AHA: Our Recent Actions for Homeowners
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
April 16, 2019
AHA: Our Recent Actions for Homeowners
The first quarter of 2019 has been a busy time for most of us – and full of news and surprising current events. Many things have also been happening that affect, or have the potential to affect, America’s current or future homeowners. AHA has been busy advocating for credit score competition, sensible housing finance reform, and more, on your behalf.
AHA submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA), the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, on a proposed rule it promulgated to essentially disallow any alternative credit score models – this in spite of legislation passed by Congress last year requiring them to develop rules for ACCEPTING alternative credit scoring. Our comments strongly argued for credit score competition on behalf of approximately 40 million consumers who are not able to obtain a credit score using the current scoring model required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the estimated 10 million of whom might be eligible for home mortgage financing using more modern scoring models. Without the credit scoring competition, and the move to alternative data sources, many Americans may remain credit invisible and thus not have the ability to qualify for homeownership. No final rules have been published by FHFA yet, but we will continue to monitor this. You can see our letter here.
President Trump issued an executive memorandum asking the Departments of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assess and provide recommendations on how to have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exit government conservatorship under which they have operated since September, 2008.
Your AHA also submitted written testimony for the record of hearings held by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) on housing finance reform in the aftermath of President Trump’s recommendations on how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should exit the government conservatorship under which they have operated since 2008. The outcome of these initiatives will have a critical impact on all current and potential homeowners, given that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have historically provided about 60% of the liquidity for home mortgage lenders in America. AHA prioritized the need for the federal government to stand behind these mortgages, support a 3 percent downpayment minimum for conventional loans, and ensure that taxpayer support translates into equitable access to affordable mortgage rates for eligible home buyers no matter where you live, how much you make, or when you decide to apply for a loan. View our testimony here.
President Trump also nominated Dr. Mark Calabria as the new Director of FHFA. He has been confirmed by the Senate and was sworn in last week. Your AHA co-signed a letter supporting this nomination prior to the confirmation. Dr. Calabria will now fill this office formerly held by Mel Watt when his term expired in January. We’re looking forward to working with Dr. Calabria in the months and years ahead.
We have also continued to advocate for the reinstatement of two tax code provisions that were omitted from the 2017 tax law: deductibility of private mortgage insurance premiums and exemption of debt forgiveness related to mortgage foreclosure, short sales or other default resolutions. So far, these issues have not been resolved, but we remain engaged and hopeful these two provisions will soon be reinstated.
As we move into the second quarter of this busy year, these issues and no doubt others, will continue to be monitored and responded to by Your AHA. We stay committed to our mission: to protect and promote sustainable homeownership for all segments of America.
This summary of actions by AHA is a fresh reminder to all of us – related to available and affordable homeownership in America – we can take nothing for granted. We’re here to advocate for you!
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