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Posts Tagged ‘Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)’

Galante’s Nomination to Head FHA Sent to Full Senate

December 14th, 2011 Comments off

NationalMortgageNews reports Republican Senators want the Obama administration to more forcefully strengthen the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) before confirming Carol Galante to head the agency. They also seek a plan for dealing with GSEs (government -sponsored enterprises) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sen. Jim Demint, (R-SC), leveling charges at Ms. Galante of being short-sighted at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on her nomination, says, “We need people with a sense of urgency about the need to turn things around and reduce our debt and avoid future bailouts.” Sen. Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), says Galante is open to increases on insurance premiums, but current losses are coming from seasoned loans. The FHA does not think hiking insurance premiums on new, profitable loans is a good way to prevent the possibility of a bailout of the agency. On a $1.1 trillion portfolio of insured single-family loans, the latest FHA audit shows it has a 0.24 percent capital ratio. Sen. Richard Shelby, (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Banking Committee, noting the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is short of examiners to properly oversee the GSEs, says, “The longer we wait to reform our housing finance system, the larger these problems will grow and the solutions will become more expensive for the taxpayer.” Galante has been acting head of FHA since July, 2011. The Committee voted on party lines to send her confirmation to the full Senate.

(Graphic credit: FHA)

Senate Committee Sidetracked by CFPB Head Nomination

December 8th, 2011 Comments off

NationalMortgageNews reports a Senate Banking Committee hearing to discuss the work regulators are doing at six different agencies to implement Dodd-Frank became embroiled in an exchange about a seventh agency not in the room. Legislators sparred over the impending vote of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Republicans want structural changes made to the agency, while Democrats blame Republicans for refusing to allow a vote on his nomination. Sen. Richard Shelby, (R-Ala.), asked Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin if the administration is seriously interested in discussing the issue. Wolin replied, “Well, I think, Senator, what we’re very interested in is the Senate considering Richard Cordray.” Sen. Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.), leveled a charge of political game-playing at Wolin. President Obama said, during a campaign stop in Kansas, “Everyday we go without a consumer watchdog n place is another day what a student, or a senior citizen, or member of our Armed Forces could be tricked into a loan they can’t afford—something that happens all the time.”
(Graphic credit: CFPB)

Codray’s CFPB hearing heats as 44 Republican Senators demand change

September 7th, 2011 Comments off

Richard Cordray PoliticoPolitico reports President Obama’s new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and its proposed director were held in partisan gridlock at Senate confirmation hearings Tuesday. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) reiterated his plan to block former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray from leading the agency, unless the CFPB is restructured as a commission under greater congressional control. “One of our nation’s founding principles is that the government should be accountable to the people,” Shelby said in his opening statement. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) scolded his Republicans for holding Cordray “hostage,” saying “Congress created the CFPB to be a robust and independent agency,” noting accountability exists because the president can fire the bureau director and its budget is capped. The CFPB began official operations in July, but its authority to issue rules and guidance are restricted without a Senate-approved director in place. The financial sector has a colossal stake in the hearings, since Cordray and the CFPB could dramatically reshape how mortgages, loans and credit cards are offered to the public. “This is akin to a Supreme Court nominee for us,” said Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association. “I believe this director has more power at any agency since J. Edgar Hoover.” Cordray tried to assuage concerns that the CFPB would often use litigation as a tool, which he did as Ohio’s Attorney General. Lawsuits “can be a very slow, wasteful and needlessly acrimonious way to resolve a problem,” Cordray said, “Our bigger and more flexible toolbox includes research reports, rulemaking, market guidance, consumer education and empowerment, and the ability to supervise and examine both large banks and many non-bank institutions.” Cordray’s statement exacerbated worries in the banking community, because it suggested a degree of heightened oversight by an agency with independent funding from the Federal Reserve that lacks Congressional control.

(Photo credit of Richard Cordray: Politico)