ATLANTA/ Jan. 18, 2018 (STLRealEstate.News) — Now that a tax reform bill has been signed into law, leading mortgage bankers around Georgia are urging their Congressional Delegation to prioritize overhauling the housing finance system and ensuring America has a stable and robust secondary mortgage market.
“Congress has avoided addressing the last piece of unfinished business from the 2008 Financial Crisis – reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” said Fowler Williams, MBA State Ambassador and President and CEO of Crescent Mortgage Company. “Tax reform has been signed by the President, so Congress must now shift its focus to creating a vibrant and sustainable housing finance system.”
During the Financial Crisis of 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under government conservatorship – or legal guardianship – because their financial conditions were deteriorating. To keep the two afloat and to prevent the U.S. housing market from collapsing, taxpayers were forced to pay $187 billion. Fannie and Freddie’s conservatorship was only intended to be a temporary solution. Yet, nearly a decade later, these government-sponsored enterprises remain under the government’s control.
“Home and rent prices are increasing in Georgia, especially in Atlanta where housing prices have hit record highs, and they’re only expected to rise further,” said Williams. “Prospective homeowners and builders are often unable to borrow, even as demand continues to rise.”
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the nation’s leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, released a comprehensive proposal that would reform the current housing finance system. The plan aims to lessen the government’s involvement in the secondary mortgage market, expand access to credit with more competition, promote affordable housing, and support underserved market segments.
“Members of Congress must realize the imminent need for housing finance reform. It is imperative for the health of the housing market,” said Williams. “For the sake of all Georgians, I urge our entire Congressional Delegation to consider MBA’s proposal and lead the charge on housing finance reform.”