FHFA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

May 27, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Ditech and HLP Principal-Reduction Outreach. Ditech Financial and Hope Loan Port collaborated to find distressed homeowners eligible for the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s new principal- reduction modification program. The two parties said HLP’s platform “is designed to integrate HUD-approved non-profit housing counselors seamlessly and securely with Ditech’s mortgage servicing operations, enabling counselors to more easily help homeowners who may qualify for the program.” Freddie’s Third NPL Transaction of 2016. This week Freddie Mac announced a $783 million non-performing loan transaction featuring seven pools, including two extended timeline pools targeting smaller investors. The NPLs are currently serviced by Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC. FHFA Request for Comment. The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a request for comment this week for a host of technical...


May 27, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Hosts Final HARP Webinar Urging Borrowers to Beat the Clock

Following a yearlong spree of nationwide outreach events and social media campaigns, the Federal Housing Finance Agency hosted its final webinar this week to encourage participation in the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP is set to expire on Dec. 31, but the agency is making a final push to reach out to some 325,290 borrowers it says are still eligible for refinance. While participation continues to dwindle since the program was introduced in 2009, FHFA said homeowners can still save $2,400 a year with a HARP refinance before time runs out. The agency shot down a couple of program myths and emphasized that being significantly underwater doesn’t disqualify borrowers from HARP and said...


May 27, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA-OIG Racks Up Funds from Criminal, Civil Investigations

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General reported that the compensation resulting from six months of probes into criminal and civil investigations amounted to $3.6 billion. The bulk of the monetary damages awarded, more than $3 billion, was in civil settlements, while more than $480 million was from criminal fines, restitutions, forfeitures, and settlements. There were a total of 53 indictments, five trials, 73 convictions and 75 sentencings. Laura Wertheimer, inspector general at the FHFA, said when there’s not sufficient evident to refer a case for criminal charges, the FHFA will work to bring civil claims. One of those recent civil settlements was with Morgan Stanley, which agreed to pay a $2.7 billion penalty to resolve claims related to its mortgage-backed securities.


May 27, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Single-Security, CSP on Target for Multi-Year Launch

The Single Security is on target for implementation in Freddie Mac’s platform in 2017 and is set to reach the second stage in 2018, according to officials speaking at the Mortgage Bankers Association secondary market conference last week. David Applegate, CEO of Common Securitization Solutions, the joint venture owned by the GSEs that is building the Common Securitization Platform, said in 2018 Fannie Mae will switch its to-be-announced business to the CSP and begin issuing Single Securities that will be fully interchangeable with Freddie Single Securities. The GSE plans to use the CSP for all of its new mortgage-backed securities issues, including non-to-be-announced products such as securities backed by adjustable-rate mortgages, said Renee Schultz, senior vice president of capital markets at Fannie.


May 27, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Didn't Provide Proof of Fraud, BofA's $1.2B Penalty Dismissed

Bank of America escaped having to pay $1.2 billion in penalties when a federal appeals court dismissed the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s allegations of fraud this week. The appeal stemmed from a 2013 verdict stating that Countrywide Home Loans, a subsidiary of BofA, was liable for damages caused by selling bad loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the financial crisis. Whether or not a breach of contract can also support a claim for fraud was the argument and primary factor in the judge’s decision. It seems that even if a loan seller is guilty of an intentional breach of contract, it’s not considered fraud.


May 26, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With Servicing Costs Steadily Rising, Is it Time to Think The Unthinkable: A Hike in GSE Servicing Compensation?

Although mortgage delinquency rates are once again at pre-crash levels, servicing costs continue to rise, leading some factions of the industry to ask whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should increase the standard 25 basis point fee they pay to their servicers. The issue of higher servicing compensation was raised by an individual lender during the audience Q&A at a panel featuring the top single-family executives of the two government-sponsored enterprises at last week’s secondary market conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Both noted that servicing has changed significantly since the housing crisis, and that the Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed them to review servicing compensation. Subsequent interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Finance revealed...


