MBA Hires FHA Chief to Head Organization, Courson Out

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The Mortgage Bankers Association Tuesday afternoon confirmed that it has hired Federal Housing Administration commissioner David Stevens to head the organization, effective June 1.

He replaces John A. Courson, a career mortgage banker who joined MBA in  August 2008, just as the industry's fortunes were beginning to crumble.

In the wake of the housing bust and mortgage meltdown, MBA has been losing members the past few years and was forced into a fire sale of its Washington headquarters early last year at a $40 million loss.

Some in the industry have questioned the trade group's relevance over the past few years as smaller, more nimble organizations and consulting firms moved in to represent different factions of the business.

Last week Stevens, a driving force not just at HUD but as an advisor to the White House on housing policies, announced to his staff that he was leaving FHA.

Courson came to MBA as chief operating officer in August, 2008 and became the association's president and CEO in January, 2009.  Prior to that he was a career mortgage banker whose last company failed when its warehouse lenders pulled their lines of credit.

"John Courson has led MBA through the most turbulent times that this industry, and the association, has ever seen," said MBA's Chairman Michael D. Berman, CMB.  "He was compelled from the outset to make difficult financial decisions, both to bring MBA's budget under control and to extricate MBA from the building, but he leaves MBA with a budget in the black and having executed the sale of the building while maintaining MBA's commitment to it members."

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