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What Is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)?

By Laura Agadoni · Dec 2, 2015 · Mortgage

What Is the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)?

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), based out of Washington D.C., is a U.S. based national organization that represents the real estate finance industry.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a national trade association for the real estate finance industry. It exists to help its members-businesses in the commercial, multifamily, and residential real estate finance sector-achieve their business goals. The MBA also provides networking opportunities, offers education and training to its members, holds conferences, acts as the voice of the industry on legislative issues, reports on topics of interest to the real estate finance industry, and develops industry standards and practices.

A Brief History of the MBA

The first meeting of the MBA, then called the Farm Mortgage Bankers Association of America, was held on April 15, 1914. The association was strictly for loaning money on farmlands and excluded associations and individuals dealing in city mortgages. The association was originally headquartered in Chicago.

The demand for farm loans was lessening by the mid-1920s as people started moving to cities. In 1926, the association changed its name to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. The name remained until 2003, when "of America" was dropped.

The MBA survived various struggles over the decades. Its first was the Great Depression, when real estate values fell as foreclosures rose. The MBA lost more than half its members during that time and almost failed. But New Deal banking reform legislation saved the organization.

The association's first official publication, its magazine, Mortgage Banking, which is still published today, started in 1939 and was called The Mortgage Banker. The MBA held its first mortgage clinic in 1940, which spun off to become regular national conferences. Its research department, which still provides sourced data to members, began in 1944. Its education department was created in 1946.

The MBA in 1946, recognizing how much the government and the mortgage banking industry connect-from the setting of interest rates to the veterans loan program and the Federal Housing Administration-established a permanent office in Washington, D.C. By 1967, the MBA closed its Chicago office and moved everything to Washington. The 1960s were busy times in Washington: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was formed, Fannie Mae was split into two:Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, and Freddie Mac was formed in 1970.

By 1971, the MBA's political action committee, MORPAC, was formed. The MBA, throughout the mortgage crisis of 2008, has been active in advocating for legislation to help stabilize the market.

MBA Forecasts, Data and Statistics

The MBA provides industry research and economic data. The general public, economists, legislators and the media use the MBA forecasts, data and statistics to gain insight about the overall mortgage market environment. Their research products, released several times each year, cover economic forecasting, residential, commercial and multi-family real estate.

The following is an example of the MBA Mortgage Finance Forecast from November 17, 2015:

MBA Mortgage Finance Forecast

Another example is the MBA release of their Chart of the Week. The following is their chart covering Loans in Foreclosure Process as a percentage of loans serviced from November 20, 2015.

MBA Mortgage Loans in Foreclosure Process

Who Are the Members of the Association?

Anyone in the real estate finance industry can join the MBA. As the association says on its website, it has something for everyone, "from main street to wall street."

The vast majority of its more than 2,200 member organizations are independent mortgage banks. The rest of the membership consists of community banks with less than $10 billion in assets, commercial mortgage brokers, life insurance companies, commercial banks with more than $10 billion in assets, credit unions, mortgage servicers, real estate investment trusts, investment banks (hedge funds and pension funds), mortgage insurance and title companies, and the rest is miscellaneous members.

Who Governs the MBA?

Governance of the MBA includes a 26-person Board of Directors. There are two governing boards: one is Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Board of Governors (COMBOG) and the other is Residential Board of Governors (RESBOG.) Both COMBOG and RESBOG oversee various committees that focus on different issues, such as an investor council and multifamily council through COMBOG and loan administration and loan production through RESBOG.

A president/chief executive officer, a chief operating officer, seven senior vice presidents, and 14 vice presidents manage the MBA. The president and CEO of the MBA at the time of publication is David Stevens, who served as the Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner with HUD prior to holding his MBA position. The COO at this time is Marcia Davies, also from HUD, who worked as the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner.

The MBA has three officers, a chairman, chairman-elect, and a vice-chairman. The 2015-2016 chairman, Bill Emerson, is CEO of Quicken Loans.

How Are MBA Members Active?

Members can volunteer for a committee, task force, or working group. To do so, they must meet the prerequisite for that particular group. For example, you must be an MBA member to participate in governance of the MBA or to serve on a committee. But some committees require that you be a current employee of an MBA member to be on a committee roster.

Members may also join MORPAC, the political action committee; Mortgage Action Alliance, a grassroots lobbying organization; and MISMO, the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization.

There are also opportunities to join a state or local association that is aligned with the MBA. Currently, 44 state associations operate as adjunct organizations or as chapters.

How is the MBA Funded?

The MBA is funded by the dues it collects. It also makes money from its offerings, such as its School of Mortgage Banking, which offers four-day courses, and from its certification courses. It also accepts contributions through MORPAC.

What Is the Overall Agenda of the MBA?

The agenda of the MBA today remains the same as it's always been: teaming with legislators to create an environment conducive to the real estate finance industry and to farm ownership (the early years) and then to homeownership, clarifying issues for its members, protecting the interests of its members, offering professional development opportunities, and presenting a single unifying voice that represents its members.


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