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 www.mba.org/maa. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://mba.org/Advocacy/MortgageActionAlliance.