Ginnie Mae President Reportedly Resigns

August 14, 2009

Joseph Murin, the president of government-run mortgage bond insurer Ginnie Mae, will step down today after slightly more than a year on the job, according to reports.

Murin, who joined Ginnie Mae on July 1, 2008, plans to pursue private business opportunities, said sources close to the situation who asked not to be named because an announcement has not yet been made. Murin's office did not immediately return a message to confirm the resignation.

Murin became the 16th president of Ginnie Mae in May 2008 after being sworn in by Stephen Preston, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ginnie Mae, a government-owned corporation established in 1968, operates under HUD to package loans into guaranteed mortgage-backed securities. Loans originated under programs from the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration make up most of the collateral in Ginnie Mae securities.

Murin replaced Robert Couch, a former chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, who stepped down from Ginnie Mae last year to become HUD general counsel. Murin was nominated by former President George Bush. When he was confirmed, Murin promised to continue increasing access to affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families and fostering stability in the nation's troubled housing market.

"This is a critical time in the housing industry. It is clear that the market needs safety and security, and that is exactly what Ginnie Mae offers — reliable mortgage securitization products that are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S.," Murin said last year. "As president, I will make sure Ginnie Mae works hard to bring stability back to the industry."

In July, Ginnie announced it had issued more than $43 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in June. For the first six months of calendar year 2009, Ginnie Mae provided nearly $207 billion of liquidity to the secondary market, compared to nearly $107 billion for the first six months of 2008. Murin's resignation follows the Aug. 6, 2009 departure of Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart. In Lockhart's statement to the public he mentioned that since his tenure began in May of 2006 he had seen the housing market through one of the most difficult periods in history and that it was time to "move on to the next chapter" as the GSEs are now strongly supporting the housing stabilization.

All told, Murin has more than 36 years’ experience in the mortgage and banking industry. He began his career with Pittsburgh National Bank, now PNC Bank, in the early 1970s as a loan officer. He completed the bank's management program in 1974 and worked in the commercial lending and retail divisions until 1979. From 1979 to 1982 he served as president of Murin Brothers Inc., a family-owned business. In 1982, he joined City Federal Mortgage Services in Jacksonville, Fla., as a commercial loan manager. From 1985 to 1989, he was president of Century Mortgage as well as chief lending officer for its parent company, Standard Federal Savings and Loan. In December 1989, Murin joined American Pioneer Savings in Orlando as the regional president, where he assisted the savings institution's liquidation on behalf of the Resolution Trust Corp. In September 1991, Murin joined Prudential Home Mortgage Co., as senior vice president/national sales manager in Springfield, Ill. He was transferred to LSI in July 1992 and named executive vice president. He moved up the ranks to CEO in 1996 and remained in that position until 2001. Murin helped transform LSI from an appraisal, title and closing management company to a provider of new technologies and business solutions for the national marketplace. Under his guidance, LSI underwent significant evolution, including its sale to Merrill Lynch from Prudential. He then led the leveraged buyout of LSI from Merrill Lynch.

After leaving LSI, Murin joined Basis100 in December 2001 as the company's president and COO, and was promoted to CEO one year later. In his leadership role, he is ultimately responsible for the positive restructure of the company that lead to a successful sale of the company and a positive return for the shareholders.

Prior to his confirmation, Murin served as the managing partner of the Mortgage Settlement Network in Pittsburgh, before selling it in August 2007. Murin said 41-year-old Ginnie Mae's market share, which was as low as 3 percent in 2007 as private issuers of riskier loans ruled, peaked at 42 percent last year. Ginnie Mae's market share catapulted as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were swept under by capital shortfalls and then were seized by the government last year. "If we can maintain a 20- to 25-percent market share position on a go-forward basis, that would be perfect," he said, as the market "normalizes" at around $1.5 trillion issuance annually.

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