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Volume 2014 - Number 40

October 24, 2014

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Final Rule Setting Risk-Retention Requirements For Non-Agency MBS Features Broad Exemptions

Six federal regulators approved a final rule this week setting risk-retention requirements for residential MBS transactions, exempting the entire agency MBS universe and non-agency securities backed by qualified mortgages. There is not that much left. The risk-retention requirements for residential mortgages will take effect one year after the final rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. Regulators opted to align the definition for qualified-residential mortgages with the standards established by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for QMs. The sponsor of a non-agency MBS that includes non-QRMs will have to retain at least 5.0 percent of the balance of the security, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. In 2011, federal regulators proposed...

Ginnie Updates Issuer Eligibility; Fannie and Freddie Continue With Do-It-Yourself Reform

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae have been around for decades and they dominate the residential MBS market, but the agencies are not standing still. Pushed by their federal conservator, Fannie and Freddie are rebuilding their securitization infrastructure and trying to reinvent how they do business with mortgage sellers. At the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association this week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced an agreement in principle on changes to the representations-and-warranties framework used by the government-sponsored enterprises. Ginnie officials disclosed new issuer eligibility standards and performance evaluations. “GSE reform does not mean...

SEC Provides Some Details on Its Reg AB II Pilot Project, But Do You Really Want to Participate?

The Securities and Exchange Commission has provided more details about a pilot project to test the revised requirements for shelf registrations that are part of Regulation AB II. ABS issuers must comply with the new rules and forms, other than asset-level disclosures, no later than Nov. 23, 2015. The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance recently invited ABS issuers to request staff review of their registration statements in draft form, prior to filing. “We will select...

Final Risk-Retention Rule a Mixed Bag for Securities Outside of Those Backed by Residential Mortgages

Issuers of securities backed by assets other than residential mortgages were able to win some concessions from federal regulators in the final risk-retention rule that was approved this week. However, the standards for “qualified” loans that are exempt from risk-retention requirements are much more stringent than those for qualified-residential mortgages, even including downpayment requirements in some instances. The risk-retention requirements for non-mortgage ABS and commercial MBS take effect two years after the final rule is published in the Federal Register. Securities that include loans that don’t qualify for exemptions will be required to have risk-retention of at least 5.0 percent, though there are instances when the required retention can be lower. The final standards qualifying commercial loans, commercial real-estate loans and auto loans were...

FHFA-IG: Fed Tapering of Fannie, Freddie MBS Means ‘Significant’ Reductions in G-Fee Revenue

The Federal Reserve’s decision late last year to taper its agency MBS purchases appears to have contributed to higher mortgage rates, which in turn has helped lead to “significant reductions” in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranty fee revenue on MBS issued so far this year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General. The evaluation report issued by the IG late this week concluded that continued tapering by the Fed and the eventual reduction of its massive MBS portfolio could have an “adverse impact” upon the financial performance of the two government-sponsored enterprises. “Although the Federal Reserve’s [quantitative easing] programs benefitted the enterprises’ financial condition in 2012 and 2013, its decision, among other factors, in late 2013 to taper its MBS purchases contributed...

Credit Unions MBS Holdings Decline; Will They Ever be Players in Jumbo Securities?

Although credit unions have boosted their share of new mortgage production in recent years, they continue to be only modest investors in residential MBS, a situation that isn’t likely to change anytime soon. According to figures compiled by Inside MBS & ABS, the credit union industry held $105.27 billion in residential MBS on its books at June 30, a 2.4 percent sequential decline. Compared to the same period a year earlier, their investment in mortgage securities fell by even more: down 4.8 percent. And that may not be such a bad thing. MBS prices were...[Includes one data chart]

Court Dismisses $210 Million MBS Suit Against Merrill Lynch, Plaintiffs’ Counsel Admonished

A New York trial court judge has dismissed an investor lawsuit alleging fraud by Merrill Lynch in the sale of residential MBS because the plaintiffs failed to meet the state’s pleading standard for fraud claims. Justice Charles Ramos of the New York Supreme Court dismissed an amended complaint brought by Phoenix Light SF Ltd. and other investors against Merrill Lynch and several big banks. The complaint combined...

MBS & ABS Issuance at a Glance

One page of issuance data.

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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