May 15, 2019

Berger, Fannie Mae CEO talk housing issues

Berger, Frater
NAFCU's Dan Berger (left); Fannie Mae's Hugh Frater

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger met Tuesday with Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to discuss issues related to the housing market, including credit unions' mortgage lending trends and access to the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

Berger was joined in the meeting by NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt, Vice President of Research and Chief Economist Curt Long and Director of Regulatory Affairs Ann Kossachev.

Fannie Mae is a leading source of financing for mortgage lenders in the U.S. The association works closely with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and GSEs to ensure credit unions' mortgage market needs are taken into account in housing goals and process changes.

Last week, FHFA Director Mark Calabria indicated that the GSEs would be released from government conservatorship in the near future, but hoped that Congress would lead the effort by passing housing finance reform first.

NAFCU continues to lead efforts to ensure credit unions' unfettered access to the secondary mortgage market in any housing finance reform and has urged the Trump administration and Congress to work together on a comprehensive solution.

Hunt recently testified before the Senate Banking Committee on credit unions' priorities for housing finance reform, many of which align with Calabria's and the Trump administration's positions on the issue.

In November, NAFCU provided comments to the FHFA on its proposed capital rule for the GSEs. The association generally supports the proposal, but recommended the FHFA allow the GSEs to submit capital restoration plans as allowed under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) – a provision that makes clear Congress envisioned a path to remove the GSEs from conservatorship. NAFCU also argued that restoration plans shouldn't be approved until Congress has agreed to codify certain safeguards.