Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

March 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

MBA: Don’t Bet on GSE PSPA Change. Mortgage Bankers Association President Dave Stevens said this week he expects no movement by the Trump Treasury Department to modify the preferred stock purchase agreements governing the GSE bailouts that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to build retained capital. In an interview with IMFnews, Stevens – who has been in touch with the new administration on GSE reform – noted that the PSPAs do not necessarily require the payment of GSE dividends to Treasury on a quarterly basis. (A commitment fee payment may be required though.) Smaller trade groups – though not the MBA – have asked the Federal Housing Finance...

March 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie, Freddie Credit Risk Transfer Inefficiencies Explored

Perceived flaws in the current and proposed GSE credit-risk transfers are explored in a recent blog posting by Tim Howard, former Fannie Mae executive. He said that the GSE CRTs are too expensive and Fannie has too much first-loss exposure in its Connecticut Avenue Securities structure before it takes effect. Howard also said that because the risk-transfer tranches can prepay and amortize over time, they most likely won’t be outstanding long enough to absorb many of the losses that exceed the first-loss limit. As an example, Howard pointed to Fannie’s CAS prospectus, which shows no losses transferred to investors in more than 60 different scenarios of combined credit loss and prepayment rates...

March 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Amends Freedom of Information Act Regulation

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued an interim rule last week that changed some of the components of its Freedom of Information Act regulation, including the fee categories. The interim rule gives notice about the circumstances in which the FHFA can extend its response time to the FOIA request and tells when it should notify the person requesting the information about their right to seek dispute resolution services. In the new FOIA rule, the agency is required to provide a minimum of 90 days for requestors to file an administrative appeal and must notify requesters about available dispute resolution services.

March 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Moody’s Examines Impact of GSE Reform on Mortgage Market

Moody’s Investors Service said GSE reform proposals could have unintended consequences on different market segments. In a report released this week it noted that there’s no shortage of proposals on the table and some may have a larger impact than planned. The impact of many would seem straightforward at a high level, according to the ratings firm, but they could have unintended consequences in practice. Proposals range from winding down the GSEs without an explicit replacement to winding them down and providing other entities with access to the federal catastrophic risk insurance, to re-privatizing them but with tighter regulations. The report looks at possible impacts from the broad range of reforms being proposed and the...

March 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Small Lender, Consumer Groups Push to Suspend Upcoming Sweep

Small lending organizations, including the Community Home Lenders Association and Community Mortgage Lenders of America, urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency to suspend the upcoming Treasury sweep of GSE profits. After fourth-quarter earnings, the GSEs plan to pay the Treasury $20 billion per the preferred stock purchase agreement. A March 23 letter from CHLA, CMLA and six consumer and civil rights groups pled with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and specifically asked FHFA Director Mel Watt to “exercise its discretion under the preferred stock purchase agreement to suspend the dividend payment on their senior preferred stock this month.” The groups, like others in the industry, are concerned about the GSEs’ declining capital buffer that will plummet to zero on Jan. 1, 2018.

March 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

CSP Release Delayed to 2019 to Allow More Time For Testing

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced this week that it moved back the anticipated date of “release 2” of the common securitization platform in which both GSEs will use the security, to the second quarter of 2019, instead of 2018. In a progress report update, the FHFA said it decided to delay the project after an “extensive review” of lessons learned from the first release and progress on release 2. The agency said it needs more time for the development, testing, validation of controls, and governance necessary “to have the highest level of confidence that the implementation will be both smooth and successful.”

March 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Pence’s Economist Hints at GSE Reform Principles in the Works

Vice President Mike Pence’s chief economist said the Trump administration is working on GSE reform principles. The comments came this week during a government relations summit hosted by the American Bankers Association. Mark Calabria, former director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute, caused a media frenzy when during a general session he said that a “set of principles” on GSE reform is likely to emerge in the coming months. Calabria is not a proponent of the GSEs, and believes that without Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, commercial banks would step in to fill the liquidity void for the simple reason they have so much in the way of “excess reserves.”

March 24, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

FHFA Sets a Date to Launch Final Stage Of Single Security, Details Project Costs

Sometime during the second quarter of 2019, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin issuing the new uniform MBS, a completely fungible security that will replace the separate to-be-announced MBS currently issued by the two government-sponsored entities. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced the deployment date for Release 2 of the single-security initiative this week. The new implementation date was moved back from the previous estimate of some time in 2018. The delay was...

March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie and Freddie Accused of ‘Charter Creep’ in Financing SFR Operators

Two months after it was revealed that Fannie Mae would provide $1 billion in financing to single-family rental operator Invitation Homes, certain factions of the mortgage industry are starting to yell “charter creep.” Moreover, the National Association of Realtors and other trade groups are complaining that perhaps Fannie is spending too much of its limited resources helping Wall Street – the Blackstone Group grubstaked Invitation Homes initially – and not enough to help the first-time homebuyer. “What’s...

