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Oct 14, 2011

Bank urges AHFC to keep loan servicing in Alaska

The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) is considering changes to their regulations that would allow out-of-state financial institutions to service AHFC loans. The text of a letter from First National Bank Alaska to AHFC about these proposed changes is reproduced below.

October 11, 2011

Daniel R. Fauske, CEO/Executive Director,
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation,
PO Box 101020,
Anchorage, AK 99510-1020

Re: Proposed amendments to regulations 15 AAC150.090 SERVICER REQUIREMENTS; SERVICERS' GUIDE

Dear Mr. Fauske:

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the regulations mentioned above. We strongly urge AHFC to reconsider its recommendation to allow out-of-state institutions to service AHFC loans. There are numerous compelling reasons for your reconsideration.

First, the reduction of the economic ripple. Alaska's economy is relatively small, compared to most states, and consequently more dynamic. Any influx or outflow of dollars from Alaska has an oversized ripple effect, positively or negatively, on Alaskan jobs and economics. Any money sent Outside has no chance to go to work here, sustaining businesses and possibly creating new growth. By AHFC's own admission, this proposed regulation change "may result in the loss of Alaskan jobs." We believe it is virtually certain to happen.

Secondly, look at the unfavorable effect on homeowner Alaskans, your customers. In-state loan servicing provides your customers with better access to their home loan information, friendly local assistance, and a variety of transaction options and locations. What's more, a local servicer has a broader knowledge of the unique circumstances that arise in Alaska that may affect loan customers and/or their properties. Calling an 800 number and dealing with someone thousands of miles away is not an ideal standard of customer service.

And finally, please consider the political and philosophical ramifications of hiring out-of-state institutions. When the state demands oil companies make Alaska hire a requirement for their industry, can the state then, in good conscience, allow these loan servicing jobs to migrate outside the state? Especially when Alaska has highly competent, taxpaying loan servicers right here within our borders?

For all these reasons and more, we again urge you to reconsider changing the existing regulation on restricting AHFC loan servicing to in-state providers, and keep Alaskans and their hard-earned dollars working in our economy, not someone else's.


D. H. Cuddy,
Chairman and President

Betsy Lawer,
Vice Chair


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