It's official: Montgomery chosen to run FHA (again)

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WASHINGTON — As expected, President Trump has nominated Brian Montgomery to serve as the commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration.

If confirmed by the Senate, Montgomery would confront a slew of crucial policy issues facing the government's mortgage insurer, from a decision over whether to enact an FHA premium reduction proposed by the Obama administration, to how the FHA would fit into a potential broader reform framework for the nation's housing finance system.

Montgomery now also faces the prospect of leading the FHA on multiple occasions. He previously served as its commissioner from June 2005 until the middle of 2009.

He was also at one time the acting secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. During his previous tour as the FHA commissioner, Montgomery assisted with HUD's recovery and rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Montgomery now serves as vice chairman of the Collingwood Group, a business advisory firm, a role that may have contributed to how long it took Montgomery to go through the nomination clearance process.

"I have been waiting for the FHA nomination," Edward Mills, a financial policy analyst and managing director at FBR Capital Markets, said in an August interview. "That will be one the most compelling things in relation to the direction where the Trump administration wants to go with its housing policy. It is unclear if the new administration wants to shrink FHA or expand it."

He added that with Montgomery leading the FHA, "there won't be an aggressive reduction."

Industry representatives immediately praised the decision to appoint Montgomery again.

"His previous experience will serve him well in this position. I hope the Senate will move quickly to confirm Brian and we look forward to working with him," Mortgage Bankers Association President David Stevens said in a press release.

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Housing GSEs GSE reform Brian D. Montgomery FHA HUD