FHFA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Publishes 2019 Annual Performance Plan

The Federal Housing Finance Agency published its 2019 annual performance plan last week for overseeing the GSEs and Federal Home Loan Banks next year. The performance plan supports the FHFA’s long-range strategic plan, and includes goals, performance measures and targets, and strategies to accomplish those goals.


October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie Sells Three VA Buildings in Prep for Office Consolidation

Fannie Mae recently sold its three Northern Virginia buildings as part of its plan to consolidate the 1.5 million square feet it has in office space in Virginia into one central hub. The buildings were sold to MRP Realty and Artemis Real Estate Partners. But Fannie will continue to occupy the buildings until its new 8,500 square foot headquarters at Reston Gateway, also in Virginia, is completed in 2022.


October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Guidance on Interest Rates, Third-Party Provider Relationships

The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently issued guidance to the GSEs and Federal Home Loan Banks on managing interest rate volatility and third-party provider relationships. The regulator wants firm policies in place to manage the risks posed by changing interest rates and cautioned that excessive interest rate risk can threaten liquidity, earnings, capital and solvency.


October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Requests Input on DTS Modifications from Fannie

Fannie Mae is looking to make about 22 changes to its duty-to-serve plan and the Federal Housing Finance Agency wants input on four of them. Both Fannie and Freddie Mac released their duty-to-serve underserved markets plans for 2018-2020 in December 2017. DTS is aimed at financing for low- and moderate-income families.


October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Upcoming FHFA Hearing to Focus on Oversight of GSE Pilots

Pilot programs implemented by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over recent years will be the focus of a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing next week. As complaints mount about the process in which a number of pilots were introduced and their threat to the primary market, the Senate decided to tackle the issue during the Oct. 18 “Oversight of Pilot Programs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” hearing.


October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Win Will Allow Plaintiffs to Press Forward

A recent court ruling that affirmed the validity of claims that the GSE net worth sweep breached an implied covenant of good faith is a big deal for shareholders, according to the plaintiff’s attorney. David Thompson of Cooper and Kirk told Inside The GSEs this week that U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s decision is a “significant victory” for the plaintiffs.


October 11, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Wants Fannie, Freddie, FHLBanks to Manage Risks From Interest Rate Volatility, Create Rate Risk Framework

The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently issued new guidance requiring Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Banks to have firm policies in place to manage the risks posed by changing interest rates. The regulator cautioned that excessive interest rate risk can threaten liquidity, earnings, capital and solvency.


October 5, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

FHFA Director Watt Appears to be ‘Safe’ for Now, But Concerns Remain About a Successor

It appears – for now – that Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt will serve out the remainder of his term, despite a recent public airing of sexual harassment allegations levied against him by senior advisor Simone Grimes.


October 4, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Director’s Harassment Allegations Center Stage at House Hearing, Accuser’s Lawyer Looks to Next Steps

With just three months left in Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt’s term, it’s still uncertain whether he will ride out his appointment until January 6 as planned or resign because of sexual harassment allegations. Last week during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, lawmakers heard from both Watt and his accuser, Simone Grimes, about harassment that she said began in 2015. At the hearing, Watt fought back against the allegations and questioned the committee’s ...


October 4, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private Mortgage Insurers Set to Comply with PMIERs Update, Analysts See Little Impact

Mortgage insurance companies reported they expect to be in compliance with updates to private MI eligibility requirements for doing business with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were released late last week. The final version of PMIERs 2.0 will take effect on March 31, 2019, and analysts agree that other than a few tweaks, they aren’t terribly different than the original proposal. Since 2015, the U.S. Mortgage Insurers said, PMIERs have nearly doubled the amount of capital each mortgage insurer ...


October 4, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Need MSR Financing? Go See Freddie Mac – It Can Lend Up to $1 Billion and at a Deep Discount

As prospects wane in warehouse lending, some commercial banks are pondering a move into financing mortgage servicing rights but have a major concern: Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage giant that’s in the midst of a $1 billion pilot program. During a recent Congressional oversight hearing, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt for the first time revealed the size of the MSR-financing pilot, saying it’s needed because nonbanks “do not have access to ...


September 28, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Freddie Expands Community Land Trust Mortgage Offering. Freddie Mac announced this week that it’s expanding its support for shared-equity homeownership programs that focus on long-term affordability. The GSE said it will begin purchasing Community Land Trust Mortgages to facilitate the preservation of affordable housing in low- to mid-income markets across the country. In an era of tight housing inventory and rising home prices, Freddie noted that shared-equity homeownership offers prospective buyers a way to become homeowners and lenders an opportunity to support underserved communities. “In developing the Community Land Trust Mortgage offering we were able to take a fresh look at existing mortgage products in this space, listen to the...


September 28, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA’s Costly Exam Program Under Fire for Lack of Results

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s examination program has not made any progress in seven years, according to new report by the FHFA’s Office of Inspector General, which said the number of commissioned examiners has actually decreased. The FHFA is currently conducting an internal review of the program. The IG has been asking the FHFA to beef up its examinations program since 2011. As a result, in 2013 the agency developed its own Housing Finance Examiner Commission Program that offered classroom courses, on-the-job training and final examinations. But the program hasn’t been successful, according to data obtained from the IG.


September 28, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Watt Defends Against Harassment Allegations During HFSC Hearing

Lawmakers who scheduled a hearing about a month ago to discuss oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Agency instead found themselves questioning FHFA Director Mel Watt about sexual harassment claims by one of his employees. During the day-long House Financial Services Committee hearing, which included his accuser Simone Grimes, FHFA Inspector General Laura Wertheimer, and the GSE CEOs, Watt fought back against the allegations. He painted his relationship with Grimes as a mentor/mentee-type interaction and questioned the committee’s decision to even allow Grimes to use that forum when she has a lawsuit pending. But Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, who admitted to having a close friendship with Watt, said, “It’s a new...


September 28, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Hearing Focuses on Sexual Harassment Claims Against FHFA Director, Alleged Retaliation from FHFA, IG

Harassment complaints filed against Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt took center stage during a House Financial Services Committee hearing late this week in which his accuser testified that the agency, along with its inspector general, treated her unfairly. Simone Grimes began her career at the FHFA in 2010 and became a special advisor in 2015. She complained that she was not given the same benefits as her predecessor in this temporary role and was advised that Watt would ...


September 27, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

IG Says Fannie/Freddie Fraud Reports Aren’t Being Effectively Used or Analyzed by FHFA

The Federal Housing Finance Agency could do a better job at utilizing the information it gets from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fraud reports, according to the agency’s Office of Inspector General.


September 21, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Treasury, FHFA Argue No Need for a Rehearing in Fifth Circuit GSE Shareholder Case

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and Treasury Department have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to not entertain a rehearing in the Collins v. FHFA government-sponsored enterprise shareholder case.


September 14, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Trade Groups Pen Letter to Congress, Admin. Urging Reform

More than two dozen trade groups signed an open letter to the administration and Congress urging them to preserve what works in the current housing-finance system and get more private capital back into the market. “There is a pressing need to ensure that the existing progress is cemented rather than cast aside,” said the groups, which include the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Community Home Lenders Association, the Community Mortgage Lenders of America, Independent Bankers of America and the Credit Union National Association. The groups want to make sure that any effort to change the role the GSEs play doesn’t result in market disruptions that reduce access to credit in the single-family and multifamily space.


September 14, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Somber House Hearing on 10th Anniversary of Conservatorship

The bulk of the House Financial Services Committee hearing last week focused on the lack of reform and how the GSEs’ growing role in the housing market makes them more of a liability to taxpayers today than they were before the housing crisis. The hearing was held on September 6, the 10-year anniversary of the conservatorship that has lasted longer than anyone expected. Retiring chairman of the committee Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, called the date the “not so happy anniversary” and said while reform is critical, it’s proven illusive. Hensarling introduced a bipartisan bill during the hearing, the Bipartisan Housing Finance Reform Act of 2018, but implied it likely won’t go anywhere in this Congress.


