [email protected]
or visit http://mba.org/Advocacy/MortgageActionAlliance.