Mortgage Insurance Division
Genworth Financial was one of several companies suffering from the perception that mortgage insurance was an unnecessary expense in the home buying process. Personal finance writers regularly encouraged homebuyers to avoid mortgage insurance, which led many to instead turn to piggyback mortgages and other risky loan types before the 2008 housing market collapse. Genworth had the facts on its side but needed help changing perceptions about the value of mortgage insurance.
Genworth turned to CLS Strategies for help communicating to the media, lawmakers and industry stakeholders the value of mortgage insurance for both first-time homebuyers and mortgage finance system's overall stability. CLS Strategies helped to design and manage a successful public affairs campaign to make mortgage insurance tax deductible, an effort that relied heavily on securing favorable coverage in the media and mobilizing influential non-industry voices into legislative advocacy.
Then, in 2010, when the government's taxpayer-guaranteed form of mortgage insurance (run through the Federal Housing Administration) surpassed the private industry's combined market share, Genworth and other private mortgage insurers faced a new challenge. CLS Strategies helped make the case through scholarly reports that was time to scale back the FHA's positioning the FHA's ascendant role in mortgage insurance as a risk to taxpayers. In time, even FHA officials agreed publicly that its footprint should be reduced to invite greater private sector participation in the mortgage system.
Today the CLS Strategies team works with Genworth and a coalition of civil rights, housing, and mortgage advocates to advance sound housing policy. CLS Strategies continues to refine Genworth's thought leadership campaign aimed at changing legislative and regulatory policy perceptions to reposition mortgage insurance as an important fiscal tool that promotes consumer confidence and economic stability.