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Senator inquiring about HMBS program clinches gubernatorial nomination

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), who recently submitted a series of questions to Ginnie Mae about its management of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)-backed Securities (HMBS) program following the collapse of Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF), clinched the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana on Tuesday night, according to The Associated Press and The Washington Post.

Braun previously announced that he would not be seeking a second term as Indiana’s junior senator, instead choosing to run for governor as incumbent Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) is term limited.

Braun’s political career began as a member of the Jasper School Board from 2004 to 2014, when he won a race to the Indiana House of Representatives. He resigned three years later to focus on his campaign for the U.S. Senate, winning his election in 2018 and assuming office the following January.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)

Braun has served on the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging since entering the chamber and became the ranking member in early 2023. It was under this role that Braun took it upon himself to submit a letter to then-Ginnie Mae President Alanna McCargo, saying that the HECM program faces stability and viability challenges stemming from the 2022 collapse of RMF and its extinguishment from the HMBS program, which he said could warrant congressional scrutiny.

In his letter, Braun sought responses from Ginnie Mae to several questions regarding its stewardship of the HMBS program, particularly “to understand how seniors were impacted by this glaring failure,” he wrote.

Braun also requested “detailed insights into Ginnie Mae’s actions prior to and following the bankruptcy of RMF” as well as more information on “steps taken to improve troubled issuer management practices that threaten market stability.”

In an interview with RMD on the matter shortly after submitting the letter, Braun said that he did not feel he could wait to learn about the outcome of a HUD Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation, feeling that time was of the essence.

“The timing is important as Ginnie Mae explores improvements to the HMBS program,” he said. “The Senate Aging Committee strives to protect seniors and prioritizes oversight of aging-related issues, like reverse mortgages, and my letter highlights information that is vital to the longevity and stability of the program.”

Now that Braun has secured his place in the upcoming governor’s race, however, it’s not yet known if his HMBS priorities will be pursued either during the remainder of his term in the Senate or afterward.

RMD reached out to Braun’s office for clarification on what might happen to his inquiry if Ginnie Mae does not respond by his requested deadline of May 10. It did not immediately receive a response.

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