Legislative Issues

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

November 19, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Crunch Time Approaches on Capitol Hill for Regulatory Relief, Other Industry Measures

A sense of urgency is starting to grip mortgage industry lobbyists and other officials as they try to push forward a wish list of legislative initiatives in the waning days of the first session of the 114th Congress. One fear is that if provisions they advocate aren’t enacted by year-end, presidential election year dynamics will keep anything substantive from being achieved in 2016. Ron Haynie, head of mortgage finance policy for the Independent Community Bankers of America ...

November 13, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

SIFMA Supports Nomura’s Appeal in FHFA Case, Questions Claim Timeframe

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association recently filed an amicus brief in support of the defendants to reverse a case in which the Federal Housing Finance Agency argued that Nomura Holdings sold shoddy MBS to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In the case of FHFA vs. Nomura Holdings, a judge ruled in May, after a three-week bench trial, that Nomura and RBS Securities were liable for the claims brought by the FHFA and knowingly sold bad MBS to the government-sponsored enterprises before the 2008 financial crisis. The MBS were backed by mortgages with an unpaid principal balance of about $2.05 billion at the time of purchase. Nomura appealed...

November 6, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

House Vote to Cap GSE's CEO Salaries Rescheduled

A bill to cap the salaries of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEOs at $600,000 is expected to become law, but has been rescheduled for vote in the House sometime during the week of Nov. 16. The budget vote last week, coupled with the debate over the Export-Import Bank and election of a new House Speaker, resulted in the salary cap legislation being postponed for a floor vote at a later date this month, said Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA. Royce introduced the “Equity in Government Compensation Act” back in May. It would suspend the $4 million compensation packages for Fannie’s Timothy Mayapoulos and Freddie’s Donald Layton that were approved early this year after...

November 6, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

Amendment Passed, Removes G-Fees Extension from Highway Bill

The House approved an amendment to remove an extension of higher guaranty fees for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with strong bipartisan support. The Neugebauer-Huizenga amendment to H.R. 22, introduced by Reps. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, and Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., was adopted by the House on Nov. 5. About 30 industry trade groups, including lenders and builders, rallied behind the effort and sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, earlier this week urging that the g-fee extensions be removed. Without the amendment, a 10 basis point surcharge on Fannie and Freddie g-fees that went into effect in 2012 could have ended up...

November 6, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Wall Street to Weigh in With SCOTUS on Debt Buyer Case With Implications for Consumer Loan Securitization

The Structured Finance Industry Group and Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association plan to file a “friend of the court” brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in support of a defendant in a case affecting consumer ABS – the severity of which is a matter of debate. In the case of Madden v. Midland Funding, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals back in May determined that a debt buyer who purchased defaulted credit card accounts from a national bank is not entitled to collect interest under the National Bank Act at the rate set in the cardholder agreement. About a month later, SFIG and SIFMA filed...

November 5, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Groups Pitch for GSE Re-Capitalization Against Stiff Obama Administration Resistance

Freddie Mac’s $475 million net loss in the third quarter of 2015 – its first in four years – underscores the need to rebuild capital reserves at the two government-sponsored enterprises and to plan for their emergence from conservatorship, according to some mortgage groups and housing advocates. In a joint letter, the Community Home Lenders Association and the Community Mortgage Lenders of America, both of which represent small independent mortgage lenders, urged President Obama to support recommended revisions to a sweep agreement that prohibits the GSEs from rebuilding capital and to free them from conservatorship. Freddie’s third-quarter loss was...

October 30, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA, FHA Issue Guidelines to Ensure Lender Compliance with TRID Rule

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the FHA have issued guidelines concerning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule as it relates to VA- and FHA-backed mortgages. The new TRID rule covers loan applications received on or after Oct. 3, 2015. It replaced Truth-in-Lending-Act disclosures and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s closing (HUD-1) settlement statement. The rule requires that all covered loans be closed using the new closing disclosure. The VA has announced new closing-disclosure guidelines and a new mandatory method for the stacking order of loan files selected for full-loan review. According to the VA, all files selected for full review on or after Oct. 3 may include the HUD-1 statement. The agency is aware that loans will be requested that have the HUD-1 closing document, and that it will perform the full file review with the ...

