Treasury submits housing finance reform plan to administration

September 6, 2019

The U.S. Treasury released its housing finance reform plan Thursday, which included a series of series of recommended legislative and administrative reforms. CUNA strongly supports housing finance reform principles that ensure community lenders such as credit unions are at the core of the secondary mortgage market.

“We applaud the Administration’s efforts to address this critical issue and look forward to working with both Congress and the Administration to develop the specific steps needed to reform the housing finance market and ensure that credit unions are able to continue providing affordable mortgage credit to Americans across the economic spectrum,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.

CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan reached out to all 535 Congressional offices in May highlighting the principles CUNA believes must be part of any future secondary mortgage market.

Those principles are:

  • Equal access: the secondary market must be accessible to lenders of all sizes on an equitable basis;
  • Affordability: qualified consumers deserve access to predictable, affordable mortgage payments, keeping in mind that smaller lenders like credit unions provide greater flexibility for consumers that are often denied by banks;
  • Reasonable and orderly transition: any transition to a new housing finance system must be reasonable and orderly;
  • Strong oversight and supervision: secondary market entities must be subject to appropriate regulatory and supervisory oversight to ensure their safety and soundness;
  • Durability: the housing finance system should include an explicit federally insured or guaranteed component to ensure that, even in troubled economic times, the secondary mortgage market continues to exist; and
  • Preservation of what works: the housing finance system should preserve the things that work, such as cost-effective and member-oriented credit union mortgage servicing options, emphasizing consumer education and home-purchase counseling, and applying reasonable conforming loan limits that adequately consider local real estate expenses in higher cost areas.