New Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Structures Should Ensure Availability of Mortgage Capital and Protect Taxpayer Dollars, Says NAR

Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be restructured as government-chartered, non-shareholder owned authorities, the National Association of Realtors® said in congressional testimony today.

“We want to ensure a flow of capital into the mortgage market regardless of the state of the market or economy,” Vince Malta, NAR vice president and liaison to government affairs, testified to the House Financial Services Committee. “The new Fannie and Freddie must ensure there is always mortgage capital available for creditworthy buyers and that taxpayer dollars are protected.”

In outlining NAR’s proposal, Malta cautioned Congress and the administration about moving too quickly in restructuring the GSEs. “The housing recovery is still too fragile for the government to completely step away, and any disruption in the marketplace now by doing something too radical would be harmful,” he said. “Our goal is to help Congress and our industry design a secondary mortgage model that will serve America’s best interest today, and in the future.”

Neither a fully privatized entity nor a fully nationalized structure for the secondary mortgage market giants effectively addresses the critical issues of loan availability and taxpayer protection, he said. A fully private entity would foster mortgage products more aligned with business goals rather than the nation’s housing policy for consumers. “In difficult markets, like today’s, private lenders have not been willing to make loans without government backing,” said Malta.

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