The Mortgage Bankers Association is assuring its members that it will not jeopardize their access to Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's automated underwriting systems as it seeks legislation to strengthen regulation of the two government-sponsored enterprises."It is not, and never has been, MBA's intent to undermine or prohibit access to the GSEs' automated underwriting systems," MBA senior vice president Kurt Pfotenhauer told MortgageWire. "These systems are an important part of the day-to-day business operations of many of our small and medium member companies." The MBA has supported a "bright-line" test in a GSE bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., which prompted fears among some members that a new GSE regulator could limit or restrict Fannie's and Freddie's ability to offer AU services. To address those concerns, the MBA conducted a special meeting April 6 with a cross-section of its membership. The meeting went well, according to sources. At the same time, it appears that the bright-line test is not getting much traction within the Senate Banking Committee. When Treasury Secretary John Snow and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan couldn't express an opinion on the concept during GSE hearings last week, Sen. Hagel asked them to conduct a study and report back to him. The bright-line test is designed to keep the GSEs out of the primary market, where lenders underwrite and originate mortgage loans, and make it easier for the new GSE regulator to enforce a boundary between GSE and lender activities.

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