Legislative Issues

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

May 27, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

House Oversight Panel Scrutinizes Payments to Third Parties from Banks’ RMBS Settlements

A heated partisan debate broke out during a House subcommittee hearing late last week on whether multi-billion dollar settlements designed to resolve legacy MBS cases undermine Congress’ power to appropriate funds. Democrats and Republicans on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations debated whether federal law allows banks to donate money to third-party charities to fulfill some of its settlement obligations. Ranking Minority member Al Green, D-TX, said...


May 26, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House Eases LO Employment Transitions; Senate Passes FY 2017 FHA Funding Bill

The House this week approved legislation making it easier for loan officers working for depository institutions to go to work for nonbanks. Separately, the Senate last week approved a $39.2 billion fiscal 2017 funding bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. By a unanimous voice vote, House lawmakers approved H.R. 2121, the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act. The legislation provides for a 120-day temporary license for registered loan originators who change jobs and makes for an easier transition when moving from a financial institution to a state-licensed nonbank or to another state. Introduced last April by Rep. Steve Stivers, R-OH, the bill would require...


May 26, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Supreme Court Ruling in Case Involving FCRA Seen As Helpful in Limiting Mortgage-Related Class Actions

A ruling last week by the Supreme Court of the United States was viewed by the Mortgage Bankers Association as potentially making it harder for plaintiffs to win class-action certifications. Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins involves alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Thomas Robins filed a class-action lawsuit against Spokeo, alleging that his profile on the firm’s website contained inaccurate information. Spokeo is an online aggregator of individuals’ contact- and credit-information. The case was initially dismissed...


May 20, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Trade Groups Urge Congress to Reevaluate Appraisal Oversight

Trade groups representing lenders, homebuilders and appraisers have asked Congress to hold a hearing this year on the future of appraisal regulation. In a joint letter, five industry groups urged the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs to reevaluate oversight of the appraisal industry and the current federal regulatory structure for real estate appraisal. The committee last held an appraisal oversight hearing in 2004. Federal appraisal regulations have been untouched since the enactment of the Federal Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, the trade groups noted. In addition, the groups asked that both federal and state responsibilities be reassessed to see if they continue to serve consumers and market participants well, as well as promote competition in the marketplace. In addition to federal regulation, states regulate appraisers as well. The groups want to know from Congress whether federal oversight of appraisers is still necessary.


May 20, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Deconsolidation Opened Credit Access, New Things to Think About

The rapid deconsolidation in the Ginnie Mae issuer community and shift to nonbanks helped expand access for borrowers, but it’s also given the agency new issues to consider, officials said. Back in 2010-11, three Ginnie issuers dominated the program, noted Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer during the Mortgage Bankers Association secondary-market conference in New York this week. But those three firms now account for just 14 percent of the agency’s business, and nonbanks held a combined 70 percent of the market, he said. Many new firms became issuers in part so they could get away from the credit overlays imposed by the national aggregators, Tozer said. The result is that the average score on a Ginnie loan is now 60 points lower than on loans securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he added. Michael Drayne, senior vice president in Ginnie’s office of issuer & portfolio management, said the ...


May 19, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Conservative Groups Surprisingly Join the Bandwagon Calling for Recapitalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Frustrated by inaction on housing finance reform, a dozen conservative organizations led by the National Taxpayers Union called on Congress to begin recapitalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The coalition of center-right organizations urged Congress to pass H.R. 4913, the “Housing Finance Restructuring Act of 2016.” They said the Treasury sweep of the government-sponsored enterprises’ profits implemented in 2012 has “jeopardized” the financial system and taxpayers. “If there is one thing this presidential campaign has revealed, it is...


May 16, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Also in Brief: Capitol Hill Roundup

Hensarling Slams CFPB, Vows Big Changes to Dodd-Frank, the Bureau. During a speech last week at the National Center for Policy Analysis, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pledged to push a package of pro-growth, pro-consumer reforms as an alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act, including clipping the wings of the CFPB. “At almost every opportunity, the bureau abuses and exceeds its statutory authority, which is already immense,” said the congressman. “The bureau operates with such secrecy, unaccountability, and bureaucratic tyranny it would make a Soviet Commissar blush.” As the committee moves forward with its plans for financial reform, Hensarling promised the Republicans will have ...


