FHFA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

November 21, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

REITs Tout Non-Agency Benefit of FHLBanks

Prohibiting real estate investment trusts from joining the Federal Home Loan Bank system would hurt efforts to revive the non-agency market, according to two REITs that have gained access to FHLBank financing. Officials at both Two Harbors Investment and Redwood Trust said FHLBank advances helped the REITs fund originations of jumbo mortgages in the third quarter of 2014. Both companies recently gained access to FHLBank advances via captive insurance entities ...


November 21, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Pioneer Ranieri Active in the Single-Family Rental Space, But With a Twist; Can an MBS Deal Be at Hand?

Home Partners of America, a single-family rental company affiliated with MBS veteran Lewis Ranieri, has been quietly gobbling up homes across the U.S., and may have its eye on tapping the securitization market. “They are very active,” said one associate close to Ranieri, who spoke under the condition his name not be used. Moreover, Home Partners – formerly known as Hyperion Homes LLC – recently received...


November 21, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Watt: GSE G-Fees Not ‘Most Important Factor’ to Bring Back Private Capital; CSP, Single Security Progresses

The head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency told Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee members this week that a decision on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranty fees will come soon after the New Year. In his first oversight hearing since taking the reins of the agency in January, FHFA Director Mel Watt stated during questioning that the regulator of the government-sponsored enterprises will make its move on g-fees during the first quarter of 2015. In one of his first acts as FHFA director, Watt postponed...


November 21, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

GSE Guaranty Fee Hikes in 2013 Hit Purchase Business, Marginal Credit Borrowers Harder

Average MBS guaranty fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac jumped from 36 basis points in 2012 to 51 bps last year, according to an annual study by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that was released late this week. But the impact of the fee hikes was not spread uniformly across the government-sponsored enterprises’ business. The report shows that the estimated average g-fee on purchase mortgages climbed from 40 bps in 2012 to 55 bps last year. The average fee for refinances rose slightly less, by 14 bps, for both rate-term deals (48 bps in 2013) and cash-out refinances (53 bps last year). According to the FHFA study sample, the purchase business rose...


November 20, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Sen. Johnson Calls for End of Conservatorships, Dems Push Watt Hard on GSE Principal Reduction

The outgoing chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee this week urged the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency to look to a final resolution of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while the progressives on the panel pressed the regulator and former Democrat congressman hard to approve principal reductions. “Everyone agrees that conservatorship cannot continue forever, so I hope my colleagues will keep working towards a more certain future for the housing market,” said Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD, during a hearing with FHFA Director Mel Watt this week. But if “Congress cannot agree on a smooth, more certain path forward I urge you, Director Watt, to engage the Treasury Department in talks to end the conservatorship.” Watt did not address...


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSEs Crank Out Profits in 3Q 2014, Freddie Warns of ‘Volatile’ Earnings

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported a combined $6.0 billion in net income for the third quarter of 2014, up from $5.1 billion in the previous quarter. The two GSEs will send to the Treasury $6.8 billion as return on the government’s senior preferred stock. That will bring cumulative payments under the GSE conservatorships to $225.5 billion. Fannie and Freddie were given a total of $187.4 billion in government funds in order to stay in business.


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Enterprise Endnotes

Ohio Court Sides With Freddie in Pre-Crisis Shareholder Lawsuit. An Ohio federal court late last week tossed out a shareholder class action lawsuit that accused Freddie Mac of lying about its exposure to subprime loans prior to the 2008 financial crisis. The suit, filed in 2008 by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, claimed that Freddie artificially inflated the value of its common stock by making false public financial statements that obscured its subprime exposure.OPERS claimed it lost as much as $27.2 million as a result of Freddie’s alleged cover-up of its subprime exposure.


