Business is booming.

Homeownership is a global quest

But there are disadvantages: “There’s been a lot of concern of late these short-term balloons are now going to be refinanced in a much higher interest rate market,” he said, “and people are feeling pain and shock.”

He volunteered an interesting reason why he’s become more aware of mortgage machinations across Europe: “I’m only aware of this because I’m an expert witness in two big class action lawsuits against the real estate industry in this country, and I’ve been studying the Western European markets. We all have different advantages.”

But then he invoked American advantages not seen elsewhere: “We have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the FHA, the VA and USDA,” he said, referring to the Federal Housing Administration, the UW Veteran Affairs Department and the United States Department of Agriculture, respectively. The latter agency provides a path to homeownership for low- and very-low-income families living in rural areas,

“We have a government that’s directly involved in supporting long-term, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages,”

Stevens has more than 40 years of experience

Starting out as a loan officer in Denver during the 1980s, Stevens has been in the industry for more than 40 years. Prior to his role as the president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Stevens served as the US assistant secretary of housing and federal housing commissioner at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Past stints in the private sector include being president/COO of the Long & Foster Real Companies, Inc.; executive vice president of wholesale lending at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; senior vice president in charge of single-family lending at Freddie Mac; and group senior vice president at World Savings Bank.

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