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News Now

Washington
Committee vote scheduled for Senate housing finance bill
WASHINGTON (3/31/14)--On April 29 at 10 a.m. (ET) the Senate Banking Committee will markup its housing finance reform legislation, according to an announcement by the committee chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), and its ranking Republican member, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

It was just earlier this month that the senators unveiled theirhousing finance reform proposal--hailing its bipartisan backing.

The new bill used the Corker-Warner bill (S.1217) as its framework andit is intended to:
  • Protect taxpayers from bearing the cost of housing downturns;
  • Promote stable, liquid, and efficient mortgage markets for single-family and multifamily housing;
  • Ensure that affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate, prepayable mortgages continue to be available, and that affordability remains an important consideration;
  • Provide equal access for lenders of all sizes to the secondary market; and,
  • Facilitate broad availability of mortgage credit for eligible borrowers in all areas and for single family and multifamily housing types.
The Johnson-Crapo draft bill is a lengthy, 425 pages of reforms.

When the bill was released, the Credit Union National Association confirmed that it contained an important modification from an earlier draft bill. A cap for membership in a mutual securitization company was drastically increased, as recommended by CUNA in testimony last November and in meetings with legislative staff on Capitol Hill.

Housing finance reform bills have also been released by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Ranking Minority Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). (See March 28 News Now : Waters enters bill into housing finance reform debate.)

Other CUNA priorities for housing finance reform include maintaining a functioning secondary mortgage market that provides credit unions equitable access and the ability to continue to offer mortgage products with predictable payments, like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, and ensuring the transition to a new system is smooth.


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