ICBA will actively engage the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) and the GSEs regarding overly burdensome policies and practices that increase costs and operational burdens for community banks to access the GSEs, which reduces liquidity in rural or small-town communities.
ICBA’s principles include:
Underwriting and Appraisal Guidelines. The GSE underwriting and appraisal guidelines, originally designed for suburban or urban communities, often make it difficult to qualify creditworthy borrowers in small-town or rural communities. In such communities, borrowers frequently have multiple sources of income such as seasonal, self-employed, or W2 wages, all of which are critical in qualifying the borrower for the loan. ICBA will continue to work with the GSEs and FHFA to develop alternatives to their processes and requirements to make it easier and more cost effective to use the GSEs.
Servicing. Community bank mortgage loan servicing is based on close ties to customers and communities. The cost to service a mortgage has doubled since the financial crisis, forcing many community banks to exit the mortgage servicing business. The GSEs must structure their servicing guidelines to avoid this outcome.
Direct grassroots advocacy is essential to promoting federal policies that support community banking – and ultimately impact your role at the bank. Our Be Heard grassroots action center offers a variety of tools to help you amplify your voice with targeted outreach to federal policymakers.
Just like everything else, lobbying is a skill. This toolkit makes it easy to learn the best way to communicate with and engage policymakers in this virtual environment. No matter what role you have at the bank, YOU can support community banks and make an impact.
Every year, community bankers are invited to attend the complementary ICBA Capital Summit and this year is easier than ever to participate. The event is fully virtual, April 27 at 11am-1pm Eastern Time, so mark your calendars!