May 20, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

HARP Participation Numbers Continue to Dwindle, FHFA Plans Push as Program Heads for Moth Balls

Activity in the Home Affordable Refinance Program continued to dwindle in the first quarter of 2016 as the post-housing crisis initiative winds down before expiring at the end of the year. HARP refinances fell to just 19,989 in the first quarter, down 5.2 percent from the previous period and off 36.8 percent from a year ago, according to a new Federal Housing Finance Agency report. While both government-sponsored enterprises saw a decline in volume, Freddie Mac volume was...[Includes one data table]


May 20, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Single Security, CSP Still on Target for 2-Stage Launch, $270 Million Sunk Into Project so Far

Freddie Mac and Common Securitization Solutions remain on track for the first stage of the ambitious Single Security to be implemented next year, according to officials speaking at this week’s secondary market conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association. David Applegate, CEO of CSS – the joint venture owned by the two government-sponsored enterprises that is building the common securitization platform – also said the project is on target to reach the second stage sometime in 2018. That’s when Fannie Mae will switch its to-be-announced business to the CSP and begin issuing Single Securities that will be fully interchangeable with Freddie Single Securities. Renee Schultz, senior vice president of capital markets at Fannie, said...


May 13, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Some Say FHFA Principal Reduction Program Comes too Late

Less than 1 percent of borrowers will be able to take advantage of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s new principal reduction program, according to recent estimates from RealtyTrac data, which reinforces the concerns of some who believe the progress is too little, too late. The California-based firm that specializes in data on foreclosed and underwater properties said that out of the 6.7 million seriously delinquent underwater properties in the US at the end of the first quarter of 2016, about 0.50 percent, or 33,622, would potentially qualify for the principal reduction program. When the program was announced in April, the FHFA ackowledged that only a select group of troubled borrowers will be eligible.


May 13, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Raises Caps for Multifamily Lending Amid Strong Fundamentals

The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently raised the caps of multifamily purchases by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by $4 billion. The cap was increased from $31 billion to $35 billion. With the GSEs already having a huge market share in multifamily finance, 78.3 percent according to recent figures by affiliated publication Inside MBS & ABS, the FHFA said an increase in the caps is warranted due to the larger-than-expected market this year. Recent projections by the mortgage giants show that they are issuing multifamily mortgage-backed securities in 2016 at a rate that may exceed $100 billion by the end of the year.


May 13, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Q1 Shows Loss and Net Income Drop, Renews Capital Concerns

Freddie Mac posted a net loss and Fannie’s profits sagged in the first quarter of the year, prompting some industry groups to renew their calls for the GSEs to rebuild capital. A surprise interest rate decline in the first quarter of 2016 resulted in sharply lower net income at Fannie and Freddie. The GSEs booked a combined $7.37 billion in net derivative losses for the first quarter that compromised most of their income from their core businesses. Since 2012, when the two GSEs became profitable again, they have booked $23.46 billion in hedging losses. Both GSE CEOs pointed to volatility in the market as having affected earnings this quarter.


May 13, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

NY Court Sides with Morgan Stanley in FHFA Lawsuit, BofA Agrees to Another Countrywide Settlement

A New York state court dismissed two mortgage repurchase actions filed by the government against Morgan Stanley, while Bank of America agreed to another settlement related to non-agency MBS issued by Countrywide Financial. Last month, Justice Marcy Friedman of the New York Supreme Court dismissed two residential MBS lawsuits filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency against Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I Inc. and Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital ...


May 12, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Is ‘Zero Capital’ for the GSEs Really a Non-Issue? Hey, There’s A Bunch of ‘DTAs’ Left at the Two…

In almost 19 months, the capital cushions at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will fall to zero, which means if either government-sponsored enterprise (or both) suffers a net loss in a quarter, Uncle Sam will need to step in and supply cash to get the afflicted party back to zero. Depending on whom you talk to in the mortgage industry, a capital draw from Treasury could set off irrational behavior on the part of Congress or it’s much ado about nothing. …


May 6, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

GSEs Prune Retained Investment Portfolios To Meet FHFA’s Conservatorship Cap

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac trimmed their retained mortgage investment portfolios in the first quarter of 2016 by a combined 2.8 percent. The Federal Housing Finance Agency directed the government-sponsored enterprises to wind down their portfolios by 15 percent each year until they reach $250 billion by 2018. At the end of the first quarter, Fannie’s mortgage-related investment portfolio dropped to $332.6 billion, a 3.6 percent decline from December 2015. The biggest drop was in the GSE’s non-agency MBS holdings, which fell 21.3 percent in the first quarter to just $13.3 billion, roughly one tenth the amount held back in the heyday of the subprime and Alt A MBS markets. Fannie plans...[Includes one data table]


May 6, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Developments, Delays, Oral Arguments in Fannie, Freddie Shareholder Lawsuits

Private shareholder lawsuits against the U.S. Treasury’s net worth sweep of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits are inching forward, including a squabble over the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s bid to consolidate several cases in one court. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said the proposed transfer would prevent future “copycat” cases and ensure a more consistent ruling across the board by having all of the cases heard in one court instead of scattered in different jurisdictions throughout the country. Private plaintiffs, including Tim Pagliara, director of shareholder group Investors Unite, filed...


