CUNA brings short, long-term CU priorities to acting FHFA director
Several Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issues require immediate attention, CUNA wrote new FHFA Director Sandra Thompson Wednesday. Thompson was named acting director last week by President Joe Biden after the U.S. Supreme Court found the director could be removed at will by the president.
CUNA also reiterated its principles for housing finance reform, which outlines necessary considerations for credit unions in the reformation of our housing finance system. CUNA continues to support the goal of an eventual exit from conservatorship by the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac responsibly without sacrificing equitable access and pricing to the secondary market for lenders of all sizes and charter types.
Short term priorities include calling on FHFA to:
- Rescind the 0.5% adverse market fee for certain refinanced mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to lower the cost of refinancing for consumers.
- Revise its policies regarding the purchase of loans which qualify as qualified mortgages under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) current regulatory framework.
- Restructure the GSEs’ approach to implementing the 7% cap on investment and second home loans.
- Revisit the fourth set of amendments to the Amended and Restated Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement with the Treasury at the first opportunity.
In the longer term, CUNA calls on the FHFA to:
- Work with credit unions to further its mission to support sustainable and affordable homeownership.
- Carefully examine the education and training requirements for appraisers to ensure they not only understand the existing obligations under the Fair Housing Act, but that they also receive training on implicit and unconscious bias.
- Take actions to allow the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks) to meet their mission, including:
- Ensuring individual FHLBanks retain the ability to exercise their own discretion, given that they have more understanding of their communities and their risks.
- Allowing them to provide ancillary services that should not require insured depositories to maintain membership.
- Protecting their ability to operate in a financially safe and sound fashion to serve primarily as a source of liquidity for the housing finance system.