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Volume 2014 - Number 45

November 26, 2014

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FHFA: Extensive ‘Testing’ Underway at GSE Common Securitization Platform, An ‘Important Priority’ in 2015

The development of a common securitization platform for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the progression of a single government-sponsored enterprise security remains an “important priority” for the Federal Housing Finance Agency over the next year, according to the FHFA. The GSE conservator noted in its “2014 Performance and Accountability Report” and the FHFA’s revised “Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2015-2019,” both issued last week, that the project is proceeding with deliberate speed. “Most of the software needed for the platform’s core functionality has been put...

Bank Holdings of Non-Mortgage ABS Spike Higher In 3Q14 as TD Bank Makes Big Buy in Card ABS

Bank and thrift holdings of non-mortgage ABS hit a record $184.16 billion at the end of September, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS ranking and analysis. That represented a significant 7.6 percent increase in bank ABS investment in just one quarter. But the sharp increase in industry holdings was fueled by a massive acquisition of credit card ABS by TD Bank, the U.S. operation of the Canadian-based Toronto-Dominion Bank. TD Bank reported...[Includes one data chart]

Auto Loan ABS Issuers Will Likely be Subject to New Risk-Retention Requirements, Moody’s Says

The odds are stacked against auto loan ABS issuers being able to significantly lower the amount of credit risk they have to retain in securitizations under the recently adopted risk-retention rule. That’s mostly because of the strict underwriting criteria for underlying loans to qualify for the exemption from the requirement, according to a new ABS research report from Moody’s Investors Service. “Under the final risk-retention rule of the Dodd-Frank Act, auto loan ABS issuers can reduce the financial interest they must retain in their transactions through a qualifying automobile loan (QAL) exemption,” explained report authors Jeffrey Hibbs, assistant vice president, and Henry Chen, an associate analyst. Issuers can put...[Includes one data chart]

Penalty Relief Clears Way for BofA to Complete $16.7 Billion Settlement; U.S. Bank Wins Some, Loses Some

Two large banks got a break recently as the Securities and Exchange Commission agreed to grant penalty relief to one bank while a New York federal judge dismissed certain claims against the second bank because they were overly speculative. In the first case, the SEC cleared the way for Bank of America to close a $16.7 billion global settlement after SEC commissioners voted to waive additional sanctions that would have taken effect when the settlement is entered into court, according to a report by Bloomberg. The commission agreed...

A Handful of Critical Impediments Block Return To Healthy U.S. RMBS Market, Sector Experts Say

The most significant blockages to the return of a healthy and sustainable non-agency residential MBS market in the United States are low volume issuance, regulation, weak AAA demand and missing structural reforms, according to top market professionals. “What’s holding back the recovery?” asked Rui Pereira, managing director at Fitch Ratings, during a panel discussion at a residential MBS reform symposium sponsored by the Structured Finance Industry Group and Information Management Network in New York City earlier this month. “Other sectors have rebounded and we’re starting to see new asset classes emerge. And yet, we’re seeing very little momentum in our market. So the question is, what’s stalling the RMBS recovery?” In the run-up to the discussion, Pereira polled...

MBA: Regulatory Hurdles, No Single Dominant MBS Purchaser Mark Uncertain Secondary Market Future

In the wake of the Federal Reserve’s announced end to its multi-part quantitative easing program, look for private investors to face a number of challenges when it comes to increasing their share of the MBS market, concluded a white paper by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA paper, issued late last week, noted there is no single player waiting in the wings able to pick up the slack when the Fed relinquishes its role as the dominant purchaser of agency MBS. “Many of the potential private investors face...

Court Victories for Homeowner Associations May Heighten Risk in Non-Agency MBS, Provide More Legal Clarity

Recent court rulings in Washington, DC, and Nevada allowed foreclosures brought by homeowner associations over unpaid dues to extinguish mortgage liens, increasing the risk of loss for investors in non-agency MBS and single-family rental securitizations, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Although both jurisdictions are relatively small in the grand scheme of things, other courts could adopt the same interpretations, the rating service said. Nevada has already seen some 1,000 similar cases, and more homeowner and condo associations are like to bring similar lawsuits. In Nevada, the court decided...

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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