FHFA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Private MIs, VA Overtake Faltering FHA Program

Weighed down by high premium costs and lender overlays, FHA lost more primary market share to private mortgage insurers and the Department of Veterans Affairs during the second quarter of 2014. Although June’s FHA endorsement numbers have not yet been released, the trend seen in April through May, along with Ginnie Mae securitization data, suggest that FHA business was up a modest 11.5 percent from the first quarter. But that increase provides no comfort to FHA, which saw its market share go down to 33.7 percent, a six-year low. From April to May, FHA forward endorsements rose by 2.4 percent to $10.61 billion. On a year-over-year basis, however, endorsements were down from $21.9 billion in May 2013, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. On the other hand, private MI companies reported a total of $44.19 billion of new insurance written (NIW) during the ... [2 charts]


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

SIFMA Bucks Industry Trend, Calls For Slow Increase of Fannie, Freddie MBS Guaranty Fees

The Federal Housing Finance Agency should act now to slowly increase Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s guaranty fees, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. SIFMA’s tempered support of a proposed government-sponsored enterprise g-fee increase runs contrary to the position held by much of the rest of the industry – that now is not the time. “We encourage...


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agencies Propose ‘Single Security’ for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac TBA Issuance and Resecuritizations

The notion of a common pass-through MBS issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was formally put in play this week, as the Federal Housing Finance Agency solicited comment on a proposed “single security” for the two government-sponsored enterprises. The Mortgage Bankers Association has been pushing the concept for several years, and it made it onto the FHFA’s formal agenda for the GSEs in 2014. Proponents say it would improve liquidity in the market and level out Freddie’s pricing disadvantage. Under the FHFA proposal, the new common MBS would adopt...


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE MBS Business Activity Rises Month-to-Month in July

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issued $57.9 billion in single-family mortgage-backed securities during the month of July, a 12 percent increase from June, continuing an off-and-on monthly rebound that started in April, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis.However, MBS issuance through the first seven months of 2014 was down 59.0 percent from the same period a year ago Top-ranked Wells Fargo’s Fannie and Freddie securitization, at $7.91 billion, rose by 8.5 percent on a monthly basis but dropped 71.6 percent year-to-date.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie, Freddie Post ‘Normal’ 2Q Profit Minus One-Time Boosters

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported a combined $5.0 billion in net income during the second quarter of 2014, down 46.2 percent from the first three months of the year. Compared to the first half of 2013, GSE profits were down nearly 82 percent, though both companies posted strong earnings during the three-month period ending June 30, 2014. Both GSEs are coming off a banner 2013 when each company’s earnings were super-charged by several one-time items – including the capture of each company’s deferred tax allowance, and numerous non-agency lawsuit settlements.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Enterprise Endnotes

Freddie Announces 9th Multifamily Securities Offering of 2014, K-F04. Freddie Mac announced this week a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates or K Certificates, backed exclusively by LIBOR-based, floating-rate multifamily mortgages with five- and seven-year terms. The GSE expects to offer approximately $1.2 billion in K Certificates, which priced on Aug. 6 and is expected to settle on or about August 25. This is Freddie’s ninth K Certificate offering this year. The GSE said it also reached an important milestone of securitizing more than $80 billion in multifamily mortgages through its K-Deal program.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA, Goldman Talking Deal After Judge Rules in Part For Agency

It could cost Goldman Sachs between $800 million and $1.25 billion to resolve government claims that it sold faulty mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading up to the financial crisis, according to recent reports. Goldman Sachs is currently negotiating with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has recovered approximately $16.1 billion in agreements with other banks with respect to legacy MBS sold to the GSEs.In September 2011, the FHFA filed 18 separate lawsuits against some of the nation’s biggest banks, accusing them of misrepresenting some $180 billion in toxic subprime MBS.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Experts: Buybacks Will Continue As GSE Regulators ‘Emboldened’