April 29, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Freddie Sets Date for First Quarter Results. Freddie Mac announced that it plans to report its first quarter 2016 financial results before the U.S. financial markets open on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Fannie Completes 10th CIRT Transaction to Date. Fannie Mae completed its latest Credit Insurance Risk Transfer transaction last week and it’s 10th deal since the program’s inception in 2013. This deal, CIRT 2016-3, shifts a portion of the credit risk on a pool of single-family loans with an unpaid principal balance of approximately $5.7 billion to a single insurer. The covered loan pool consists of 30-year fixed- rate loans with...


April 29, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Issues New Guidelines for Banks Changing Risk Models

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued guidance stating that a Federal Home Loan Bank can make changes to a previously approved internal market risk model only after properly notifying FHFA. Each of the model change notifications should include the signatures of a bank officer and be sent to the manager, risk model branch, FHFA division of regulation. Depending on the conditions, whether or not the model plans to supplement or replace another model, the FHFA can be notified in one of two ways. When implementing a significant model change without replacing an existing market risk model, the bank must meet four conditions.


April 29, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Seeks Comment for Incentive Based Compensation

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, along with five other agencies, is seeking comment on a proposed rule focused on compensating employees via incentives. It would prohibit incentive-based payment arrangements that the agencies determine encourage inappropriate risks by providing excessive compensation or compensation that could lead to material financial loss. It requires those financial institutions to disclose any information concerning incentive-based pay to the appropriate financial regulator. If finalized, FHFA’s proposed rule would apply to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. It will also replace a proposed rule published by the joint agencies in April 2011.


April 29, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Latest GSE Reform Ideas Include Return to Originate-and-Hold Model

Returning to the “originate-and-hold model” or replacing the GSEs with a financial market utility are a couple of the ideas being floated around in two recent essays published on the Housing Finance Policy Center’s new Housing Finance Reform Incubator. Patricia Moser, director of a new initiative on central banking and financial policy at Columbia University, said that the proposed utility would be a regulated private firm mutually owned by lenders, focused exclusively on securitization of standardized residential mortgages. “The utility pools mortgages into pass-through securities and provides a credit guarantee,” she said, adding that it would allow mortgage credit markets to function or restart even in times of market,,,


April 29, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Shelby Questions FHFA's Conservatorship Oversight

As the GSEs’ capital cushion continues to dwindle, Senate Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby, R-AL, voiced concerns about oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the GSEs’ regulator. Shelby fired off letters on the same day to both the Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office asking them to consider a number of questions pertaining to the FHFA and the structure of the future of the housing finance market. In the letters, addressed to the GAO’s Comptroller Gene Dodaro and Keith Hall, CBO’s director, Shelby said FHFA’s goals have changed from contracting the GSEs’ presence in the marketplace to reducing taxpayer risk through the increased role of private capital in the mortgage market.


April 29, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie to Launch MBS Backed by Re-performing Mortgages, Enhances Loan-Level Disclosures

Fannie Mae revealed plans this week to securitize re-performing loans held on its balance sheet to manage its risk and reduce its portfolio. Loans that have been modified and are now performing, coupled with loans that have become current without the assistance of a modification program, will be included in the group. “Over the long run, these securitizations can benefit...


April 29, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie, Freddie on Pace for Nearly $100 Billion In Multifamily MBS Issuance by Year’s End

The government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing multifamily MBS in 2016 at a rate that should approach and perhaps exceed $100 billion by the end of the year, according to the latest data and projections from the pair. That compares with a Federal Housing Finance Agency GSE scorecard cap of $31 billion in volume for each, up $1 billion over last year. However, there’s a good bit of wiggle room there because Fannie and Freddie essentially have “capped” and “uncapped” buckets. The more active of the two, Fannie, churned out $12.6 billion of new multifamily MBS in the first...


