Brian D. Montgomery

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Brian D. Montgomery
Acting United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 26, 2009
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Steve Preston
Succeeded by Shaun Donovan

Brian D.Montgomery is a seasoned expert in housing and finance and a noted industry veteran, who most markedly served as the Assistant Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Montgomery hasover 25 years of private and public service experience with expertise in government policy reform, in particular related to housing, mortgages, and thesecondary mortgage market. Montgomery’s career also includes an accomplished tenure at the White House with President George W. Bush’s Administration.  Montgomery currently serves as Chairman of The Collingwood Group LLC, a Washington-based mortgage lending businessadvisory firm.

Education and Career[edit]

Montgomery received his education in his home state of Texas at the University of Houston and the University of Texas. 

In the beginning of his career, Montgomery held senior positions at the Texas Department of Commerce and the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.   

White House Tenure[edit]

Montgomery served under both the 41 and 43 Bush Administrations. 

Montgomery serviced in the Executive Office of President George H.W. Bush at the White House. 

Montgomery served under President George W. Bush’s White House for five years.  From 2001 to 2003, Montgomery served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Advance. Then from 2003 to 2005, he became Deputy Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary.  During his White House tenure, Montgomery played a formative role in shaping homeownership policy, including affordable housing and mortgage finance, increasing access to affordable housing, the major Real Estate Settlementand Procedures Act (RESPA) reform, and oversight of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). 

Federal Housing Commissioner[edit]

In June 2005, Montgomery wasappointed to serve as FHA Commissioner and confirmed by the Senate.  Montgomery continued to serve under the Obama Administration through 2009 at the request of HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. 

The New York Times commented on Montgomery’s tenure as Commissioner, noting that he “gained prominence as anunexpectedly influential office whose quiet efforts to modernize a stagnantagency has won the respect of Democrats and Republicans alike.”   

As FHA Commissioner, Montgomery was responsible for the oversight, management and modernization of the FHAinsurance fund’s $600 billion portfolio. Montgomery oversaw various aspects of FHA’s business including newlender training.   

Montgomery also testified before Congress on multiple occasions during his career. Montgomery has testified before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. “He takes his job seriously and ... does not play politics,” said Senator PattyMurray (D – WA).  Montgomery took considerablesteps while serving as Commissioner to protect the FHA insurance fund.Montgomery was a spoke out against seller-funded down payment assistanceprograms. Even after his tenure at FHA, Montgomery continues to advocate for prudent FHA lending practices and products. 

One of Montgomery’s initiatives at FHA was the preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing, achieved primarily through mortgage insurance as well as flexible refinancing options. Under Montgomery’s leadership, HUD and FHA went to great lengths to get legislation passed in the House of Representatives to preserve more than 900 apartment complexes, allowing for 87,000 additional units of affordable housing. 

While serving as Commissioner, Montgomery supported the creation and promotion of a bill designed to modernize FHA. The Modernization Bill, which passed the House ofRepresentatives in July 2006, focused on increasing borrower flexibility through both policy and programmatic changes including increased loan limits and down payment assistance programs in order to provide low- and moderate-income borrowers safe and affordable homeownership. 

Following the financial crisis of 2008, Montgomery led the Bush Administration’s charge to stabilize the housing market.  Montgomery oversaw the FHA Secure program, launched in 2008 to help hundreds of thousands of families refinancetheir mortgages to avoid foreclosure. 

Montgomery's tenure was marked by extensive work with Hurricane Katrina disaster victims. He chaired HUD’s Hurricane Recovery and Response Center at Headquarters and helped coordinate and secure temporary and long-term housing for displaced persons. HUD also launched a campaign to educate first time African-Americans homebuyers under Montgomery’s tenure.

Acting Secretary of Housing and Urban Development[edit]

When Steve Preston, HUD Secretary under the Bush Administration, left office on January 20, 2009, with the inauguration of President Obama, Montgomery assumed the acting position of Secretary until President Obama appointee Shaun Donovan was confirmed and sworn in on January 26.

Awards and Recognition[edit]

During his time at the White House, Montgomery was awarded the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Service Medal. Montgomery was awarded the medal in 2004 for his role inresponding to the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in February 2003. Montgomery led the White House response working group, which monitored the accident investigation leading to the development of President Bush’s space exploration vision.

Among many awards and recognition, Montgomery also received the Robert J. Coretta Award for Achievement in Affordable Housing and the National Association of Hispanic Realtors Chairman’s Award in 2008 for his role as a visionary in affordable housing and his efforts to support congressional passage of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Montgomery also received Lenders One’s National Housing Award in 2008 for his work to support homeownership during the financial crisis.

In response to awarding Montgomery the National Housing Award, Lenders One Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Scott Stern, remarked, “Let me simply say that Commissioner Montgomery has been the most effective head of FHA in a very long time.”

The Corletta Award pays tribute to individuals who have shown extraordinary creativity and dedication to the cause of affordable housing.

In bestowing the award, the housing groups cited Montgomery’s efforts to keep FHA programs viable for the production and rehabilitation of affordable rental apartments for low- and moderate-income households.

"Brian has played a critical role in ensuring that these programs support the creation of affordable housing for America's working families," said Bob Nielsen, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Vice President.

Nielsen noted that Montgomery listened to the concerns of NAHB and other industry groups when the Bush Administration proposed increasing the mortgage insurance premiums on certain FHA programs. After reviewing economic data showing the effects such an increase would have on the renters in those programs, Montgomery supported maintaining current premiums.  Montgomery’s support helped avoid a dramatic premium increase.

"Montgomery's support on this critical issue is right in line with the legacy of Bob Corletta, who believed that all citizens, whatever their financial circumstances, deserve a home that is affordable, safe, and desirable," said David P. Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Neighborhood Development Collaboration (NDC).

Montgomery has also served on a plethora industry boards including the Federal Housing Finance Board from 2005 to 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008 Oversight Board from 2008 to 2009, the Hope for Homeowners Oversight Board from 2008 to 2009, as well as the NeighborWorks America Board where he also served as Chair of the Corporate Administration Committee from 2005 to 2009.

Current Roles[edit]

Montgomery is an Advisor for Aitheras LLC, a private sector and government consulting company. 

Montgomery currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Partner of the Collingwood Group, which he co-founded in 2009. Montgomery oversees the firm’s advisory services and makes regular public appearances and media contributions as a housing industry thought leader. 

Montgomery has sat on the Board of Directors at Radian Group since May 2012.




Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Preston
United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
(Acting)

2009
Succeeded by
Shaun Donovan