March 10, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

GSE Reform Proposals Have Different Takes On What Will Become of Fannie, Freddie

A common theme among housing finance reform proposals is to infuse more private capital into the system while not disrupting the market. Beyond that, the plans take significantly different approaches about what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Jim Parrott, senior fellow at the Urban Institute and the co-author of one of those proposals, released a paper this week comparing his plan with the revised proposal from the Mortgage Bankers Association and a blueprint described by the Milken Institute. The MBA proposed...

March 3, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Pressure on Capital, Dividends Remains as MBS Settlements Linger for Foreign Banks, Says Fitch

The threat of large, unpredictable settlements are looming over several European banks that have not yet resolved their remaining MBS lawsuits, putting pressure on their earnings and capital, according to a new Fitch Ratings report. Uncertainty about the scale of penalties from legacy MBS lawsuits will compel the affected banks to continue being cautious about managing and retaining capital, and distributing dividends. Though most of the banks have strengthened their capital positions considerably since the financial crisis, there would be no rest for them until the last settlement dime has been paid, the report indicated. Bank settlements with U.S. agencies relating to fraud investigations of their roles in the financial crisis, specifically their legacy MBS business, have...

March 3, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie’s Second Front-End Credit Risk-Sharing Deal Much Larger than First, GSEs Mull Other Forms

Fannie Mae announced its second deal using credit insurance risk transfer on the front end of the transaction. Most of the government-sponsored enerprise’s CIRT transactions have involved insurance contracts on pools of loans that have already been securitized. The new front-end CIRT deal will shift a portion of the credit risk on about $15 billion worth of single-family loans, significantly larger than Fannie’s first test of the structure back in October, which involved about $3.7 billion of single-family loans. This CIRT, like the first one, will be...

March 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Participants Push to Include Servicing Reforms in Broader Housing Reform Efforts

As policymakers work toward housing finance reform, industry participants are forming plans to ensure that servicing issues are addressed. The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center recently launched the Mortgage Servicing Collaborative, which will provide data on servicing issues and analyze possible solutions. “We are...

March 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Congress Focusing More on GSE Reform; Credit-Risk Transfer Deals Seen as a Model and Potential Deterrent

Calls from offices of members of Congress seeking information regarding reform options for the government-sponsored enterprises have increased recently, according to Andrew Davidson, president of Andrew Davidson & Co., an analytics firm. Speaking this week at the SFIG Vegas conference produced by Information Management Network and the Structured Finance Industry Group, Davidson said he has received “a surprising number of calls” from congressional staff regarding GSE reform. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been...

February 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Freddie’s First NPL Sale of 2017. Freddie Mac announced its first nonperforming loan sale of the year last week, a $759 million auction of seasoned non-performing residential whole loans. The NPLs are currently serviced by Nationstar Mortgage LLC and Specialized Loan Servicing LLC. This is also Freddie Mac’s second multi-servicer NPL transaction. The NPLs are being marketed via five pools: four Standard Pool Offerings and one Extended Timeline Pool Offering, which targets participation by smaller investors, including non-profits and minority and women-owned businesses. HARP Refi Volume Slow in 4Q. The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that 13,220 borrowers refinanced their mortgages through the Home Affordable Refinance Program...

February 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Appeals Court Ruling Voids Treasury Sweep Claims

Despite a Feb. 21 ruling barring GSE shareholders from making illegal Treasury sweep claims, plaintiffs and speculators are keeping hope alive. In Perry Capital LLC vs. Treasury, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia put a stop to shareholders who have been arguing that the government is illegally confiscating GSE profits, citing language in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The Appeals Court notes: “We hold that the stockholders’ statutory claims are barred by the Recovery Act’s strict limitation on judicial review … We also reject most of the stockholders’ common-law claims. Insofar as we have subject matter jurisdiction over the stockholders’ common-law claims against...

February 24, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Earnings Nearly $10B for the Fourth Quarter of 2016

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ended 2016 with a bang when fourth quarter combined earnings totaled stellar results, nearly $9.9 billion, representing the best quarter of the year. Fourth-quarter earnings were largely driven by high gains in the fair market value of the GSEs’ hedges, which gained $10.2 billion on a combined basis. “Interest rates went up in the fourth quarter, therefore you saw an unusually large gain in the accounting,” Freddie CEO Donald Layton told Inside The GSEs. Both GSEs had quarterly earnings increases throughout the year. Fannie reported $5.0 billion in the fourth quarter, up from the $3.2 billion in the third quarter, and Freddie more than...

February 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Key Players in GSE Reform: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Commerce Chief Wilbur Ross, Craig Phillips and Others

Now that investment banker Steven Mnuchin has been installed as the Treasury secretary, work can begin on finding a solution to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government guarantors that serve as the linchpin to housing and mortgage markets. For the most part, senior mortgage officials who have been in the business for a decade or more applauded President Trump’s choice of Mnuchin, pointing to his days as the head of MBS trading at Goldman Sachs & Co. “At the very least, this is...


With the spring homebuying season in full swing, what percentage of your March 2017 application volume has been for “purchase” loans?

75% or higher
50% to 74%
30% to 49%
Under 30%

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