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

MBA: FHFA Should Consider Other GSE Credit Score Models

The Mortgage Bankers Association is calling on the Federal Housing Finance Agency to direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to review “and if appropriate” adopt new validated credit score models and allow for the use of alternative methods of scoring. In a letter last week to FHFA Director Mel Watt, the MBA said that, through this action, the Finance Agency could directly increase the number of borrowers eligible for conventional mortgages.


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Taps New CEO, GSE Board for Common Securitization Solutions

After a year of looking, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced last week it has finally picked a chief executive to run the fledgling Common Securitization Solutions: industry veteran David Applegate, who has a long resume in mortgage banking. Applegate led both GMAC Mortgage and GMAC Bank during a 17-year career at General Motors Acceptance Corp He also worked at mortgage insurer Radian Guaranty. Applegate’s last job title was president and chief executive officer of Homeward Residential, Dallas, a mortgage-banking firm.


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Experts: Fannie, Freddie Risk Transfers Building Momentum

The GSE risk-sharing market is building momentum and investors indicate there is a growing demand for this product going forward, industry insiders told attendees of an Urban Institute/CoreLogic housing forum last week. In its most recent strategic plan for the GSEs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is calling on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce their exposure to risk by tripling the amount of credit-risk transfers they conduct on their single-family business from $30 billion last year to $90 billion in 2014.


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA’s Watt to Be Questioned By Senate Banking Committee

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt will be on the hot seat next week when he is slated to testify before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. The oversight hearing – titled “The Federal Housing Finance Agency: Balancing Stability, Growth, and Affordability in the Mortgage Market” has Watt listed as the only witness when the committee convenes on Wed., Nov. 19, at 10 a.m.


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GOP Congressional Sweep Not Necessarily a Boon for GSE Reform

Expect GSE reform to remain a key focus of Congress following the mid-term election Republican takeover of the Senate and vast expansion in its House majority. However, industry observers warn that it remains to be seen whether focus will translate into legislative action during the 114th Congress as the new leadership structure remains in flux.


November 14, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

DeMarco: ‘Housing-Industrial Complex’ Inhibits GSE Reform

Effective and lasting GSE reform cannot be accomplished without Congress taking decisive action and the housing finance market’s status quo is unsustainable in the long term, according to the former head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Speaking at an American Enterprise Institute forum late this week, former FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco warned attendees to expect comprehensive and lasting housing finance reform to remain stalled unless lawmakers pass a bill that the president will sign.


November 14, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Freddie Mac Makes Progress on Securitizing ‘Re-performers’; An MBS Backed by NPLs?

Through the first nine months of 2014, Freddie Mac securitized $7.0 billion of re-performing and modified single-family loans, a figure that towers over its crosstown rival Fannie Mae. Since 2011, Freddie has issued roughly $12 billion in securities backed by re-performing loans. So what’s Fannie’s problem in this area? That’s hard to say. A spokesman for the government-owned mortgage giant said the company has yet to undertake any securitizations of formerly delinquent loans, and isn’t sure if or when it will. Then again, Fannie – unlike Freddie – has...


November 14, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie, Freddie MBS Portfolios Will Continue Shrinking Following Profitable Third Quarter

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continued to trim their retained holdings of MBS and unsecuritized mortgages in keeping with their conservatorship mandate as the two government-sponsored enterprises each posted a profit during the third quarter of 2014. The two GSEs ended September with a combined $851.71 billion in mortgage-related holdings, down 2.4 percent from the previous quarter. Compared to a year ago, their combined mortgage portfolio was down 16.0 percent and down 46.5 percent from the $1.592 trillion the two firms held in the fourth quarter of 2008 shortly after being placed in government conservatorship. One of the conditions of the conservatorship the GSEs entered six years ago was...[Includes one data chart]


November 13, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

New Fannie 97 to be Based on Current Underwriting And Documentation Rules, Private MI Assessment

Income documentation and other standards that have been in place since Fannie Mae entered conservatorship in 2008 will apply to the company’s new 3 percent downpayment product, and loan assessment by a private mortgage insurer will be crucial, according to a company spokesman. The spokesman said details will be announced shortly. Fannie Mae is working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency to design the government-sponsored enterprise’s revamped 97 percent loan-to-value product. Sources said previous requirements for a standard 97 LTV product, which Fannie offered until November 2013, are being considered. The FHFA announced...


