Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

August 28, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

 Fannie Research Shows House Price Decline for Some Oil States: The prospect of an oil bust draws comparisons to the housing slump of the 1980s in Fannie Mae’s  research released Aug. 28. While most Americans enjoyed lower gasoline prices over that period, severe employment losses occurred within the oil industry, and many oil-producing states experienced general economic slowdowns and declining house prices. North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska are most at risk.     …

August 28, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

SIFMA Seeks Clarity, Alignment in Single-Security, CSP Initiative

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association emphasized its concerns about the GSEs’ single security initiative in a letter sent last week to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. A large part of SIFMA’s letter focused on a lack of alignment between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The trade group believes that the FHFA doesn’t have a strong enough role in maintaining the policy and practice alignment of the GSEs. “This causes significant concern about the potential outcome of the initiative,” the letter said, adding that the effective alignment of policies and practices, to achieve a continuing alignment to security performance, is the single most important factor in the success, or lack thereof, of the initiative.

August 28, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Changes Low-Income Housing Goals for 2015 to 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s announcement last week that it will increase both the single-family low-income and multifamily low-income purchase goals was met with mixed reaction. In its final housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for 2015 through 2017, the single-family low-income goal was raised just one percentage point to 24 percent. But some housing industry groups weren’t necessarily happy with the single-family goal. “At 24 percent, the affordable housing goals fall short of what can and should be expected of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” said Center for Responsible Lending President Mike Calhoun. “These companies have the capacity to reach a greater percentage of lower-wealth, creditworthy households, allowing borrowers to build wealth through homeownership.”

August 28, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

GSEs Losing Race for First-Time Homebuyers to FHA/VA Financing

First-time homebuyers make up a significant part of the purchase-mortgage market, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a hard time competing with Ginnie Mae, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis of loan-level data.The three agencies securitized $118.90 billion of first-time buyer mortgages during the first six months of 2015, but Ginnie accounted for over half (52.4 percent) of the business. Ginnie’s big advantage is that it gets all the FHA and VA loans, while the GSEs so far have not gotten much traction in their reduced-downpayment programs. First-time buyers typically have less savings for a downpayment and often have less-stellar credit profiles. In the first half of this year, the average loan-to-value ratio for...(charts)

August 28, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

Manufactured Housing Sector Seeks More Lending From GSEs

The Federal Housing Finance Authoritys’ “duty-to-serve” rule, mandated by the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act, is getting a lot of attention lately from manufactured housing industry leaders who argue that the GSEs aren’t purchasing enough of their loans. “Duty-to-serve” was created to encourage Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to support underserved markets, especially those that included manufactured housing, along with rural housing and affordable housing preservation. Although it was mandated years ago, a final rule has not been implemented and the FHFA plans to re-propose the rule later this year.MH accounted for just 0.2 percent of Fannie’s and Freddie’s total business this year with the GSEs securitizing $896 million of manufactured housing loans in the first half of 2015, according to data analyzed by Inside The GSEs.

August 20, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Manufactured Housing Industry Looks to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for Better Financing Options

The manufactured housing industry wants the Federal Housing Finance Agency to push Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase more manufactured housing loans under its forthcoming “duty-to-serve” rule. The “duty-to-serve” rule was mandated by the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act to steer the government-sponsored enterprises to support underserved markets. In particular, that included manufactured housing, rural housing and affordable housing preservation. A final rule has never been implemented...

August 14, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA's Watts Dishes on eClosings And Reaching the Millennials

Although Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not directly involved with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s eClosing pilot project, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said that the GSEs have been writing loans or purchasing e-mortgages from approved lenders. “We have found that if we’re going to be a part of the new normal and participate in it as Fannie and Freddie, we’ve got to figure out a way to get to the millenials,” he said, adding that they don’t communicate in the same way as previous generations. “So movement in this direction is critically important. And if we can use this process to get more engagement by millenials in the process, I think it would be advantageous to us.”

August 14, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

DeMarco: Detailed Data Needed When It Comes to Risk-Sharing

More detailed information sharing is a key component of reforming the housing finance industry, according to Ed DeMarco, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s former acting director. Speaking at a National Association of Realtors housing forum on Wednesday, DeMarco pointed to the need to work on the standardization of data and said there should be an increased robustness of disclosure to investors if they are to bear mortgage credit risk. “They need to have more information than they have had in the past about the credit characteristics of underlying loans,” he said. DeMarco emphasized that continuing to develop an infrastructure that produces a security that has common data disclosures is important so investors have more confidence in...

August 6, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HFSC Passes Safe Harbors for QMs, TRID Enforcement; Shelby’s Reg Relief Proposals Attached to Funding Bill

The House Financial Services Committee has passed a number of mortgage-related bills designed to ease lenders’ liabilities by simplifying rules, reducing complexity and compliance costs, while a streamlined regulatory relief package gained new momentum in the Senate. Late last week, the committee reported out the following bills: H.R. 1210, (Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act); H.R. 1941 (Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act); and H.R. 3192 (Homebuyers Assistance Act). H.R. 1210 would modify...

