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Volume 16 - Number 8

April 15, 2016

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Fannie Captured Some Market Share in Slumping 1Q of 2016

Fannie Mae did a slightly better job than Freddie Mac in fending off the seasonal slump in new single-family mortgage business during the first quarter of 2016, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside The GSEs. A stiff 11.6 percent decline in purchase-mortgage business was the major reason why total GSE production of single-family mortgage-backed securities fell 3.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015. Fannie and Freddie securitized $90.18 billion of refinance loans during the first three months of the year, a 1.8 percent uptick. Freddie’s total business was down 4.6 percent from the fourth quarter, while Fannie’s was off 2.5 percent. It was Fannie that boosted its refi production, by 3...

FHFA Forges Ahead with Reducing Principal on Some Loans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency decided to roll out a principal reduction plan for certain Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans as its last post-crisis effort to help struggling borrowers. It estimates that 33,000 homeowners could benefit from the program that will expire at yearend. The plan was given the go-ahead this week by FHFA Director Mel Watt, after a multi-year analysis by the agency. The FHFA said the program will provide seriously delinquent borrowers a final opportunity to address negative equity, avoid foreclosure and help stabilize neighborhoods that have not recovered from the foreclosure crisis. According to a press statement on the effort, only a select group of troubled borrowers will be...

Judge Releases Protected Documents in GSE Court Case

This week, a judge removed the protective order on seven documents related to the U.S. Treasury’s sweep of GSE profits, revealing what shareholders and industry groups have been arguing for years: that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in a position to post profits on a sustained basis. In a whirlwind of court activity over the past month involving GSE shareholders, Court of Federal Claims Judge Margaret Sweeney decided on April 12 to release certain documents that appellants in Fairholme Funds, Inc. et. al. v. United States and Perry Capital v. Lew, moved to be made public. This is ahead of the D.C. Circuit schedule oral argument for the Perry case on April 15 and it intensified talks of government corruption and false claims of protecting taxpayers via the sweep.

GAO Suggests Greater FHFA Oversight of Nonbanks

A recent study by the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office recommended that Congress consider granting the Federal Housing Finance Agency more authority to examine third parties, such as nonbanks, that do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Although nonbank servicers are subject to oversight by federal and state regulators and monitoring by Fannie and Freddie, the GAO wants to see greater regulation. It said in light of recent nonbank growth, the FHFA’s indirect oversight of third parties that do business with the GSEs is not enough.“FHFA lacks statutory authority to examine these third parties to identify and address deficiencies that could affect the enterprises.

Housing Reform Morphs into New Initiatives, Lawmakers Weigh In

Lawmakers speaking at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s advocacy conference this week touted the accomplishments of past housing finance reform efforts but agreed more needs to be done to keep the conversation going and come up with a concrete solution. Sen. John Tester, D-MT, said while progress was made with the “Jumpstart GSE Reform Act” introduced by Sens. Bob Corker, R-TN, and Mark Warner, D-VA, reform seems to have dropped off the radar in this election year. “There’s a huge amount of uncertainty across the country,” he said. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is taking many of the steps that were laid out in the Corker/Warner bill, according to Corker, who...

TRID Violations May Impact GSE Credit-Risk Transfers

With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac only checking that the new TRID forms are being used on its loans, a lack of due diligence for completely complying with TRID rules exposes the GSEs’ credit-risk transfers to some incremental losses, according to Moody’s Investors Service. This is especially true for CRTs with an “actual loss” structure, said Moody’s. The rating service added that it will be a credit negative for the transactions since there’s no transparency in how many loans in future GSE-sponsored CRT transactions will contain material TRID violations. In October, the GSEs issued guidance noting that they expect seller/servicers to make good faith efforts to comply with the TRID rule.

Freddie Launches Platform for Housing Counseling Made Easy

Freddie Mac wants to help more borrowers sustain homeownership through counseling. Last week, the GSE invested in a modernized platform to streamline the process and partnered with Hope Loan Port, a nonprofit aimed at sustaining homeownership through its technology solutions. The new platform, available now, will automate several key processes, including collecting, analyzing and reporting client data, assessing client readiness to buy a home, and referring clients who are ready for successful homeownership to lenders, seamlessly. A dedicated software-as-a-service (SaaS) based platform highlights the modernization initiative and will provide the participating Borrower Help Centers with the tools to work with consumers, connect with lenders and share sensitive data securely.

GSE Shareholders Fight FHFA's Motion to Consolidate Cases

The battle over where to hold court continues with GSE shareholders challenging the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s request to transfer and consolidate the cases. Since the FHFA’s March filing to transfer lawsuits initiated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders to a new court, a number of plaintiffs have filed motions opposing the transfer, arguing that the cases are substantially different from one another. But now, in response to that challenge, lawyers for the FHFA filed a court document on April 13 that said the cases all involve plaintiffs with the same interests asserting the same claims arising out of the same transactions against the same defendants.

FHFA OIG Examiners Report Shows Requirements Not Met

Examiners did not meet the requirements for making sure that one of the GSEs corrects serious deficiencies, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General. In a recent report, the OIG said that there were certain instances where FHFA’s guidance “fell short.” The report noted that when the OIG reviewed whether examiners followed FHFA policy regarding an issue opened by a GSE in 2013, 30 months later the Matter Requiring Attention (MRA) remained unresolved. Among the shortcomings identified were the examiner’s acceptance of the GSE’s proposed remediation plan despite the fact it failed to address all of the issues in the division of enterprise regulation and not preparing an internal procedures plan to...

Federal Home Loan Bank MBS Investments Increase Year-over-Year

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities remained the preferred investment choice of the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks during the fourth quarter of 2015 and for the year, according to a new ranking by Inside The GSEs based on data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. There was a slight 0.9 percent quarterly decline, but a generous 34.7 percent increase from a year earlier. GSE MBS accounted for 77.9 percent of combined MBS portfolios. The FHFA data does not separately break out Fannie and Freddie volume or share. Meanwhile, Ginnie Mae investments accounted for 11.7 percent and non-agency investments were 10.4 percent.

GSE Roundup

FHFA’s Revised NPL Sale Guidelines: This week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency enhanced its nonperforming loan sale guidelines with three key changes. NPL buyers must evaluate borrowers whose mark-to-market loan-to-value ratio is above 115 percent for modifications that include principal reduction and/or arrearage for forgiveness. NPL buyers cannot “walk away” from vacant properties. …

Poll

Does your lending shop have any plans to make non-jumbo, non-QM loans this year? These would be loans similar to "Alt A" and subprime products made BEFORE standards were loosened severely in the 2004 to 2007 era.

Yes.

33%

No.

33%

It’s under consideration, maybe by 3Q or 4Q.

26%

We were going to until the TRID "error" mess hit.

7%

Housing Pulse