Mortgage buybacks and indemnifications may be off their peak in terms of volume, but they are widely expected to continue for the foreseeable future, especially for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, according to experts during a webinar sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications last week. Amanda Raines, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the BuckleySandler law firm, told webinar participants that more buybacks are definitely on the way. On the Fannie /Freddie front, the attorney pointed out that despite recent settlements, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General encouraged the continued pursuit of buyback claims and repurchase rights.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Extends GSE Guaranty Fee Input Deadline Until Sept. 8

Less than a week before its deadline, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced last week that it is extending the comment period for guaranty fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In June, the FHFA issued a call for public comment on how the GSEs should calculate g-fees and whether the Finance Agency should proceed with a 10 basis point g-fee hike announced last year. In one of his first acts as FHFA Director in January, Mel Watt ordered the g-fee hike postponed pending further study.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Pressure Mounting on FHFA to Lift GSE Principal Reduction Ban

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt so far is holding the line on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s blanket prohibition on principal reduction, but mounting pressure from progressives in and out of Congress have industry observers predicting a policy shift soon. Since taking office as the FHFA’s head in January, former Rep. Mel Watt, D-NC, has so far been a disappointment to his former Democrat colleagues and advocates who believed he would reverse the agency’s principal reduction stance set by former Acting Director Edward DeMarco.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Judge Orders BofA to Pay $1.27B For ‘Hustle’ of Fannie, Freddie

A federal judge in Manhattan last week ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for losses suffered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from Countrywide Financial’s “Hustle” program for pumping dubious Alt A loans to the GSEs. The bank also is reportedly nearing a settlement with the Justice Department over other charges. Last October, the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission successfully proved in court that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost some $850 million from thousands of loans acquired through Countrywide’s “high-speed swim lane” program – known as HSSL or “Hustle.”


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Trustees Ask Court to Clear $4.5 Billion Settlement With Chase, Goldman Sachs Faces $1.2 Billion Hit

Mortgage trustees are still awaiting state court approval of a $4.5 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase in relation to faulty residential MBS issued by the bank and the now-defunct Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008. If approved by the New York State Supreme Court, the agreement would resolve representation and warranty claims as well as servicing claims related to loans in 330 mortgage securitization trusts, as well as claims over document delivery. In addition, the bank agreed to change its servicing procedures with respect to mortgage loans in the trusts. The proposed settlement does not resolve...


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Freddie Sells $659M of ‘Deeply’ Delinquent Loans; First Transaction From Nonperforming Portfolio

Freddie Mac late last week revealed that it sold a $659 million package of what it calls “deeply” delinquent loans from its investment portfolio – a first for the government-sponsored enterprise. Co-advisers on the competitive bid auction include Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Securities. Freddie noted that the sale was conducted at the end of July “and executed indirectly through Bank of America affiliates.” However, the GSE declined to identify the buyer or provide any pricing information. “The transaction was...


August 7, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Des Moines, Seattle FHLBanks Talking Merger, Combo Bank Would Be Largest Within System

Two of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks announced last week they are deep into merger talks that, if consummated, would create the largest single entity within the FHLBank system. The proposed merger of the FHLBank of Des Moines and the smaller, troubled FHLBank of Seattle would create an institution with more than 1,500 member financial institutions in 13 states and three U.S. territories in the Pacific Ocean. “A detailed due diligence process is...


August 1, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Buybacks, Indemnifications Will Continue, But There Are Many Coping Strategies Available, Experts Say

Mortgage buybacks and indemnifications may be off their peak in terms of volume, but they are widely expected to continue for the foreseeable future, industry experts said this week. But the good news for the industry is that there are a variety of defenses and coping strategies available, depending on the particulars of a given situation. Amanda Raines, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the BuckleySandler law firm, told participants of an Inside Mortgage Finance webinar this week that more buybacks are definitely on the way. “The Department of Justice is still making financial fraud a priority,” she said. Raines noted...


