Legislative Issues

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

September 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Community Banking Trade Groups Seek Support for Regulatory Relief for Independent Mortgage Lenders

Trade groups representing smaller mortgage lenders are asking the Trump administration for targeted regulatory relief for smaller independent mortgage bankers. In a joint letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week, the Community Home Lenders Association and the Community Mortgage Lenders of America urged the administration to back legislation that would exempt independent mortgage lenders from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s supervision, enforcement and third-party vendor audits. Support is also being sought for CFPB administrative action to provide such targeted relief. In June, Treasury issued...

September 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Minding the Flood Insurance Policy Gap, GSEs Say They Monitor Servicers Annually for Compliance

Although flood insurance is required for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in designated flood areas, the recent hurricane activity in Houston and Florida has revealed that a number of borrowers didn’t have the coverage they were supposed to have. But getting to the root of the disconnect is complicated. Both government-sponsored enterprises said that it’s up to servicers to evaluate whether loans are in compliance with flood insurance requirements. But Fannie and Freddie said they also have their own systems in place to help ensure compliance. “Servicers are required...

September 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Issues Proposed Policy Guidance on HMDA Data Collection, Looks Like New Requirements a Go

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put out some proposed guidance on the controversial matter of how much of the expanded data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act will be made available to the public. The bureau did not announce any delay in the effective date of the revamped HMDA rule, slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2018. First, the agency wants to exclude several of the loan-level data points from public disclosure, including the universal loan identifier, the application date, the date the financial institution took action and the property address. Also, it would shield the borrower’s credit score, the mortgage loan originator ID number and any result generated by an automated underwriting system. Additionally, the CFPB is...

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

House GOP Begins Second Prong in Approach To Reg Relief, Considers TRID Improvement Act

When House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, first introduced the second version of his Financial CHOICE Act, he acknowledged the comprehensive regulatory relief package might not make it through the Senate in one piece. He said he had a “short game” and a “long game,” suggesting he was open to small, incremental change while still pushing forward with more comprehensive change over the long haul. Last week, the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee executed a little of that “short game” strategy, holding a hearing to consider a handful of legislative proposals to foster a more efficient federal financial regulatory regime, including two mortgage-related bills. The potentially more significant bill is...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Congress Starts to Consider TRID Legislation, Other Changes to CFPB

Members of Congress wasted no time getting to work on the CFPB when they returned to the nation’s capital last week after the Labor Day holiday. A subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to consider a few legislative proposals to foster a more efficient federal financial regulatory regime, including a soon-to-be introduced TRID Improvement Act. Slated to be introduced by Rep. French Hill, R-AR, the TRID Improvement Act of 2017 would amend the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act to expand the period in which a creditor is allowed to cure a good-faith violation on a loan estimate or closing disclosure from 60 to 210 days after consummation. The bill also ...

September 7, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

NCUA, Credit Union Trade Group and Navy Federal All on Board with CU Ownership of MSR Assets

Although the National Credit Union Administration and a top CU trade group favor allowing credit unions to buy mortgage servicing rights in the secondary market, don’t look for these “nonprofit” depositories to become significant players anytime soon. At least that’s the opinion of a handful of investment bankers and others who ply their trade in the MSR market. For starters, CUs are not...

September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Ginnie Mae Spokesperson Leaves Agency. Cynthia Adcock, director of communications and congressional relations at Ginnie Mae, will no longer be with the agency effective Sept. 4, 2017. Adcock will assume similar duties and responsibilities as a director with the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Michael Huff will handle media inquiries related to Ginnie Mae and congressional matters. FHA Lenders Settle Alleged Violations of FCA, FHA Requirements. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General recently announced receipt of $44.3 million from separate settlements with two FHA lenders. The settlements resolve allegations of fraudulent claims and violation of FHA requirements against Financial Freedom of Austin, TX, and Prospect Mortgage of Sherman, Oaks, CA. On May 16, 2017, Financial Freedom, an FHA servicer, agreed to pay the ...

