Former top executives at Fannie Mae, PMI, and Countrywide have launched a new advocacy group that will lobby on behalf of what it calls "independent, community and regionally based" mortgage banking firms.

The Community Mortgage Banking Project (CMBP) already has 26 members and is talking to eight more, said group founder, Glen Corso, a former senior vice president for The PMI Group, a mortgage insurance firm. His partners in the project include Robert Engelstad, a former senior vice president at Fannie, and Pete Mills, who was Countrywide Financial Corp.'s top lobbyist in Washington.

In an interview with National Mortgage News, Corso said his group would not compete with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) per se but would be involved in lobbying, and legislative and "regulatory analysis on behalf of our members."

He said the group would stay away from holding trade shows and getting involved in educational programs — two major sources of revenue for MBA.

Corso is a founding member of The Warehouse Lending Project, which has been lobbying regulators for government help in increase warehouse lending capacity to non-banks.

Corso noted that the CMBP is a “not-for-profit company” but for tax purposes will not be filing as a nonprofit (which enjoy certain federal tax breaks).

The MBA, by contrast, is a nonprofit organization whose annual results (Form 990) are publicly available.

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