Federal Home Loan Banks

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

June 26, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Handbook FAQs Hold No Surprises, But More Guidance Expected

The frequently-asked-questions guidance to using the FHA’s consolidated Single Family Policy Handbook is good to have though it shows just how complicated the FHA’s mortgage origination process is, according to lenders. In fact, the updated FHA handbook could still be confusing to borrowers simply because a lot more information is concentrated in one source, lenders said. According to the FHA, the more than 290 FAQs will enable lenders to make operation adjustments before the handbook goes into effect on Sept. 14, 2015. The FAQs are for information purposes only and do not apply to current FHA policies. They do not establish or modify policy contained in the handbook. The FAQs reiterate information in the handbook under headings such as Credit Underwriting, Closing and Insuring, FHA System Support and Consumer Information. Industry observers noted that the FAQs did not ...

June 19, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHLB Member Advances Increase for Third Consecutive Year

The Federal Home Loan Banks increased their advances to members for the third consecutive year and substantially grew them by $72.1 billion in 2014 to $570.7 billion. In fact, at the end of the year, advances reached their highest quarter-end level since the first quarter of 2010 and the increase was the largest since 2007, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s annual report to Congress released this week. Ten of the 12 FHLBanks reported increased advances last year. The report noted in recent years, some members may have increased their use of advances to meet higher liquidity requirements. Despite this growth, the demand is below levels witnessed during the height of the financial crisis.

June 12, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Higher Loan Limit for FHLBank Jumbo Product

Redwood Trust can now acquire jumbo mortgages of up to $1.5 million from members of the Federal Home Loan Banks under the Mortgage Partnership Finance Direct program. That’s more than double the previous limit – $729,750 – and will significantly expand the pool of potential mortgages that Redwood will acquire. Previously, MPF Direct targeted the narrow range of loans with balances between $625,500, which is the current high-cost conforming loan limit, and ...

June 5, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

GAO Report Shows More CDFI Membership Needed in the FHLBs

Community development financial institutions are feeling left out in the cold when it comes to joining the Federal Home Loan Bank system due to stricter collateral requirements. These nondepository CDFIs, which provide credit and financial services to underserved communities, represented less than six percent of FHLB members as of the end of the year, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. This translates to 30 members out of the 522 CDFIs nationwide.Treasury-certified non depository CDFIs were permitted to become members in 2008, allowing CDFIs to use their current loan portfolio to raise cash and originate new loans. The GAO performed an analysis of CDFI membership rates after being asked to review the FHLBanks’ implementation of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act provisions.

June 5, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

Redwood Loan Limits Raised for FHLB Jumbo Loan Program

After a pilot jumbo mortgage loan program between the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and Redwood Trust kicked off this quarter and expanded into a full roll-out beginning June 1, it was announced this week that the loan limit will just about double. The new single-family loan limit for the Mortgage Partnership Finance Direct program will increase from the current $729,750 to $1.5 million in the third quarter. The MPF Direct loan limit was raised primarily to help members that operate in urban or other areas where home prices are higher than the national average, said John Stocchetti, an executive vice president at the FHLB Chicago and group head of the MPF program.

June 5, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

First FHLB Merger in 80 Year History Complete

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines and Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle completed their merger June 1, the first time in 80 years that two regional banks have combined forces. The combined banks will operate under the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines name and as a result of the voluntary merger, it will become the largest bank in the FHLB system geographically and membership wise, serving close to 1,500 institutions in 13 states and three U.S. Pacific territories. While the FHLB Des Moines had 1,156 members and $95.5 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2014, the FHLB Seattle had 316 members and had $35.1 billion in assets as of the end of 2014.

June 5, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Redwood’s Agreement with Federal Home Loan Banks Gets Higher Loan Limit, Prospects for Volume Unclear

The loan limit more than doubled for the Mortgage Partnership Finance program through which members of certain Federal Home Loan Banks can deliver jumbos to Redwood Trust. Officials at both the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and Redwood are optimistic about the MPF Direct product, though it’s unclear how much volume the new offering will generate. Beginning in the third quarter, the loan limit for MPF Direct will increase from $729,750 to $1.5 million. Previously, the MPF Direct product targeted loans with balances between $625,500, which is the current conforming loan limit for certain high-cost areas, and $729,750, which was the high-cost loan limit during a time when the FHLBank of Chicago was working to launch MPF Direct. Outside of MPF Direct, Redwood purchases...

May 29, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Pilot MPF Direct Program Between FHLB of Chicago and Redwood Expands to Four Banks Total, More Expected

A pilot jumbo loan program between the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and Redwood Trust has grown to include three more FHLBanks, with the potential to expand to more. Mortgage Partnership Finance Direct is specifically a high-balance loan product that connects the Mortgage Partnership Finance conduit program with Redwood Trust to offer access to private capital when selling fixed-rate mortgages in the secondary market. Eric Schambow, senior vice president and director of the Chicago FHLBank’s MPF Program, said...

