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April 2023 » 27 April 2023 C O V E R F E A T U R E where a modification increases the rate to the point where it washes out all the benefits of adjusting the term. What we're looking at now is what we can do to help with the rates. We're hoping to propose a new tool that we can use to help reduce borrower payments without having to reset that rate, which we'll share for comment on our Drafting Table web page soon to get stakeholder feedback. All these things may sound basic, but they've required the work of the entire Single-Family team, not to mention all the attorneys we work with in our Office of Gen- eral Counsel, and the folks we work with at OMB. It's a group effort that must go forward to make what I think is the most significant set of changes that HUD has made to its loss mitigation solutions in quite some time. Q: Earlier in your career, you spent time at both the National Community Stabilization Trust and the Center for American Progress. How did your career bring you to this point, and what did you learn in those roles that you were able to carry over to where you are now? I am, by training, a lawyer, although I have not practiced law in quite some time. Coming out of law school, my interest was in working with people and communities who were underserved and facing a lot of challenges. That led me to start my career working in the civil legal aid space, provid- ing legal assistance to low-income people and communities. That's where my heart is; that's where my mission lies. I came into the federal policy arena just before the financial crisis at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). I started as a consumer finance at- torney working across a variety of consumer financial products. This was about four months before the first Bear Stearns fund collapsed in 2007. After that happened, I did all mortgage, all the time. This was a time when I had a young child at home. I did not anticipate that I would find myself working at the center of the most meaningful financial crisis since the Depression, or that my four-day-a-week job would quickly morph into a seven-day- a-week job. Working for the Center for Responsible Lending was an amazing ex- perience. While CRL is a policy institution, they are connected with a CDFI that worked in the mortgage business, which grounded all our policy work in real markets, real transactions, real borrowers, and real situa- tions. That demonstrated to me that the best policymaking comes from people who are connected in some way with what's happen- ing on the ground. What shaped the trajectory of my career was chasing unfinished business. I worked at CRL through the passage of Dodd-Frank and worked very hard on Title XIV, the mortgage title. As you know, the one thing Dodd-Frank did not tackle was the status of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so after the legislation passed, I sought work at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the GSEs' regulator and conservator. At FHFA, as a mid-level supervisor, I ultimately missed the ability to have a larger platform and to think more broadly. That led me to the Center for American Progress, where I had an amazing platform to engage with policymakers and to understand how "the sausage was made" in both the White House and Congress. Yet after a few years of work in a think tank, I felt I needed that connection to the local markets again. If you're not actually working in the business, your big ideas might get a little stale. That's when I moved over to the National Community Stabiliza- tion Trust, which was focused on the issue of vacant homes and all that blight left in disinvested neighborhoods after the crisis. The high-income areas had fully come back, and home price appreciation was happen- ing, but you had so many neighborhoods that were left out of this progress, and one of the reasons for that was all the vacancy and blight. NCST worked to put those homes back to productive use. At NCST, I launched an effort to work on policy issues, because I knew how much sense it makes to develop policy within the context of an organization that's also working on the busi- ness side. I was at NCST for six years. I learned so much about how mortgage markets were working in disinvested areas—or how they weren't working. I was one of the early voices to raise an alarm about the role that private investors were playing in terms of buying up vacant homes and turning them into rentals. I gained a lot of experience in understanding how different disposition channels work and how the auction websites were changing the face of disposition. My position at FHA allows me to draw on all the previous experiences I've de- scribed and is truly a dream job for me. "What shaped the trajectory of my career was chasing unfinished business."

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