Advocacy In Action

CMLA Advocacy


As the premier Washington D.C. based Mortgage Advocacy Association exclusively representing small to mid-sized community-based independent mortgage companies, community banks, and credit unions, THE Community Mortgage Lenders of America is dedicated to strong representation ensuring the concerns of our members are heard as policy makers address pivotal issues in housing finance regulations.

With leadership consisting of decades of hands-on mortgage experience coupled with extensive Congressional and Agency relationships, THE CMLA recognizes and takes action to ensure the unique needs of community-based lenders; our focus is to preserve and protect these interests and equal access to the secondary markets. As an independent organization with a proven record of success in Washington D.C. and across the United States, THE CMLA is fighting to preserve fair standards for community-based lenders.

Here are just some of our accomplishments for the benefit of mid-size and small community lenders:

2010: THE CMLA identified the retained risk provision of Dodd-Frank as wholly unworkable for community lenders. The provision originally required all lenders to keep 10% of total production on their books. Other trade groups eventually agreed with THE CMLA, and a Senate Dodd-Frank floor amendment changed the provision to 5% of securitized originations and placed the requirement on the securitizers only. This ensured the protection of the small and mid-size lenders.

2011. Lenders in high cost areas sought increased loans limits for FHA, VA, and the GSEs. Originally only NAR and THE CMLA agreed to try and boost these limits by statute. After much work, the Senate passed a bill increasing these loans limits. The House struck the GSE provision and passed a bill increasing FHA and VA loan limits only. THE CMLA was the first mortgage lobby to push for this.

2012: THE CMLA became the first Washington trade organization to insist that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac become utilities, which would better serve serve the mid-size and smaller lenders. At the time, we were alone in this fight, however now other groups have joined our efforts.

2014: THE CMLA and CHLA lobby Congress to pass a law giving small lenders relief from the CFPB; a bill is later introduced by Rep. Roger Williams providing exemption from CFPB oversight for small lenders doing 95% QM product provided they have good consumer track records.

2015: The US House passes a TRID Safe harbor Bill 331-102, a big bipartisan vote that boosted prospects for Senate action; THE CMLA was part of a coalition to give lenders statutory protection from early enforcement of this complex rule.

2017: THE CMLA was key to changing a tax bill provision that would have require tax payments earlier for MSR holdings, disadvantaging small lenders. If the tax bill had not been amended, small lenders would have had to exit much of the MSR market.

2017: THE CMLA and the Main Street GSE Coalition succeed in convincing FHFA to allow the GSEs to keep a modest capital buffer; large lender organizations lobbied against this policy.

2018: After five years of work, the banking reform bill added a change to the SAFE ACT whereby bank loan officers could begin working at nonbanks so long as they began the licensing process and completed it within 120 days. THE CMLA, along with CHLA, championed this policy outcome years prior.

2018: THE CMLA coauthored the first letter, and signed by over 50 lenders, urging the CFPB to put risk-based regulation of IMBs into practice, as required by Dodd-Frank.

2018: THE CMLA notifies the market that the initial interpretation pertaining to the proposed HUD Rule regarding VA IRRLs was incorrect:

THE CMLA’s response:
 “The plain reading is: the bill and its imposed restrictions impacts VA refi loans going into single class securities after the date of enactment (5/24), but it does not impact loan pools guaranteed before 5/24 that are re-pooled (after 5/24) into multiclass securities, i.e. REMICs.”


We are YOUR voice and YOUR advocate. Join THE Community Mortgage Lenders of America and Become Part of THE Solution.

CMLAAdvocacy In Action