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Volume 10 - Number 52

January 4, 2013

U.S. Covered Bond Bill To Be Re-Introduced

Proponents of creating a covered bond market in the U.S., as well as a potential competitor for the Federal Home Loan Bank System, are hopeful that Canada’s recent establishment of a covered bond legal framework will lend legislative momentum to push such a bill through Congress this year. A spokesman for Rep. Scott Garrett, R-NJ, told Inside The GSEs this week that the chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises will re-file his bill, the U.S. Covered Bond Act, in the near future. “With the federal government backing over 90 percent of the mortgage market, we must seek creative ways to enable the private sector to provide additional mortgage, consumer, commercial, and other types of credit,” Garrett said in a statement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure we pass covered bond legislation in the 113th Congress.”

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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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