FHFA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

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...


April 14, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GAO Recommends Stronger Oversight of Nonbank Servicers, Suggests Giving FHFA More Authority

With steady growth over the past four years, nonbank mortgage servicers should have more regulatory oversight, according to a recently released study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Several agencies, including the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, agreed with that recommendation. The share of home mortgages serviced by nonbanks tripled from 2012 to midyear 2015, growing from approximately 6.8 percent to 24.2 percent, the GAO said. The GAO recommended...


April 8, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie and Freddie Shareholders Fight Against FHFA’s Motion to Consolidate Cases to DC Court

Since the Federal Housing Finance Agency’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. FHFA said it was looking to prevent future “copycat” cases and ensure a more consistent ruling across the board by having all of the cases heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia instead of scattered in different jurisdictions throughout the country. On April 6, the attorneys for plaintiffs David Jacobs and Gregory Hindes said...


April 7, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Housing Policy Experts Continue Probing for Way Out of GSE Limbo, Onerous Credit Underwriting

Housing policy experts at a Washington, DC, forum this week were generally supportive of renewed efforts to address the quagmire in which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been stuck for over eight years, but there was less evidence of movement to expand the credit box. A group of high-profile policy experts led by Urban Institute Senior Fellow Jim Parrott recently tried to re-ignite the mortgage reform effort by calling for the merger of the two government-sponsored enterprises and providing an explicit government guarantee for the new entity’s mortgage-backed securities with private capital taking the first loss. Barry Zigas, director of housing policy at the Consumer Federation of American and one of the co-authors of the paper, said...


April 4, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief/Later This Month

U.S. Military Personnel Continue to Report Problems With Their Mortgages. Complaints to the CFPB from American military personnel about their mortgages rose 10 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to a recent report from the bureau. The good news for mortgage lenders is that total complaints about their operations – roughly 9,900 – were less than half of the total generated by debt collection practices, which came to about 20,500. ... FHFA Wants Public Input on National Mortgage Borrower Survey. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is seeking public comments about the American Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, an information collection effort otherwise known as the National Survey of Existing Mortgage Borrowers. ...


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Mulls Chattel Lending Pilot, MH Advocates Continue Push

As manufactured housing advocates continue to push for chattel lending, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is weighing whether it will allow the loans that are based on financing the home itself rather than the real estate property. The topic made a strong showing in the FHFA’s recent request for comment in which questions about serving the manufactured housing industry were included under its duty-to-serve proposed rule. One of the questions specifically focused on whether a pilot program should be developed that would allow chattel loans. Many commenters said Fannie Mac and Freddie Mac should increase their support for the manufactured housing industry and that includes creating a market for chattel lending.


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Seeks Comments on Borrower Questionnaire for NMDB

Comments are being vetted regarding a proposed survey to collect information from borrowers in the second quarter of 2016 that will be used in a report highlighting the GSEs’ mortgage activities. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s American Survey of Existing Borrowers, formerly referred to as the National Survey of Existing Mortgage Borrowers, has drawn a some criticism from trade groups concerned about privacy violations. The survey questionnaire, a component of the larger National Mortgage Database project, will include about 90 questions designed to gather information from borrows about their mortgage experience and possible challenges. The NMDB is a multi-year joint effort between the FHFA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

OIG Releases Five Reports, Examines GSE Board Oversight

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General released five reports this week examining everything from corporate governance to examiner issues. The two reports released on March 31 focused on the board’s of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The OIG found that the there are “serious deficiencies” in the GSEs boards when it comes to managing Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s remediation efforts. The report said the board could become “no more than a bystander to management’s efforts to remediate matters requiring attention.” One of the reports also noted that while the board has made progress in overseeing cyber risk, much more needs to be done.


