WASHINGTON (3/28/14)--Entering the policy discussions involving changes to the country's existing housing finance system, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) this week introduced legislation that would create a cooperative group of mortgage lenders to back home loans.
The discussion draft, known as the "Housing Opportunities Move the Economy (HOME) Forward Act of 2014," would establish a new lender-owned Mortgage Securities Cooperative (MSC). That entity would be the only issuer of government-guaranteed securities. It would be governed on a one-member, one-vote basis, and capitalized by lenders based on mortgage volume, the House Financial Services Committee said in a summary of the proposal.
The co-op would replace government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which would be wound down over a five-year timeline.
The bill would also:
Housing finance reform bills have also been introduced by the Senate Banking Committee and Waters' House Financial Services Committee colleague Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). CUNA this week met with White House officials to discuss credit union concerns ahead of a vote on the Senate bill, and CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel last year discussed credit union priorities for a future housing finance market at a conference convened by Waters.
CUNA has repeatedly underscored that credit unions appreciate the need to reform the current housing finance system, but any reforms must not hinder the ability of credit unions to meet their members' housing finance needs in a member-friendly cooperative way.
Other CUNA suggestions for a future mortgage market include: