Legislative Issues

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

August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

More Indemnification Demands Anticipated

The False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) not only have become strong enforcement tools in the fight against FHA mortgage fraud but also an efficient means of recovering taxpayer losses. Having used both federal statutes effectively to wrangle huge settlements from large banks, federal prosecutors now have their eyes set on mid-level banks, according to compliance experts during a recent webinar hosted by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications. “Because these FCA [and FIRREA] lawsuits have been a cash cow for the Department of Justice and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I think these agencies will target mid-level banks next,” said ...


August 4, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

The Revolving Door/Legislative Update/Comments Due

Another CFPB Official Heads for the Private Sector. CFPB Enforcement Attorney Manuel Alvarez has been hired away by Affirm, a young financial services company based in San Francisco, to be its first chief compliance officer and general counsel. In his new role at Affirm, Alvarez will oversee and manage the company’s regulatory compliance program and related actives to prevent illegal, unfair or deceptive conduct. He will also take charge of the firm’s working relationships with regulators and Affirm’s service providers. “Consumers often don’t understand the fees or interest they pay on a revolving account. That has to change,” said Alvarez. “Affirm’s commitment to delivering honest and transparent financial products totally aligns with my long-standing commitment to consumer protection.” Alvarez was ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lower Loan Limits Hit Some Markets

The FHA’s widespread reduction in loan limits for 2014 has had a mixed impact on production levels so far this year, according to a new Inside FHA Lending analysis of FHA endorsement data. Through the first four months of 2014, FHA endorsements were down 55.6 percent from the same period last year. But in counties where loan limits were lowered, FHA production was down 57.5 percent from early 2013. In the relatively few counties where loan limits actually increased in 2014, FHA endorsements were also down from a year ago, but by a less severe 47.4 percent. The biggest decline in endorsements has been in refinances, especially FHA-to-FHA refinances. In areas with lowered loan limits, production of these loans has plummeted 87.0 percent, and even areas with raised loan limits saw an 81.1 percent drop in streamlined refis. Purchase-mortgage originations have taken less of a ...


July 31, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

MBA Pushing for Expansion of LO Testing to Bank Employees, Leveling Playing Field with Nonbanks

The Mortgage Bankers Association is pressing regulators and legislators for uniform national requirements for testing of loan originators. In a shift from the bank-friendly issues frequently pursued by the trade group, the MBA is calling for testing requirements that currently apply to nonbanks to be expanded to banks. “MBA believes that all consumers should know that every LO, regardless of what type of lender they work for, meets a demonstrated minimum threshold of knowledge of mortgage lending by passing a test,” the trade group said. The changes sought by the MBA would also allow...


July 25, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

House Democrat GSE Reform Bill Greeted With Praise, Suggestions

Reform legislation rolled out earlier this month by House Democrats that would phase Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of business while dramatically expanding Ginnie Mae’s role in the market has been positively received within the industry, but room for improvement remains. 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. However, the lawmakers said they are playing the long game with their bill, looking ahead to the GSE reform debate in the 114th Congress.


July 25, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Sources: White House Still Working On Advancing GSE Reform This Year

The White House isn’t quite ready to pack it in on housing finance reform legislation this year, at least in the Senate, even as policymakers look ahead to take up the issue anew next year, say industry observers. The industry at large has all but written off the prospects of advancing a GSE reform bill in the 113th Congress following the bare minimum passage out of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee of S. 1217 by the committee’s chairman and ranking member Sens. Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Mike Crapo, R-ID.


July 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HUD: Other Lenders Will Fill in If Chase Bolts FHA; But Agency Working on Ways to Mitigate Lender Concerns

If JPMorgan Chase were to exit the FHA program, plenty of other residential lenders would pick up the slack, according to officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who in a press briefing this week indicated the agency is hardly worried about such a development. “There are plenty of other lenders,” said one senior HUD official. “Their [JPM’s] volume has dropped. Quicken is now number one.” During an earnings call last week, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon questioned...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

House Democrats’ Bill Features Amped-Up GNMA

Ginnie Mae would play a greater role in a private-market partnership model envisioned in proposed housing finance reform legislation introduced recently by House Democrats. However, many in the industry doubt whether a Democrat-sponsored reform bill will pass in this Congress. Sponsored by Reps. John Delaney (MD), John Carney (DE) and Jim Himes (CT), the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act would put Ginnie Mae in charge of all single- and multifamily mortgage-backed securities with government backing. Among other things, H.R. 5055 would create a new Ginnie Mae MBS for conventional mortgages backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government with minimum support from the private sector. Under the proposed model, private entities would assume up to 5 percent of the first-loss capital on the MBS. The remaining 95 percent would be shared between ...


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

House Democrats’ ‘Middle Ground’ Bill Lauded by Industry But Lawmakers Tired of Mortgage Reform

A new “middle ground” legislative proposal that would replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a beefed-up Ginnie Mae is getting high marks from industry observers, but lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill have no more appetite for housing finance reform this year. The Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act, H.R. 5055, sponsored by House Democrats John Delaney (MD), John Carney (DE) and Jim Himes (CT), would create a new Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed security for conventional mortgages. It would have the full faith and credit of the federal government while tapping private sector capital to absorb some of the risk. H.R. 5055 has...


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

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.


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

Plans to enter this market over the next 12 months.
Is already making home equity loans and hopes to increase the offerings.
Is in the market but don’t expect much growth.
Is not making second liens and has no plans to do so.

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