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March 12, 2014
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson and Ranking Member Senator Mike Crapo announced yesterday a bipartisan agreement on a plan to reform the housing finance system. The proposal has yet to be fully unveiled. "We appreciate Senators Johnson and Crapo's attention to this critically important issue," said Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending. "The mortgage market is a $10 trillion industry and any changes to it will resonate through the entire economy. This is why any change must be considered carefully." "Overhaul of the housing finance system must...
January 29, 2014
During the annual State of the Union address, the President rightly called for housing finance reform that keeps the American Dream of homeownership alive for this and future generations. This Dream accounts for $10 trillion of our nation's economy and is a proven path towards upward mobility for millions of Americans. It is also why it is important to preserve the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage loan. While measurable market improvements are occurring, the recovery is not yet benefiting everyone. Any legislative reform needs to fix what is broken and build on what is working. Congress must...
December 10, 2013
We commend the U.S. Senate for confirming Representative Mel Watt as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Representative Watt is eminently qualified to run this crucial agency based on his decades of experience as a real estate attorney and member of the House Financial Services Committee. He has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to work with a variety of stakeholders to craft practical and fair solutions. In his new post, he will apply these same qualities to help put the housing finance market on the right path. ### For more information, contact Ellen Schloemer at 919-539-...
October 31, 2013
CRL remains a strong supporter of Congressman Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Rep. Watt is eminently qualified to run the agency and help put the housing market on the right path. We are deeply disappointed with today's outcome and urge the Senate to reconsider this important nomination. For more information, contact Ellen Schloemer at 919-539-9092 or ellen.schloemer@responsiblelending.org
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...

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