A five-year veteran of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sarah Rosen, is leaving the agency to join the National Economic Council.

Lenders know Ms. Rosen, most recently the associate general deputy assistant secretary for housing, as point person for the controversial Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or Respa, which governs how they can pay third parties like mortgage brokers.

In her new post, where she will begin March 1, Ms. Rosen will succeed Ellen Seidman, who is now director of the Office of Thrift Supervision. Her duties are to include financial services modernization reform and regulatory relief issues.

Terri Johnson, managing examiner of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, will take over Respa and Truth-in-Lending Act reforms.

Anne McCulloch, senior ethics specialist at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., will become interim general deputy assistant housing secretary.

Ms. Rosen's departure may mean a setback for lenders, said Paul Mondor, director of regulatory compliance at the Mortgage Bankers Association: "It may be a serious hit to the process. Only Sarah has been willing to grapple with the serious issues on HUD's behalf. The loss will diminish HUD's ability to contribute as meaningfully as they would have."

Ms. Rosen said that lenders should not worry that Respa reform will get sidetracked. HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo has "made a public and heartfelt commitment for mortgage reform," she said.

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