July 31, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Gives Guidance to Direct FHLBs Core Mission

The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently established guidelines for the Federal Home Loan Banks to use when developing their individual strategic business plans.These guidelines were created to help determine if the 11 institutions are successfully achieving their core mission of making advances and establishing limits on its maximum holdings of acquired member assets.The FHLBanks are also charged with supporting their banks’ housing finance and community lending mission in less direct ways including advance commitments, housing finance agency debt instruments and investment in certain small business investment company securities and more.In assessing each of the banks’ core mission achievement the FHFA said it will calculate the ratio of its Primary Mission Assets relative to Consolidated Obligations at the...

July 31, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

Housing Price Index Comments Show Support, Suggestions

Industry groups commenting on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s adjustments to the conforming loan limit by July 27 were primarily supportive with the exception of one trade organization. Trade group commenters include American Bankers Association, CoreLogic, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center, the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and the National Association of Realtors. The FHFA plans to use the “expanded data” house price index published by the agency since 2011 to make adjustments to the baseline conforming loan limit. David Stevens, president and CEO of the MBA said the FHFA’s review regarding alternative indexes is thorough.

July 31, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

House Committee Votes to Cap GSE Salaries

A bill seeking to block the proposed pay raises for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEOs was passed with bipartisan support this week by the House Financial Services Committee. As controversial talks of pay raises for Fannie and Freddie CEOs intensified, Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA, continued to push his legislation to cap the salaries with H.R. 2243, the Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015. Royce was adamant and said Congress needs to put a stop to the “planned multi-million dollar paydays” at the GSEs. The CEOs could have gotten up to $4 million each in annual total compensation. Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency authorized the removal of a pay cap.

July 31, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

DBRS Set to Enter Market for Rating PACE ABS, FHFA’s Concerns Seen as Unwarranted

DBRS published proposed criteria this week to rate ABS backed by proceeds from Property Assessed Clean Energy programs. While the Federal Housing Finance Agency continues to place PACE-related prohibitions on mortgages delivered to the government-sponsored enterprises, the rating agency suggested that PACE programs are designed with a number of protections. Comments on the proposed criteria from DBRS are due Sept. 8. The firm would join Kroll Bond Rating Agency in offering ratings on PACE securitizations. KBRA has rated four PACE deals, the first of which was issued in March 2014 and all of which have received AA ratings. The PACE deals rated by KBRA were related...

July 31, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Judge Orders Treasury to Release GSE Discovery Documents in Fairholme Case

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ordered the Department of the Treasury to release all discovery documents pertaining to the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last week in connection with one of the shareholder lawsuits challenging the government’s seizure of earnings generated by the two government-sponsored enterprises. The ruling in Fairholme Funds v. The United States prevents the Treasury from withholding documents it argued are privileged and designated as “protected information.” The shareholders said...

July 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

More Needed from CFPB, HUD, Banking Regulators In Reviews of QM, QRM Regulations, GAO Says

The Government Accountability Office wants federal regulators responsible for reviewing the qualified mortgage and qualified residential mortgage rules to make sure they consider specific metrics and analytic methods. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the other federal agencies are slated to issue a review of the QM rule in January. The review of the QRM standard, part of a mortgage-securitization rule, won’t happen until 2019. So far, the regulatory agencies have identified...

July 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Wide Support for Linking Loan Limits to FHFA House Price Index, But Some Say Limits Should Not Go Up

Industry participants largely support a plan from the Federal Housing Finance Agency to tie adjustments of the conforming loan limits to the FHFA’s “expanded data” House Price Index. The extent to which conforming loan limits should be adjusted, however, remains a topic subject to debate. In May, the FHFA noted that home prices were close to recovering from the aftermath of the financial crisis, which could prompt an increase to the conforming loan limit. The $417,000 conforming loan limit took effect in 2006 and the FHFA was prevented from reducing the limit by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The FHFA proposed...

July 30, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House Moves to Expand QM Safe Harbor While Senate Backs Away From GSE Tax for Highways

The House Financial Services Committee this week marked up legislation to block pay raises for the top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to extend qualified-mortgage status to loans originated for an institution’s retained portfolio. H.R. 1210, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, introduced by Rep. Andy Barr, R-KY, would extend qualified-mortgage protection from litigation and enforcement actions for mortgages originated and retained in portfolio by depository institutions. “This would incentivize private-sector risk retention,” said Barr. Rep. John Carney, D-DE, said...

July 24, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Support for FHFA’s Plan on Loan Limits

Industry participants largely support a plan from the Federal Housing Finance Agency for adjustments to the conforming loan limit. The $417,000 loan limit applicable to the government-sponsored enterprises could be increased as soon as January, depending on house-price appreciation trends over the next few months. The FHFA’s proposal said the regulator planned to use the “expanded data” house price index that the agency has published since 2011 to ...

July 23, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

National Mortgage Database Continues to Move Forward, Completion Possibly Several Years Away

It’s been 2.5 years since the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced they were joining forces to begin compiling a National Mortgage Database, and the project continues to spook some in the industry. Several news reports over the past week have billed the initiative as part of the Obama administration’s “secret race database,” based on a report last week by Paul Sperry, a fellow at the Hoover Center. The Federal Housing Finance Agency continues to defend the project as a tool to help regulators ward off future mortgage crises. The NMD will be...


During the first half of 2015 all residential lenders originated a better-than-expected $805 billion of home mortgages, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. What do you expect in the second half?

Just as good. We like what we’re seeing.
Better. Applications are strong.
Worse. We’re worried about rates, seasonality.
A lot worse. The fourth quarter could be a killer.

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