CAI Monitors the Mortgage Mess

The Community Associations Institute has issued the following press release, which I post in order to disseminate this valuable information:

Alarmed about proposed changes in the mortgage finance system, Community Associations Institute (CAI) is stepping up its Congressional and federal regulatory advocacy on behalf of American homeowners, homebuyers and common-interest communities.

CAI’s Mortgage Matters initiative is a comprehensive response to mortgage-related challenges at the federal level. The organization is working on several fronts to ensure that potential homebuyers have access to affordable mortgage products and that the criteria used to determine eligibility for loans in community associations are realistic measures of an association’s financial health.

The initiative includes an online information hub explaining how the rules governing mortgages are changing and the potential ramifications of actions being considered by Congress and federal agencies. The site will be updated as events dictate.

“The stakes for homeowners, homebuyers and communities are enormous,” says CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas M. Skiba, CAE. “Rules being developed today may likely govern mortgages for the next several decades. If you live in an association or work in the community association industry, you need t o understand the magnitude of these issues, keep abreast of the latest developments and weigh in when such opportunities are available.”

Skiba sounded an alarm that explains CAI’s elevated advocacy: “If there is one common element of the federal response to the mortgage and housing crisis, it is that regulators and legislators lack a basic and clear understanding of the principles that govern housing in community associations.”

CAI is working in both legislative and regulatory venues toward three essential goals:

  • Ensuring that Americans can obtain mortgages for homes in community associations.
  • Preserving the ability of community association homeowners to sell their homes.
  • Safeguarding the financial well-being of homeowners and condominium associations.

In addition to working to revise the Federal Housing Administration’s condominium insurance guidelines, CAI has actively and aggressively opposed a misguided transfer fee regulation proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Administration. The 30,000-member association is also providing expertise to several federal agencies as they try to create new regulations for mortgages called Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM).

CAI is also focused on the larger issue of ensuring the continued flow of capital into already-depressed mortgage markets. This challenge becomes even more critical as Congress undertakes reform of Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE Reform), such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“Decisions that Congress and federal agencies are making today will determine the marketability of homes and availability of financing for years to come,” says Andrew Fortin, CAI’s vice president of government and public affairs. “To some, these issues may seem like bureaucratic, inside-the-beltway details, but these very issues will affect the viability of tens of thousands of homeowner and condominium associations and the value of millions of homes within them.”

The site is http://caimortgagematters.org/

I’ll follow the site, and share significant developments on this site.

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