Thank you for inviting me today. As we continue to emerge from the Great Recession, the housing market is finally rebounding in many areas around the country. It is a very positive development, one that is good for consumers, good for the mortgage industry, and good for the United States of America. Just to be very clear, we share with each of you and with all the members of the Mortgage Bankers Association the same view: that we are strong advocates and supporters of sustainable home ownership. Much of the work we have done to date has been done with this goal in mind, of making the mortgage market better and safer for consumers and for the responsible providers that make it a point to serve them well.
Protecting consumers must be a priority for everyone in this room, and I believe you know that very well. Our first major task as a brand-new agency was to address the serious problems in the mortgage market that caused the crisis in the first place. We sought to take a balanced and measured approach to this task. We recognized that if we did not put rules in place by January 2013, the new provisions of Dodd-Frank would automatically take effect immediately, and they could have restricted the mortgage market in ways that would not have fit the tight conditions of the post-crash marketplace. So we stepped up and got the job done, which enabled us to account for the new market conditions and to extend the effective date by one year. The result is a set of rules that protect prospective homebuyers in a manner that never existed in the past, while supporting responsible lenders against those who led a race to the bottom in underwriting standards. We now have a system in place that consumers can trust in a way they could not trust in the marketplace a decade ago. We should all share credit for this outcome, as it takes much hard work by you as well as us to build and sustain that trust.
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