November 7, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Reinstating 97s Could Delay Recovery for MMIF

Reinstating the government-sponsored enterprises’ conventional 97 percent loan-to-value mortgage programs would benefit first-time homebuyers and borrowers with little or no cash reserves for a downpayment but adversely affect the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, according to analysts. If limited to first-time homebuyers, a conventional 97 LTV loan would offer some new homeowners better home loan financing than FHA and provide greater access to mortgage credit, said analysts with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. For years, Fannie Mae offered conventional 97 LTV loans through its MyCommmunityMortgage to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home with only a 3 percent downpayment. It was a better alternative to FHA’s main product, which required a 3.5 percent downpayment. The Fannie product also had less ...


November 7, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Experts: Absent Legislation, Industry Should Push For Administrative GSE Reform, Revise Existing Policies

The mortgage industry cannot and should not wait for Congress to get around to a legislative solution to the government-sponsored enterprises when much of what is necessary can be accomplished administratively, according to experts at a forum hosted by the Urban Institute and CoreLogic. Andrew Davidson, president of Andrew Davidson & Co., noted that among the lessons of this year’s failure to launch a Senate GSE reform bill is that lawmakers find it easier to agree on a set of principles for a mortgage finance system than on the system’s design. With legislation a long shot before the 2016 presidential elections, Davidson said...


November 7, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

GSE Credit Risk-Sharing Deals ‘Off to a Good Start’ Amid Calls for More Aggressive Front-End Transactions

As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to expand their credit-risk transactions, the two government-sponsored enterprises and their regulator should look to other ways to minimize credit risk, industry insiders told attendees of an Urban Institute/CoreLogic housing forum this week. In its most recent strategic plan for the GSEs, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is calling on Fannie and Freddie to reduce their exposure to risk by tripling the amount of credit-risk transfers they conduct on their single-family business from $30 billion last year to $90 billion in 2014. Mark Hanson, Freddie’s senior vice president, securitization, told...


November 6, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Reinstatement of GSEs’ 97 LTV Programs Would Benefit Private MIs but Delay Recovery of MMIF, Analysts Say

Private mortgage insurers would welcome the return of conventional 97 percent loan-to-value mortgages from the government-sponsored enterprises, but analysts say it might not be a slam dunk. The private MI industry has been encouraging the GSEs, particularly Fannie Mae, to bring back the 97 percent LTV product to compete with the FHA’s main product, which requires just a 3.5 percent downpayment. For years, Fannie offered...


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Enterprise Endnotes

FHFA’s Watt Promises a CEO for the CSP by Year-end. After a year of searching for a chief executive to lead Common Securitization Solutions, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is getting closer to picking a candidate for the job. Speaking at the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Las Vegas last week, FHFA Director Mel Watt promised the industry that a CEO would be named by Dec. 31. The FHFA’s search firm is Spencer Stuart.


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

MBA Opposes FHFA IG Proposed Seller/Servicer Auditor Rotation

The Mortgage Bankers Association has formally called upon the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s official watchdog to reconsider some of its proposals meant to prevent the next multi-billion dollar fraud scheme against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In a letter dispatched to the FHFA’s Inspector General late last week, the MBA cited its opposition to certain recommendations the IG made to the Finance Agency in its August post-mortem on the swindle perpetrated by the now-defunct Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage.


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

IG: Fed Tapering GSE MBS Will Curtail Guaranty Fee Revenue

The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing tapering will put a dent in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranty fee revenues, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General. The evaluation report issued by the IG last week concluded that as the central bank pulls back from the mortgage-backed securities market, interest rates will drift higher and the GSEs will do less business, meaning declining g-fee revenue.


