June 09, 2020

NAFCU weighs in on housing issues ahead of oversight hearing

CapitolAhead of today's Senate Banking Committee oversight hearing of housing regulators, NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler shed light on important housing issues facing credit unions amid the coronavirus pandemic, including qualified mortgages (QM) and forbearance.

Today's hearing is set to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern (stream it on the committee's website) and will feature testimony from Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mark Calabria.

In a letter sent yesterday, Thaler reiterated NAFCU’s call on Congress to establish an emergency QM standard with flexible requirements and extend the temporary government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) QM patch if the CFPB does not provide one in its expected rulemaking.

“The addition of an emergency QM standard can establish safe and sound lending procedures within the context of the current crisis and allow credit unions a measure of insulation from future litigation related to the ability-to-repay requirements,” wrote Thaler.

On extending the temporary GSE QM patch, Thaler noted that an extension would prevent market disruptions and ensure that consumers continue to have access to safe and affordable mortgage credit.

Thaler also highlighted NAFCU’s continued concern about the impacts of sections of the CARES Act that provide borrowers with forbearance options for single-family and multifamily loans sold to the GSEs. Since the CARES Act was enacted at the end of March, NAFCU has shared with Congress, the FHFA, NCUA, and Treasury Department concerns about the health of mortgage markets and the need to provide credit unions with additional relief.  Thaler also noted the association’s concern with the high loan level price adjustment announced for the GSE’s to buy loans in forbearance.

NAFCU will monitor today’s hearing and continue working with Congress to ensure credit unions’ concerns are heard.