August 1, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Servicers to Face Increased Regulatory Scrutiny, Nationstar, Ocwen, et al. Maintaining Cash Levels

Close compliance with the mortgage servicing rules promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will continue to be a critical concern for servicers this year. Analysts at DBRS anticipate intensified scrutiny from the CFPB and a higher likelihood of fines and lawsuits from noncompliance and even technical errors. “DBRS believes that the issuance of the mortgage servicing rules has brought much-needed reform to the servicing industry,” the analysts said in a new report. It was...


August 1, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Judge Cuts BofA ‘Hustle’ Penalty by Half to $1.27B as Bank Tries to Settle Other Charges; Issa Presses DOJ

A Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.27 billion penalty over mortgage fraud related to Countrywide Financial’s “Hustle” program, a little more than half of what the government had said the bank should pay, while the bank and Department of Justice discuss a potential MBS fraud settlement. Last October, the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission successfully proved in court that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost some $850 million from thousands of loans acquired through Countrywide’s “high-speed swim lane” program – known as HSSL or “Hustle.” The loan program ran...


August 1, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Commercial Mortgage Securitization Rebounds In Second Quarter Despite Sluggish Agency Market

A solid increase in non-agency commercial MBS issuance during the second quarter of 2014 provided most of the lift in new income-property securitizations, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS market analysis. A total of $36.69 billion of commercial mortgages were securitized during the second quarter, up 16.1 percent from the first three months of the year. At the midway point in 2014, new CMBS issuance remained 24.7 percent behind the heady levels recorded over the same period last year, which ended up being the market’s highest point since the financial crisis. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae saw...[Includes two data charts]


July 31, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA May Allow Principal Reduction on Fannie, Freddie Loans Under ‘Unique’ Circumstances

Despite certain “unique” circumstances under which principal might be reduced on a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, the government-sponsored enterprises’ blanket prohibition on principal reduction remains in place, according to the GSEs’ regulator. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said it remains true to its long-standing policy despite a recent change in management and in the face of continued calls by progressive groups for the FHFA to embrace the use of principal reduction on GSE-backed loans in foreclosure mitigation. “As outlined in FHFA’s 2014 Strategic Plan for the Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA is...


July 31, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Aims to Up the Ante Substantially on HMDA Reporting, Proposed Rule Exceeds Dodd-Frank Act

Mortgage lenders face a heftier Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reporting load under a proposed rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that would implement a number of changes mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act – and then some. The bureau views implementation of the Dodd-Frank changes as an opportunity to improve the data collected under HMDA, ease some reporting burden and modernize how the data are collected and reported, the agency said. The CFPB proposed...


July 25, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA’s Proposed Mortgage Insurance Rules Tilt Market

New mortgage insurance eligibility rules proposed earlier this month by the Federal Housing Finance Agency appear likely to cause some MIs to tweak their corporate structures and/or to raise additional capital, note industry observers. In its draft Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements, the FHFA directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to revise, expand and align their risk management requirements for mortgage insurance counterparties.The updated financial requirements incorporate a new, risk-based framework that ensures that approved insurers have a sufficient level of liquid assets from which to pay claims.


July 25, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie Prices Its Fourth Risk-Sharing Deal, Largest To Date

Fannie Mae has priced its fourth and largest risk-sharing transaction to date, a more than $2 billion offering pegged to a pool of mortgages acquired last year, the GSE announced last week. The $2.05 billion note is the GSE’s third transaction under its Connecticut Avenue Securities series issued this year. Last year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency ordered both Fannie and Freddie Mac to shrink their role in the U.S. housing market. The latest offering – Series 2014-C03 – included reference loans with original loan-to-value ratios of up to 97 percent and “is consistent with prior transactions.”


