Legislative Issues

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

November 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Pending Tax Reform Has MBS Between ‘A Rock and a Hard Place,’ Analysts Say

Three analysts at Wells Fargo Securities discussed in a new report this week what could happen to the agency MBS market as a result of pending tax reform, one version of which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this week. As always, the devil is in the details; hence, the bitter in-fighting among entrenched interests on Capitol Hill.

November 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Texas Gets Ready to Loosen Home-Equity Regulations After Voters Approve Changes

Texas sticks out like a sore thumb in its regulation of home-equity lending, but the swelling will be reduced somewhat after Lone Star voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution that will loosen some of the rules.

November 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Senate Panel Agrees on Multiple Mortgage Reforms As House Committee Passes Own Set of Provisions

Regulatory relief got a sudden and surprising boost on Capitol Hill early this week when the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee unexpectedly passed a bipartisan package of provisions making it easier for lenders to extend mortgage credit to borrowers.

November 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Director Watt Not Expected to Act on Capital Buffer; A GSE Bill for 2018 that Might Actually Pass?

Industry stakeholders are increasingly dour on the prospect of Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt acting to rectify the government-sponsored enterprises’ capital buffer issue before yearend, but there’s growing hope that bipartisan reform legislation might be enacted next year.

November 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Senate Tax Reform Plan Wouldn’t Touch Mortgage Interest Deduction but Industry Cites Other Faults

Republican leaders in the Senate detailed their tax reform legislation late last week, with some differences compared with the bill making its way through the House. While the Senate bill would leave the existing mortgage interest deduction largely untouched, participants in the housing industry raised a number of other concerns.

November 10, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA Calls for Changes to LRS, Remedies for Lender Complaints

FHA lenders think the new Loan Review System is a “modern and streamlined system” that is less user-friendly than Neighborhood Watch, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. In a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the MBA called on the FHA to continue its ongoing discussion with lenders and other industry stakeholders on how the improve the LRS and its response timelines. Implemented last May, the LRS is an electronic platform for monitoring and reviewing the quality of single-family mortgages that FHA has insured. It replaced the post-endorsement technical review performed by the FHA Connection/Underwriting Review System (URS), review functions for post-closing test cases submitted by direct endorsement lenders, and lender self-reporting functions in Neighborhood Watch. The LRS also includes a defect taxonomy, which features a list of ...

November 10, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Stakeholders Warn of Tax Bill’s Ill Effects, Call for Several Changes

Industry stakeholders are calling for changes to some of the mortgage- and housing-related provisions in the House Republicans’ proposed tax reform bill. On Nov. 9, 2017, the House Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, retaining provisions that may significantly reduce homeownership tax incentives. At the same time, Senate Republicans unveiled their tax reform package, which limits the mortgage interest deduction, eliminates state and local tax deductions and nearly doubles the standard deduction, among other provisions. The Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders each had a list of concerns but were uniformly opposed to proposed changes to the mortgage-interest deduction. Among other things, the bill would cap the mortgage-interest deduction (MID) at $500,000 for new ...

November 10, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Mortgage, Equity REITs Will Remain Competitive Despite Cut in Corporate Tax Rates, Experts Say

A proposal in the House Republican tax reform bill significantly lowering the corporate tax rate, at first glance, may seem to put mortgage real estate investment trusts at a competitive disadvantage with non-REITs. However, the disparity would remain beneficial for REITs, according to tax experts.

November 10, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Non-Agency Provisions Pushed for Housing Bill

Members of the House who are drafting housing-finance reform legislation are tackling a number of issues that impact the non-agency market. At a hearing last week by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, Chairman Sean Duffy, R-WI, said the panel’s recent hearings were aimed at getting feedback for a new legislative proposal. Duffy also stressed that the effort should be bipartisan. “I believe that if we’re going to be successful not just in ...

