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Volume 10 - Number 52

January 4, 2013

FHFA Conservator/Regulator Line Blurring?

Mortgage market observers say they are seeing a gradually building struggle by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to maintain its precarious balance between the FHFA’s congressionally-mandated roles as conservator to the GSEs and – indirectly – regulator of 65 percent of the mortgage market. Industry interests, meanwhile, continue to call for greater “transparency” surrounding Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-related decision making. Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the FHFA was created to succeed the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight as regulator to Fannie and Freddie as well as the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks.

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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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