NEW YORK (4/24/14)--Credit Union National Association Housing Finance Reform Task Force member Bill O'Brien Tuesday attended the latest Obama administration meeting with stakeholders on housing finance reform.
O'Brien, president/CEO of $886 million-asset Suffolk FCU, Medford, N.Y., participated in a roundtable discussion in New York headed by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. The meeting followed by one day an exclusive meeting between White House and CUNA officials to discuss credit union priorities regarding housing finance reform policy issues.
Also on Wednesday, in Washington, D.C., CUNA attended the final White House group meeting of housing finance reform stakeholders. Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn and Assistant General Counsel for Special Projects Robin Cook stressed what small lenders need in terms of setting up the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corp. while winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as proposed by draft Senate legislation.
At the New York meeting, O'Brien was prepared to bring up CUNA's and credit unions' concerns about a point made recently by Donovan: That the qualified mortgage model, as defined under the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau's Ability-to-Repay rule, would become the standard mortgage for the secondary market.
CUNA argues that if the QM rule became the secondary market standard, credit-worthy individuals who fall outside the criteria could be denied a mortgage.
CUNA has previously raised this issue with the White House and with the Senate Banking Committee, which is scheduled to consider its housing finance reform bill on April 29.
Donovan most recently made the point about the QM standard during a Tuesday webinar hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Council. During that session, Donovan said the administration is pleased with the direction of the Johnson-Crapo reform draft for four reasons: