FHFA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Report: Don’t Expect GSE Reform Until At Least 2016

There is little to no chance of legislative GSE reform occurring until at least 2016, so market participants should plan accordingly, predicted a report issued last week. Despite two separate bills awaiting a floor vote in both the House and Senate, Kroll Bond Rating Agency said there’s little chance housing reform legislation will garner enough support to pass until after the next presidential election.


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Seeks Feedback on Proposed Strategic Plan for 2015-2019

Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s conservator and the regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank system is requesting input on its strategic plan for the next four years. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is seeking feedback on its draft document “FHFA Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2015-2019.” The plan sets the agency’s priorities in its oversight of the two GSEs and the 12 FHLBanks. The plan lists three strategic goals: ensure safe and sound regulated entities; ensure liquidity, stability and access in housing finance; manage the enterprises' ongoing conservatorships.


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

IG Dings FHFA for Lax Oversight of Fannie Short Sales Closed at Loss

Delegated servicers hired by Fannie Mae failed on numerous occasions to close short sales at the authorized price, according to a new audit from the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The IG also found that a Fannie Mae remediation plan does not hold servicers fully accountable for the resulting losses. Issued late last week, the IG audit focused on the effectiveness of the FHFA’s oversight and Fannie’s controls over delegated servicers to ensure that net proceeds for short sales met the authorized reserve established by Fannie. The IG found that both the GSE and its regulator came up short.


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA’s Proposed G-fee Increase Enjoys Little Industry Support

As the Federal Housing Finance Agency mulls over a proposed increase in fees charged by the GSEs to provide guarantees on mortgage-backed securities, so far those advocating for a g-fee hike remain in the minority. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets isn’t flatly opposed to an increase in g-fees under certain conditions but policy makers should “consider the broader context” in which the guaranty fee will be raised.


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHLBank of Atlanta Joins Mortgage Partnership Finance Program

Last week’s announcement by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta that it would participate in the Mortgage Partnership Finance program, which is managed by the FHLBank of Chicago, “closes the circle” by ensuring that all 12 FHLBanks now are part of a mortgage securitization program, according to an industry observer. …


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

New Suit By Common GSE Investors Seeks Injunction of Profit Sweep

Pershing Square Capital Management – reportedly the largest investor in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac common shares – filed two separate lawsuits last week demanding the federal government cease and desist its “net worth sweep” of GSE profits. The New York hedge fund contends that the government’s action not only illegally shortchanges investors of the GSEs’ common, it also amounts to a de facto liquidation of the two firms, according to its first complaint filed with the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington. The first complaint lists the U.S. as a defendant, as well as Fannie and Freddie as nominal defendants.


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholder Group Calls on FHFA to End Conservatorship

The head of a group of disenfranchised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors has called on Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt to end conservatorship of the two GSEs and undo what stakeholders consider the illegal government “net worth sweep” of Fannie and Freddie profits. Tim Pagliara, executive director of Investors Unite, followed Watt to Atlanta to seek a meeting with and to put pressure on the director to acknowledge the concerns of GSE shareholders.


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Proposed Single GSE Security First Step Toward ‘Fannie Mac’?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s request for public comments last week on the structure for a proposed GSE security has some industry insiders wondering if this is the prelude to the eventual consolidation of “Fannie Mac.” The implementation of the single security issued and guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be part of a “multi-year initiative” to build a common securitization platform.


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...


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