Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

April 20, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Nomura Seeks SCOTUS Review of $800 Million Fine Paid to FHFA; SIFMA Offers Support

Nomura Securities wants the Supreme Court of the United States to hear its case after losing an appeal in October to overturn an $800 million penalty assessed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The firm argues that the high court should determine whether the Housing and Economic Recovery Act’s extension of the statute of limitations applies to statutes of repose.

April 19, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA IG, Lawmakers Voice Concerns Over the FHFA’s Supervision of the GSEs; Call for More Stringent Guidance

The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency last week said the regulator of the two government-sponsored enterprises should set stricter guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, more like the approach taken by banking regulators.

April 19, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Groups Divided Over FHFA’s Proposed Options For Credit Scoring Strategies at Fannie and Freddie

The Consumer Federation of America agreed that the FICO score used by Fannie and Freddie is outdated and amounts to a monopoly on scoring. It supports the lender-choice option, but with constraints. The CFA recommended that lenders be required to pick a provider for a minimum period and said the models used by the two government-sponsored enterprises should align with one another.

April 13, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Fannie Mae Announces New Board Member. Christopher Herbert was elected as a director on the company’s board of directors. The GSE noted that he has extensive experience relating to housing policy and urban development. He’s been managing director for Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies since January 2015. The Final Nail in the GSE Reform Coffin: Creation of the $3B Capital Buffer? Although GSE reform appears to be dead in the current Congress, Fitch Ratings issued a report Tuesday predicting that MBS guarantors created in the future to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be on solid ground financially. As for why GSE reform failed, Fitch contends...

April 13, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Proposes to Amend Regulations, Seeks Input

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is proposing to amend its regulations on the responsibility of the board, directors, corporate practices, and corporate governances for the GSEs and Federal Home Loan Banks. It also would apply the FHLB strategic business plans to Fannie and Freddie. This means that the GSEs’ boards would have a strategic business plan in effect at all times, which describes how the regulated entity will achieve its statutory purposes. Moreover, there’d be a provision that requires each GSE board to review the strategic plans annually, re-adopt it once every three years, at minimum, and...

April 13, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA OIG Issues Heavily Redacted Report on GSE Cybersecurity

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General said the FHFA did not make sure that Freddie Mac’s plans to address cybersecurity deficiencies were sufficient. Instead, the agency questionably closed the matter requiring attention (MRA) after deciding on its own that the GSE had completed its planned remedial actions.This raised a red flag with the OIG, which said when an MRA is issued, the FHFA requires the GSE to provide a remedial plan that includes specific milestones that take into consideration the complexity of the issue and the urgency regarding the correction.

April 13, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Alt Credit Score Comments Close With Mixed Views from Industry

The Federal Housing Finance Agency will have its hands full reviewing more than 100 comments related to deciding whether the GSEs should use alternative credit scoring methods. The comment period closed on March 30, and the agency received about a quarter of the replies on the last day. Everyone from industry trade groups and corporations to lenders and lawmakers offered input on whether to allow lenders to use alternatives to the omnipresent FICO credit score. In a request for input issued in December, the agency outlined four potential approaches, including an updated version of FICO, VantageScore 3.0, offered by VantageScore Solutions, or a hybrid of several scoring mechanisms.

April 13, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Analysts Say UMBS May be Next Step in GSE Reform

The latest update on the single security may signify the next step in GSE reform, according to analysts with Wells Fargo Securities. In late March, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the uniform mortgage-backed security collateralized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans will launch on June 3, 2019. The framework for housing-finance reform has evolved over time to building on the successful elements of the current market instead of disrupting it, said analysts Vipul Jain, Anish Lohokare and Randy Ahlgren. They noted that the single security seems to be leading toward a single MBS label with catastrophic insurance underwritten explicitly by the government.