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie, JPMorgan Chase Pioneer New Risk-Sharing Transaction

Fannie Mae and JPMorgan Chase announced this week they are collaborating in a new risk-sharing vehicle that features recourse provided to the GSE on nearly $1 billion of new Chase originations. Separately, Freddie Mac has priced two more Structured Agency Credit Risk Transactions. JPMorgan Madison Avenue Securities Trust 2014-1 will simulate the behavior of a $989 million pool of JPMorgan-originated mortgages delivered into Fannie-guaranteed MBS.


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Industry Commenters Take Aim At FHFA’s GSE Housing Goals

The Federal Housing Finance Agency may end up having second thoughts about its proposed housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac given the room for improvement industry members cited in comment letters to the agency. Issued by the FHFA in September, the proposal would increase some of the benchmark levels for Fannie’s and Freddie’s affordable housing goals through 2017, while also establishing new housing subgoals for low-income multifamily properties.


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholder Petitions Iowa Court to Reverse DC’s Dismissal

An Iowa-based GSE last week asked a federal court in the state to give “no weight” to a ruling earlier this month by a federal judge who dismissed litigation by other GSE shareholders, including Perry Capital and Fairholme Funds. Continental Western Insurance Co. filed papers in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa Central Division arguing that Judge Royce Lamberth was “simply wrong” in his interpretation of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and his HERA-based rationale to shut down shareholders’ suits in DC.


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Experts: Uncertain Future of GSEs Will Accelerate Turnover

With little chance of GSE reform legislation passing until 2016, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to experience employee turnover as well as infrastructure upkeep challenges, say experts. Speaking during a conference call sponsored by GSE shareholder rights group Investors Unite this week, Matt Seu, principal with Actualize Consulting and a former Freddie vice president, warned that six years of government conservatorship have taken a toll on the institutional memories at both companies. …


October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Lenders Encouraged by FHFA Buyback Relief, Want Details

Mortgage professionals seem cautiously optimistic about new policy proposals from the Federal Housing Finance Agency on buyback relief and high loan-to-value lending, but it remains to be seen whether they will have the desired impact. Speaking at the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association last week, FHFA Director Mel Watt shared some concrete details about the new “life of loan” representation-and-warranty relief and outlined a number of other changes on tap.


October 30, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Experts: Obama Admin. Should Look to Release Fannie, Freddie From Conservatorship to Build Policy Legacy

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Obama administration could secure their legacies during the next two years by releasing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship as two stable and smaller government-sponsored enterprises, say some experts. Speaking during a conference call sponsored by GSE shareholder rights group Investors Unite, Clifford Rossi – founder and principal at Chesapeake Risk Advisors – reiterated his call for an administrative solution that would recapitalize the GSEs and bring them out of conservatorship under strict conditions. “Knowing that it’s going to be an uphill battle to get any sort of resolution from Congress, it could be...


October 30, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

The Recent Rate Decline Isn’t Expected to Slow the Mortgage M&A Train; Guild is Still Hungry for Deals

When rates take a noticeable dive – as they have the past few weeks – mortgage lenders contemplating a sale sometimes have a change of heart, opting to ride the new production wave. But this time around, that doesn’t appear to be the case. “Most every lender I speak to understands this to be a very temporary event prior to a relatively cold and uncertain winter,” said M&A advisor Rick Roque of Menlo Company. Over the past two months, Inside Mortgage Finance has found 10 publicly announced M&A transactions with several more likely signed that weren’t disclosed. Roque, who’s working on several deals, said...


October 24, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

FHFA-IG: Fed Tapering of Fannie, Freddie MBS Means ‘Significant’ Reductions in G-Fee Revenue

The Federal Reserve’s decision late last year to taper its agency MBS purchases appears to have contributed to higher mortgage rates, which in turn has helped lead to “significant reductions” in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranty fee revenue on MBS issued so far this year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Inspector General. The evaluation report issued by the IG late this week concluded that continued tapering by the Fed and the eventual reduction of its massive MBS portfolio could have an “adverse impact” upon the financial performance of the two government-sponsored enterprises. “Although the Federal Reserve’s [quantitative easing] programs benefitted the enterprises’ financial condition in 2012 and 2013, its decision, among other factors, in late 2013 to taper its MBS purchases contributed...


