Legislative Issues

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Legislative Issues.

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

New VA Lender Looks to Make an Impression in a Familiar Market

Norwich Commercial Group has launched a new division, Military Direct Mortgage, to focus exclusively on VA direct-to-consumer lending. Based in Avon, CT, just down the road from its parent company, Military Direct opened for business in August this year and the timing could not have been better. In September, issuance of securities backed by VA loans totaled $22.3 billion, up from $18.1 billion in August, according to Ginnie Mae data. VA loan originations saw a 17.4 percent increase in the third quarter from the previous quarter, and were up 22.3 percent over the nine-month period compared to last year. VA purchase-mortgage volume for September totaled $9.9 billion, up after a slight drop in August. Purchase-mortgage activity also improved by 26.1 percent in the third quarter, and by 16.5 percent year-over-year. VA refinance volume featured a huge 34.0 percent increase in ...

October 17, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Supporters, Opponents of Dodd-Frank Put Out Dueling Claims

The White House Council of Economic Advisers put out a report recently downplaying the negative effects that the Dodd-Frank Act has had on community banks. “Economic evidence finds that community banks remain strong across a range of measures, from lending growth to geographic reach, including their performance since financial reform passed in 2010,” the report stated. The Obama administration report also asserts that access to community banks remains robust and their services have continued to grow in the years since Dodd-Frank has taken effect, “though this trend has not been uniform across community banks, with mid-sized and larger community banks seeing stronger growth than the smallest ones,” it conceded. “At the same time, though, many community banks – especially the smallest ...

October 13, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Where Will the MMIF Audit’s Roulette Ball Land? Current Data Point to Measurable Improvement in Fiscal 2016

Recent data on the state of the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and program financials suggest that the annual audit will show solid improvement in the government’s 2016 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. But there are some huge variables that could have a major impact on the final results that won’t be known until the annual audit is released late next month. The MMIF ended...

October 6, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Modifying TRID to Facilitate Additional Cure Provisions Could Require Congressional Action

Many participants in the mortgage industry remain concerned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not address additional cure provisions in its proposed rulemaking to clarify the integrated consumer disclosure known as TRID. Lenders would love to see the bureau respond to these concerns when it finalizes its so-called TRID 2.0 rule. But that might not happen without Congress getting involved. During a webinar last week sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, some attendees inquired...

October 3, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

SFIG Meets With CFPB Officials to Discuss TRID. Staff and key members of the Structured Finance Industry Group, a securitization trade group, recently met with regulators at the CFPB to discuss the bureau’s integrated disclosure rule known in as TRID and reviewed the trade group’s RMBS (residential mortgage-backed securities) 3.0 TRID Compliance Review Scope document.... CFPB Releases Updated Exam Procedures for the Military Lending Act. Late last week, the bureau issued the revised procedures its examiners will use in identifying consumer harm and risks related to the Military Lending Act rule, which was updated in July 2015...

October 3, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Dodd-Frank Mortgage Rules Benefitted Wealthy, Professors Say

Two academics assert in a new white paper that the Dodd-Frank Act mortgage rules promulgated by the CFPB that were designed to protect consumers actually harmed middle-class borrowers and benefitted the wealthy. “Dodd-Frank aimed at reducing mortgage fees and abuses against vulnerable borrowers, but increased the costs of originating mortgages,” said University of Maryland professors Francesco D’Acunto and Alberto Rossi in their new paper. “We find it triggered a substantial redistribution of credit from middle-class households to wealthy households.” A back-of-the-envelope calculation that keeps constant the mortgage demand characteristics of 2010 shows financial institutions reduced their production of medium-sized loans by 15 percent in 2014, and increased making large loans by 21 percent, they said. D’Acunto and Rossi also found ...

September 30, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Industry Groups Worry About Possible CSP Control Transfer

Several special interest groups are worried that the common securitization platform could become part of a backdoor effort to “piecemeal” GSE reform via possible provisions to transfer CSP control to the private sector. The Community Home Lenders Association, Community Mortgage Lenders of America, and six other trade and civil rights groups penned a letter to Congress last week urging the House to not adopt individual provisions as riders to an FY 2017 funding bill or other “must-pass” legislation that they say could bias the final outcomes of an ultimate comprehensive GSE reform bill. Provisions to transfer control of the CSP to the private sector, and most likely the largest private financial institutions have not...

