Federal Home Loan Banks

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Federal Home Loan Banks.

January 30, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Weighing Input On FHLBank Proposal

“Obviously we’ve touched a nerve,” Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said of the FHFA’s proposal to revise standards for membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System. At a hearing this week by the House Financial Services Committee, a number of Congressmen raised concerns about the proposed rule the FHFA issued in September. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-OK, was skeptical of the FHFA’s intentions, asking what problem the FHFA was trying to fix. “There are some potential problems that we are trying to fix, to make sure that the FHLBanks meet the statutory purposes that have been set,” Watt replied. “First of all, you don’t want anybody to be a member of the FHLBank system and get ...

January 23, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

REITs Pick Apart FHFA’s FHLBank Proposal

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s proposal to prohibit captive insurers from joining the Federal Home Loan Bank system included generalizations and inaccuracies, and it overstepped rulemaking boundaries, according to real estate investment trusts. The FHFA issued a proposed rule in September that would prohibit captive insurance companies from joining the FHLBank system. At least seven REITs have used captive insurers to gain access to ...

January 16, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHLBanks Oppose FHFA’s Proposal on Membership

The Federal Home Loan Banks have mounted strong opposition to a proposal from the Federal Housing Finance Agency that would revise standards for membership in the FHLBank system. “The proposed rule, if finalized, will fundamentally alter the FHLBanks’ relationship with their members and impair the FHLBank system’s ability to advance its congressionally-mandated mission of providing liquidity to support housing finance markets and the U.S. financial markets generally,” said John Bowman, a partner at the Venable law firm, in a comment letter submitted on behalf of the Council of FHLBanks. The FHFA issued the proposed rule in September and the comment deadline closed this week. More than 1,200 comments were submitted with community banks, real estate investment trusts, state regulators and ...

January 15, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

REITs Push Back Against Proposal to Exclude Captive Insurers from FHLBank Membership

The Federal Housing Finance Agency overstepped its authority when it proposed excluding captive insurers from obtaining membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, according to captive insurance companies. Real estate investment trusts – including Redwood Trust and Two Harbors Investment – have used captive insurance companies to gain access to FHLBank financing. “The proposed membership regulations would needlessly exclude an entire category of statutorily permitted members that can further the FHLBank System’s mission as the mortgage finance market continually evolves,” Redwood Trust said in a comment letter to the FHFA. The FHFA issued...

December 30, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Bankers Seek Recall of FHLB Membership Proposal

The American Bankers Association is urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency to withdraw its proposed amendments to membership eligibility in the Federal Home Loan Bank System, saying the proposal would make the liquidity provided by the 12 FHLBs subject to uncertainty and add regulatory burden to member institutions. The ABA, in a Dec. 19 comment letter, took particular exception to the measures requiring a member’s mortgage holdings be reviewed annually instead of ...

December 30, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Seattle and Des Moines FHLBanks Merger Cleared by Regulator

The Federal Housing Finance Agency in December cleared the merger of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle and the FHLB Des Moines, which will create the largest FHLB by membership, serving 1,500 institutions in 13 states. The first voluntary merger in the FHLB System’s 82-year history has been approved by the boards of both FHLBs and must now be voted on by members of the two institutions, which will occur in January and February. “This is a critical milestone in the ...

December 19, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Bankruptcy Court Refuses to Raise Lehman’s Legacy Reserves, Hearing on JPM’s $4.5B Settlement Begins

A federal bankruptcy judge last week ruled against increasing Lehman Brothers’ reserves for residential MBS claims. The ruling by Judge Shelley Chapman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York was a setback for investors and trustees who asked the court in August to increase Lehman’s current reserves of $5 billion to $12.1 billion in a bid to force the defunct investment bank to repurchase legacy MBS., according to a Barclay’s Research report. The lawsuit against Lehman alleges...


The FHA is cutting its annual premium by 50 basis points. How much of a difference will this cut make in your FHA business?

Not much at all—maybe 10 percent at best.
Modestly. We expect a 10 percent to 25 percent gain in applications.
This is a real game changer, 25 percent or better.
Hard to say. This cut may just steal business away from the new Fannie/Freddie 97 LTV effort.

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