Former FHA Commissioner David Stevens, CEO of Mountain Lake Consulting, Featured on SitusAMC's "On the Hill" Podcast
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New York, NY – SitusAMC is pleased to announce the release of the 24th episode of "On The Hill," a podcast series hosted by Tim Rood, SitusAMC's Head of Government and Industry Relations. He speaks with David Stevens, CEO of Mountain Lake Consulting, and former President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Stevens, a four-decade veteran of the housing and mortgage industry and former FHA Commissioner, discusses the numerous challenges plaguing the market, and the need for coordinated solutions.
"The shortage of inventory, the demographic demand and the layering of regulatory risk being placed on all the institutions that participate is probably at the worst tipping point we’ve ever seen — I certainly don’t remember it in my lifetime,” Stevens said. Listen to the podcast here.
Stevens talks about how the growth of various regulatory bodies after the Global Financial Crisis diluted the authority of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Today these siloed, overlapping agencies act at cross purposes, creating unintended consequences.
"A wide array of regulators tinker in housing and mortgage (policy) and all come up with individual policies, but don’t think about working together or the downstream effects of federal efforts," Stevens said. "There really is no central body that can drive housing policy."
For example, this year the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tinkered with the pricing structure and loan level price adjustments to make mortgages more affordable for first-time homebuyers, especially those with lower credit scores and down payments. "Then the FHA dropped the mortgage insurance premium by 30 basis points, which immediately offset all the math," Stevens said. “These are two federal regulators, both headed by people at the will of the president, and they’re acting almost as if they are not in cooperation.”
In addition, Rood and Stevens discuss:
inconsistent repurchase rules at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, and enforcement actions by HUD, the Department of Justice and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau;
how the proposed rule on bank capital standards by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency could adversely affect the mortgage system;
why efforts to address the housing crisis are likely to remain on hold for the near future;
the renewed focus on counterparty risk on the issuer side, and a potential industry shakeout as originators continue to struggle with profitability.
"(The government) could stabilize these markets by having backup liquidity facilities available," Stevens noted. "Why don’t you use that? Why are we thrusting more instability on a sector which has originated extremely great credit quality? If you look at the GSEs' recent profits, they were huge. So here they’re saying, ‘we have the best quality book we've ever seen’ — but they're also putting back more loans, (citing) counterparty risk concerns and not bringing in a solution to help alleviate some of that burden. This is part of the lack of coordination."
Listen to the podcast episode here.
"On the Hill" is SitusAMC's bi-monthly podcast series featuring policymakers, economists and other experts discussing hot topics and agendas coming out of Washington, D.C., and their implications for housing and housing finance. Previous guests have included former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair; former FHFA Director Mark Calabria; Kristy Fercho, Head of Wells Fargo Home Lending and MBA Chair; former CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger; Craig Phillips, former Counselor to the U.S. Treasury Secretary; and Economist Mark Zandi, among others.
Listen to the episode here.
The release of this podcast underscores SitusAMC’s commitment to powering the lifecycle of real estate finance. The analysis and insights provided in this podcast are invaluable to those seeking to stay informed and competitive in today's fast-paced business environment.
Listen to the podcast here
SitusAMC (www.situsamc.com) is a leading independent provider of technology, strategic outsourcing, talent and advisory solutions to the commercial and residential real estate finance industries. The company helps clients identify and capture opportunities in their real estate businesses through industry-leading services and innovative technologies that drive operational efficiency, increase business effectiveness, and improve market agility across the entire lifecycle of their global real estate activity.
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