November 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSEs at Risk for Treasury Draw If Congress Lowers Corporate Tax Rate

A corporate tax cut, now being debated on Capitol Hill, could wreak havoc on the government-sponsored enterprises’ deferred tax assets and result in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac having to take draws from the U.S. Treasury.

November 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Pundits Take Their Turn Dissecting Housing- Finance Reform Options in House Hearing

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance convened a third hearing on housing-finance reform this week, this time hearing from Washington think tanks. A staffer said the hearings are meant to lay “a groundwork for legislation the committee is working on to finally build a housing finance system that is sustainable for homeowners, for hardworking taxpayers, and for our economy.”

November 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House Tax Reform Bill Expected to Have a Negative Impact On Housing, Industry Pushes for Numerous Adjustments

Tax reform legislation detailed last week by Republican leaders in the House would have a nega-tive impact on the housing market, according to some industry analysts. The bill prompted a strong re-action from industry participants, who are hoping for a variety of changes in the legislation.

November 6, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Groups Push Congress to Loosen ATR Rule’s Points-and-Fees Cap

Multiple industry trade groups recently wrote to every member of the U.S. House of Representatives to enact legislation that would loosen up the points-and-fees cap under the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule and its qualified mortgage standard. At issue is the bipartisan H.R. 1153, the Mortgage Choice Act (not to be confused with the far more comprehensive, and controversial, Financial CHOICE Act). H.R. 1153 was introduced in February by Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-MI, Ed Royce, R-CA, Steve Stivers, R-OH, and David Joyce, R-OH, along with Gregory Meeks, D-NY, David Scott, D-GA, and Mike Doyle, D-PA. H.R. 1153 would revise the Truth in Lending Act Section 103(bb)(4) definition of points and fees to foster greater consumer choice in mortgage and settlement services under ...

November 6, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Presses Lawmakers to Pass TRID Improvement Bill

Nearly two dozen mortgage industry groups wrote to members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently, urging them to support a bipartisan measure that would tweak the CFPB’s integrated disclosure rule to enable title insurers to disclose available discounts and accurate title insurance premiums to homebuyers. Currently, the bureau does not permit title insurance companies to disclose available discounts for lender’s title insurance on the government mandated disclosure forms. “This creates inconsistencies in mortgage documents and causes confusion for consumers,” said the industry organizations... H.R. 3978, the TRID Improvement Act of 2017, introduced last month by Reps. French Hill, R-AK, and Ruben Kihuen, D-NV, would end this confusion by amending the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act to require the CFPB ...

November 6, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Rep. Hensarling to Retire; Where Next? FHFA? CFPB?

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, surprised some in the nation’s capital last week by announcing he would not seek re-election when his term expires in 2018. Hensarling was already slated to surrender his chairmanship of the committee due to term limits, but he certainly had enough seniority to lay claim to another powerful position within the GOP leadership in the House. Instead, he opted to depart elected office entirely, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. The news immediately prompted speculation inside the Washington, DC, beltway about Hensarling’s next destination: at the helm of the Federal Housing Financial Agency or perhaps the CFPB? Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with the Cowen Washington Research Group, ...

November 6, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Groups Celebrate Demise of CFPB Arbitration Rule

Industry representatives were pleased with the news that the Republican-controlled Congress and the Trump administration were able to cooperate and overturn the CFPB’s controversial rule banning mandatory arbitration clauses in most consumer financial services contracts. According to Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt, “The CFPB’s rule was never about protecting consumers; rather, it was about protecting trial lawyers and their wallets,” he said. “The CFPB’s own study backs that up and proves trial lawyers would have been the real winners had this rule gone into effect.” Rob Nichols, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, characterized the vote as a win for consumers. “As we and others made clear in our multiple comments to the CFPB, the ...

