Today I met a great public servant from the Obama Administration, the Honorable David Stevens, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and FHA Commissioner at his office in Washington, D.C. The Commissioner comes from the private sector, and understands the key issues and multiple "currents" that are now flowing through the mortgage and secondary market sectors. Specifically, both he and I are deeply concerned about the potential of credit availability drying up in the future, both for the under-served, as well as for middle class borrowers with less than an 800 credit score and a 30% downpayment to purchase their home. I commend the FHA for picking up the slack from the private sector and playing an even greater role in the broad middle ground of the mortgage sector.
I also briefed the Commissioner and his staff around our 5-year Framework Agreement with the FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE and our coming HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Center, Ebenezer (at the King Center Complex), our Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, which has amended and/or restructured more than $400 million in mortgages, and of course we discussed my and HOPE's role with respect to President Obama's new President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability, working closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Operation HOPE, specifically Jena Roscoe (who also attended the meeting), senior vice president and head of the HOPE Office of Government Relations and Public Policy, and I are looking forward to working closely with Commissioner Stevens and his capable team (Marcia M. Davies, senior advisor, and , pictured here below) in the weeks and months to come, focused on expanding real opportunity for all, on the back side of this global economic crisis.