Removing Barriers Blog

Letter sent to Senate Banking prior to HUD Secretary nomination hearing
Posted January 29, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to Senate Banking Committee leadership prior to the nomination hearing of Representative Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to be Secretary of the Department of Urban Development. CUNA historically does not endorse presidential nominees.

“Spurred by the historic lows in interest rates, credit unions have continued to punch above their weight by providing a record-breaking number of mortgage loans,” the letter says. “These numbers include loan refinances that are reducing members’ monthly mortgage bills and purchase money mortgages as credit unions continue their mission of providing credit access to members who may not be able to receive financing from banks or other lenders.

“Credit unions are also continuing their historic role in financial education, informing members of significant mortgage relief available to those negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” it adds.

CUNA suggests the following housing priorities for consideration:

  • Include mortgage payment assistance to borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in any stimulus package to ensure that we do not have a foreclosure crisis when current or new COVID forbearance programs and eviction moratoria expire;
  • Include temporary liquidity assistance for mortgage servicers in any stimulus package to increase the economic stability of credit unions and Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs) that must front principal and interest payments for any investor-held mortgages in their servicing portfolio;
  • Ensure the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) recapitalization plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are phased in on a schedule that prevents disruption of the secondary mortgage market, which credit unions have utilized at increasing rates in recent years; and
  • Any amendments to existing housing finance reform plans should ensure that the secondary market remains open to lenders of all sizes on an equitable basis, without allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide discounts based on volume or otherwise charge higher fees to smaller lenders such as credit unions.