November 6, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Trump, Congress Rebuke Cordray, Overturn CFPB Arbitration Rule

Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act may have faltered, but a GOP-controlled White House, Senate and House were able to unite and achieve at least one major accomplishment: they deep-sixed the CFPB’s controversial rule banning mandatory arbitration clauses in most consumer financial services contracts. Last week, President Trump turned aside an unusual personal appeal from CFPB Director Richard Cordray and went ahead and signed into law the joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act that permanently overturns the bureau’s problematic rule. Under the act, not only is the bureau’s rule now rendered null and void, any successor to Cordray will be unable to push through another substantially similar measure. That means only Congress can ...

November 3, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Congress Taking Heat for Not Acting on Housing Finance Reform

In round two of a House Financial Services subcommittee on Housing and Insurance hearing this week, housing finance reform talks shifted from small lender access to getting the GSEs out of conservatorship. During his testimony, Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens called the extended conservatorship, which is fast approaching a decade, economically and politically unsustainable. “The time to act on comprehensive legislative reform is now,” he said. While Stevens acknowledged that the Federal Housing Finance Agency has taken positive steps as conservator, he reiterated his view that only Congress can provide the “legitimacy and public confidence needed for long-term stability in both the primary and secondary markets.”

October 27, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

CoreLogic to Provide Solutions to Cut FHA, MMIF Losses. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has chosen CoreLogic to provide valuation and workflow solutions to mitigate losses to the FHA and the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Under an agreement with HUD, CoreLogic will provide support to determine the best strategies and plans for the valuation and disposition of distressed and real estate-owned properties in HUD’s inventory. Individual Condominium Loan Processing in the VA’s WebLGY System. The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidelines to address issues that have arisen since making changes to its web-based loan guaranty system, WebLGY, earlier this month in regards to condominium identification. System changes included removal of the fields where users would input condo IDs when ordering a VA loan identification number (LINs)/appraisal ...

October 27, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Waters Introduces Legislation to Make FHA Loans More Affordable

Legislation was introduced this week to repeal the FHA’s life-of-loan requirement and reinstate a previous policy of requiring borrowers to pay premiums until the outstanding principal balance reaches 78 percent of the original home value. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the Making FHA More Affordable Act so that families would not have to keep paying mortgage insurance premiums for the life of their FHA-insured loan. Up until June 3, 2013, FHA was aligned with the private mortgage insurance industry in charging premiums only until the outstanding principal balance reached 78 percent of the original home value. The FHA first announced its intention to require life-of-loan premium payments in January 2013, allowing the agency to collect more premium revenue to bolster its ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. FHA’s life-of-loan policy ...

October 27, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA, VA Post Lower Denial Rates, Minorities More Likely Users of FHA

Overall denial rates for nonconventional loan applications (FHA, VA and Rural Housing Service) fell slightly in 2016 to 13.4 percent from 13.9 percent in 2015, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data showed. In the nonconventional refinancing segment, denial rates rose to 32.9 percent last year from 30.3 percent in the previous year. Approximately 23.9 percent of FHA loan applicants were denied last year while VA turned down 20.0 percent of borrowers who sought a VA loan. An estimated 14.3 percent of FHA purchase-loan applicants were turned down. VA denied 11.4 percent of its purchase-mortgage applicants although its total purchase-loan applications are far fewer compared to FHA. According to the Federal Reserve’s overview of the 2016 HMDA data, as in past years, blacks, Hispanics and “other minority” borrowers had notably higher denial rates overall compared to white borrowers. Denial rates for ...

October 27, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

SIFMA Stresses Need for Non-Agency Reforms

As Congress works on legislation aimed at reforming the roles of the government-sponsored enterprises, provisions regarding practices in the non-agency mortgage-backed security market should be included in the legislation, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Kevin Chavers, a managing director at BlackRock, testified on behalf of SIFMA at a hearing this week by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance ...

October 27, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Groups Seek Explicit MBS Guarantee, Preservation of TBA Market in GSE Reform to Successfully Serve Borrowers

Maintaining the government MBS guarantee and the agency to-be-announced market is vital to a reformed housing-finance system, according to industry trade groups testifying during a House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing this week. Kevin Chavers, a managing director at BlackRock speaking for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said the cost of credit would go up without a government MBS guarantee, and banks would not be able to ...

