David Stevens, former FHA Commissioner and MBA President, has died

David Stevens, a legend of the mortgage banking industry who helmed the Federal Housing Agency and the Mortgage Bankers Association in a career that spanned four decades, has died.

“The real estate finance community mourns the loss today of one of its great leaders and fiercest advocates,” current MBA President Bob Broeksmit said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Dave Stevens grew up in the mortgage business before serving the industry and its customers both as FHA Commissioner during and immediately after the 2008 financial crisis and then as President & CEO of MBA, where he was instrumental in rebuilding our organization and leading the industry out of the Great Recession.”

Broeksmit described Stevens as “great mentor, boss, and friend. He was quick with a joke, sometimes at his own expense, and truly cared about those he worked with and those who worked for him. Dave and his wife Mary were instrumental in the 2011 creation of the MBA Opens Doors Foundation, which has helped more than 16,000 families with crucially ill or injured children stay in their homes while their child is in treatment.”

He added: “MBA and the entire industry will miss Dave’s voice, leadership, and friendship. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary, his children, and the rest of his family.”  

A fierce advocate for the industry, Stevens became a loan officer in 1983 in Colorado, rising through the ranks of World Savings during a 16-year tenure. He left for Freddie Mac in 1995, where he was senior vice president of single family lending and led product development, credit risk and contract negotiations for all single family businesses.

Following stints at Wells Fargo and Long & Foster Companies, in 2009, President Obama appointed Stevens to serve as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Stevens oversaw FHA programs for single and multifamily housing for two years. He left government service and became president of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

More recently, he was the chief executive officer of Mountain Lake Consulting, Inc., a financial services consulting firm focused on real estate finance.

Rick Roque, vice president of CrossCountry Mortgage and an industry consultant on partnerships and retail acquisitions, said Stevens is “a legend of a figure.” He was a “real leader whose advice was carefully listened to by industry practitioners, policymakers and regulators,” Roque added.

“I’ve never known someone with such a deep knowledge of all channels of the business, who was so like-ably charismatic and helpful to just about anyone. His approachability made his influence so strong and genuine.”

A prolific writer who frequently advocated for policies that would remove homeownership barriers for low- and moderate income, Stevens penned dozens of opinion articles for industry publications, including HousingWire.

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