July 25, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Industry Groups Dismayed With IG Report on Nonbank Risk to GSEs

Industry trade groups are lining up to express their dismay at a recent audit issued by the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which said both good and bad things about the risk nonbanks and small lenders pose to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The latest trade group missive was issued late this week by the Community Home Lenders Association: “By implication, the IG report seems to be pushing for more loans to be done at the big TBTF [too big to fail] banks by stating that small nonbank lenders are riskier for the enterprises and with little or no evidence to support the claim.”


July 25, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Score Limited Win as Judge Grants Discovery

A federal judge last week granted limited discovery to a hedge fund representing a group of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders as they challenge the government’s “net worth sweep” of their profits. However, the court will keep a tight lid on public access to the documents in a nod to the government’s claim that a leak could have dire economic consequences on the mortgage market. Fairholme Capital Management has been pushing hard for discovery and access to internal government documents since the shareholder filed suit last summer demanding that the Treasury Department void its August 2012 Third Amendment to its preferred stock purchase agreement with Fannie and Freddie.


July 25, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Industry Groups Press FHFA to Hold Fast on Fannie, Freddie, G-Fee Hike

The levels and types of guaranty fees that the Federal Housing Finance Agency directs the GSEs to charge “have a direct and significant impact on the affordability of mortgage credit,” according to a coalition of industry groups that urged the FHFA to abandon planned fee hikes. In a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt this week, the 10 trade groups – including the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors – said they are “strongly against further, arbitrary increases in g-fees or loan-level price adjustments.”


July 24, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie Prices Fourth, Largest Credit Risk-Share Transaction, More to Come

Fannie Mae late last week priced its third credit risk-sharing deal of 2014. The $2.05 billion note is the government-sponsored enterprise’s fourth and largest transaction under its Connecticut Avenue Securities series since the Federal Housing Finance Agency ordered both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to shrink the GSEs’ role in the U.S. housing market last year. In its latest offering – Series 2014-C03 – Fannie included reference loans with original loan-to-value ratios of up to 97 percent and “is consistent with prior transactions.” Previous C-deal offerings included reference loans with up to 80 percent LTV ratios. “We’ve continued...


July 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA IG Report on Nonbanks Ticks Off Industry; But More ‘Operational Reviews’ Are on the Way

As a way to keep a tight grip on counterparty risk, Freddie Mac will start conducting bimonthly “operational reviews of certain specialty servicers” later this year. Not to be outdone, Fannie Mae will also perform such reviews, but only when a seller/servicer reaches a “certain mortgage loan delivery threshold.” The news – contained in a recent report from the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency – isn’t likely to warm the hearts of fast growing nonbanks. Both Nationstar Mortgage and Walter Investment Management are mentioned by name in the report, which voices concerns thatsome nonbanks pose a risk to the government-sponsored enterprises because they have “limited financial capacity” to make good on representation and warranty contracts. Nationstar and Walter are...


July 18, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

House Democrat Bill Would Put Ginnie in Charge of All Government-Backed MBS. No Chance This Year

A significantly bigger Ginnie Mae would be placed in charge of all MBS issued with a government backing while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be wound down and stripped of their government sponsorship under a bill filed last week by House Democrats. The legislation – the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act, H.R. 5055, sponsored by House Democrats John Delaney (MD), John Carney (DE) and Jim Himes (CT) – has zero chance of gaining traction this year. It would create a new Ginnie Mae MBS backed by conventional mortgages that would have the full faith and credit of the federal government while tapping private capital to absorb some of the risk. The new structure under the Delaney-Carney-Himes bill would create...


July 17, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

The Dodd-Frank Act at Four: Helping to Prevent Mortgage Problems and Decreasing the Pool of Potential Borrowers

Mortgage industry participants suggest that the Dodd-Frank Act has helped to ensure that problems seen in the mortgage market in 2005 and beyond are unlikely to occur again. However, lenders suggest that the DFA has also limited access to credit for potential borrowers. Four years after the DFA was signed into law, a number of think tanks convened panels this week to analyze its impact. Predictably, consumer advocates are largely happy with the DFA while lenders have more mixed feelings about the law, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a landslide of new mortgage regulations. “The mortgage market is...


