WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 12, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — David H. Stevens, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) issued the following statement following remarks by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) this morning at the National Press Club.
“MBA, as we have said many times, supports risk retention and believes it is an important step in establishing a regulatory plan to protect borrowers and ensure a safe and sustainable mortgage system. The QRM exemption in Dodd-Frank was designed to recognize that traditional mortgage loans – standard products, properly underwritten and fully documented – were not the cause of the recent crisis.
“In order for risk retention to work, to create a functioning mortgage system that protects and serves borrowers, regulators must get the QRM right, and we do not believe that the rule, as proposed, gets it right. Hardwiring down payment, loan to value (LTV) and debt-to-income (DTI) requirements into the regulation is unnecessary. Data shows that it would needlessly limit homeownership opportunities for well-qualified borrowers, while at the same time offering little corresponding benefit preventing defaults.
“MBA and a broad coalition of industry, consumer advocacy and civil rights organizations, have been working together to enunciate our support for risk retention, but also our deep concern with the rigidity of the specific underwriting criteria in QRM rule. We will continue to advocate for a better QRM rule because we believe that the price of enacting the rule as proposed would far exceed any benefit that risk retention would provide.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation’s residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,200 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA’s Web site: www.mortgagebankers.org
John Mechem (202) 557-2924