October 30, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Highway Trust Fund Bill That Could Extend GSE Guaranty Fees Postponed for 3 Weeks

A 10 basis point surcharge on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranty fees that went into effect in 2012 could end up being extended for another five years as lawmakers on Capitol Hill look for money to back the federal government’s Highway Trust Fund. The 10 percent increase in the government-sponsored enterprises’ g-fees was designed to pay for an extension of a federal payroll tax cut. It is currently scheduled to run to 2021, generating $35.7 billion in revenue, according to the Congressional Budget Office. With transportation funding set to expire Oct. 29, the House this week approved...

October 29, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Although Major GSE Reform Is Years Away, Congress May Tinker at the Edges

There is widespread agreement that any substantive legislative remedy for the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac won’t begin to happen until after the 2016 elections – if then – but lawmakers on Capitol Hill may manage to push through some minor adjustments in this Congress. The most likely legislation to pass would have an impact on just two individuals, the CEOs of Fannie and Freddie, who received sizable pay hikes early this year. In the Senate, S. 2036, the Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015 would require the Federal Housing Finance Agency to suspend those compensation packages and roll them back to $600,000, their previous level. The bill was co-sponsored...

October 29, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Everybody Agrees on FHA’s Upward Revenue Arc, No Outright MIP Cut; Analysts Say More Policy Changes Likely to Come

Although most analysts and industry observers agree that the FHA cut in mortgage insurance premiums, effective in January, has resulted in stronger purchase volumes and credit availability, opinions vary as to whether another reduction is on the way. The FY 2014 independent actuarial audit of the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund projected FHA’s total loan production in fiscal 2015 at $124 billion. With the FHA pricing adjustment, production is now expected to increase by 60 percent, with total production estimated at $200 billion by the end of the fiscal year, said Brian Chappelle, an industry consultant. As program fundamentals trend upward, Chappelle is...

October 23, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

Ending Conservatorship Not in the Cards Says Treasury, White House

As rumors ran rampant over the past few weeks about the White House possibly looking to end GSE conservatorship before a new administration takes reign, Treasury and White House officials said this week there are no plans in the works to recapitalize and release the GSEs. “None of us should be misled by the increasingly noisy chorus of the advocates of recap and release,” said Michael Stegman, the White House’s senior policy director for housing, speaking at this week’s annual Mortgage Bankers Association conference. He added that doing so would “turn back the clock on the run-up to the crisis,” which he said would be “bad judgment and poor stewardship of taxpayer’s interest.”

October 19, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

TRID Safe Harbor Passes House, Faces White House Veto Threat

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives voted 303-121 in favor of H.R. 3192, The Homebuyers Assistance Act. The legislation would provide the mortgage industry with a regulatory and legal safe harbor until Feb. 1, 2016, for mortgages originated in good faith under the CFPB’s Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure rule, otherwise known as TRID. The rule, designed to streamline the mortgage disclosures under the two laws, took effect Oct. 3, 2015, after nearly two years of notice from the CFPB. “The CFPB and House Republicans agree that a transitional period for TRID compliance which enables lenders to test their systems and ensures there is no large-scale disruption to mortgage lending is necessary,” said Rep. ...

October 16, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Federal Tax Credits Amplify VA Loan Benefits, Says Real Estate Broker

The VA loan is a great option for veterans and servicemembers looking to purchase a new home. However, did you know it could also be paired with other home-financing programs to give the borrower a bigger bang for the buck? For instance, many real estate brokers and mortgage lenders are unaware that the VA loan can be used with certain products offered through state housing finance agencies to provide greater benefits to veterans and members of the military. The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) offers a tax credit program that allows VA borrowers to claim a percentage of the annual mortgage interest paid each year as a federal tax credit on their federal income tax returns. “It is not a tax deduction,” said Chad Patterson, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Traditions in Longmont, CO. “This can be a huge asset to the ...


Should the FHA cut premiums?

Yes, the MMIF has surpassed the 2 percent minimum. It’s time to help first-time home buyers.
Yes, but not until mid-2016 at least, when we see how the fund is doing.
No. The MMIF needs to rebuild and prepare for another potential downturn – just in case.
No. We believe the minimum ratio should actually be raised to 4 percent or higher.
I am undecided.

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