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Volume 15 - Number 8

April 10, 2015

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Heavy Refinance Volume Buoys GSE MBS Business in 1Q15

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued a robust $189.92 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities during the first three months of 2015, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis.Business in the GSEs’ core MBS guaranty program grew 5.9 percent from the fourth quarter of last year. The pace in early 2015 was up a hefty 47.0 percent from the same period last year, which was the weakest quarter in over a decade. Nonbank seller/servicers continued to gain market share. These companies accounted for 45.6 percent of GSE MBS issued in early 2015, and their total production was up 7.7 percent from the previous quarter. (Includes 2 exclusive charts).

Sen. Grassley Demands PSPA Third Amendment Transparency

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, sent letters on April 7 to the Department of Justice and the Treasury requesting documents and details regarding the government’s 2011 decision to take the bulk of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s profits. This comes on the heels of reports suggesting President Obama has invoked executive privilege over some of the documents pertaining to the decision. While admitting that he’s unclear whether or not the president asserted executive privilege, Grassley emphasized the importance of transparency and said taxpayers have a right to know what transpired that resulted in billions of dollars going to the Treasury. “But instead of transparency, there appears to be an invocation of executive privilege,” he said. “If true, this is cause for concern.”

GSEs Release QC Measures Intended to Reduce Repurchases

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released quality control measures to their customers last week that they said will increase transparency and help lenders reduce the amount of problematic loans. Both GSEs are more open to repurchase alternatives and have witnessed a decrease in the number of deficient loans. “Mortgages today are certainly of the highest quality as validated by our QC reviews,” Freddie noted in the letter. Since 2013, the defect rate of a random sampling of performing loans has been 1.4 percent, its lowest, even as the level of QC files increased. Fannie said that the quality of originations has improved, resulting in fewer loans being deemed ineligible by the GSE. As of the end of 2014, 0.33 percent of the single-family loans....

Fannie Jumps Into the NPL Auction Game: A $55 Billion Market?

Fannie Mae’s maiden voyage in the nonperforming loan auction market began on April 8 when it announced that it will be auctioning a pool of approximately 3,200 loans totaling $786 million in unpaid principal balance. Joy Cianci, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president for credit portfolio management, said the transaction will help Fannie reduce the number of seriously delinquent loans it owns and offer additional foreclosure prevention opportunities. It’s being marketed in conjunction with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and The Williams Capital Group. Fannie’s first voyage into the sale of non-performing loans is expected to be a kick-off to future NPL sales. “We plan to build these sales into a programmatic offering...

MI Industry May Get First Peek at Final PMIER Rule Early Next Week

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is expected to unveil its final rules on Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs) early next week, according to industry officials who claim to have knowledge of the regulator’s thinking. After the MI industry views the regulations, the rest of the world likely will see them a week later. It’s anticipated that the FHFA will not make any surprising changes to what was proposed earlier in the year, though a new report from Compass Point Trading & Research predicts that the final regulatory language will be “modestly softened.” The research firm adds, “Our view remains that the forthcoming FHFA release will be positive for the PMI industry,” noting that the finalization will remove a “meaningful policy overhang” from the sector.

HUD Secretary: Alternative Credit Scoring Models on FHA's Radar

The GSEs aren’t completely committed to adopting new credit scoring models just yet, but it is on their radar. When asked about the possibility of alternative credit scoring, spokesmen for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pointed to the 2015 Conservatorship Scorecard which stated that they will be assessing the feasibility of alternate credit score models and credit history in loan-decision models. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who spoke at a credit access symposium in Washington last week, said that the FHA is exploring new ways to determine the creditworthiness of consumers to increase access to mortgage lending. Housing industry leaders in attendance said Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other mortgage lenders could increase access....

FHFA Diversity HIring Grows, More Work to Be Done, Agency Says

Although the Federal Housing Finance Agency has upped its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the workforce in 2014, the agency said challenges remain as some racial and ethnic groups are still underrepresented, according to a March 31 report to Congress by FHFA’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. Because of the Dodd-Frank Act requirements, there has been considerable increases in racial, ethnic and gender diversity of FHFA’s executive leadership team since the agency first began reporting to Congress in 2011. Even though the number of FHFA executives has declined by 13.5 percent in the past three years, minorities comprised 23.5 percent, compared to 10.1 percent in 2011, and women comprised 33.3 percent, compared to 25.4 percent.

Freddie Mac Closed On Largest Single-Property Loan Purchase

In its largest single-property loan purchase to date, Freddie Mac Multifamily and Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., announced on April 9, that they closed on an $878 million loan for a historic, luxury apartment in Los Angeles. Home to approximately 10,000 residents, La Brea is the largest apartment community on the West Coast and is said to resemble a small city. It has 4,245 units comprised of high-rise towers and garden-style apartments spread throughout 144 acres. Freddie plans to securitize the loan through its K-Deal program. HFF arranged the financing for Prime Residential, one of the largest owners of multi-family rental communities on the West Coast, to retire existing debt.

Merger Creates Largest FHLB, More Than 100 Staff Laid Off

While creating the largest Federal Home Loan Bank in the system, both geographically and membership wise, about 75 percent of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle workforce will be laid off due to a merger with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. The merger, approved in December by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, officially goes into effect in June, trimming the Seattle bank’s workforce to just 35 employees in the regional office. About 109 employees will be laid off before 2015 ends. Both banks unanimously approved the merger and said it will result in a cooperative that is stronger than either bank on an individual basis. Once combined, the bank will be headquartered in Des Moines.

FHLBank Topeka Extends MPF Mortgage Investing To Members

The Federal Home Loan Bank Topeka now lets members invest in residential whole loan mortgages originated under the Mortgage Partnership Finance Program as an added opportunity and as a risk-sharing measure. This is the first time that an FHLBank has opened its shared credit risk program to members. Dan Hess, chief business officer and senior vice president of FHLBank Topeka, told Inside The GSEs that the bank has had a lot of success with the MPF program since it began 15 years ago and wanted to extend the opportunity to its members. “It’s been a high quality asset for us with a low level of defaults throughout the financial crisis,” he said.

Former FDIC Chief Criticizes Treasury Sweep Decision

Conservatorship has left Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a state of flux, according to former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman William Isaac, who recently criticized the federal government’s verdict to let the Treasury Department take the bulk of the GSEs profits. As anxiety continues to grow about the sustainable profitability of Fannie and Freddie, Isaac said there doesn’t appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. “We need to bring some fresh thought to this issue,” he said during a teleconference sponsored by Investors Unite last week. Although he said there has been very little movement on the issue within the past year. Isaacs said until a resolution is reached, “it’s very important that the government treat...

GSE Roundup

Freddie Pre-markets STACR Offering. Freddie Mac announced on April 6 a plan to pre-market its first actual loss STACR offering, STACR 2015-DNA1, starting April 13, subject to market conditions. Instead of allocating losses to the debt note based on a fixed severity approach, losses will allocated based on the actual losses realized on the related reference obligations. One Analysis of the Upcoming G-Fee and LLPA Announcement. In anticipation of the announcement surrounding guaranty fees and loan level price adjustment requirements, FBR Capital Markets released a couple of observations on April 8 regarding the possible income and impact on the market. “We still believe G-fees and LLPAs will be cut for a significant percentage of mortgage production,” FBR analysts said. However...

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The Supreme Court recently decided that mortgage loan officers are entitled to overtime pay. How has this affected your shop?

It's a very big deal, but our company will limit OT pay or pay very little.
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We have no problem paying our LOs OT.
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