Legislative Issues

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

January 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump’s Plans for Corporate Tax Reduction Could Prompt Treasury Draw by GSEs and Spur GSE Reform Activity

Legislative reform of the government-sponsored enterprises doesn’t appear to be a high priority for Republican lawmakers, but President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to reduce the corporate tax rate could inadvertently prompt some GSE reform activity, according to industry analysts. As of the end of the third quarter of 2016, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had a combined $53.80 billion in deferred tax assets. The DTAs result from differences between the carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities under generally accepted accounting principles and their respective tax bases. The DTAs are...


January 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump Administration Expected to Freeze Cut in FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

The Trump administration is expected to put a temporary freeze on the 25 basis point cut in FHA annual premiums that is scheduled to take effect Jan. 27. One industry source noted: “On Jan. 20, President Trump will be issuing an executive order that freezes all past actions over a certain period of time. The FHA premium reduction gets swept into this.” Sources told...


January 16, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

ABA Calls for CFPB Reform, Expanded Qualified Mortgage

The American Bankers Association sent a letter to the leaders of Congress recently, urging adoption of a bipartisan regulatory relief package that would provide unspecified reform of the CFPB and address an expanded definition of a qualified mortgage. When it comes to the bureau, the ABA urged sensible regulation by restoring “balance to the regulatory process, including Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reform,” and by focusing on promoting both economic growth and safety and soundness. On the QM point, the organization asked lawmakers to “reform mortgage regulations that have raised costs and prevented banks from flexibly serving their customers without enhancing consumer protections or safety and soundness. Most crucially, deeming loans held in portfolio as qualified mortgages will expand safe and ...


January 13, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Multiple ABS Sectors Expected to Turn in Stable Performances This Year, Analysts Say

With financial markets awaiting, with some uncertainty, the public policy positions of the incoming Trump administration and the new Congress, industry analysts say ABS investors can expect most sectors to turn in stable performances in 2017. “As we look back on 2016 and consider the 2017 global structured finance outlook, most markets and their credit conditions seem favorable, and in some cases, even ideal. However, 2017 has many unknowns, especially the specific policies and priorities that will be adopted by the new U.S. administration,” said analysts with S&P Global Ratings in a recent outlook report. “Some would suggest government-sponsored enterprise privatization is possible, risk retention could be revised, and an appropriate/globally consistent capital treatment for structured finance products could be approved.” Further, “For the most part, we expect...


January 13, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Basel Capital Requirements’ Impact on Non-Agency MBS Activities Uncertain, According to GAO

Capital requirements regarding bank holdings of non-agency MBS increased significantly after federal regulators implemented Basel III reforms in 2014. And while banks have largely been reluctant to re-enter the market for non-agency MBS issuance, a recent report by the Government Accountability Office suggests that the impact of bank involvement in the non-agency MBS market is unclear. The GAO was asked to explain how capital requirements for a mortgage depend on how the loan is financed and how the requirements have changed since the financial crisis. The report was requested by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL, who until recently was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The GAO noted...


January 13, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

The Outlook for GSE Reform Brightens, But When and How is a Different Story

Change in the political balance in Washington that put the GOP in control of both houses of Congress and the executive branch has fueled speculation that something will finally be done to resolve the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As in the past, there is no shortage of competing proposals. At an Urban Institute seminar this week, Rick Lazio, former Republican congressman from New York, said...


January 12, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

As Trump Administration Prepares to Take Reins, New Lineups on Capitol Hill Begin to Take Shape

With the formal transition of presidential power now a mere week away, Congressional Republicans and Democrats alike were busy this week reordering the teams that will take the field for the 115th Congress. Mortgage lenders are hopeful for at least some degree of regulatory relief from the Republican-controlled Congress and White House, but Democrats are vowing to defend the Dodd-Frank Act, one of the signature achievements of the outgoing Obama administration. Republicans in the House of Representatives got...


January 12, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With PHH Case Pending, Industry Officials Still Believe CFPB Should Give More RESPA Guidance

Mortgage compliance experts say there’s still a strong need for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide more guidance about acceptable business relations under Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. One of the issues that came to the fore in the bureau’s enforcement action against PHH Mortgage was lenders’ relationships under marketing services agreements. Even though banks these days may be using MSAs to a lesser extent than nonbanks, there is still a need for the CFPB to more clearly delineate do’s and don’ts. “On the lender side of the mortgage industry, there is...


January 5, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Regulators Seek to Track Mortgage Process More Closely, Focusing on Time Between Origination and Final Funding

Regulators are working to get a better understanding about the ownership of mortgages, particularly for the span between origination and final funding, according to the Office of Financial Research. “Regulators now collect origination data and loan performance data about much of the home mortgage market,” the OFR said in its recently published 2016 financial stability report. “However, they do not collect data about ownership of a mortgage between origination and final funding. Information on this short phase in the life of a loan is needed for a full picture of risks.” The OFR, an office of the Treasury Department that was established by the Dodd-Frank Act, noted...


January 2, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Banks, CUs Urge Changing CFPB to a Commission Structure

A handful of industry groups representing banks and credit unions wrote to Senate leaders recently, making the case for switching the leadership structure of the CFPB from a single director to a multi-member commission, which was how the bureau was initially envisioned by early advocates such as Elizabeth Warren, then an adviser to President Obama. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and Minority Leader-elect Chuck Schumer, D-NY, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association, the Independent Community Bankers of America, and the National Association of Federal Credit Unions urged lawmakers to pass legislation to create a five-person, bipartisan board to govern the bureau. “The CFPB is an independent regulatory agency that provides the sole ...


January 2, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Reps, Allies Set the Stage For Changes to CFPB, Dodd-Frank

As 2016 drew to a close, various industry officials were busy making the case for legislation that would alter the structure of the CFPB and clip its wings as part of a strategy to scale back the Dodd-Frank Act and provide lenders with significant regulatory relief. Industry officials are confident they will encounter a more sympathetic White House with Donald Trump as the occupant. Analysts with Compass Point Research & Trading believe a number of important issues will be addressed as part of the final legislative regulatory relief package, including governance changes shifting the CFPB, as well as the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, into commission structures. They also expect to see ...


December 22, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Two House Bills Push to Expand GSE Credit-Risk Transfers

Two House bills introduced last week focus on making sure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac broaden their scope of credit risk-sharing transactions through pilot programs and the use of deeper mortgage insurance coverage. The “Taxpayer Protections and Market Access for Mortgage Finance Act of 2016” would require the Federal Housing Finance Agency to push the GSEs to transfer at least 400 basis points of their total risk. Meanwhile, the “Moving Housing Forward Act” would set up a system for Fannie and Freddie to sell off some of the “catastrophic” risk retained by the GSEs on mortgage-backed securities issued in the to-be-announced market.


December 16, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

FOMC Finally Raises Interest Rates, Projects More in 2017. Higher Rates May be Here to Stay, Analysts Say

This week, for only the first time this year and only the second time in the last decade, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points, a move widely expected by market participants. What captured more attention was an upward adjustment of the Federal Open Market Committee’s so-called “dot plot,” suggesting that the U.S. central bank anticipates possibly raising rates three times during each of the next three years. Last year at this time, the FOMC raised...


December 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSEs to Dabble in Personal MH

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will launch pilot programs to purchase personal loans tied to manufactured housing under the final duty-to-serve regulation released this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The duty-to-serve requirement was mandated by Congress eight years ago but has never been implemented. The government-sponsored enterprises will devise three-year plans for serving low- and moderate income households in three underserved areas: manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing. Like the annual affordable housing goals set for the GSEs, the duty-to-serve requirement does not include...


December 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

New House Bills Focus on Increasing GSE Credit Risk- Sharing Through Pilot Programs, Deeper MI Coverage

Legislation introduced in the last weeks of the 114th Congress would push Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac deeper into the risk-sharing pool, including forcing them into a front-end structure they have so far resisted. The “Taxpayer Protections and Market Access for Mortgage Finance Act of 2016” would require the Federal Housing Finance Agency to push the two government-sponsored enterprises to transfer at least 400 basis points of their total risk. While it’s not clear how the legislation intends this to be measured, it appears...


December 9, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Royce Introduces Bill to Increase CRT Activity with Private Sector

House Financial Services Committee members Rep Ed Royce, R-CA, and Rep. Gwen Moore, D-WI, introduced a bill this week to make it mandatory for the GSEs to increase credit risk transfers with the private sector. It includes provisions regarding deep coverage mortgage insurance. The Taxpayer Protections and Market Access for Mortgage Finance Act (H.R. 6487) is a way for Congress to encourage Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to increase the amount and the types of credit risk transfer transactions to the maximum level that is economically and commercially viable, said Royce.


December 9, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Mnuchin GSE Privatization Comments Cause a Stir

Comments made by Treasury Secretary Designate Steven Mnuchin about privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caused much speculation around Washington last week. But analysts predict that privatization in the near term is unlikely. Mnuchin criticized the fact that the GSEs have been in conservatorship this long. During a cable television interview he said, “We’ve got to get Fannie and Freddie out of government ownership,” adding that it often displaces private lending in the mortgage markets. “So let me just be clear. We’ll make sure that when they’re restructured they’ll be safer and they won’t get taken over again, but we’ve got to get them out of government control.”


December 9, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

With Coming Change in Executive Branch, Analysts Assess Regulatory Regime Imposed After the Financial Crisis

With November’s election potentially unraveling key features of the financial regulatory structure instituted over the past eight years, experts say it’s time for policymakers to figure out what’s working and what needs to be fixed. During a panel session hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Richard Berner, director of the Office of Financial Research, said that more information is needed about liquidity because a lack of it is often cited as one of the unintended consequences of regulation. “Market liquidity is...


Poll

HUD has announced a 25 basis point cut in FHA premiums, which is slated to take effect in late January. Is your lending shop for or against a cut in FHA premiums?

For. It should help lending volumes.
Against. The private MI sector should take on this risk, not the government.
Too early to say.
I believe the new White House may scuttle the idea so it doesn’t matter.

vote to see results