Removing Barriers Blog

Credit Unions represented at FHFA “Duty to Serve” rulemaking hearing
Posted April 26, 2016 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA and other credit union representatives including Jerry Reed, President/CEO of Member First Mortgage, were present at a roundtable on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA)  rulemaking on their “Duty to Serve” rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

The hearing focused on how the rules could improve the distribution and availability of mortgage financing for residential properties that serve very low, low, and moderate-income families in underserved markets.  The FHFA is considering various alternative approaches in evaluating the enterprise’s performance under the Duty to Serve rules. 

Mr. Reed was particularly effective in presenting credit union’s concerns by stressing that credit unions have long played in providing housing finance to underserved markets. “Credit unions have been serving these underserved areas for decades, and we’re very good at it," he said. 

We believe that credit unions should have equal access to partner with the FHFA and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) it oversees, in crafting plans, pilots, technology, and products that can provide solutions to further FHFA's efforts to meet the GSE's mandate to fulfill its DTS.  "Small credit unions should also be considered for pilot programs, since they are more fluid and have the technology to participate,” Reed said. 

It is critical that CUNA and credit unions participate in these types of hearings so that the rules are formulated in a manner that benefit credit unions without unduly burdening them.  These early stages of the rulemaking process are the best time to influence and shape policy decisions.  Notably, the FHFA was quite engaged during the roundtable and asked specific questions on how the rules could be tailored to accommodate credit union issues. We will continue to maintain contact with the FHFA as these rules are developed.