FHFA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHFA.

October 12, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Wants Fannie, Freddie and FHLBanks To Beef Up Their Cybersecurity Programs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency wants the government-sponsored enterprises and the Federal Home Loan Banks to hire chief information security officers to head their cybersecurity programs. The new directive was released just after the FHFA Office of Inspector General issued an audit faulting the regulator’s oversight of cybersecurity issues, and in the wake of further revelations about data breaches at Equifax and other large enterprises. The FHFA said Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the ...


October 6, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Releases FY18 Performance, Long-Range Strategic Plan

The Federal Housing Finance Agency published two reports last week, including a 2018 annual performance plan for overseeing the GSEs and the FHLBanks in 2018, which includes talk of the common securitization platform. The performance plan supports the FHFA’s long-range strategic plan, also released last week, and includes goals, performance measures and targets, and strategies to accomplish those goals. The regulator is charged with three goals that center on safety and soundness of the regulated entities, along with ensuring liquidity and access in housing finance and managing the conservatorships. The goals and strategies haven’t changed much from the performance plan this year, other than the goal for the single security.


October 6, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

OIG: FHFA’s Cybersecurity Management of GSEs Inefficient

On the heels of the Equifax data breach fiasco, the Federal Housing Finance Agency was deemed ineffective when it comes to supervising the GSEs on cybersecurity risks, according to a recent report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General.  In a previous report, the OIG asked the FHFA to examine policies about how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac manage their cyber risks and address vulnerabilities. It noted that the GSEs store, process and transmit significant amounts…


October 6, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Judge Moves to Disclose More Documents in Shareholder Case

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders are feeling more confident they will prevail in lawsuits over the Treasury sweep as internal government documents related to a popular case continue to trickle out. Late this week, Federal Claims Court Judge Margaret Sweeney granted a motion to compel the disclosure of documents that were filed over the summer by attorneys in Fairholme Funds v. the United States. Investors, having grown weary of the drawn-out discovery process, filed a motion in August in hopes of speeding things up by forcing the government to stop what they perceive as delay tactics. Attorneys asked the Federal Claims Court to use the “quick peek” procedure for some documents dating back to May 2012.


October 6, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

OIG Critical of New Fannie Mae Headquarters Build-Out

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General said late last week that the FHFA is not doing a good job of monitoring the escalating costs associated with Fannie Mae’s new headquarters being constructed in downtown Washington, DC. This is the second time the agency watchdog has blasted the FHFA for not properly overseeing the build-out of the leased office space comprised of two office towers connected by multiple glass bridges. In a new audit, the IG questioned upgrades on the Class A office building that cost more than the typical $175 per rentable square foot.


October 6, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

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.


October 6, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Nomura, RBS Lose Appeal to Overturn Ruling On Pre-Crisis Non-Agency MBS Sold to GSEs

Nomura Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland fought a long battle but eventually lost in a court appeal last week when the judge decided not to undo an earlier order forcing them to pay the government $839 million. The settlement was based on the banks not being truthful about non-agency MBS sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prior to the housing meltdown. The firms’ lawyers chose to appeal the 2015 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote. She found the companies ...


October 5, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Director Watt Urges House to Take Action Fast on Housing Reform to Avoid a Treasury Draw

House lawmakers grilled Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt on everything from flood insurance to the qualified-mortgage rule and credit-risk transfers during a hearing this week, but his comments regarding the evaporating capital buffers at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac suggested that he’s fed up with the lack of action from Congress. Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Watt said it would be “especially irresponsible” for the two ...


September 28, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Groups Feud Over Fannie/Freddie Capital Strategies. Will Congress Finally Act in 2018?

Resolving the long-running conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is drawing a lot of attention, but policymakers and industry groups don’t seem any closer to a consensus. For the most part, the executive branch and many groups representing large financial institutions want Congress to tackle the problem through legislation. Investors and some groups representing smaller lenders say the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Treasury could do more to pave the way. Motivating the debate is...


September 22, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

OIG: Complex Multifamily Market Needs Continued Monitoring

Inspector General recently released a paper about the need for continued oversight of activity in the growing GSE multifamily market. Combined, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased $112 billion in multifamily mortgages last year. The paper noted that while much of the reform discussion has focused on single-family housing, the GSEs’ role in the multifamily market is a critical aspect of the housing finance system. Market-wide multifamily originations, along with Fannie and Freddie purchases of multifamily mortgages, have grown to record levels in recent years, said the OIG. But multifamily mortgages are more complex to underwrite than single-family loans. “Underwriters of multifamily loans must understand the business and...


September 22, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Groups Tell Treasury, FHFA: Legislation Not Recap

Fifteen industry trade groups and other organizations sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and GSE regulator Mel Watt late this week, reminding them that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be reformed through legislation and not some type of recapitalization plan where Congress is cut from the equation. “We are increasingly concerned about efforts to derail comprehensive reform,” they write. “We urge both Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency to focus on continuing to work with Congress to end conservatorship through comprehensive, bipartisan, legislative reforms.” No specifics are provided regarding the derailment comment. Presently, there are no viable bills before Congress where a consensus on GSE reform might be reached.


September 22, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Seller Buybacks Edged Higher In Second Quarter, Pipeline Shrank

Mortgage lenders that sell loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saw a modest increase in the volume of loans they repurchased from the GSEs during the second quarter of 2017, according to a new Inside The GSEs analysis of disclosure reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. During the second quarter, lenders repurchased or made indemnifications on $244.44 million of single-family loans pooled in Fannie and Freddie mortgage-backed securities. That was up 2.5 percent from the first three months of the year. On a year-to-date basis, seller buybacks totaled $483.01 million, a 14.5 percent drop from the first six months of 2016.


