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Op-ed details how Ginnie Mae misconceptions could exclude CUs

August 11, 2021

Ginnie Mae has several misconceptions about the nature of credit unions as mortgage lenders, CUNA Senior Director of Advocacy and Counsel Elizabeth LaBerge wrote in American Banker Wednesday. LaBerge’s op-ed follows comments CUNA filed in response to a Ginnie Mae request for input (RFI) with the same concerns earlier this week.

“The RFI perpetuates Ginnie Mae's strange treatment of credit unions as nonbank mortgage lenders even though credit unions are insured depository institutions regularly examined by a prudential regulator for safety and soundness,” LaBerge wrote. “If this policy is finalized without alteration, an estimated 24% of credit unions will be excluded as qualified issuers. This is a terrible result for Ginnie Mae, credit unions and most importantly American homebuyers.”

She adds that is it difficult to reconcile the stated intent of the RFI with the treatment of credit unions. The op-ed points out several examples of how credit unions are subject to regulation, have broad and stable access to liquidity, and are already subject to capital requirements by NCUA.

“While the differences between credit unions and nonbank mortgage lenders are clear, Ginnie Mae has met these discrepancies with a shrug,” LaBerge wrote. “This RFI only adds further insult to injury. It is past time for Ginnie to recognize the significantly different risks posed by credit unions and nonbank mortgage lenders and start treating them accordingly.”