RALEIGH, N.C., Dec. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As tax reform negotiations come to an end and a bill is finalized, Congress must shift toward reforming the nation's unsustainable housing finance system, according to mortgage bankers across North Carolina who say housing finance reform is the last piece of unfinished business from the 2008 financial crisis.
"Housing finance reform has been on the backburner far too long," said Hank Cunningham, Regional Manager, Academy Mortgage Corp. "It has been nearly ten years since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under conservatorship, yet their future remains unclear. Only Congress can overhaul this duopoly, and now that a tax reform bill has been sent to the President, lawmakers have the opportunity to address this issue that affects every American."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed under government conservatorship – or legal guardianship – during the financial crisis in 2008. The move was intended to protect the U.S. housing system but instead resulted in a $187 billion taxpayer-funded government bailout. Nearly ten years later, these government-sponsored enterprises remain under the government's control, monopolizing the mortgage system and creating an unsustainable market.
"Many are struggling to find affordable housing across the country – especially first-time homebuyers," said Cunningham. "Homeownership is crucially important to the stability of our economy and our families across the nation. Congress must not wait. We need a solution that continues to promote competition in the marketplace so that families of all income levels have the opportunity to be homeowners."
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the nation's leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, has laid out a proposal to overhaul the current housing finance system. The plan aims to expand access to credit, promote affordable housing, and support underserved market segments.
"Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and Administration officials have stated housing finance reform is a top priority," said Cunningham. "It is now time for them to come together to fix the real estate finance market once and for all."
SOURCE Mortgage Bankers Association