MBA’s Broeksmit Defends Lobbying During Shutdown
January 14, 2019
Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) President and CEO Robert Broeksmit acknowledged and defended a news report that he successfully lobbied the Department of the Treasury to resume the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Income Verification Express Service system for processing Form 4506-T tax transcript requests during the ongoing partial federal government shutdown.
Broeksmit’s outreach was the subject of a front-page Washington Post report, and it offered a rare in-depth view of how the head of a major trade association can influence Executive Branch policy. In a blog posting, Broeksmit stated his dealing with the Treasury was essential for the economic well-being of the nation.
“Why did we do this?” Broeksmit said. “We wanted to avoid having home purchase transactions delayed or canceled, and we wanted borrowers closing on refinance loans to take advantage of today's lower interest rates to close their loans before their interest rate lock-ins expired. We applaud the administration in its decision to resume processing these requests for tax return transcripts. Lenders can now close loans with the confidence that the income information provided by borrowers is consistent with the tax returns they filed with the IRS. This means that would-be fraudsters will continue to be thwarted and that the vast majority of borrowers who truthfully disclose their incomes to mortgage lenders will not be penalized by the inability of the government to confirm their incomes.”
Broeksmit also noted that the MBA “successfully advocated for FEMA to reverse its decision to halt the issuance of new and renewal NFIP flood insurance policies” and also reached out to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “relating to mortgage forbearance for furloughed workers.” He noted that partisan politics was not part of the MBA’s actions and rejected the notion that his actions had political motivations.
“While I suppose it is unavoidable that in today's divided political climate, some will question the motives of groups like MBA when we take action on behalf of consumers, we are proud to have achieved these positive results for consumers, and we will continue to advocate for sensible steps to keep home financing broadly available to all qualified Americans,” he said.
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