WASHINGTON (6/28/11)--Rod Staatz, who is president/CEO of SECU of Maryland and a member of the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) board of directors, is scheduled to testify today before a Senate Banking Committee hearing on housing finance reform. In his testimony, Staatz is expected to describe the state of credit union mortgage lending and outline key principles that should guide the nation’s housing finance reform. These include:
* The need for affordable access for credit unions and other small lenders to the secondary market for mortgage loans; * The importance of preserving the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage instrument; * The need for a durable secondary market, one that can weather economic adversities; and * The need for an orderly transition to a revised system.
Staatz is also a member of CUNA’s GSE Reform Task Force. He is expected to discuss another important housing topic--the definition of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act requires regulators to write a rule on credit risk retention for securitized assets, but allows QRMs to be exempted from the requirement that the lender retain 5% of the credit risk. CUNA supports the goals of a bi-partisan group of U.S. House and Senate lawmakers that have urged regulators not to be rigid in setting the rules. The lawmakers have said a current proposal to require a 20% down payment for a loan to be defined as a QRM would "shut out responsible homebuyers and further cripple the housing market."