July 17, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA-OIG Report Cites Purchase Mortgage Risks To Fannie, Freddie From Nonbank, Smaller Lenders

The recent shift in direct mortgage sales by smaller and nonbank lenders has reduced Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s concentration risks, but the trend has led to an increase in counterparty credit risk, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s official watchdog. The evaluation report issued this week by the FHFA’s Office of Inspector General said the regulator of the two government-sponsored enterprises needs to monitor Fannie’s and Freddie’s risk-management controls regarding smaller lenders and nonbanks. According to Inside Mortgage Trends, an affiliated newsletter, nonbank sellers accounted...


July 17, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA MI Proposal Could Give a Competitive Edge To ‘Newbies,’ Narrow Gap With FHA Pricing

Private mortgage insurers that survived the housing market collapse are quietly gnashing their teeth over new eligibility rules proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which likely will cause some to reengineer their corporate structures and/or raise additional capital. The good news for the legacy firms – Genworth, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., Radian and United Guaranty – is that they have the financial ability to meet the new capital standards. The bad news – for this group and MI newcomers – is that the FHFA’s proposals would narrow the competitive gap between the private MIs and the FHA. One trade group official, speaking under the condition his name not be used, noted...


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Loss Mitigation Activity Declines in First Quarter 2014

Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’ home retention activity declined for the most part during the first quarter of 2014, according to a new analysis of Federal Housing Finance Agency data by Inside The GSEs. Total loss mitigation activity – total home retention efforts and foreclosure alternatives combined – declined 8.9 percent from the first quarter of the year to 130,854 and was down 28.9 percent from year-ago levels.


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE MBS Business Activity Rebounds in Second Quarter 2014

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac generated $141.8 billion in single-family mortgage-backed securities during the second quarter of 2014, rebounding from the dismal first three months of the year, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis. That was up 9.8 percent from the 14-year record low Fannie/Freddie MBS production of just $129.2 billion during the first quarter. However, the April-June cycle generated the second lowest quarterly volume since the end of 2008, and refinance volume continues to reach new lows – falling another 8.5 percent from the previous quarter.


July 11, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

FHFA Weighs Capital for Nonbank Servicers

By now, the word is out: the Federal Housing Finance Agency is exploring codifying capital minimums for nonbank servicers as a way to help Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac better manage counterparty risk. Industry officials tracking the topic told Inside Mortgage Trends they don’t believe the FHFA is necessarily worried about the capital positions of the big three nonbanks: Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen Financial, and Walter Investment Management ...


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA: ‘No Change’ in Opposition To Eminent Domain to Seize Loans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency remains committed under new management to deploy regulatory countermeasures against municipalities that move forward with proposed efforts to seize underwater mortgages via local eminent domain powers, agency officials say. After a quiet period when it appeared this issue was going away, eminent domain initiatives are cropping up again, including a recent push by a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to get the city to partner with Richmond, CA.


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

HSBC Pays $10 Million to Settle Fraud Charges Against Fannie, FHA

HSBC failed to implement and maintain required quality controls and failed to oversee the foreclosure-related charges it submitted to the FHA and Fannie Mae, resulting in unspecified millions of dollars in taxpayer losses, according to federal investigators. Under the terms of the civil settlement announced last week by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General, HSBC will pay $10 million to settle charges that in 2009 and 2010 it failed to properly supervise foreclosure-related fees by outside lawyers and other service providers to the FHA and Fannie.


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

OCC: Freddie Re-Default Mods Perform Ahead of Fannie in 1Q14

Modified Freddie Mac mortgages performed somewhat better than Fannie Mae loans for up to two years after modification as the performance gap between the two GSEs closed slowly, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC’s latest Mortgage Metrics Report noted that Freddie loans had a 15.6 percent re-default rate six months after modification, while Fannie mods saw a 16.3 percent rate. At the 12-month mark, Freddie stood at 22.3 percent compared to Fannie’s 23.4 percent.