May 29, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Chicago FHLB Hopes to Issue Its First Ginnie MBS by the Third Quarter, But Will It Matter?

The Chicago Federal Home Loan Bank hopes to issue its very first Ginnie Mae MBS by the third quarter, and if all goes well certain other FHLBanks may become issuers as well. In a recent speech, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt noted the interest in the program, saying the agency has “approved the requests of several other FHLBanks to participate.” Watt did not identify...

May 22, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHLB Proposed Membership Rule Still Faces Uncertainty

The Federal Housing Finance Agency continues to mull over the decision on whether to ban captive insurance firms owned by real estate investment trusts from the system. The agency received 1,300 comment letters on the controversial proposal and Mel Watt, FHFA’s director, was vague last week on when a final decision would be made. “FHFA is continuing to evaluate the comments we received and we will come to a resolution as quickly as we can prudently do so,” he said during the Federal Home Loan Banks Directors Conference in Washington. Last year, Watt raised safety and soundness concerns about captive insurers borrowing and joining the FHLB system. Some regulators are concerned that REITs and other financial...

May 22, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHLB Combined Net Income Rose Due to Higher Litigation Gains

The Federal Home Loan Bank system earned $1.015 billion in the first quarter of 2015, according to figures compiled by the system’s Office of Finance, an 82.6 percent increase when compared to the same quarter in 2014. The sharp increase was primarily the result of higher gains on litigation settlements, according to the Office of Finance. Litigation settlements accounted for $480 million in gains for the three months ending on March 31. The OF said the bulk of it was “driven by the FHLBank of San Francisco’s $450 million settlement of certain claims arising from investments in private-label mortgage-backed securities.” Total FHLBank assets for the first three months of the year were down at $879.9 billion, a 3.7 percent decrease from...

May 22, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Nomura Considers Appeal of $805 Million Judgment, FHLBank Dismisses MBS Claims Against Some Banks

Nomura Holdings Inc. is mulling an appeal following last week’s court order that it, along with RBS Securities, pay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a total of $805.1 million to resolve claims arising from the pre-crisis sale of non-agency MBS to the government-sponsored enterprises. Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rendered the judgment May 11 after a three-week bench trial in which she found Nomura and RBS liable for the claims brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The MBS were backed by mortgages with an unpaid principal balance of about $2.05 billion at the time of purchase. Nomura and RBS, which underwrote four of the seven MBS deals at issue, provided...

May 22, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Market Faces Liquidity, Demand Issues When the Fed Finally Decides on Exit Strategy

The mortgage market faces a big challenge when the Federal Reserve figures out how to unload its massive $1.7 trillion portfolio of agency MBS, but anticipated widening of spreads could at least improve market liquidity. The fixed-income market has seen a sharp decline in trading volume resulting in part from regulatory issues, said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, during the group’s annual secondary market conference in New York this week. “Banks have been hoarding liquidity instead of providing it to the market,” he said. Average daily trading volume of MBS has dropped...

May 21, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Dems’ Alternate Reg Relief Bill Would Confer QM Status on Portfolio Loans Only for Small Lenders

The noise over regulatory relief legislation is getting louder. Over the past week, Republicans in the Senate issued a clarification of sorts about their draft legislation, Democrats came up with a narrower alternative and the industry weighed in as the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee prepared for a markup scheduled for late this week. A noteworthy provision in the Democrats’ proposal would extend qualified-mortgage status for loans originated and held in portfolio – but only if the depository institution has less than $10 billion in assets. The GOP bill would extend this safe harbor to all banks, thrifts and credit unions. The Democratic proposal would bar...

May 21, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Analysts See Stronger Market in 2015, But Little Change In Fundamental Problems Facing the Mortgage Industry

Housing is showing some traction, but heavy regulation and enforcement continue to weigh on the mortgage market, according to analysts at this week’s secondary-market conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association in New York. Charles Gabriel, president of Capital Alpha Advisors, said there are some green shoots in the mortgage market, including signs of more home sales. But he characterized it as “a mature market that is suboptimized.” Lenders have paid massive penalties in lawsuits, he added, and there is no sign that they will expand the credit box. “U.S. Bank was asked...


A lot has been written about the ‘Millennial Generation’ being key to the future of the housing/mortgage market, but how much of your mortgage workforce includes Millennials – those born roughly between the years 1980 to 1999?

Less than 10 percent
11 to 30 percent
Greater than 30 percent
It’s so small we can’t even measure it.
We’re tired of reading about how important Millennials are…

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