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Industry Backs Financial Reform

Published in USA Today

USA TODAY’s editorial “5 years after Lehman, unfinished business,” misleadingly implied there has been a “deafening silence” from Realtors®, bankers and builders regarding the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Contrary to your characterization of a “deafening silence,” we have been aggressively advocating for comprehensive reform of both entities over the past five years, offering written proposals for change. The old government-sponsored enterprise system, which enabled private profit and greater taxpayer risk, must be retooled. All three of our trade associations have stated on the record that Fannie and Freddie cannot continue to exist in their current state.

In fact, we have advocated for new, self-funded, tightly regulated entities that will back safe reliable loan products such as 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with a government guarantee in a marketplace where private investors bear the majority of the risk.

We are fully ready to work with Congress and the administration to design a secondary mortgage market model that will both limit the risk to taxpayers and serve America’s best interests now and into the future.

Gary Thomas is 2013 president of the National Association of Realtors®
Rick Judson is 2013 chairman of the National Association of Home Builders
Debra W. Still is  chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association