Housing News Podcast: MBA’s Robert Broeksmit talks regulation and borrower relief
The Housing News Podcast is a weekly wrap of the top news stories by HousingWire CEO Clayton Collins.
Each week, HousingWire interviews financial services experts who can help make sense of the latest headlines sponsored by our partners at Arch MI and Quicken Loans Mortgage Services.
This week, Robert Broeksmit, the president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, joins the Housing News team to discuss the mortgage industry’s challenges during this tumultuous time.
In this episode, Broeksmit explains the MBA’s approach to borrower relief, as regulators move to suspended foreclosures and evictions. He also touches base on potential liquidity backstops for servicers, bank regulatory flexibility for lenders, legislation permitting remote online notarization nationwide, streamlining the refinance process and more.
According to Broeksmit, during this time of great uncertainty and rapid change, the best advice he can offer loan officers is to continue the hard work.
“Loan officers are doing a real service for America and they’re putting their customers first, despite the risks from this current pandemic,” he said. “They are getting these loans processed, unleashing billions of dollars of economic stimulus making life better for millions of Americans, and I just urge them to keep doing it. I know it’s a tough time. I know nothing is working the way it usually does. But keep doing it and what you’re doing for America really matters at a time of crisis.”
Here’s more detail on the topics of discussion this week:
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April. HUD later announced its official policy, stating that the Federal Housing Administration is enacting an “immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages” for the next 60 days. That matches the policy announced Wednesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac announced Wednesday that they are suspending foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days to keep people in their homes the coronavirus spreads. But the state of New York is taking its relief efforts several steps further, including letting certain residents skip their mortgage payments for 90 days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the state is enacting a 90-day mortgage relief period for the state’s homeowners.
The Federal Reserve has purchased about $32.7 billion in mortgage-backed securities so far this week from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae, and is slated to spend another $2.5 billion by the close of business on Friday. The orders are being carried out by a group of market specialists who work at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in lower Manhattan, the same team that enacted a similar quantitative easing program, known as QE, during the financial crisis more than a decade ago.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said on Wednesday the COVID-19 pandemic will cause him to postpone the release of the capital proposal for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until the second half of May. Calabria spoke on a conference call to the Exchequer Club of Washington D.C. after his luncheon with the group was canceled because of the spread of the virus.
With the coronavirus continuing to spread, some of the biggest companies in the U.S. are moving their employees to remote work to mitigate the impact of the virus. In the last two weeks, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and countless other companies have enacted work-from-home policies. Included among those is the biggest mortgage lender in the country. Quicken Loans this week shifted nearly all of its 18,000 employees to work from home. Quicken Loans President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Walters told HousingWire that approximately 90% of the company’s 18,000 employees have shifted to working from home, including Walters himself.
And here are links to the topics discussed:
1) Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD suspending all foreclosures and evictions
2) New York will let some residents skip 3 months of mortgage payments as coronavirus spreads
3) Fed to buy $35.2 billion of MBS this week
4) Calabria delays GSE capital rules citing COVID-19 crisis
5) Quicken Loans moves nearly all employees to remote work as coronavirus spreads