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WASHINGTON, DC-Like many in the commercial real estate industry these days, the main focus for the Mortgage Bankers Association has shifted away from developments on Wall Street. This year, its activities–and eventually benchmarks for success–will be aimed at what is happening on Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The industry association is working on several fronts–both internally and with the government–to develop and then implement the best strategies to ease the credit logjam and other industry woes, John A. Courson, MBA President and CEO, told listeners in a conference call this morning when MBA released its annual State of the Industry report. “We put together a group of the best and brightest to come up with bold and aggressive actions to restore faith in our industry,” Courson says. MBA is in the process of vetting various initiatives that have been proposed internally. It will be unveiling them in detail very soon in order to present them to Congress.

Some broad strokes of the soon-to-be proposed policies, though, are already clear: for starters, a major push will be to ensure the viability of FHA, which has been increasing its footprint in the CRE industry, Courson says. “We are concerned that they have the proper resources to handle the increase in volume which we anticipate will continue,” he continues. The association is also focusing on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make sure they too have adequate resources, he says.

MBA is also pushing a broad Omnibus Consumer Protection Act that would establish a single Federal regulator for all mortgage originators, Steve O’Connor, MBA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, told listeners on the call. This entity, as MBA envisions it, would have strong anti-predator lending statutes and other consumer protection measures in place.

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