Legislative Issues

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

January 19, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Capitol Hill Hasn’t Shown Its Secondary-Market Reform Plans, FHFA Worries about Too Many Guarantors

Although the stars might be aligned for legislative reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this year, new developments late this week illuminate the difficulty of the task at hand.

January 18, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Congress Considers Veteran Protections Against Predatory Refinancing Schemes, Establishes Net Tangible Benefit Test

Bipartisan legislation was introduced last week in the U.S. Senate to protect veterans and service members from predatory serial refinancing by requiring lenders to show the transaction actually bene-fits the borrower.

January 18, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Hensarling’s Panel Advancing More Housing Finance, Regulatory Relief Legislation This Week

The House Financial Services Committee this week was advancing more than a dozen and a half regulatory relief measures as Inside Mortgage Finance was going to press, including some mortgage-related legislation that would expand the qualified-mortgage box for smaller entities and exempt many institutions from the rules and regulations issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

January 18, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lenders Face a Plethora of Changes in Tax Law, Including Revised Treatment of Rate-Lock Commitments and Hedges

The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was pitched as a simplification of the tax code. And while the bill could ultimately reduce some tax-related complexities, lenders are facing sweeping changes this year.

January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA Announces Revised Method for Calculating Initial MIP for HECM Refis. FHA has modified the formula for calculating the initial mortgage insurance premium for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage refinances with case numbers assigned on or after Sept. 19, 2017. The formula was modified on Nov. 14, 2017. The change conforms to the final rule FHA implemented last year to strengthen the HECM program. The revised formula has been posted on FHA’s HECM page on hud.gov, FHA Connection Release Notes, dated Dec. 28, 2017. The FHAC Release Notes outline the changes and processing instructions for lenders to calculate the initial MIP for HECM refis. HUD Releases Guide to Help Borrowers and Disaster Victims Avoid Foreclosure. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has released the Homeowners Guide to Success to help struggling homeowners and ...

January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Galante’s FHA Restructuring Plan Elicits Bland Stakeholder Response

A former FHA commissioner’s proposal to restructure FHA as part of broader housing-finance reform has received mixed responses from industry stakeholders and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While participants in a recent panel discussion hosted by the Urban Institute praised the proposal, they admitted to still being unsure about FHA’s role in a revamped world of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a single mortgage-backed security. The recommendation for a reconstituted FHA is part of a paper presented for debate at the Urban Institute this week by Carol Galante, faculty director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California Berkeley, and former head of FHA during the second Obama administration. Under Galante’s proposal, all of FHA’s mortgage insurance programs would remain with the agency while rental assistance and other ...

January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Deal With VA’s Vexing Churning Problem

Senate lawmakers this week introduced bipartisan legislation to protect veterans and servicemembers from predatory refinancing schemes. Introduced by Sens. Tom Tillis, R-NC, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, the bill would require lenders offering streamline or cash-out refinancing to demonstrate a material benefit to veterans with a VA loan. The Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act reflects measures Jeffrey London, director of VA’s Loan Guaranty Service, talked about when he testified during a hearing on loan churning before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity (See next story.) Prior to submitting a refi loan for a VA guarantee, a lender would be required to certify that all fees associated with the transaction would be recouped by the veteran through lower monthly payments within 36 months. Such fees would include closing costs and any expenses other than ...

January 12, 2018 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Tax Bill Likely to Reduce Demand for Jumbos

As the dust settles from tax reform legislation passed at hyper speed at the end of 2017, industry analysts project that demand for jumbo purchase mortgages will take a hit. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the amount of new debt eligible for the mortgage interest deduction. For purchase mortgages taken out on Dec. 15, 2017, and beyond, only $750,000 of debt will be eligible for the interest deduction. Previously, the limit was $1.0 million. Additionally, deductions from federal taxes for ...

