MBA’s Mortgage Action Alliance: MAA Members Carry the Torch on State Advocacy

US Capitol Building

The real estate finance industry is in the midst of an exceptionally busy time considering the breadth of legislative activity in our realm this year. As we continue to implement and adjust to the regulations mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress has also started to debate government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform, and earlier this month, the Senate Banking Committee finished the mark-up of a bill that would reauthorize Terrorism Risk Insurance.

While we continue to fight battles on the national stage, issues that are important to the mortgage business are being discussed at the state level too. As advocates for the mortgage industry, we often seek national solutions to national problems, but we cannot forget that the battles we fight locally are just as vital to our industry.

In 2014, Mortgage Action Alliance members have already sent more than 2,000 communications to elected officials in response to seven Calls to Action (CTA). While we have asked our members to weigh in on housing finance reform, flood insurance and points and fees with our federal officials, this year, MAA members have been just as active in state capitals.

In my home state of Arizona, several hundred Arizona-based MAA members rallied to solicit support for legislation that would positively impact our state-regulated loan originator licensing requirements.

Also this year, our colleagues in Rhode Island have been fighting to convince legislators to push the “pause” button on legislation that would change the definition of “mortgagee” and result in added costs and title concerns for Rhode Island homeowners. Our members in California have been working to defeat a tax bill that would increase the cost of doing business within their state.

Most recently, our New York MAA members continue to fight for support of legislation that would codify emergency regulations that have been necessary to ensure access to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans in New York.

MAA is a crucial portion of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) advocacy efforts as it connects real estate finance professionals with their representatives in a collective voice. Our ability to unite and organize on both the state and local level is what makes the Mortgage Action Alliance such an effective tool for individual members of our industry and state MBAs as well.

Our battles are far from over and active participation is needed from everyone, from chief executive officers to receptionists, to underwriters and originators. I encourage you to continue to engage with MAA on the federal and local level to help move the needle and amplify your voice with others in our industry.

Are you speaking up? Are you making your voice heard? Don’t wait for someone else to advocate for you. Join the Mortgage Action Alliance today and unite with mortgage professionals all around the country.

Enrollment in MAA is easy … simply fill out an online form at Your membership is always free and lasts for one calendar year. 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 or visit

MAA Special Alert

Mortgage Action Alliance Member –

Back in March, the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee – Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) – put forward a draft bill designed to resolve the future of the GSEs and the government’s role in ensuring liquidity for residential and multifamily mortgages. Later this morning, the Committee will take a step forward when it kicks off a mark-up of the bill. Today’s session with be limited to opening statements by Senators Johnson and Crapo, who indicated overnight they will postpone to a later date consideration of the more than 100 amendments that have been filed.

While any delay certainly reduces the chances of comprehensive legislation being enacted before the November mid-term elections, the postponement of the mark-up is not necessarily a negative development. Our view is that it provides an opportunity for Senators to continue to work with all stakeholders to further improve this legislation and “grow the vote.” Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member Crapo have been working around the clock to develop a Manager’s Amendment that would address the concerns of industry participants and provide the additional bipartisan support necessary to move the legislation to the Senate floor.

Throughout this process, MBA has been actively engaged with Senators and key staff on the Banking Committee. We have focused our efforts to promote legislation that will create a vibrant secondary mortgage market that ensures a level playing field for lenders of all sizes and business models, and maintains the access to affordable mortgage credit – particularly the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – that consumers have come to rely upon. We have sought to reign in the powers of the new Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC) so it does not add to the regulatory burden lenders already face. And we have worked with the Committee to promote sensible capital requirements, prevent aggregators from originating loans, and to properly structure the small lender mutual, a member-owned cooperative created by the legislation.

As the Committee’s mark-up progresses, we will keep you informed of the process, the changes contained in the Johnson-Crapo Manager’s Amendment, and the outcome of other key amendments. To view the mark-up, which starts at 10 this morning (following a committee vote on federal nominees), please click here.

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