The cornerstone of this "Best Practice" is an educational outreach program that reaches minority and low-income communities through community colleges and technical college curricula. The colleges provide the necessary training to acquire skills for employment in the lending industry. Completion of the training qualifies individuals for positions such as loan originator, loan processor, underwriter, loan servicer, and loan counselor.
MBA established the program to educate individuals
in the mortgage lending field, as a way to address the shortage of job training
and homeownership opportunities currently available to minority and low-income
In September 1994, HUD and the MBA came together and executed a voluntary Fair Lending-"Best Practices" Agreement, the first of its kind between a federal agency and a national lending trade association. In December 1997, MBA and HUD renewed this partnership, signing the Master II Agreement. This Fair Lending- "Best Practices" Initiative is also an integral component of the National Homeownership Strategy, which aims to add up to eight million new homeowners and increase the percentage of Americans who own their homes to a historically high 67.5 percent by the end of the year 2000.
Since the signing of this agreement, HUD and MBA have been engaged in a cooperative effort to assist mortgage lenders and mortgage organizations in the negotiation and signing of individual voluntary Fair Lending accords. The Agreements offer an opportunity for lenders to incorporate fair housing and equal opportunity principles into their mortgage lending standards, as well as to increase low-income and minority lending.
The MBA has established a number of Best Practices models for lender members, using discrimination-free actions and practices, which will help to increase their lending to minorities and low-income borrowers. It holds fair housing and other lending conferences geared to training lenders in achieving the goals established in the Master Agreement.
The successes of the program are numerous. Today, a graduate of an internship program created as part of the Initiative is a full-time MBA employee. Lenders are expanding to new and untapped markets, while minority and low-income loan applications have risen. The consumer outreach segment of the Initiative has led to successful diversity training in the lending industry, and increased homeownership among minority and low-income families in many areas across the country.
Content Archived: April 20, 2011