New Year’s Catch-Up: Key FHA Retirements, Still No Commissioner

In case you managed to stay far away from your e-mail over this holiday break, here’s a quick recap of some of the stories that made headlines between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Hill, Caulfield Retiring from FHA

The Federal Housing Administration will kick off the new year without two familiar faces: Karin Hill, senior policy advisor in the Office of Single Family housing, and her colleague Phil Caulfield announced their retirements, according to a release from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association.

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Hill was a fixture at the trade group’s events, and managed the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program for seven years — despite, as NRMLA pointed out, initially signing on for a one-year position back in 2010.

Caulfield, meanwhile, helped oversee the development and implementation of the Financial Assessment requirements for the HECM program.

“Few people have spent as much time in the weeds of HECM policy as Karin and Phil. It is because of their relentless commitment to getting this program right for the seniors it serves and the industry that offers it, that FHA’s reverse mortgages continue to be a viable option for homeowners who seek to age in place,” NRMLA president and CEO Peter Bell said in a statement. “We will miss them both and wish them well in retirement.”

Montgomery’s Nomination on Hold

The United States Senate left Washington, D.C. for its holiday break without holding a vote on Brian Montgomery’s nomination to the position of FHA commissioner, National Mortgage News reported.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who grilled Montgomery during his hearing, is part of a group that wants a full, recorded vote on the nomination as opposed to a simple voice vote, according to the publication.

Warren and other Democrats have been critical of Montgomery’s work with the Collingwood Group, a housing-focused advisory firm that he joined after his first stint atop the FHA from 2005 to 2009.

“I’ve seen some amazing cases of spinning through the revolving door, but this one really might take the cake,” Warren said during the October hearing.

Despite the lack of vote — after three other HUD nominees were confirmed before the break — industry sources told National Mortgage News that Montgomery will still clear the Senate sometime this month. A group of 45 housing trade groups sent a letter to senators in December praising Montgomery’s experience.

Written by Alex Spanko