September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Provides Info Sheet to Help Lenders in Their Use of the LRS

The FHA has posted a quick-reference sheet on its website to help lenders navigate the agency’s new Loan Review System. The quick-reference sheet summarizes the most important information in the LRS user manual. The LRS is an electronic platform for single-family, quality-control processes that includes post-endorsement loan reviews, direct endorsement authority test cases, lender-monitoring reviews, and lender-self-reporting of fraud and other material findings. Defect taxonomy, a key LRS component, provides a streamlined method of identifying and capturing information about loan defects uncovered through individual loan reviews. Lenders have four opportunities to respond to FHA reviews. They may access the LRS to view the results of the review in detail but they may not edit or submit responses, upload documents, manage binder requests or create self-reports. When FHA requests a ...

August 18, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

No Ginnie Mae Summit in 2017, Event Moved to January 2018

Ginnie Mae will not have an annual summit this year but has rescheduled it for January 2018, according to Ginnie Mae’s new spokesperson. Michael Huff, senior advisor, congressional and stakeholder relations, said a new administration and staff departures have caused organizers to reconsider having the annual Ginnie Mae Summit this year, usually held in October. The Trump administration has yet to announce a nominee for the top job at Ginnie Mae since former president Ted Tozer left in January. David Kittle is reportedly a leading contender, but there has been no official announcement or confirmation. So far, Kittle has declined to comment. Kittle is a mortgage industry veteran who began as a loan officer and now heads his own company. He also was a top executive with the Mortgage Bankers Association and managed, among other things, the group’s political action committee. In addition, Kittle co-founded the ...

August 18, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Private MI Trade Group Urges CFPB To Establish Single QM Rule for All

The private mortgage insurance industry has called for harmonized qualified-mortgage standards to discourage potential arbitrage that might adversely affect consumers. In a comment letter, the U.S. Mortgage Insurers urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to assess whether the various QM standards established under the Dodd-Frank Act have created arbitrage opportunities to the detriment of consumers. The CFPB is about to begin a reevaluation of its ability-to-repay rule/QM rule. QM standards are different for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks than for FHA, VA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USMI said analysis should focus on the different treatment of points and fees and maximum borrower debt-to-income ratio among the various QM standards. The CFPB can address the calculation of points and fees under its ATR/QM rule by ...

August 18, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Bill Would Reduce Appraisal Standards for Some

Legislation being pushed by Republicans in Congress would reduce appraisal requirements for a unique set of mortgages: those with balances of $250,000 or less that are held in portfolio for three years. Supporters of the legislation claim the carve-out will help first-time homebuyers and lenders in rural areas, while consumer advocates caution that the proposal could lead to practices similar to those that contributed to the financial crisis. H.R. 3221, the Securing Access to Affordable Mortgage Act ...

August 18, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Trading Volume Weak in July, Hitting a New Low For the Year. A Growing Concern: Turmoil in Washington

The average daily trading volume in agency MBS fell to just $200.5 billion in July, the weakest reading of the year, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Compared to the prior month, MBS trading fell by 4.5 percent. The strongest month of the year came in January at $229.8 billion. In general, a lower reading on average daily trading volume means...

August 17, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

MBA Says Ending the Fannie, Freddie Duopoly Beneficial For All, Including Small Lenders

Mortgage industry groups cannot seem to agree on whether there should be more than two guarantors of conventional mortgage-backed securities once Congress and the White House figure out what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Mortgage Bankers Association firmly supports multiple guarantors, arguing that more competition is better. But groups representing smaller lenders worry about the burden of maintaining relationships with many secondary-market outlets and the potential for an uneven playing field. David Stevens, president and CEO of the MBA, said...

August 17, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Reps Use Congressional Recess to Gear Up For Second-Half Push of Mortgage Legislation

Members of Congress have left Washington, DC, for their summer recess, and mortgage industry representatives are using the time to plan strategy and educate lawmakers on key issues to help propel a number of measures across the finish line before the year ends. The most time-sensitive issues are reauthorizing the national flood insurance program and setting budgets for FHA and Ginnie Mae activity in fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1, 2017. Lawmakers will be looking to deal with these in September. Authority for the National Flood Insurance Program expires...

August 17, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Watt Hints That He May Not Alter the Dividend Payment. A Complication: the GSE Lawsuits?

The issue of whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency will alter the dividend payments Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pay the Treasury Department became a bit more complicated this month when agency Director Mel Watt hinted in correspondence he’s unlikely to make a change. But despite such a sentiment being expressed in a letter to the National Association of Realtors, there continues to be a school of thought among certain lobbyists and trade group officials that a change is coming. “I still think...


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