By Ed Delgado, President & CEO, Five Star Institute
Today, the eyes of the industry will be on Capitol Hill as Brian D. Montgomery fields questions from the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs pertaining to his nomination as Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
Montgomery, an industry veteran, has served with distinction in the Executive Office of the President during the Administration of President George W. Bush before transitioning to his role as Assistant Secretary at HUD and FHA Commissioner under Presidents Bush and Obama. Now he makes his return to public life, armed with a powerful weapon: perspective.
Montgomery comes to the Trump Administration from the Collingwood Group, a housing finance business advisory services firm that he co-founded, which boasts a bevy of advisory professionals with experience in every federal housing authority including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and others. For the past nine years he has counseled banks, non-banks, and other mortgage servicing entities, assisting them in navigating the sprawling regulatory schema installed in the wake of the housing crisis. But Montgomery did more than just educate. He listened.
During his time at Collingwood, Montgomery had the unique opportunity to obtain candid perceptions from the residential mortgage servicing industry and keenly understand the impediments that burdensome regulations place upon the development of homeownership. He heard the frustrations of an industry struggling to come to grips with prescribed changes to business practices which are often conflicting and unclear. He observed as the industry put forth proposal after proposal for modernizing and improving business practices and communication, only to be ignored or told to stand down.
Only time will tell whether Montgomery’s nomination will mean substantive changes for FHA. But in a time when the industry’s ideas and business interests are often not taken into account, he listens.
In anticipation of Montgomery’s confirmation hearing, last week I sent letters to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown endorsing his nomination and encouraging his confirmation. “During my 25 year tenure working within the mortgage banking industry, I have had the opportunity to work side by side with Mr. Montgomery during his times within both public and private service on issues that face the American homeowner,” the letter said. “I can attest to his qualifications as a leader and his devotion to the cause of furthering responsible homeownership in the United States. An examination of Mr. Montgomery’s record will reveal a dedicated public servant and champion for homeownership, fully committed to ensuring the American Dream lives on for generations to come.”
That is what matters most: our industry’s shared commitment to homeownership. Brian Montgomery has served this nation admirably in the past and has answered the call again with the measure of selfless sacrifice befitting his character. He is the right person to lead FHA and I urge his swift confirmation.
This article was prepared by Ed Delgado in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Five Star Institute or any related affiliates.