Challenges in Housing Finance Industry, Consultant Says

Anne Canfield, president of Canfield & Associates, Inc., joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWise 2016: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.

Canfield & Associates is a government relations, consulting and research firm that represents clients in the financial services, health care, housing and public finance industries.

Canfield discussed the climate in the housing finance industry, in light of increased regulation and scrutiny within the primary market.

“It’s been a very challenging environment. The new regulations that are still coming out of the Dodd-Frank Act are at times overly prescriptive, very complicated and very costly,” she said.

Canfield explained that the industry has spent billions of dollars to implement new truth-in-disclosure lending regulations. The regulations have many “challenges,” according to Canfield.

“As a result, lenders have started to take products off the market because the forms don’t allow you to comply with the law easily. The liability is enormous,” she observed.

Meanwhile, Canfield commented on the outlook for reform of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

“The industry is moving forward,” she said. Consensus is building in favor of either a utility-type structure that would be a government corporation or a mutual insurance company structure, according to Canfield.