September 22, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Government Sues Deutsche Bank Employee for Allegedly Misleading MBS Investors into Buying Faulty Loans

A former Deutsche Bank employee is at the center of a lawsuit brought by the government over the sale of more than $1 billion of non-agency MBS. It’s rare when the government focuses on an individual for mortgage fraud, but the Department of Justice said the bank’s former head of subprime trading allegedly defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. The civil complaint was filed in Brooklyn’s federal court against Paul Mangione for knowingly selling bad subprime mortgages financed during the crisis and misleading investors about loan quality. The complaint alleges that he engaged in fraudulent schemes involving the origination practices of Deutsche Bank’s subsidiary, DB Home Lending LLC, which originated the bulk of the loans. The securities were sold...


September 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With GSE ‘Zero Capital Day’ About Three Months Away, Possible Credit Reserves Become a Factor

Unless the Federal Housing Finance Agency acts soon, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will see their capital buffers fall to zero on Jan. 1, 2018. Having zero capital may not be a big deal, initially – but a new complication has arrived in the form of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. According to Tim Rood, chairman of The Collingwood Group, the government-sponsored enterprises are not looking at losses “that will cost tens of billions of dollars – but they don’t need to be. The capital buffer is small as it is. And if a credit event happens, it could wipe out the thin layer of capital they have in a hurry.” If Rood – a former Fannie executive – is correct, the GSEs might have...


September 15, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Freddie Mac G-fee Pricing Taking Cues from Credit-Risk Transfers and the Private Market

Credit-risk transfers can be used to calculate guarantee fees because they’re indicative of what the private market would charge for the risk taken on by a government-sponsored enterprise, according to Freddie Mac. But the mortgage giant explained that g-fees are likely more stable than a system that relies exclusively on credit-risk transfers. Kevin Palmer, Freddie’s senior vice president of single-family credit risk transfers, said in a white paper the significant amount of credit risk being transferred to the private capital markets provides a way to calculate a market-implied g-fee. Since 2013, the GSE has transferred much of the credit risk on $760 billion of MBS it guarantees. Based on the pricing of Freddie’s Structured Agency Credit Risk transactions over the past year, the market-implied g-fee has been...


September 15, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Treasury Discussing GSE Issues with Trade Groups; Multiple Guarantors, Capital Are on the Table

Over the past several weeks, the Treasury Department has been meeting with several industry trade groups about the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, discussing – among other things – what to do about the impending “zero capital” problem as well as the topic of multiple guarantors. Treasury’s goal, these officials said, is to come up with a workable blueprint on the future of the government-sponsored enterprises and the nation’s housing finance system – changes that might touch Ginnie Mae as well. Late this week there was...


September 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Input on Proposed GSE Housing Goals Mixed, Housing Groups Want to See More Impact

The Mortgage Bankers Association, along with other housing trade groups, wants to make sure that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac housing goals work in tandem with pending duty-to-serve requirements and multifamily volume caps to promote affordable housing. The MBA was one of about 10 groups that offered commentary on the proposed new housing goals for the government-sponsored enterprises for 2018 through 2020. The current goals expire at the end of the year. The Federal Housing Finance Agency released the proposed goals in June. The MBA said...


September 8, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Groups Suggest FHFA Study Language Choice Question More

Trade groups continue to rally to prevent the Federal Housing Finance Agency from adding a language-preference question to loan applications. They said the suggestions, designed to assist borrowers with limited English proficiency, require more examination, but they don’t want it to delay implementation of the new Uniform Residential Loan Application.The FHFA extended the deadline for the comment period several times. It closed on Sept. 1. When the input period was extended in August, the FHFA updated the request for input with a presentation that describes the results of testing various language questions on the Uniform Residential...


September 8, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

IG Audit Report Looks to Address Weakness in FHFA Privacy Program

An audit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s privacy program led the FHFA Office of Inspector General to make recommendations to address several weaknesses. The program was designed so the FHFA can implement privacy and data protection procedures governing its collection, use, sharing, disclosure, transfer, storage and security of information in an identifiable form related to employees and the public. Kearney & Company performed the audit and found that the FHFA had not effectively met three out of nine privacy requirements and controls.The report made several recommendations to make sure the agency adequately identifies, monitors, and protects the complete inventory of its personally identifying information (PII) holdings and appropriately approves and documents privileged user access.


September 8, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

An HOA Foreclosure Win in NV for Fannie, Freddie Lenders

There is good news for GSE lenders and servicers, as a recent court ruling found that Nevada’s super-priority lien law cannot be used to foreclose on government-owned mortgages. In Berezovsky v. Moniz, the court ruled that the Federal Foreclosure Bar, part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, preempted state law and banned a homeowners association from being able to eliminate a GSE’s interest and foreclose on a property. The court rejected arguments that the Federal Foreclosure Bar did not apply in the Nevada HOA context. Attorneys with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings said, “The Berezovsky decision represents a resounding win for lenders and servicers of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans.”


September 8, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Justice Department Indicts Former Dallas FHLBank CEO for Fraud

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Texas indicted the former CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, along with two other former bank employees, for fraud. They were accused of creating fake travel reimbursement requests for lavish trips and embezzlement schemes that began back in 2008. Terrence Smith, at the helm of the bank from 2000 to 2013, and Nancy Parker, chief information officer around the same time, were charged with six counts of making false statements, according to the Department of Justice. And Michael Sims, chief financial officer from 2005 to 2014, was charged with three counts of making false statements.


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The year is almost 75% done. How is mortgage origination volume at your shop?

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