September 14, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Former FHFA Director Stunned at Length of Conservatorships

James Lockhart, the Federal Housing Finance Agency director who headed the regulator when the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac occurred in September 2008, told Inside The GSEs he never dreamed the conservatorships would last a decade. “We thought it might go a couple of years and Congress would act,” he said. Lockhart added philosophically: “Perhaps, the conservatorships worked too well.” Lockhart, who eventually became a vice chairman of WL Ross & Co., and played a key role in that firm’s mortgage-related investments, said he’s happy that the two are now steadily profitable. But he...


September 14, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie’s Northern VA Consolidation Unnecessary, Says OIG

The Federal Housing Finance Agency should not have approved Fannie Mae’s July request to sell its three buildings in Northern Virginia and consolidate to newly constructed office space, according to a new management alert from the FHFA Office of Inspector General.The report, published late last week, questioned the decision to allow Fannie to consolidate and relocate to newly leased space, built out to specifications. The IG noted that Fannie failed to demonstrate that the move would be in the best interest of taxpayers. In fact, the report said four officials in the FHFA’s Division of Conservatorship told the IG that Fannie faced no “action forcing” event that required it...


September 14, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Issues Proposed Rule on UMBS Focusing on Alignment

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should standardize their programs and policies that impact cash flows in preparation for the new Uniform Mortgage Backed Security, according to a proposed rule issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency this week. The proposed rule incorporates recent input from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The regulator noted that standardizing policies that affect cash flows to investors in to-be-announced MBS will benefit market participants and homeowners. “By instituting regulations that further standardize those products, the proposed rule and the UMBS would reduce complexity and the cost of analytics set to be introduced in the second quarter of 2019,” said the FHFA, adding that it will also help encourage a broader investor base.


September 14, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

FHFA Etches in Stone Synchronization of Fannie and Freddie Prepay Speeds, Goes a Bit Further Than Wall Street Asked

The Federal Housing Finance Agency this week moved to further cement its existing policies that require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to move in lockstep on matters that affect MBS prepayment speeds as a federal regulation.


September 13, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Inspector General Weighs Pros and Cons of Freddie Mac’s Controversial IMAGIN Mortgage Insurance Option

A new Federal Housing Finance Agency inspector general report highlights some potential risks in Freddie Mac’s Integrated Mortgage Insurance, or IMAGIN, program. Although it discusses some of the criticism leveled at the program, the IG report doesn’t take sides.


September 7, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Revised GSE Reform Legislation Strengthens GNMA’s Market Role

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, unveiled long-awaited legislation on government-sponsored enterprise reform that would enhance Ginnie Mae’s role in the secondary mortgage market. Hensarling referred to the bill – the Bipartisan Housing Reform Act of 2018 – as a “bipartisan compromise housing-reform plan” that preserves the government guarantee in the secondary mortgage market. The chairman collaborated with Rep. John Delaney, D-MD, in crafting the bill, which calls for the repeal of the federal charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The bill would shift the secondary market to a system that allows pooling of qualified conventional mortgages backed by government-approved private guarantors with regulated capital. These loans could be pooled in mortgage-backed securities with explicit government guarantees provided by Ginnie. The new MBS program would be ...


September 7, 2018 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Talk of Housing-Finance Reform Heats Up

The 10-year anniversary of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac entering conservatorship prompted an effusion of words regarding housing-finance reform and a draft of a new bipartisan bill in the House. It remains to be seen whether any of the talk turns into action in Congress, though administrative reform via the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Treasury Department remains a possibility. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee ...


Poll

Who "owns" the mortgage customer that’s brought to a wholesale lender through a loan broker?

The broker. It’s his/her client.

35%

The wholesale/table funder. They’re taking the financial risk.

30%

The broker, but only for the first year. After that, the borrower is fair game.

13%

Hard to answer. It’s a complicated issue.

22%