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News Now

Washington
CUNA participates in today's White House GSE reform meeting
WASHINGTON (3/26/14)--As the attention of the Senate Banking Committee is dominated by preparations for a vote on its housing finance reform bill, White House staff continues to conduct meetings with stakeholders, like the Credit Union National Association, on policy concerns.
 
In a meeting at the White House today, CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel and General Counsel Eric Richard will represent credit union concerns. CUNA urges the U.S. Congress as it considers comprehensive housing finance reform to ensure that credit unions and other community financial institutions continue to have access to the secondary mortgage market.
 
In his January State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to pass a housing finance reform bill that would "protect taxpayers" and keep "the dream of homeownership alive for future generations."
 
A fact sheet released at that time outlined four White House principles for reform:
  • Utilize the private sector as the center of the housing finance system;
  • End Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they currently exist;
  • Ensure widespread access to safe and simple mortgage products such as the 30-year fixed rate mortgage; and,
  • Support affordability for creditworthy first-time homebuyers and access for affordable rental housing.
As the Senate Banking Committee prepares for its markup within the next few weeks of the Senate's plan for a new housing finance system, CUNA is drafting a comprehensive list of suggested changes and improvements for the panel ( News Now March 25).
 
In essence, the bipartisan draft winds down and eliminates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and establishes a "modernized, streamlined and accountable" Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC). The draft bill also creates a reinsurance fund, to be known as the Mortgage Insurance Fund, to protect taxpayers.
 
The bill is 425 pages long. (See resource links.)
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