September 29, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

New, Alternative GSE Credit-Scoring Models Would Get a Boost From Bill Under Consideration in House

Mortgage lenders would be able to extend more credit to traditionally underserved borrowers with greater confidence and sell those loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to proponents of legislation pending on Capitol Hill. H.R. 4211, the “Credit Score Competition Act of 2015,” introduced by Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA, would allow Fannie and Freddie to consider alternative scoring models when determining whether to purchase a residential mortgage. Further, the Federal Housing Finance Agency would be given...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

PACE Guidance Not Reassuring, Too Many Uncertainties, Pitfalls

New FHA guidance for dealing with mortgages with a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) obligation went into effect last week but uncertainty lingers and its full impact remains to be seen, according to an industry attorney. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidance specifically allowing properties encumbered by a PACE lien to be eligible for FHA mortgage financing for both purchase and refinance loans. The department of Veterans Affairs has issued similar guidance. According to Erika Sonstroem, an attorney with the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, the PACE industry is touting the guidance in its pitches to lenders as posing no risk to mortgage investors. PACE is a program that lends money to homeowners for home-energy savings projects. It is treated much like a tax lien on a property and is included in the ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Trade Groups Representing Small/Mid-Sized GSE Seller-Servicers Circle the Wagons Around the CSP

Some small and medium-sized lenders continue to fear that their access to the secondary mortgage market could be hampered if the fledgling common securitization platform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is turned over to the private sector. At this point, the CSP is a joint venture owned by the two government-sponsored enterprises with a long-term future as uncertain as that of the GSEs themselves. But there are rumors that Congress may transfer the CSP to private owners sooner than expected. The vehicle for such a transfer would not be...

September 19, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Hensarling Bill Also Would Make Revisions to CFPB Mortgage Rules

H.R. 5983, the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) Act by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has incorporated the provisions of a number of bills that have either already passed the committee or the full House of Representatives and that would affect ...

September 19, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Lawmakers Pass Multiple Changes To CFPB, With Industry Support

Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee had enough votes, despite one defection, to pass a comprehensive alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act that includes a host of changes to the CFPB. The most significant them would be replacing the single directorship with a five-member bipartisan commission and subjecting the agency to the congressional appropriations process. The legislative vehicle they used was H.R. 5983, the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) Act, formally introduced 10 days ago by committee ...

September 16, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Clinton and Trump Both Support Homeownership

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both want to promote homeownership, but they have different views on how to go about it. The Democrats’ platform supports giving “everyone a fair shot at homeownership” in America by putting them in a financial position to own a home, and preserving the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage while “modernizing” credit score models. The GOP platform assures voters that the “American Dream” of homeownership “is not a stale slogan,” ...

September 16, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

House Panel Passes Dodd-Frank Reform Alternative That Would Eliminate Risk-Retention Requirements for ABS

Republicans running the House Financial Services Committee had enough votes, in spite of one defection, to push through a legislative markup this week a comprehensive overhaul of the Dodd-Frank Act that would eliminate the pending risk-retention requirements for ABS other than residential mortgages, among other provisions. The GOP’s preferred legislative vehicle is H.R. 5983, the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) Act, dropped in the legislative hopper a week ago by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, committee chairman. “Many post mortems of the financial crisis posit...

September 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FEMA Recommends Structure-Based Approach to Assessing Flood Risk, Setting NFIP Premium Rates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency this week updated Senate lawmakers on efforts to produce more accurate flood maps and flood-risk models. A key change will shift flood-risk analysis and insurance pricing from the so-called 1 percent annual chance of flooding to the actual flood risk to the structure itself. Testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, FEMA Administrator Roy Wright said adopting the structure-based methodology would require an entirely new approach in flood insurance rating and underwriting, including new regulatory hazard and risk products. Other witnesses at the hearing expressed support for the recommendation, saying it would remove the uncertainty caused by constantly changing flood lines in FEMA maps. The hearing is...

September 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HFSC Passes Dodd-Frank Replacement, Bill Would Foster Portfolio Lending, Make Mortgage Changes

The House Financial Services Committee this week marked up, mostly on party lines, a comprehensive alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act that would, among other things, create a legal safe harbor for mortgage loans that are originated by a lender and then held in portfolio on its balance sheet. Democrats unanimously opposed the bill and refused to offer a single amendment, continually railing against Wells Fargo and accusing the Republicans of wanting to take the nation “back to the regulatory Stone Age.” The bill passed...

September 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Some Shops Reporting Record Loan Production for August, Hiccups From Appraisal Delays and Underwriting Shortages

Some of the nation’s largest originators – including Quicken Loans, United Wholesale Mortgage and Freedom Mortgage – are reporting record originations for August, a boom that’s also resulting in headaches industry-wide: namely appraisal and underwriting delays. At this point, few are describing the delays as a crisis, but with September half over, certain originators fear that longer closing times will eat into profits while angering borrowers. “I have...


After the November elections, how long will it take for a new Congress and White House to pass GSE reform legislation?

I’m confident a bill will be passed the first year.


2 to 3 years. GSE reform is complicated.


Sadly it won’t happen in a Clinton or Trump first term.


Not in my lifetime.


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