October 23, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie, Freddie Shareholders Look to Iowa Federal Court to Vacate DC Judge’s Dismissal of GSE Lawsuit

An Iowa-based investor in government-sponsored enterprise common stock this week asked a federal court in the Hawkeye State to give “no weight” to a ruling earlier this month by a Washington, DC, federal judge who dismissed litigation against the government by other GSE shareholders, including Perry Capital and Fairholme Funds. Continental Western Insurance Co. filed papers in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa Central Division arguing that Judge Royce Lamberth was “simply wrong” in his interpretation of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and his HERA-based rationale to shut down shareholders’ suits in DC. An investor in GSE stock, Continental’s counsel in the case is...


October 23, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Expanding Access to Credit May Grease Underperforming Home-Purchase Market

The mortgage credit box contracted quickly as the housing market slid toward disaster in 2007, but it’s proving to be much more difficult to stretch it back to what used to be considered normal. The subtitle to this week’s annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association could well have been “access to credit,” an idea that clearly dominated the conversation. Despite the recent unexpected drop in mortgage interest rates, most observers expect origination volume in 2015 to track closely to this year’s sluggish level and part of the problem is relatively weak home-purchase lending. Industry people are...


October 23, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Agrees to Additional Buyback Relief, Pushes Fannie and Freddie Back Into 97s

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt this week unveiled two significant policy changes aimed at opening up the mortgage credit box: additional buyback relief for originators that sell loans to the government-sponsored enterprises and a return to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchases of mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 percent and 97 percent. Speaking at the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Las Vegas, Watt gave some concrete details about the new “life of loan” representation and warranty relief and outlined a number of other changes in the works. Moreover, industry officials contend...


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Enterprise Endnotes

IG Recommends FHFA Upgrade Its Recordkeeping. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is in compliance with its recordkeeping procedures but the policy and infrastructure of its records management could do with an upgrade, concluded an evaluation by FHFA’s Inspector General last week. The IG said that the Finance Agency’s Division of Enterprise Regulation’s recordkeeping practices “have limitations that impede the efficient retrieval” of examination workpapers by agency staff and by IG auditors.


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA-IG Among Growing List of Agencies Employing Armed Agents

The Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency is among a growing list of official government watchdog agencies authorized to employ armed investigators when ferreting out waste, fraud and abuse, according to a recent report. The report issued by the Congressional Research Service listed some three dozen IGs that possess law enforcement authority, which legally empowers them to make arrests, seek warrants and carry firearms.


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA: FHLBank Affordable Housing Contributions Up 57 Percent in ‘13

The 12 Federal Home Loan Banks contributed some $300 million to affordable housing in 2013, according to a report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The report, issued last week, is part of the FHFA’s mandate to monitor and report annually on the FHLBanks’ support of their low-income housing and community development activities. In 2013, the Banks contributed approximately $297 million to the Affordable Housing Program, equal to 10 percent of their net earnings for the preceding year and up approximately 57 percent from 2012, noted the FHFA.


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

UI Dings IG Audit of FHFA Rep-and-Warrant Framework as ‘Incomplete’

In an unusual move, a Washington, DC, think tank has publicly taken to task the official watchdog of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, finding a recent audit of the FHFA’s representation-and-warranty policy “incomplete.” The September report by the FHFA’s Inspector General concluded that the Finance Agency’s implementation of the rep-and-warrant framework was premature and resulted in “significant and unresolved operational risks” to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. An analysis by the Urban Institute found that the OIG’s conclusions were “incomplete and overstate the risk of the plan.”