October 27, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Trump Team Working on Principles for Housing-Finance Reform, ‘Discussion Draft’ Expected in Senate This Year

Work on housing-finance reform looks likely to ramp up in the coming weeks and months, including a document from the Trump administration and legislation in the Senate. But many policy analysts believe that passage of comprehensive legislation is still years away, giving great power to the next director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Treasury Department will likely release principles on housing-finance reform within weeks, according to David Stevens ...

October 26, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Community Banks Seek Fair Access in Talks of Secondary Market Reform During House Subcommittee Hearing

Community bankers want to make sure they have access to the secondary mortgage market – including the ability to retain servicing rights – when the dust settles from housing-finance reform. The Independent Community Bankers of America and National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions were among those that testified at a House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance hearing this week. Representing ICBA, Sam Vallandingham, president and CEO of ...

October 23, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

House Panel Votes to Exempt Most Lenders from New HMDA Mandates

The House Financial Services Committee recently passed a handful of mortgage-related bills, including H.R. 2954, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act, introduced in June by Rep. Tom Emmer, R-MN. His measure would exempt all but the top 10 percent of mortgage lenders from some pending data collection and reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, according to an analysis by Inside the CFPB. Starting with 2017 data (to be submitted to the CFPB in early 2018), the volume threshold for HMDA respondents is a minimum of 25 originated mortgage loans in each of the last two years (i.e., 25 loans in 2015 and 25 loans in 2016). This volume threshold only applies to depositories in 2017, then applies to ...

October 20, 2017 - Inside The GSEs

Analyst Says FHA Could Become Bigger Fannie, Freddie Competitor

The FHA could be in position to become a much bigger rival to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to one analyst, basing his observation on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s comments late last week. Jaret Seiberg, analyst with the Cowen Washington Research Group, said implications Carson made in regards to the False Claims Act and premium cuts led him to believe that the FHA may give the GSEs a run for their money competition wise. During his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Carson said that the Trump administration is working to change the False Claims Act policy...

October 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Housing Industry Groups No Longer United in Stance on Value of Mortgage Interest Deduction

The mortgage interest deduction, or MID, used to rank with apple pie and motherhood for real estate agents, mortgage lenders and homebuilders. But against the backdrop of an intense effort by Republicans to overhaul the tax code, some groups are showing more flexibility on the issue. Complicating matters is that neither the Trump administration nor key players on Capitol Hill have been explicit or consistent in what they want. The Mortgage Bankers Association wrote to the ...

October 12, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Political Storm May Be Brewing Over Trump Administration Bid to Cancel Some NFIP Debt

The Trump administration has proposed to cancel $16 billion of the National Flood Insurance Program’s existing debt in addition to other legislative proposals to boost the program’s ability to meet its obligations while remaining viable as a major provider of flood insurance to mortgagors. A political fight could erupt over the proposals, observers say. In a letter to Vice President Michael Pence, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sought legislative reforms that would place the ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

Did DoJ Opine on Ocwen v. CFPB? No One’s Talking. Earlier this year, Ocwen Financial asked Judge Kenneth Marra of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division, to invite the U.S. attorney general to appear and participate in the company’s challenge to the constitutionality of the CFPB.... Last Call for Public Comments on TRID ‘Black Hole’ Proposal. The industry has until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 10, 2017, to submit comments to the CFPB regarding its proposal to close the “black hole” associated with the bureau’s integrated disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act....


With originations expected to drop in 2018, will your shop turn to non-QM/non-prime mortgage products as a way to bolster volumes?

Yes, definitely. We’re planning a launch.
No. It’s still difficult compliance/regulatory-wise.
Maybe. It’s under consideration.
Not now. But things could change as 2018 progresses.

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