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Press Releases

September 26, 2013
In recent days, criticism of the likelihood of supplemental FHA funding has generated widespread news coverage. Yet it is equally true that what FHA has accomplished must also be acknowledged. Since 1934, FHA has served the nation as a reliable and successful program that has provided broad homeownership opportunities to successive generations. More recently FHA played a crucial role through the foreclosure crisis. When private capital fled, FHA remained in operation, keeping the housing market alive by insuring millions of mortgages. The proposed draw from the U.S. Treasury Department...
August 28, 2013
New mortgage lending rules proposed today by federal regulators take a big step forward in strengthening the U.S. housing market and economy. In revised proposed rules defining "qualified residential mortgages" (QRM), regulators crafted standards that address key causes of the past housing crisis and will prevent future abusive lending. At the same time, the newly-proposed rule will protect access to credit for many homebuyers by not mandating downpayment levels. Research from the UNC Center for Community Capital and the Center for Responsible Lending has shown that low downpayment...
August 22, 2013
Earlier today Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement issued his fifth and final report detailing progress by the five participating servicers regarding their consumer relief obligations under the Settlement through June 30. The monitor has verified the data provided by one servicer (Ally/ResCap) as fulfilling settlement consumer relief obligations, and is evaluating two others (Bank of America and Chase) for completion.The servicers report that 643,726 borrowers have benefited from consumer relief totaling $51.33 billion, resulting in nearly $80,000 of assistance...
August 6, 2013
We commend the President for offering a clear vision for a full housing recovery. We also second the President's call for a swift confirmation of Rep. Mel Watt to serve as the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. As we enter into the reform of the mortgage finance system, it is vital to have a qualified Presidential appointee at the helm of this critical agency. Mr. Watt has a track record of strong leadership in crafting practical solutions during the housing crisis. Beyond the Watt confirmation: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recently finalized Qualified Mortgage...
July 12, 2013
The American dream of homeownership strengthens families, communities, and our nation as a whole. Housing is also a major contributor to the American economy. Before our nation's economy can become strong again, our housing market must become robust. We are concerned that The Protecting American Taxpayer & Homeowner Act fails to provide a path forward to a strong housing finance system. Rather, it removes critical assistance that has helped tens of millions of homebuyers to receive affordable, fixed rate mortgages; preserved home values and helped the overall economy. This bill would...
June 25, 2013
Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA) have introduced legislation to reform the nation's housing finance system that rightly recognizes the importance of having a government backstop to private capital. This is essential to providing ample liquidity and support for 30-year, fixed rate mortgages. Any mortgage finance legislation that does not include a full government backstop will fall short of true reform.The legislation attempts to advance broad access to mortgage credit. However, it includes a five percent down payment requirement, which is a restriction that will do more...
May 29, 2013
The final rules issued today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau strike the right balance: they safeguard consumers from abusive practices while helping lenders comply with new mortgage lending standards. The rules address two key issues related to the Dodd-Frank Act's mandate that lenders assess a borrower's ability to repay, particularly the standards a loan must meet to qualify as a "Qualified Mortgage." First, they properly prohibit mortgages with higher fees from gaining Qualified Mortgage (QM) status. Second, they tailor the QM standards for small lenders who hold mortgages...
May 21, 2013
Data released earlier today by HUD shows that the National Mortgage Settlement has brought more than $50 billion in principal reduction and savings to over 620,000 homeowners. Principal reductions and refinancing savings represent 60 percent of the total dollar amount. These savings show this negotiated agreement between the largest banks and state Attorneys General and the Administration is a strong move in the right direction. It provides meaningful relief to homeowners, even though it is not a cure-all for the foreclosure crisis. We look forward to the Monitor's upcoming report on...
May 1, 2013
As the nation struggles to rebuild the housing market and broader economy, the White House's nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is encouraging. Rep. Watt has been in Congress for twenty years, ably serving on the House Financial Services Committee. He was one of the first elected officials to warn about the dangers of subprime lending, offering legislation to nip predatory lending in the bud, and tirelessly advocating for ways to prevent needless home foreclosures. Watt brings to FHFA an ability to work with a variety of stakeholders, with many...
April 9, 2013
Two consumer advocacy groups today outlined how state lawmakers can bolster safeguards to prevent unnecessary foreclosures. The recommendations by the Center for Responsible Lending and Consumers Union would close gaps left by new federal mortgage servicing rules and by last year's settlement among 49 state attorneys general, federal officials and the five biggest mortgage servicers. To read the policy paper, go to http://rspnsb.li/ZwS1xu. Despite these recent advances, millions of families remain poised to lose their homes. There is room for states to build on these reforms and help...

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