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 concrete mortgage experience coupled with extensive Congressional and Agency relationships, THE CMLA recognizes and takes action to ensure the unique needs of community-based lenders are met. 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 midsized and small community-based lenders.

In addition, THE CMLA assists our members with casework at HUD, VA, Rural Housing, as well as the GSEs. If a member has a problem with an agency, we are here to help.

THE CMLA prides itself on being at the forefront, advocating for the issues and concerns which effect its members but also continually reviewing upcoming regulatory and legislative issues. Here are just some of the items we have fought for.

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, but not get dismantled in favor the TBTF banks and Wall Street taking over the US Secondary. At the time, we were alone in this fight, however now other groups have joined our efforts.

2014: THE CMLA lobbies 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 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.

  • 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. Large lenders saw this as a rollup opportunity.

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 when other trade organizations wanted all bank LOs to be licensed

  • 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 interpretation by other industry groups pertaining to the proposed HUD Rule regarding VA IRRLs was incorrect.
  • 2018: THE CMLA asked the Senate to fully consider and vet House language recently passed to correct transitional issues, primarily regarding VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs), that were orphaned on May 24, 2018, when President Trump signed into law S.2155.

As we move forward into 2019 and beyond, THE CMLA will continue to focus on the needs of midsize and small lenders. As we do so, we must continually change tactics to ensure your voice is heard and understood throughout Congress and the Agencies.

With the new Congress come new challenges. What has been a focus on easing rules, tax cuts and expanding access to credit will likely be replaced by more attention on the industry’s mistakes and efforts to protect consumers. More so, the Democrats are expected to have extensive oversight hearings of the agencies – HUD, Treasury, CFPB – as well as the President and his appointees.

GSE Reform will not take place through legislative actions. Administrative actions will occur from the Treasury and FHFA to move the process forward. Additionally, we will be focused on Loan Officer Compensation, the QM Patch, Risk-Based oversight of Independent Mortgage Bankers, and other legislative and regulatory issues which impact our members.

As we move forward, we need a strong membership focused on being a part of the solution and prepared to take action when necessary. We are YOUR Voice, YOUR Advocate, YOUR Future.

Join forces with your colleagues nationwide to help THE CMLA raise the bar to ensure your business and community lending concerns are heard and addressed – before, not after, laws are made.

To JOIN THE CMLA contact Rob Zimmer at 202. 827.9989