MBA Head Calls for New Federal Agency
- Kara JohnsonOctober 22, 2012 - MortgageLoan.com
Saying that current policymakers aren’t working together, the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today called for the creation of a new federal regulator to coordinate housing and mortgage market policies.
David Stephens, MBA president and CEO, said that regardless of who wins the November elections, the upcoming administration should create an office of housing policy liaison to ensure that new regulations complement each other rather than conflict – a “traffic cop,” as he put it, for all new rules.
Under his proposal, the new office wouldn’t have authority over the various regulators themselves, but would seek to identify where regulations might conflict with each other, look at the timing of new regulations and how they might affect markets, and encourage regulators to communicate with each other and coordinate their efforts.
“It might not reduce the number of masters we serve,” Stephens said,“But it would at least make them talk to one another.”
Calls for greater “regulatory transparency”
According to the written text of remarks he was to make today at the MBA’s annual convention in Chicago, Stephens noted that the mortgage industry presently has Congress and nine different agencies developing rules that will affect it directly. He said that includes new audit rules being developed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which are in addition to requirement imposed by the 50 states, HUD, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and others.
“Of course, they couldn’t all just agree on one set of audit rules,” he said. “For some small lenders worried about complying with all of this, or simply having the resources to dedicate to multiple regulators who set up shop in their offices for weeks or months, will decide it’s just time to close their doors. That means fewer lenders out there.”
Noting that one of the main goals of the CFPB is to bring greater transparency to mortgage transactions to help borrowers make better financial decisions, Stephens said the mortgage industry needs more “regulatory transparency” to protect it against potentially unworkable rules that could harm consumers.
First published on MortgageLoan.com at: http://www.mortgageloan.com/mba-head-calls-new-federal-agency-9273
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