Magazine article American Banker

GOP Sweep, Market Shift Dominate MBA Meeting

Magazine article American Banker

GOP Sweep, Market Shift Dominate MBA Meeting

Article excerpt

Mortgage executives gathered at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel last week to hobnob, party, and listen to pundits prognosticate about the year ahead.

This year, the three-day senior executives conference of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America was dominated by two themes: the Republican takeover of Congress, which could potentially have a big impact on the mortgage business, and fundamental changes in the mortgage market.

Salomon Brothers' top Washington lobbyist, Stephen E. Bell, told a dinner audience that a flat-tax proposal, which could replace the current system of a graduated income tax and deductions, may surface next year and may also be an issue in the 1996 presidential race.

A flat tax, which has now been floated by House majority leader Richard Armey, R-Tex., and minority leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., would likely lead to the elimination of the deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes.

The elimination of the deductions would be heavily opposed by the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Home Builders, and the MBA.

Consolidation will continue to be a major dynamic in the home lending industry in 1995, as major players revisit the auction house and smaller companies seek the best means of exit.

That's the message that Brenda White, managing director at Salomon Brothers Inc. and head of its mortgage banking mergers and acquisition effort, brought to the conference.

Without naming names, Ms. …

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