MReport September 2018

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78 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT Montgomery Talks FHA Challenges and Goals Montgomery's previous experience should serve both HUD and the country well. A little more than a month had passed since The Hon. Brian D. Montgomery grabbed the reins as the Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Commissioner at the Department of Housing and Urban Develop- ment (HUD). During that time, he had been busy assessing the agency's needs and challenges and strategizing with his team about the path forward. "It's been a busy 30 days, as you can imagine," he noted during a limited-attendance media event HUD hosted. This isn't Montgomery's first time taking up the mantle of FHA Commissioner. He previ - ously served in this position from 2005-–2009 under President George W. Bush. Montgomery's career path intersected with the FHA once again last September, when President Donald J. Trump nominated him as FHA Commissioner. He was confirmed by the Senate in May 2018. Montgomery told reporters that updating the FHA's technol - ogy infrastructure would be a primary focus in the near term. Comparing the FHA's infrastruc- ture to the upgrades and expan- sions the GSEs have made over the past decade, Montgomery commented that "FHA's looking for loose change under the sofa cushions, and that manifests itself in a lot of ways." "We are in fix-it mode," Montgomery said when asked about the agency's future plans. "If you look at what Fannie Mae's been able to do, in particular around Day 1 Certainty, they're heavy on data-centric architec - ture. The CEO there has been visionary and hired a good team. They've been able to do a lot of amazing things." Montgomery said that working to fill the agency's vacancies would be another focus in the near term. "We have a great core here and we just need to expand on that." When asked how the FHA would work to promote and improve homeownership rates among minority borrowers, Montgomery agreed it was an important priority. "The minority ownership numbers have dropped, in particular for African-Americans," Montgomery said. "Too many minority families are missing out on the benefits of wealth-building and wealth ac - cumulation that homeownership brings over the long term." Montgomery explained that homeownership rates expanded between 2005 and 2009, but they have since fallen again. Montgomery said the agency was still exploring possible opportu - nities to expand its footprint to benefit these underserved com- munities. "In spite of all that, 33 percent of first-time homebuyers who opt for FHA loans are mi - norities, and we plan to expand that number moving forward." Kraninger Might Face a Tough Confirmation Vote Kraninger expected to give the BCFP a fresh start. T he Trump administration announced its inten- tion to nominate Kathy Kraninger, an Associate Director at the Office of Manage- ment and Budget (OMB), to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP). Kraninger will succeed Acting Director Mick Mulvaney at the bureau. "The President intends to nominate Kathy Kraninger to be the next Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection," Lindsay Waters, the White House deputy press secretary said in a statement. After the Senate Banking Committee advanced Kraninger's nomination in August, she may still face a tough confirmation vote in the Senate after Mulvaney introduced a slew of changes op - posed by consumer advocates and Democrats alike. According to the statement, Kraninger will bring a "fresh perspective and much-needed man - agement experience" to the bureau, "which has been plagued by exces- sive spending, dysfunctional opera- tions, and politicized agendas. As a staunch supporter of free enterprise, she will continue the reforms of the bureau initiated by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, and ensure that consumers and markets are not harmed by fraudulent actors." The nomination came at a time when Mulvaney's term as Acting Director expired June 22. Mulvaney, who works above Kraninger as Budget Chief at the OMB, is likely to be the bureau's leader until she's confirmed, ac - cording to the Wall Street Journal. Mulvaney's entry into the bureau in November 2017 was controversial and has been in the news recently as much for the changes he's brought to the CFPB as the controversies around them. From requesting $0 for the bureau's budget in Q2 and recommend - ing four key changes to make the bureau "more transparent and accountable" to the more recent name change from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Acting Director is expected to leave his mark before he hands over the reins to his successor. "Kraninger will bring a 'fresh perspective and much-needed management experience' to the bureau, 'which has been plagued by excessive spending, dysfunctional operations, and politicized agendas.'" — Lindsay Waters, White House Deputy Press Secretary

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