ABA to Lawmakers: Don’t Use G-Fees as Funding Offset

In a letter to Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today, the American Bankers Association and a broad coalition of financial and housing trade groups urged them not to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee fees as a source of funding offsets for government spending.

The groups noted that g-fees were previously raised by 10 basis points to fund a two-month period of payroll tax relief in 2011, a move that “harmed homebuyers by raising the cost of homeownership in all parts of the country.” The groups emphasized that g-fees should be used only as intended: as a risk management tool used by the GSEs to covering operating costs and losses that occur in their operations.

“We understand the critical need for funding offsets,” the groups wrote. “We are united, however, in our belief that using g-fees as a funding mechanism is wholly inappropriate and shifts the burden of paying for infrastructure-related initiatives to the country’s current and future homeowners. The benefits of affordable homeownership accrue to families, communities and our national economy; we simply cannot allow these benefits to be jeopardized by efforts to raise g-fees unnecessarily.”