April 13, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie’s New Headquarters Continues to Prompt Questions

Fannie Mae’s new headquarters in downtown Washington, DC, continues to be a bone of contention for some, but the GSE said the project is on schedule and expects it to be completed by November 2018. So far, about 20 percent of Fannie’s Washington workforce has relocated and more are planned as additional floors are finished. During a House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations subcommittee hearing this week, lawmakers inquired about the building’s costs. Federal Housing Finance Agency Inspector General Laura Wertheimer criticized the regulator’s monitoring of the build outs. Wertheimer said the initial investigation of the headquarters stemmed from a...

April 13, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

House Hearing Reveals Flaws in FHFA Oversight of Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s supervision and guidance of the GSEs lacks the rigor shown by other federal financial regulators, according to the FHFA’s inspector general, Laura Wertheimer. She testified during a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing this week focusing on the oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Throughout the hearing, Wertheimer and lawmakers pointed to a number of supervisory concerns and questioned the FHFA’s standards when it comes to monitoring the mortgage giants. “The flexible and less prescriptive nature of many FHFA standards and much of its guidance has resulted in inconsistent supervisory practices,” she said.

April 13, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Generous Appraisals Hurt Loan Performance

Inflated house appraisals known as markups lead to higher mortgage delinquencies and slower prepayments, according to a new paper by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Policy Analysis and Research. The researchers defined markups as instances where appraisals for purchase mortgages and refinances set home values higher than those generated by automated valuation models. The working paper was based in part on home-price data on more than 100 million ...

April 13, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

IG, Lawmakers Point to Many GSE Supervisory Concerns During FHFA Oversight Hearing

The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency voiced concerns about the agency’s supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while lawmakers questioned why new products like the Integrated Mortgage Insurance (IMAGIN) credit risk-transfer program were implemented without going through the proper channels.

April 6, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Chief Confident Agency Will Win Back Investors’ Faith, Trust

Ginnie Mae’s anti-churning efforts have narrowed the spread between Ginnie and Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities, prompting executives to say things are almost back to normal. In an interview with Inside FHA/VA Lending this week, Michael Bright, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Ginnie Mae, said the market and investors have responded positively to the agency’s efforts to resolve the churning and prepayment problems. “The Ginnie spread has fallen almost half a point and our securities have become more liquid,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re giving investors CPRs (constant prepayment rates) that they can model.” Bright said he cares less about the overall level of prepayment speeds. What he truly cares about is ensuring that when an investor purchases a Ginnie security, the prepay speed is correlated to changes in the interest rates and not the ...

March 30, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Fannie Announces Community Impact NPL Winners. Fannie Mae announced this week that the winning bidder for its 11th and 12th Community Impact pools of non-performing loans was VRMTG ACQ, LLC (VWH Capital Management, LP), a minority- and woman-owned business. The transaction is expected to close on May 22, 2018, and includes approximately 182 loans totaling $34.25 million in unpaid principal balance, divided between two pools focused in the Orlando and Tampa areas of Florida. GSE Foreclosure Preventions Surpass 4M. The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported this week that the GSEs completed 67,569 foreclosure prevention actions in the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing the total number of homeowners helped to 4.04 million since 2008. But, thanks to the fall...

March 30, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Continue to File Lawsuits Against Treasury Sweep

More Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders have initiated lawsuits against the government for the Treasury sweep of the mortgage giants’ profits. Each of the plaintiffs in the three new cases were owners of the GSEs’ junior preferred stock. The cases, Akanthos v. U.S., CSS v. U.S. and Appaloosa v. U.S., have been assigned to Judge Margaret Sweeney, who is also handling other similar complaints. They were filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. According to court documents, Akanthos Opportunity Master Fund owned more than $137 million in junior preferred stock as of Aug. 16, 2016. Akanthos complained of suffering from “severe economic loss” to its holdings.

March 30, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

OIG Wants FHFA to Address Fraud-Reporting Disparities

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General worries that the GSEs aren’t reporting potential fraud in a timely manner as their statute stipulates.In a recent audit, the IG reviewed the FHFA’s oversight of how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac report fraud. They found a possible disparity between the fraud- reporting requirement in the statute and the FHFA’s regulation and guidance. The FHFA’s definition of fraud appears to have a higher reporting threshold, meaning it allows for more time before a report must be made. The GSE is expected to make a “timely report” to the...

