Ensuring the long term viability of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is the top priority for the Mortgage Bankers Association in 2010. “While the policy issues before our industry are many and we will work on them all” says the MBA. The association’s focus will be “to ensure that it can continue to provide stability liquidity and affordability to the housing market during this difficult time in housing finance.”
According to its Legislation and regulator Priorities for 2010, the MBA believes that FHA should evaluate and modify where appropriate, its credit policies and other standards and procedures for single family and multifamily insurance programs.
MBA also supports FHA efforts to improve its single family programs by reevaluating credit and underwriting standards, reexamining the insurance premium structure and enhancing consumer and lender protections for FHA’s reverse mortgage program.
“MBA is supportive of the HECM program for senior borrowers who are living longer and want to use the equity in their homes to manage their retirement and to help pay for expenses,” said Tamara King, MBA’s Director of Loan Production in an email to RMD. King added “We would not want to change the HECM product in a way that would hurt the program’s viability at a time when seniors truly need an array of financial options available to them.”
In response to the FHA’s decision to raise the MIP and lower the principal limits for the HECM program due to the OMB’s subsidy request, the MBA said it’s “willing to work with the FHA to ensure the integrity of this product is upheld and offered in a responsible manner to qualified borrowers.”
The MBA is also supportive of increasing mortgagee’s net worth requirement to $2.5 million and the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) proposed guidelines for institutions to manage compliance and reputation risks associated with reverse mortgage products.