Newsletter: March 2017
Here is a roundup of recent news in the housing finance industry, including the unveiling of USMI’s new logo to commemorate 60 years of making homeownership possible through private mortgage insurance and housing policy developments in Congress and in the executive branch.
- The private mortgage insurance industry turns 60. USMI unveiled its new logo to commemorate 60 years of private mortgage insurance (MI) making homeownership possible for millions of Americans. Since 1957, private MI has served as a reliable and affordable method of expanding homeownership, while simultaneously protecting American taxpayers and the government from exposure to mortgage credit risk. Stay tuned for more activities!
- USMI and others send letter to Congress on g-fees. Scotsman Guide reported on a letter sent by USMI and 13 other industry trade groups to Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) on a bill they introduced to ensure that guarantee fees (g-fees) charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the “GSEs”) are used solely to insure against the credit risk of home mortgages. In 2016, the mortgage finance industry successfully fought off a legislative proposal to use g-fees collected by the GSEs to fund highway projects. The letter reads: “G-fees are a critical risk management tool used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to protect against losses from loans that default. Increasing g-fees for other purposes imposes an unjustified burden on homeowners who would pay for any increase through higher monthly payments for the life of their loan. … whenever Congress has considered using g-fees to cover the cost of programs unrelated to housing, we’ve informed lawmakers that homeownership cannot, and must not, be used as the nation’s piggybank. By preventing g-fees from being scored as a funding offset, H.R. 916 gives lawmakers a vital tool to prevent homeowners from footing the bill for unrelated spending. We are grateful to you for introducing this bipartisan legislation and urge its consideration by the House.”
- Carson confirmed as HUD Secretary. On March 2, Dr. Ben Carson was confirmed as the new Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). USMI released a statement congratulating Secretary Carson on his confirmation and welcoming the opportunity to work with the Secretary and his team to promote a stronger and more equitable mortgage finance system, as well as an expanded role for private capital.
- Investopedia has good video explaining MI. USMI’s website features a new video courtesy of Investopedia to help people better understand what private MI is and how it helps people who cannot afford a 20 percent down payment to buy a home. To watch the video, click here.