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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