Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, Center for Responsible Lending, National Consumer Law Center, National Fair Housing Alliance, and Student Borrower Protection Center sent a joint letter urging HUD to transition to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) and share its LIBOR transition plan as soon as possible. This transition plan should include providing direction to housing counselors about the process and a targeted outreach plan to provide borrowers and all stakeholders with timely, accurate information so that they know what to expect in the months to come.
For over 45 years, the disparate impact doctrine has allowed people to chip away at policies that have a discriminatory effect even if there is no intent to discriminate. When the need to address systemic racism is so urgent, and the costs of failing to do so are so devastating, HUD has chosen to finalize a rule that effectively dismantles this essential tool for fighting injustice.
Letter to HUD opposing the set of deregulatory efforts now under way that are withdrawing crucial commonsense oversight from the housing and financial markets, enabling discrimination, and thereby increasing barriers to affordable housing
If the proposed rule went into effect, HUD’s assessment of whether localities were meeting their AFFH obligations would not include consideration of race, religion, national origin, families with children, or other protected classes that the Fair Housing Act was intended to shield from discrimination. The proposed rule eliminates the community participation process, which was proven to be extremely effective in helping communities develop meaningful fair housing goals, and does not even have a requirement that state and local governments conduct a fair housing analysis for their communities at all.
FHA mortgages play a crucial role in providing and maintaining access to affordable and sustainable homeownership for low- and moderate-income families and communities of color. If the Loan Sale Program continues in its current unregulated form, FHA borrowers and their communities remain at risk of further harm from non-compliant servicers and private equity loan purchasers. It is crucial that HUD implement strong protections both before and after loans are sold to prevent needless borrower displacement and neighborhood instability.
Developing clear and appropriate standards for the servicing taxonomy will help ensure that servicers are properly held accountable for non-compliance with FHA’s requirements. It promises to improve the quality of FHA servicing, which in turn will benefit homeowners and the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) fund. HUD must ensure that its taxonomy tool encompasses these loss mitigation regulations and allows for borrower input into servicer performance in order to truly gauge whether loss mitigation is working for neighborhoods and for the MMI fund.