Removing Barriers Blog

FHFA Director and CUNA President/CEO discuss how credit unions are serving members
Posted May 07, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

On Tuesday, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle discussed how credit unions are serving members during the pandemic, and what the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) could do to help, with FHFA Director Mark Calabria. CUNA previously wrote to Calabria outlining ways the agency could help credit unions assist members better.

“Credit unions have a vested interest in keeping members in their homes and have worked diligently throughout this crisis to work alongside members to offer assistance and other relief as necessary,” Nussle said. “I shared this with Director Calabria, as well as the feedback we’ve heard from our members about what policy changes could help credit unions increase outreach to affected members and communities, and I thanked him for his time.”

CUNA previously said that liquidity assistance, clear guidance and additional regulatory relief would help credit unions work better with mortgage borrowers.

Some specific recommendations CUNA has made to the FHFA include:

  • Supporting and working with Congress to create a financing program, or liquidity facility, for mortgage servicers in need of assistance in order to preserve servicers’ ability to respond to the payment forbearance required to help families affected by COVID-19
  • Quickly providing additional clarity on how Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will address temporary income disruptions if a borrower requests forbearance shortly after closing their loan, and the loan is then not saleable to the GSEs
  • Allowing for trial modifications for borrowers who have lost their jobs and do not expect to get them back;

    Releasing guidance on:
  • The treatment of escrow, private mortgage insurance (PMI), credit life, credit disability, and interest during the period of loan deferment and after the deferment concludes.
  • Providing periodic statements to borrowers who are deferring loan payments in a manner that avoids borrower confusion
  • The challenges in obtaining income and/or employment documentation for borrowers during the pandemic
  • Delaying implementation of the new Uniform Residential Loan Application, which is currently required by Nov. 1.

Just In: FHFA announced that it was extending loan processing flexibilities through at least June 30.