FHA Chief Replaces MBA Chief

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The head of the Mortgage Bankers Association is being replaced by the head of the Federal Housing Administration. The move represents a lobbying coup for the trade group, whose members are in the midst of a massive regulatory overhaul.

The news came in an announcement Tuesday from MBA.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based association, John A. Courson will leave his post as president and chief executive officer of the trade group on June 1. Courson — the former operator of Central Pacific Mortgage, a net branch company that ran out of capital and collapsed in February 2007 — replaced Jonathan L. Kempner as MBA CEO in January 2009.

MBA Chairman Michael D. Berman praised Courson in the statement, noting that he inherited an organization that faced serious financial challenges that were brought on by the mortgage market meltdown and by MBA’s decision to purchase its own headquarters building as the economy deteriorated into the Great Recession.

“He was compelled from the outset to make difficult financial decisions, both to bring MBA’s budget under control and to extricate MBA from the building,” Berman stated. “But he leaves MBA with a budget in the black and having executed the sale of the building while maintaining MBA’s commitment to it members.”

Stepping in to take over is FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed last week that Stevens was leaving his post as HUD Assistant Secretary.

MBA’s statement indicated that Steven’s last day with the Obama administration is March 31.

Stevens operated as a mortgage banker for 16 years at World Savings. He also held positions at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wachovia Corp. and Freddie Mac — where he created and ran the small lender channel as senior vice president.

Just prior to his FHA gig, he was president and chief operating officer at Long & Foster Companies, “the nation’s largest, privately-held real estate firm.”

MBA said that Stevens has led FHA during a tumultuous period, and he implemented many changes to improve the agency’s risk management.

Berman added that Stevens “brings a wealth of industry experience in mortgage lending.”

He also gives the trade group an inside connection into the administration. Given heightened regulatory oversight for financial services companies, the new recruit brings much to the table.

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Mortgage Daily Staff

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