January 11, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House Panel Considers HMDA, CFPB Legislation, Industry Awaits Final Senate Action on Other Bills

Members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit convened early this week to consider legislation that would affect Home Mortgage Disclosure Act enforcement and certain institutions regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – mostly smaller players.

January 11, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Change to Mortgage Interest Deduction Could Prompt Some Borrowers to Shift from Home-Equity Loans to Cash-Out Refis

Borrowers looking to convert home equity into cash could lean toward cash-out refinances rather than home-equity loans due to changes in the newly enacted tax bill.

January 8, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Senate Democrats Seek to Further Empower State Attorneys General

Democrat Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut recently introduced legislation to allow state attorneys general and other state law enforcers to issue subpoenas during the course of investigations regarding compliance with state law by national banks. The Accountability for Wall Street Executives Act of 2017 would clarify that state attorneys general have authority to conduct visitorial oversight of federally-chartered national banks. It also would revise language in the National Bank Act that the Supreme Court interpreted as limiting the visitorial powers of state law enforcers when addressing compliance with state law by national banks. Additionally, the measure would permit subpoenas for suspected violations of real estate lending laws. “With ...

January 5, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Reform Up in the Air for 2018 But Momentum, Optimism Grow

Some observers think that resolving the long-running conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this year is closer than it has ever been, but they also say political differences present a number of challenges. There has been an uptick in momentum the past few months and the recent deal between the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Treasury that allows the GSEs to retain $3 billion in capital is an optimistic sign of progress to many. Moreover, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is working on a draft of a GSE reform bill, and the House Financial Services Committee has held a handful of hearings on GSE reform issues in the fourth quarter in preparation for drafting legislation.

January 5, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Trends

New Treatment of Dividends a Boon for mREITs

Mortgage and commercial real estate investment trusts stand to benefit from a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that offers individuals a 20 percent deduction for REIT dividends. Analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said the deduction applies to “qualified business income,” which includes qualified dividends paid by REITs. The tax reform bill was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017. Previously, non-capital gains dividends from a REIT were taxed as ...

January 5, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Trends

What Do Tax Cuts Mean for Mortgage Bankers?

Although the GOP tax overhaul will dampen use of the once-sacred mortgage interest deduction by consumers, owners of mortgage companies will be able to keep more of the money they earn each year, according to interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Trends. In particular, firms that have C-corporation status will benefit the most, thanks to a reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. S-corps, on the other hand, likely will not do as well because ...

January 4, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Thanks to GOP Tax Bill, Fannie and Freddie Will Take $15.3 Billion in DTA Writedowns

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will bolster their 2018 earnings by a combined $3 billion thanks to GOP tax reform legislation signed into law by President Trump in late December, according to calcula-tions from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

December 22, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

No Agreement on Stopgap Funding As Government Shutdown Looms

Congressional leaders are working behind closed doors on a stopgap-spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown and keep federal agencies operating past Dec. 22.

December 22, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GAO Asks Congress to Specify Conditions MMIF Can Survive

The Government Accountability Office, in a new report, urged Congress to specify the economic conditions it believes the FHA mortgage insurance fund can withstand without supplemental funds.

December 21, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Tax Reform Bill Seen as Having Some Negative Impacts for MBS and ABS Markets, Particularly Deals Involving Leases

As Congress worked on tax reform legislation, participants in the structured finance market didn’t raise many concerns, but the bill passed this week could cause some problems for MBS and ABS markets, according to the Structured Finance Industry Group.

December 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Tax Reform a Mixed Bag for Housing Industry: Lower Mortgage Deduction and Some Lobbying Victories

Congress approved significant reforms to federal tax policies this week, which will include a number of changes for the housing industry.

