Politics & Money

Alanna McCargo confirmed as Ginnie Mae president

The agency has been without a permanent president since 2017

The U.S. Senate confirmed Alanna McCargo late Tuesday evening, by voice vote, as president of Ginnie Mae.

The position has been unfilled on a permanent basis since 2017. Ginnie Mae, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, oversees guarantees totaling around $2.1 trillion of privately issued mortgage-backed securities, according to Ginnie Mae’s most recent unpaid principal balance report.

Bob Broeksmit, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association, issued a statement applauding McCargo’s confirmation, noting that her “experience, knowledge of housing issues, and strong working relationships with a wide array of stakeholders will serve her well in this position.”

“We look forward to working with her on ways to advance Ginnie Mae modernization initiatives, enhance liquidity for Ginnie Mae mortgage servicing rights, and support adequate, affordable homeownership and rental housing throughout the country,” Broeksmit said.

Before McCargo joined the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a senior advisor for housing finance in January, she spent five years at the Urban Institute as vice president of its Housing Finance Policy Center. Prior to that, she held roles at CoreLogic and JPMorgan Chase, and spent nearly 10 years at Fannie Mae.

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Ted Tozer, who was president of Ginnie Mae from 2010 to 2017, argued in August that finding a permanent president for the department should be a higher priority. A permanent president, he said at the time, could be a more effective advocate for Ginnie Mae within HUD, because career HUD staff “historically have had limited access to the Secretary.”

Some, however, have questioned whether McCargo has the necessary technical expertise for a role that consists mostly of managing mortgage-backed securities.

“Alanna is a policy person, she was at Urban Institute working on housing policy before going to HUD, so my assumption is that she isn’t well versed in technical issues that affect Ginnie Mae convexity performance,” said Dave Stevens, a former FHA commissioner, in September.

Ginnie Mae manages the government guarantee of mortgage-backed securities lenders issue, to fund loans managing the government guarantee of mortgage-backed securities that lenders issue to fund their origination of Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veteran Affairs, and Rural Development-insured mortgages.

On the same day that McCargo was confirmed, President Joe Biden nominated Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Sandra Thompson to be the permanent director of the agency.

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