Industry Concerns Shared At MBA Conference In Washington, DC


Attendees at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Advocacy Conference shared concerns about housing affordability, trigger leads, and changes to the loan-level price adjustment matrix.

The conference was held last week at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. MBA members learned about the political and market landscapes on Tuesday before speaking with their elected state representatives on Wednesday. Over 300 members from 39 states participated in those Capitol Hill meetings.

Kellie Allen, vice president of production at Synergy One Lending, was at the conference representing Idaho Mortgage Lenders Association. She was looking forward to talking about the challenges members of her association are facing.

“Affordable housing is a huge one, of course, and then one of the big things we are here to talk about is trigger leads. Trigger leads are when you pull someone’s credit and those leads are then sold by the credit agencies to hundreds of other lenders. So, if you were to apply for a mortgage and we pulled your credit you might get 20, 30, 40 calls from other lenders immediately after that,” Allen said.

“It’s a bad customer experience because the customer thinks somehow we are responsible, which we kind of are because we pulled their credit, but we didn’t sell the leads.”

Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-NY, introduced legislation on April 17 which would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit the creation and sale of trigger leads.

Ernie Grue and Ralph Remy, who work for National Mortgage Insurance Corporation, said changes to the loan-level price adjustment matrix were on top of their minds because they will impact lenders and consumers.

“I think from the residential side, probably the LLPA that the FHFA has recently introduced which creates an impact certainly for the customer and the lenders who try to manage the process, that’s probably the biggest thing for me,” Grue said.

The changes to fees for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under scrutiny after recent reports that homebuyers with good credit scores and substantial down payments will pay more starting May 1. Another FHFA fee change is scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 1 for borrowers with a 40% or more debt-to-income ratio.

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, who serves as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance for the House Financial Services Committee has called the changes going into effect on May 1 “a socialist redistribution of wealth.”

Davidson was at the conference and spoke during a general session on Tuesday, taking questions from attendees. He was asked about whether officials at the Federal Reserve can achieve a soft landing as they work to battle inflation and correct the market.

“Captain Sully is not leading the Feds. Captain Sully was the guy who did the soft landing on the Hudson with the passenger plane. That’s really rare. It can be done, but usually, things crash much harder, and certainly, the Feds have rarely pulled off soft landings,” Davidson said. “I’m rooting for them, but I think this was so avoidable.”

Davidson said once officials achieved market stability in 2020 they should have let the market set rates.

When asked about housing affordability, Davidson said it is a supply and demand issue.

“As for affordable housing and supply, it is just an equilibrium. Supply and demand produce a house point. And when supply is artificially limited, prices go higher. The challenge is, where there is a lot of available green space and open land, a lot of the country is considered flyover country,” Davidson said.

Robert Broeksmit, president and CEO of the MBA, told those in attendance that elected representatives want to know what is happening in their states and how they can better serve their constituents. He said some key talking points this year include the benefits of remote online notarization, using technology for appraisals, the harm related to trigger leads, and increasing homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income borrowers.

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