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Volume 17 - Number 20

October 6, 2017

FHFA Director Tells Congress GSE Reform Action Needed ASAP

There was a sense of urgency in FHFA Director Mel Watt’s comments to Congress this week about reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As the year winds down and the GSEs’ capital buffer becomes non-existent in January 2018, the FHFA head voiced his frustration about the lack of action from Congress on addressing the nine-year conservatorship. “These conservatorships have been unprecedented in scope, complexity and duration, especially when you consider that the enterprises support over $5 trillion in mortgage loan guarantees,” he said testifying before the House Financial Services Committee. House lawmakers fired off questions to Watt on everything from flood insurance to the qualified-mortgage rule and credit-risk transfers during this week’s hearing.

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With mortgage production down noticeably this year from 2017, how many lenders might disappear via M&A or failure during the next 12 months?

10% or less. It’s not that bad out there.
11% to 25%. It’s a challenging market.
25% to 40%. It’s going to be very ugly.
No opinion.

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