Our Mission > Your Voice

The Community Mortgage Lenders of America is a trade association of community based residential mortgage lenders, including mortgage companies and banks, that serve the home finance needs of their local communities.

Unlike other lender trade associations, CMLA is the only association solely dedicated to timely, effective representation of small and mid-size independent mortgage lenders. We ensure the concerns of our members are heard as policy makers address pivotal issues in an era of historic change in housing policy.

The Dodd Frank Act, passed in 2010 to address the mortgage and financial crisis, has created an avalanche of regulations and new policies that continue to grow. The regulatory burden for mortgage lenders has skyrocketed, in terms of both the complexity and cost of compliance. Not surprisingly, large institutions can absorb these costs more easily than community-based lenders.

Policy makers in Washington, Congress and regulators alike, hear from representatives of the big banks every day. These large banks speak through lobbyists, trade associations comprised exclusively of large banks and through trade associations that have a mix of large and small members. Their concerns span a broad spectrum, from capital requirements to ensuring their dominant role in the mortgage market is retained.

CMLA is a proactive counterweight to the big banks in Washington. We have established relationships with Federal regulators and Congressional lawmakers on the strength of our representation of community-based lenders. We educate policymakers on the value our members deliver in serving a high proportion of the home finance needs of consumers throughout the U.S. We ensure that they understand that community-based lenders have a proportionately smaller capacity to absorb higher regulatory costs. Moreover, we remind them the financial crisis was not caused by community-based lenders.

CMLA member companies understand change is inevitable. They recognize it is imperative to help ensure the coming changes in regulations and secondary market requirements effectively consider the impact on their daily business operations. CMLA helps make that happen.

CMLA Strategic Priorities

  • Repurchase/Indemnification – CMLA is at the forefront of a coalition seeking to bring a strong measure of proportionality and rationality to the loan quality review process.
  • Regulatory Relief – CMLA was the first Association to propose Regulatory Relief legislation to lessen the negative impact of overzealous regulations on all types of small lenders, including non-depositories. This legislation would require regulators to use a uniform definition of small lenders.
  • Eliminate artificial barriers – CMLA is dedicated to a long-term multifaceted effort to ensure our members receive equitable treatment from regulators. CMLA proactively addresses each issue (e.g. potential cash collateral account requirements) as it develops through regular communications in Washington and with comment letters.
  • GSE Reform — CMLA’s 2011 White Paper on GSE Reform continues to win praise for its common-sense approach to reform. While legislation stalled in mid-2014, it remains a strategic priority for CMLA.