May 13, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Flood Insurance Act Could be Problematic for Fannie, Freddie

While many applaud the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act that passed the House unanimously late last month, one mortgage group says the bill could cause problems for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Currently, homeowners can only get coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program. The bill, H.R. 2901, expands flood insurance options by including private flood insurance, and requires the GSEs to accept any private flood insurance company a borrower chooses, as long as the company is financially sound. It also lifts certain federal restrictions placed on insurance companies and gives states more flexibility to license and regulate private flood insurance. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-FL, who co-sponsored H.R. 2901 with Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-FL, said the...


May 5, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lenders Pushing for House Vote on Bill Helping LOs Move From Banks to Nonbanks, Mortgage Brokers Raise Concerns

Lenders and mortgage brokers are at odds over a House bill that would make it easier for loan originators to leave jobs at depository institutions and go to work for nonbank lenders. The Mortgage Bankers Association is pushing for a vote in the House on H.R. 2121, the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act of 2015. The bill was approved by the House Financial Services Committee in March on a 56-0 vote. The unanimous bipartisan support for the bill was fairly rare and suggested strong prospects for the legislation to move forward. However, a vote in the House has yet...


May 5, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House Passes Bill Encouraging Use of Private Flood Insurance; Requiring GSEs to ‘Accept Flood Insurance’ Raises Concerns

The House of Representatives last week unanimously approved legislation that would require federal agencies to accept private flood insurance for residential properties if it complies with state insurance laws and regulations. Approved by a vote of 419-0, H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, would remove regulatory barriers and clarify Congress’ intent to encourage the use of private flood insurance to compete with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Specifically, the bill lifts certain federal restrictions placed on insurance companies and gives states more flexibility to license and regulate private flood insurance. Under current law, homeowners are limited...


April 28, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lawmakers Divided on GSE Payments to Affordable Housing Initiatives, Bill Introduced to Halt Payments

Underserved markets will suffer by not allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to retain capital, according to Rep. Mike Capuano, D-MA, who urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Treasury Department to re-examine the terms of their conservatorship. Under the current plan, the government-sponsored enterprises are not allowed to build capital and by January 2018 their reserves are expected to be wound down to zero. Capuano said...


April 28, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Senate Panel Unveils HUD Funding Bill, Spurns Lender IT Fee, Senate Okays Inclusion of Energy Costs in FHA Underwriting

The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved funding for several housing provisions in the government’s Transportation and Housing and Urban Development fiscal year 2017 budget proposal, including FHA technological improvements, while the full Senate passed an amendment to include energy costs in FHA underwriting and appraisals. Approved by a unanimous vote of 30 to 0, the T-HUD budget bill, among other things, would provide federal funding for FHA technological upgrades rather than charge lenders an administrative fee as HUD had proposed. The committee appropriated $13 million in specific funds to improve FHA’s information technology. The proposed per-loan fee charged to lenders was projected...


April 22, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

As Congress Formally Punts on GSE Reform this Year, Industry Participants Propose a Number of Options

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs signaled this week that Congress is unlikely to take up comprehensive legislation to reform the government-sponsored enterprises before the presidential election this fall. Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-AL, asked the Government Accountability Office to publish a report on a variety of issues involving the GSEs and their potential future structure by Nov. 1. Shelby’s deadline could be ambitious for such a complex issue: a report published last week by the GAO on issues with nonbank mortgage servicers was requested back in October 2014. The timeline suggests...


April 22, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Trading Hits Low for the Year; Is Liquidity an Issue or Is This the ‘New Normal’?

The average daily trading volume in agency MBS fell to $189.4 billion in March, the lowest reading of the year, and a sign that liquidity may still be an issue, depending on which seat you’re in. According to figures compiled by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the trading numbers for 2016, so far, haven’t exactly lit the world on fire. In January and February, the readings were $195.1 billion and $201.4 billion, respectively. Last year, the best reading was...


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