December 18, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Fixing QM, Other Dodd-Frank Rules Remain on White House Agenda

Speaking during a recent public appearance in Washington, DC, Mark Calabria, chief economist in the Executive Office of the Vice President, discussed the Trump administration’s priorities when it comes to regulatory reform, and the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule was one of the items on the list. “Looking at the mortgage finance system as a whole is critical, as is reviewing the substantive rule-makings that came out of the Dodd-Frank Act,” said Calabria, former director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, DC, and a former Capitol Hill staffer involved in drafting the framework for the conservatorships of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “We really did expand the regulatory framework with things like the qualified mortgage ...

December 18, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Servicers Shouldn’t Expect That Much Regulatory Relief, S&P Says

Analysts at S&P Global Ratings said that they do not expect mortgage servicers to see much of an impact from ongoing efforts at deregulation. “The recent resignation of the head of the CFPB – a major tenet of Dodd-Frank – the appointment of a new CFPB acting director, and the Trump administration’s focus on rolling back financial regulations suggest more lenient industry standards could be in the future,” they said in a report recently. However, they don’t foresee any major shift in the industry. “For one, no servicer wants to be associated with following questionable strategies or practices,” the ratings service said. “Furthermore, implementing regulatory initiatives in the past 10 years has been costly for servicers. It would be counterproductive for servicers ...

December 18, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Senate Reg Relief Bill Would Tweak Handful of CFPB Regulations

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee recently passed a bipartisan measure that will provide some noteworthy relief from a handful of CFPB regulations, especially for small and regional lenders. Under S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, certain mortgages originated and retained in portfolio by banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in total assets would be deemed qualified mortgages under the bureau’s ability-to-repay rule. The act also would provide regulatory relief under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act for small depository institutions that have originated less than 500 closed-end mortgage loans or less than 500 open-end lines of credit in each of the two preceding calendar years. The Government Accountability Office would ...

December 15, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Industry Groups Lobby on Capital Gains Exclusion

A coalition of industry groups has urged the Senate Committee on Finance to retain the current capital gain exclusion on the sale of a principal residence, warning that such a provision in the Republican tax reform plan would adversely affect young families and those relocating to new jobs. Specifically, the proposal in the House and Senate versions of the tax bill would retain the $500,000 capital gain exclusion ($250,000 for unmarried taxpayers) but lengthen ownership and use requirements ...

December 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Research Paper Revisits Post-2008 Legislative Efforts, Suggests Banks Delayed Foreclosures to Influence Dodd-Frank Outcome

Banks servicing delinquent mortgages in 2009-2010 allegedly delayed foreclosure starts in the districts of then-members of the House Financial Services Committee in order to influence legislative action on the Dodd-Frank Act, according to a working paper published by the Ohio State University.

December 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HFS Committee Voted to Suspend Housing Fund Payments if GSE Dividend Payments Aren’t Made

Members of the House Financial Services Committee this week approved a bill that would sus-pend Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac contributions to the Housing Trust Fund if the government-sponsored enterprises don’t pay dividends to Treasury. The panel approved the bill on a partisan vote of 33 to 27.

December 8, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Jumbo Market Braces for Hit from Tax Reform

Tax reform legislation on track for enactment by the end of the year could have an outsized impact on the jumbo market, according to industry analysts. The House and Senate are currently working to reconcile differences between their versions of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. A concern for jumbo lenders is that both versions of the bill would set a $10,000 limit for deductions relating to state/local property taxes and eliminate deductions for state/local income taxes. The House bill ...

December 8, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Regulatory Reform Efforts Making Progress

Regulatory reform legislation with limited bipartisan support is making its way through the Senate, and a change in leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could provide further relief for the industry. This week, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs approved a regulatory reform bill on a 16-7 vote. S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, would make adjustments to the standards for qualified mortgages ...

December 8, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Hensarling Outlines Keys to Housing-Finance Reform As Momentum Builds, a Bright Future for Ginnie?

It appears that Congressional reform of the housing-finance system – and final resolution of Fan-nie Mae and Freddie Mac – is back on track with a key piece of good news for MBS investors: an ex-plicit federal guarantee on conventional product looks likely.


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.