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Freddie Announces Second ACIS Deal of 2014, Largest to Date

Freddie Mac last week announced its second Agency Credit Insurance Structure of 2014, through which it buys insurance to lay off risk. The GSE said its purchase of a number of insurance policies designed to cover some $285 million in potential losses from a pool of single-family loans acquired in the second quarter of 2013 was its largest credit risk transaction to date. …


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA-OIG Raises Red Flags About GSE Nonbank Servicers

A new audit issued last week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s official watchdog revealed that an unnamed nonbank special servicer raised red flags for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their regulator. The report by the FHFA’s Office of Inspector General prompted the FHFA to issue guidance on the counterparty risk posed by nonbank servicers by year’s end. The OIG audit said the Finance Agency and the two GSEs “have responded well to specific problems at nonbank special servicers.”


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

New GSE Mortgage Insurance ‘Stand-In’ Takes Effect

Last week, new GSE repurchase requirements announced this spring took effect as a potential alternative to repurchase for certain mortgage loans for which the mortgage insurance has been rescinded. Among the requirements are an “MI stand-in,” which Fannie Mae defines as “the full mortgage insurance benefit that would have been payable under the original mortgage insurance policy if the mortgage loan liquidates.” In May, both Fannie and Freddie Mac announced that repurchase requests will no longer be an automatic response in the event that MI is rescinded.


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Unveils ‘Eligibility’ Standards For Mortgage Insurance Firms

The Federal Housing Finance Agency late this week finally unveiled new eligibility standards for the mortgage insurance industry, introducing for the first time risk-based capital rules that are tied to a measurement called “available assets.” Immediately after the rule hit the market, several MI firms said they support the idea that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must have strong financial counterparties, while hinting they will have more to say on the topic in the near future.


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

House Dem Trio Files ‘Middle Ground’ GSE Reform Legislation

A GSE reform bill filed late this week by a trio of House Democrats is less a last ditch effort to push their measure across the finish line this year than a bid to have the first word in next year’s debate over housing finance reform, note industry observers. The Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act, H.R. 5055, by Reps. John Delaney (MD), John Carney (DE), and Jim Himes (CT), follows through on their January draft proposal to seek a “middle ground” between the existing, politically untenable legislative proposals.


July 11, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Experts: FHFA’s HARP Campaign Won’t Attract Many More Refis, With or Without Eligibility Extension

The Home Affordable Refinance Program has nearly reached the practical limit of eligible homeowners willing and/or able to refi – whether or not the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac further tweaks the program’s eligibility requirements, say industry observers. This week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt met with community leaders in Chicago in a town hall-style meeting to discuss the benefits of HARP. Last fall, the agency launched a nationwide public awareness campaign to reach eligible borrowers and encourage them to participate in HARP, with little apparent success. “We are...


July 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lender: New GSE Mortgage Insurance ‘Stand-In’ Does Nothing to Reduce Buyback Uncertainty of Legacy Loans

Recently implemented steps by the two government-sponsored enterprises to provide an alternative to repurchase when mortgage insurance is rescinded is a pleasant salve for a minor ailment, but it does nothing to address lenders’ chronic pain of sudden and unexpected buyback demands, according to a mortgage lender. Last week, new GSE repurchase requirements took effect, including the “MI stand-in” option, which Fannie defines as “the full mortgage insurance benefit that would have been payable under the original mortgage insurance policy if the mortgage loan liquidates.” In May, both Fannie and Freddie announced...


Poll

Home-equity lending is beginning to show new life. My company (pick one):

Plans to enter this market over the next 12 months.

25%

Is already making home equity loans and hopes to increase the offerings.

45%

Is in the market but don’t expect much growth.

15%

Is not making second liens and has no plans to do so.

15%

Housing Pulse