The annual Asset Securitization Forum (ASF) organizational update, held yesterday, focused on the current state of the securitization market as well as the impact of new government initiatives on the sector.

Additionally, Gregg Silver was named executive vice president. Silver is currently president of 1st Financial Funding and Investment Corp.

The discussion during the forum was directed mainly at ASF’s role in the implementation of current government programs as well as its view on the regulatory reforms put out by the Obama administration.

According to George Miller, executive director of the ASF, only a few pages of the 85-page government reform proposal announced yesterday refer directly to securitization. However, the direction of the securitization-related reforms go hand-in-hand with the ASF’s goals.

Speakers at the meeting said that there should be a consensus among ABS players that the market needs securitization as a financial backer for middle America.

Tom Deutsch, executive director at the ASF, added that it is fundamental that the general public understand the role and importance of securitization in business and for the U.S. consumer.

Additionally, the securitization sector is critical in helping the market restart and regain its footing. Deutsch also cautioned that the government should not over regulate the market’s comeback.

Since its inception last summer, Project RESTART has been viewed positively by the ASF for its role in reviving the market, and as the cornerstone of the market standards on RMBS transparency and reporting. Additionally, it represents the industry’s recognition that there were flaws in the system, especially in terms of data transparency, and that players in the sector are making an attempt to resolve these issues.

The program includes RMBS reporting and disclosure packages, as well as ongoing reporting on loans, such as loan modifications and updates. Additionally, there is a reformed refund policy in the works that would require a seller to buyback a set of loans if these do not meet the qualifications that were initially set, thus implementing smoother and more reliable repurchase mechanisms.

Finally, ASF officials spoke to the necessity of current government programs such as Term ABS Loan Facility, Troubled Asset Relief Program, and Public Private Investment Partnership and referred to them as foundational efforts for reform. The correct implementation and utilization of these programs should lead to their intended effects.

In closing, Deutsch summarized ASF’s current priorities, saying that the association is trying to grapple with the issues it has already acquired, as well as the ones now at hand. “The role of ASF is not to solve conflict, but to address it,” said Deutsch.

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