March 30, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Research Paper Examines AMC vs. Non-AMC Appraisals

There aren’t many differences in quality when using an appraisal management company versus an individual appraiser, according to a new staff working paper published this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Appraisal Management Companies (AMC), created to add a layer of oversight to the appraisal process, emerged as key players only after the 2008 housing crisis. The FHFA studied whether there were any systematic quality differences between AMC and non-AMC appraisals and found no evidence of such. Advocates tout AMCs as producing better quality and less biased appraisal reports, which lessens risks to lenders. But others say AMCs offer no quality assurance contribution and argue that their appraisers are less qualified.

March 16, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Proposed Rule Gives FHLBank AH Programs More Leeway

The Federal Home Loan Banks would have more flexibility in allocating their affordable housing funds under a proposed rule issued last week from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA estimates that the number of competitive AH program competitive applications the banks receive may increase by 10 percent with this change. In addition to giving the FHLBanks additional authority over their funds, the rule would authorize them to set up special competitive funds targeting affordable housing needs in their districts. It would also give the banks authority to design and implement their own project selection scoring criteria, subject to meeting certain FHFA requirements.

March 16, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Auditor Said Better Oversight Needed For GSE High-LTV Programs

The GSEs purchased close to 100,000 low-downpayment loans from 2013 to 2016, but not all borrowers participated in a homeownership counseling course when required, according to a recent audit. In a new report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General concluded that both Fannie and Freddie had high rates of compliance in their 97 percent loan-to-value programs. During the three-year period, the GSEs purchased 94,328 loans that fit into the 97 percent mortgage product. Fannie was responsible for 74,700 of those loans with about one-fourth of the borrowers requiring homeownership education. This is where the GSE fell short.

March 16, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSEs Paid Treasury Required 10 Percent IRR, Should Hasten Reform

Both GSEs have now paid the government the 10 percent compound rate of return required by the original senior preferred stock agreement, according to the R Street Institute. The think tank’s senior fellow, Alex Pollock, said it’s time to put the senior preferred stock purchase agreement to rest. Fannie just recently joined Freddie in this “10 percent moment.” He said because Treasury has received dividend payments from both Fannie and Freddie that equal the economic equivalent of repayment of the entire principal of their senior preferred stock, plus a full 10 percent yield, “it is now entirely reasonable for it to consider declaring the senior preferred stock retired.”

March 16, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Credit Scoring Controversy Brewing Among Industry Stakeholders

A battle is brewing over whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should allow lenders to use alternatives to the ubiquitous FICO credit score. Some industry participants argue that the current credit scoring system works well. Others complain that the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the GSEs should be doing more to encourage alternatives to a system some deem outdated. The FHFA has been evaluating alternative credit scoring models over the past year and charged the GSEs with closely examining potential changes in how they use credit scores. Right now Fannie and Freddie rely exclusively on the Classic FICO score.

March 16, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Next Steps If Housing-Finance Reform Legislation Doesn’t Happen

Most experts agree that passing housing-finance reform legislation in 2018 now looks improbable, leaving the immediate future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the hands of the Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Researchers at the Urban Institute say that if legislation remains stalled, the two GSEs could be placed into receivership and reconstituted. Laurie Goodman, director of UI’s Housing Finance Policy Center, said Fannie and Freddie could be wound down within five years, under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, and be replaced by new entities with no government backstop. She noted that this scenario would leave the fate of government support for the GSEs’ legacy mortgage-backed securities unclear.

March 15, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Auditor Said Better Oversight Needed For GSE High-LTV Home Purchase Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s auditor concluded that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac low-downpayment programs had a high compliance rate but fell somewhat short when it came to ensuring the homeowner education component was met.


What’s your opinion on how Mick Mulvaney has managed the CFPB since he took over three months ago?

He’s done a good job of paring back the agency’s excesses and we’d like to see more.


I hope he totally dismantles the agency and sends those functions back to the agencies hence they came.


Not bad, but he needs to take his time making additional changes.


We’re totally aghast. He’s gone way too far in protecting the rights of companies not consumers!