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Moody’s: FHFA Shouldn’t Increase Fannie, Freddie Guaranty Fees

The Federal Housing Finance Agency “should not appreciably change” guaranty fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to a new paper by Moody’s Analytics. The paper, “A General Theory of G-Fees,” by Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, and Cristian deRitis, a senior director of consumer credit analytics, noted that the two GSEs are currently charging an average g-fee of approximately 60 basis points across all new loans they insure.


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Proposed Rule Would Define FHLBank ‘Former Member’

A proposed Federal Housing Finance Agency rule would define a Federal Home Loan Bank “former member” as an institution whose membership has been terminated but which must still maintain FHLBank stock. Published in the Oct. 8 Federal Register, the proposal’s definition would apply to institutions whose membership has ended but which continue to hold stock in the FHLBank as required by the Bank’s capital plan. …


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

GSE’s Common Securitization Solutions Still Has No CEO

After a year of searching for a chief executive to lead Common Securitization Solutions, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is still looking, but it continues to hire staff. “The search continues,” said a government official close to the matter. “We even have a search firm.”Although the FHFA is keeping a tight lid on information regarding CSS, it’s now common knowledge that the search firm in question is the Washington-based Spencer Stuart, which bills itself as “one of the world’s leading global executive search and leadership consulting firms.”


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Lenders Want Speed, Street Urges Caution on GSE Single Security

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s proposed single security for the GSEs met with conflicting views as the comment period ended this week. In August, the FHFA proposed a single-security structure to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to issue a common MBS to serve the single-family market. The proposal is aimed at eliminating Freddie’s pricing disadvantage and improving liquidity in the to-be-announced market.


October 17, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Judge Denies Former Fannie CFO Discovery Access in GSE Lawsuit

GSE shareholder advocates remain undeterred following a federal judge’s decision late this week to deny a former Fannie Mae executive access to confidential evidence unearthed as part of the discovery process in an investors’ lawsuit against the government. Earlier this year, Fairholme Funds hired former Fannie Chief Financial Officer Timothy Howard as a consultant to assist its law firm Coopers and Kirk. Lawyers for the government want to deny Howard access to some 800,000 pieces of discovery in investors’ litigation challenging Uncle Sam’s “net-worth sweep” of GSE profits.


October 17, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

GAO: U.S. Housing Finance in Need of Reform; Clarity Required on FHFA’s Guaranty Fee Stance

The substantial increase in federal support of the single-family housing finance system, as well as weaknesses uncovered in the wake of the mortgage market meltdown, have led to a U.S. finance system that warrants reform, according to the Government Accountability Office. The GAO focused considerable attention on the much-reported fact that government programs have accounted for a huge share of the mortgage and MBS market since the financial crisis. The congressional watchdog views the federal role in housing finance as a “high-risk area.” “Developments in mortgage markets since 2000 have challenged...


October 17, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Wall Street Urges Caution on GSE Single Security; Lenders Say Full Speed Ahead

Waiting several years to unify Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities into a single MBS could pose a huge risk to its successful completion, warned the mortgage banking industry, but Wall Street thinks it’s worth the wait to get market participants totally behind the move. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s proposed single security for the government-sponsored enterprises met with conflicting views as the comment period ended this week. The proposal is aimed at eliminating Freddie’s pricing disadvantage and improving liquidity in the to-be-announced market. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association urged...


October 10, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Expert: Recapitalize Fannie and Freddie by Ending Government’s Profit Sweep and Draining Portfolios

Ending the conservatorships of the government-sponsored enterprises and recapitalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is the “most pragmatic and feasible” solution to facilitate housing finance reform and protect taxpayers, according to a recently issued white paper. In his blueprint for ending GSE conservatorship, Clifford Rossi – adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park – calls for an administrative solution by recapitalizing Fannie and Freddie and bringing the GSEs out of conservatorship under strict conditions as the next best way of implementing housing finance reform short of legislation. “Conservatorship was...


Poll

What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

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