April 28, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lawmakers Divided on GSE Payments to Affordable Housing Initiatives, Bill Introduced to Halt Payments

Underserved markets will suffer by not allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to retain capital, according to Rep. Mike Capuano, D-MA, who urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Treasury Department to re-examine the terms of their conservatorship. Under the current plan, the government-sponsored enterprises are not allowed to build capital and by January 2018 their reserves are expected to be wound down to zero. Capuano said...


April 22, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

As Congress Formally Punts on GSE Reform this Year, Industry Participants Propose a Number of Options

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs signaled this week that Congress is unlikely to take up comprehensive legislation to reform the government-sponsored enterprises before the presidential election this fall. Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-AL, asked the Government Accountability Office to publish a report on a variety of issues involving the GSEs and their potential future structure by Nov. 1. Shelby’s deadline could be ambitious for such a complex issue: a report published last week by the GAO on issues with nonbank mortgage servicers was requested back in October 2014. The timeline suggests...


April 21, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSE Principal-Reduction Program Expected to Have Modest Impact, Increased Servicer Costs at the Margin

The new principal-reduction option for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan modifications could end up affecting only about 6,000 delinquent borrowers, according to an Urban Institute analysis. The Federal Housing Finance Agency late last week announced that the government-sponsored enterprises would do principal writedowns for a small population of distressed borrowers. The program is limited to loans that were seriously delinquent as of March 31, had loan amounts of less than $250,000 and unpaid debt, including arrearages, exceeding 115 percent of the current market value of the home. The FHFA estimated...


April 15, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA OIG Examiners Report Shows Requirements Not Met

Examiners did not meet the requirements for making sure that one of the GSEs corrects serious deficiencies, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General. In a recent report, the OIG said that there were certain instances where FHFA’s guidance “fell short.” The report noted that when the OIG reviewed whether examiners followed FHFA policy regarding an issue opened by a GSE in 2013, 30 months later the Matter Requiring Attention (MRA) remained unresolved. Among the shortcomings identified were the examiner’s acceptance of the GSE’s proposed remediation plan despite the fact it failed to address all of the issues in the division of enterprise regulation and not preparing an internal procedures plan to...


April 15, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Fight FHFA's Motion to Consolidate Cases

The battle over where to hold court continues with GSE shareholders challenging the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s request to transfer and consolidate the cases. Since the FHFA’s March filing to transfer lawsuits initiated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders to a new court, a number of plaintiffs have filed motions opposing the transfer, arguing that the cases are substantially different from one another. But now, in response to that challenge, lawyers for the FHFA filed a court document on April 13 that said the cases all involve plaintiffs with the same interests asserting the same claims arising out of the same transactions against the same defendants.


April 15, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GAO Suggests Greater FHFA Oversight of Nonbanks

A recent study by the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office recommended that Congress consider granting the Federal Housing Finance Agency more authority to examine third parties, such as nonbanks, that do business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Although nonbank servicers are subject to oversight by federal and state regulators and monitoring by Fannie and Freddie, the GAO wants to see greater regulation. It said in light of recent nonbank growth, the FHFA’s indirect oversight of third parties that do business with the GSEs is not enough.“FHFA lacks statutory authority to examine these third parties to identify and address deficiencies that could affect the enterprises.


April 15, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Forges Ahead with Reducing Principal on Some Loans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency decided to roll out a principal reduction plan for certain Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans as its last post-crisis effort to help struggling borrowers. It estimates that 33,000 homeowners could benefit from the program that will expire at yearend. The plan was given the go-ahead this week by FHFA Director Mel Watt, after a multi-year analysis by the agency. The FHFA said the program will provide seriously delinquent borrowers a final opportunity to address negative equity, avoid foreclosure and help stabilize neighborhoods that have not recovered from the foreclosure crisis. According to a press statement on the effort, only a select group of troubled borrowers will be...


April 15, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

FHFA Unveils Limited GSE Principal Reduction Program, Changes to Nonperforming Loan Sales

The Federal Housing Finance Agency this week announced a limited principal reduction option for certain nonperforming, underwater borrowers with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac home mortgages. The agency characterized the program as the “final crisis-era modification program [and] a last chance for seriously delinquent underwater borrowers to avoid foreclosure.” The program is limited...


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