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Volume 10 - Number 50

November 30, 2012

Fitch: GSEs’ Outlook Linked to ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have reduced their dependency on U.S. government support, but there may be restructuring issues within the budget talks to resolve the looming “fiscal cliff,” according to Fitch Ratings. Fitch this week affirmed its “AAA” rating for both Fannie and Freddie even as its outlook for the two GSEs remains “negative.” However, the rating agency warned that its outlook for Fannie and Freddie depends upon the economy and the ability of political leaders to come to an accord on taxes and government spending before year’s end.

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Poll

What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

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