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Volume 14 - Number 16

August 8, 2014

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Fannie, Freddie Post ‘Normal’ 2Q Profit Minus One-Time Boosters

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported a combined $5.0 billion in net income during the second quarter of 2014, down 46.2 percent from the first three months of the year. Compared to the first half of 2013, GSE profits were down nearly 82 percent, though both companies posted strong earnings during the three-month period ending June 30, 2014. Both GSEs are coming off a banner 2013 when each company’s earnings were super-charged by several one-time items – including the capture of each company’s deferred tax allowance, and numerous non-agency lawsuit settlements.

Des Moines, Seattle FHLBanks Discuss Potential Merger

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle jointly announced that they have entered into merger discussions, but don’t expect a rash of FHLBank consolidations regardless of the outcome, says an expert. The two institutions “entered into an exclusivity arrangement regarding a potential merger,” the two FHLBanks announced last week. The proposed merger of the FHLBank of Des Moines and the smaller, troubled FHLBank of Seattle would create an institution with more than 1,500 member financial institutions in 13 states and three U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean.

Freddie’s Sale of Distressed SF Loans One-Off or More to Come?

In keeping with its strategy to reduce its holdings of less-liquid assets, Freddie Mac announced last week the GSE’s first sale of what it calls “deeply” delinquent loans. It remains to be seen if the sale of the $659 million package of distressed single-family mortgages from its portfolio is a one-off or the first of more to come. Asked whether more non-performing loan auctions might be ahead, a company spokesman declined to comment.

Judge Orders BofA to Pay $1.27B For ‘Hustle’ of Fannie, Freddie

A federal judge in Manhattan last week ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for losses suffered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from Countrywide Financial’s “Hustle” program for pumping dubious Alt A loans to the GSEs. The bank also is reportedly nearing a settlement with the Justice Department over other charges. Last October, the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission successfully proved in court that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost some $850 million from thousands of loans acquired through Countrywide’s “high-speed swim lane” program – known as HSSL or “Hustle.”

Pressure Mounting on FHFA to Lift GSE Principal Reduction Ban

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt so far is holding the line on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s blanket prohibition on principal reduction, but mounting pressure from progressives in and out of Congress have industry observers predicting a policy shift soon. Since taking office as the FHFA’s head in January, former Rep. Mel Watt, D-NC, has so far been a disappointment to his former Democrat colleagues and advocates who believed he would reverse the agency’s principal reduction stance set by former Acting Director Edward DeMarco.

FHLBank Earnings Decline in Second Quarter 2014

Combined net income for the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks dropped 7.4 percent to $514 million in the second quarter of 2014, down from $555 million in the first quarter and a steeper 18.4 percent decrease compared to same period last year, according to the Federal Home Loan Bank Office of Finance. The decrease resulted primarily from a decline in non-interest income and increases in non-interest expense, partially offset by increases in net interest income, according to the Office of Finance.

FHFA Extends GSE Guaranty Fee Input Deadline Until Sept. 8

Less than a week before its deadline, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced last week that it is extending the comment period for guaranty fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In June, the FHFA issued a call for public comment on how the GSEs should calculate g-fees and whether the Finance Agency should proceed with a 10 basis point g-fee hike announced last year. In one of his first acts as FHFA Director in January, Mel Watt ordered the g-fee hike postponed pending further study.

GSE MBS Business Activity Rises Month-to-Month in July

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued $57.9 billion in single-family mortgage-backed securities during the month of July, a 12 percent increase from June, continuing an off-and-on monthly rebound that started in April, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis.However, MBS issuance through the first seven months of 2014 was down 59.0 percent from the same period a year ago Top-ranked Wells Fargo’s Fannie and Freddie securitization, at $7.91 billion, rose by 8.5 percent on a monthly basis but dropped 71.6 percent year-to-date.

Experts: Buybacks Will Continue As GSE Regulators ‘Emboldened’

Mortgage buybacks and indemnifications may be off their peak in terms of volume, but they are widely expected to continue for the foreseeable future, especially for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, according to experts during a webinar sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications last week. Amanda Raines, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the BuckleySandler law firm, told webinar participants that more buybacks are definitely on the way. On the Fannie /Freddie front, the attorney pointed out that despite recent settlements, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General encouraged the continued pursuit of buyback claims and repurchase rights.

FHFA, Goldman Talking Deal After Judge Rules in Part For Agency

It could cost Goldman Sachs between $800 million and $1.25 billion to resolve government claims that it sold faulty mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading up to the financial crisis, according to recent reports. Goldman Sachs is currently negotiating with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has recovered approximately $16.1 billion in agreements with other banks with respect to legacy MBS sold to the GSEs.In September 2011, the FHFA filed 18 separate lawsuits against some of the nation’s biggest banks, accusing them of misrepresenting some $180 billion in toxic subprime MBS.

Enterprise Endnotes

Freddie Announces 9th Multifamily Securities Offering of 2014, K-F04. Freddie Mac announced this week a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates or K Certificates, backed exclusively by LIBOR-based, floating-rate multifamily mortgages with five- and seven-year terms. The GSE expects to offer approximately $1.2 billion in K Certificates, which priced on Aug. 6 and is expected to settle on or about August 25. This is Freddie’s ninth K Certificate offering this year. The GSE said it also reached an important milestone of securitizing more than $80 billion in multifamily mortgages through its K-Deal program.

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Home-equity lending is beginning to show new life. My company (pick one):

Plans to enter this market over the next 12 months.
Is already making home equity loans and hopes to increase the offerings.
Is in the market but don’t expect much growth.
Is not making second liens and has no plans to do so.

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