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Civil Rights Advocates Laud National Housing Trust Payment

Housing advocates and civil rights groups laud the GSEs’ first payment, $180 million, to the National Housing Trust Fund in years. It’s part of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s efforts to support underserved markets through affordable housing, which organizations have long been calling for. But many are also worried about what the future holds for the GSEs. Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights calls it “another significant measure taken by FHFA Director Mel Watt to shore up the commitments made to communities of color that expand affordable and sustainable housing finance.” He added that strengthening...


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA OIG Finds Scorecard-Based Compensation Process Insufficient

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s oversight of GSE compensation based on scorecard performance was found to be “insufficiently robust,” according to the FHFA’s Office of Inspector General, but the agency disagreed. A recently released report found that the agency accepted the GSEs’ annual at-risk compensation proposals without any verification or challenge for accuracy. The OIG said while in 2011 the FHFA said it had adopted internal controls to test and verify procedures to improve the oversight of compensation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives; it learned that the FHFA discontinued that system in 2012 after adopting a new GSE executive compensation structure.


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

NPL Debate Intensifies, Chairmen Want Increase in Private Market

A letter from 45 Congressmen that circulated in early March urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reform their nonperforming loan programs prompted two committee chairs to ask the agencies to reject the changes. They said the proposals are only “advancing political agendas.” Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Richard Shelby, R-AL, chairman on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, penned a letter to the FHFA and HUD on March 21 stating that many of the changes suggested by housing advocates and Congress would negatively impact the program’s fundamental purpose.


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Principal Reduction Faces Possibilities, Challenges

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced last week that it’s mulling over the idea of allowing principal reductions for underwater homeowners and it expects to make a decision, one way or the other, within the next couple of weeks But some say if implemented, the overall impact will be fairly muted. Back in 2012, the agency decided that limited principal reduction could save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money, but the plan didn’t have the support of former Acting Director Ed DeMarco, who said it could encourage voluntary loan defaults. Since that time, FHFA Director Mel Watt revealed in a recent speech last week that he’s been...


April 1, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Tackling GSE Reform One White Paper at a Time; Observers React

The idea of constructing a national highway system of sorts for the mortgage market by merging the GSEs into one has been making its rounds in the industry this week. And there’s been some dispute as to whether the plan is feasible. Five mortgage industry veterans – including two who worked in the Obama White House – floated the new plan aimed at preserving the government guaranty on conventional mortgage-backed securuties and finally ending the uncertainly plaguing the secondary market. Tim Howard, former Fannie CFO who left the GSE in 2004 and was involved in litigation regarding his tenure there, said the authors “greatly underplay the dangers of making a $10 trillion market...


March 25, 2016 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Loan Limit Flexibility in New GSE Reform Proposal

A proposal this week for how to reform the government-sponsored enterprises included a provision that would allow for an adjustment of the agency share of mortgage financing via loan limits. The loan limit proposal would differ from current practices where the Federal Housing Finance Agency makes increases to the conforming loan limit based on home price trends. The proposal, “A More Promising Road to GSE Reform,” was authored by Jim Parrott, Lewis Ranieri ...


March 25, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Experts Propose Merging Fannie and Freddie, Outsourcing All the Risk and Making Explicit Government Guaranty

Five mortgage industry veterans – including two who worked in the Obama White House – this week floated a new plan aimed at preserving the government guaranty on conventional MBS and ending, once and for all, the uncertainly plaguing the secondary market. In a new white paper entitled “A More Promising Road to GSE Reform,” the authors aim to preserve the government-backed MBS market while merging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into a new institution called the National Mortgage Reinsurance Corp. But the proposal might be...


March 25, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Watt Says New GSE High-LTV Refinance Program Will Not Be an Option for Existing HARP Borrowers

The new refinance program being developed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios will not be available for homeowners who have already used the Home Affordable Refinance Program, according to the regulator of the two government-sponsored enterprises. The Federal Housing Finance Agency this year directed Fannie and Freddie to develop a replacement program for HARP, which will sunset at the end of 2016. MBS investors have been concerned...[Includes one data table]


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