HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 06-074
Terry Carr
(202) 708-0926
For Release
June 29, 2006

Alabama mortgage banker selected to lead key HUD program

Washington, D.C. - Robert M. Couch today became the new President of Ginnie Mae, the government agency that plays a vital role in making housing affordable to millions of American families. HUD Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi administered the oath of office at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon.

Couch, who brings a wealth of experience as a lawyer and business leader to Ginnie Mae, promises to continue building on the nation's record homeownership rate and expanding access to affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families.

"While building a career in the mortgage industry, I came to appreciate the important role Ginnie Mae plays in making affordable housing available," said Couch. "I look forward to serving as its President, and becoming an integral part of its efforts to make affordable housing available to American families."

Ginnie Mae guarantees the principal and interest payments on mortgage-backed securities (MBS) backed by loans insured or guaranteed by the FHA, VA, HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing, and the USDA's Rural Development Housing & Community Facilities Programs.

"I think Rob Couch is an outstanding choice by the President because he brings more experience to the job than anyone in recent memory," said Ronald Rosenfeld, former President of Ginnie Mae and current Chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board. "Rob's depth of experience will be an invaluable asset to Ginnie Mae."

Prior to his selection as president of Ginnie Mae, Couch served as President and Chief Executive Officer of New South Federal Savings Bank in Birmingham, Alabama, and as Managing Director of Collateral Mortgage, Ltd., also in Birmingham, Alabama.

From 2003-2004, Couch served as Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the national association representing the real estate finance industry. Couch also served on the MBA's Blue Ribbon Task Force responsible for defining the proper role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the mortgage industry. He was also a member of Fannie Mae's National Advisory Council.

Couch also served as President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama, and as a member of the Federal Reserve's Thrift Industry Advisory Council.

Couch began his career as a lawyer. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Combining his interest in banking and law, Couch served as General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer of First Commercial Bancshares Inc., a bank holding company in Birmingham.

Couch received both his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and his J.D. degree from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Couch and his wife, Anne, have two daughters.

The Government National Mortgage Association, known as Ginnie Mae, is a wholly owned federal corporation within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ginnie Mae pioneered the mortgage-backed security (MBS), issuing the very first one in 1970. A mortgage-backed security enables a mortgage lender to aggregate and sell mortgage loans as a security to investors. Ginnie Mae securities carry the full faith and credit guaranty of the United States government, which means that, even in difficult times, an investment in Ginnie Mae is one of the safest an investor can make.


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