Legislative Issues

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

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...


September 2, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

FHFA’s TCPA Exemption Request Denied. The Federal Communications Commission turned down the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s request to exempt GSE mortgage servicing calls from prohibitions against robocalls, or automated dialing and calling systems, to contact delinquent borrowers. It refused the request, citing the exemption for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans “because little in the way of facts has been entered into the record.” According to the commission, the FHFA, in its request, cites two different exemption provisions. However, the FCC said the FHFA failed to provide the information necessary for determining whether the calls at issue would satisfy the threshold requirements for exemption. Under the rule, calls to cell phones are capped at no more than three attempts...


September 2, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Freddie Still Chipping Away at Legacy Buyback Issues

While Fannie Mae has mopped up virtually all of the buyback disputes on loans more than a few years old, Freddie Mac still has a stubborn supply of legacy repurchase demands on its hands. A new Inside The GSEs analysis of repurchase activity disclosures for the second quarter of 2016 reveals that 39.6 percent of Freddie’s pending and disputed buyback claims involved loans that were securitized prior to 2008. At Fannie, such loans accounted for just 0.7 percent of unresolved buyback demands as of the end of June. Freddie did make progress during the second quarter, however. In fact, 34.8 percent of the seller repurchases or indemnifications made during the...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Groups Ask FHA, VA to Set Aside PACE Guide, Allow Comment Period

Major industry trade groups are asking FHA and VA to suspend proposed guidelines for energy-improvement loans and give stakeholders an opportunity to comment. In a joint letter, 11 trade groups warned that the proposed agency guidelines regarding Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans raises serious concerns that must be resolved before implementation of any PACE guidance. Prior to the issuance of the new guidelines, both FHA and VA prohibited the financing or refinancing if there was a lien other than the FHA-insured or VA-guaranteed mortgages. PACE programs are available in 19 states but most are in California. They provide financing for home improvements and clean-energy upgrades that would result in more efficient use of water and electricity, and ultimately savings for homeowners. The PACE obligation is repaid through a property-tax assessment, which takes a ...


August 25, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FCC Declines to Exclude Servicer Calls to Delinquent Borrowers from TCPA’s ‘Prior Consent’ Requirement

The Federal Communications Commission has refused an industry request to exempt mortgage servicing calls from prohibitions against the use of “robocalls,” or automated dialing and calling systems, to contact delinquent borrowers on their cell phones. In a long-awaited final rule limiting the way servicers can collect on student loans, mortgages and other debts owed to the federal government, the FCC said it would not make a decision on whether the statutory exemption from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s “prior express consent” requirements applies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans or their servicers. The TCPA and FCC regulations require...


August 19, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Extends Credit Risk Transfer Comment Period to October

The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended the response deadline on its “request for input” on the credit risk-transfer program. The response period will now close on Oct. 13, 2016, instead of Aug. 29. The FHFA extended it by 45 days because various industry stakeholders said they wanted more time to evaluate the information and questions raised in the RFI. Back in June, the FHFA asked for industry feedback on various aspects of its CRT program. Fannie Mae’s Connecticut Avenue Securities program and Freddie Mac’s Structured Agency Credit Risk program have accounted for the bulk of GSE risk-transfer activity since the program was launched three years ago.


Poll

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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