housing finance reform Tag Archives

Federal Housing Finance Agency News

It’s been a busy week for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). During the American Credit Union Mortgage Association’s Annual Conference, Director Mark Calabria shared his concerns about volume-based pricing discounts on Guarantee Fees (G-Fees). FHFA issued a confidential administrative directive to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac restricting competition on G-Fees

FHFA sent a letter to the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks) instructing them that, as of December 31, 2019, they should stop purchasing investments in assets tied to London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) with a contractual maturity beyond December 31, 2021.

FHFA announced modified Preferred Stock Purchase agreements with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allow the GSEs to retain capitals of up to $25 billion and $20 billion, respectively. The move ends the capital sweep on earnings above $3 billion that was put into place in 2008 when the GSEs entered conservatorship.

Finally, FHFA announced an agreement with Simone Grimes who accused former director Melvin Watt of sexual harassment.

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Treasury, HUD Release Housing Finance Reform Plan

Last week the Department of the Treasury and HUD sent their Housing Finance Reform Plans to President Trump following his March Memorandum, which ordered the reports. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a hearing on Housing Finance Reform: Next Steps with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and FHFA Director Mark Calabria as witnesses.

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Senate Banking Committee Holds Two Hearings on Housing Finance Reform

On March 26 and 27 the full Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held hearing on Chairman Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) Housing Finance Reform Outline. At the March 26 hearing Chairman Crapo said he wants to “bring to a close the conservatorship era.” Former Acting FHFA Director Edward DeMarco stated that “the outline captures the consensus elements of prior reform proposals and serves as a solid workable foundation from which to develop legislation.” At the March 27 hearing Chairman Crapo said he “considers Housing Finance Reform to be a top priority for the Banking Committee this Congress” and that “the status quo is simply not a valid viable option.”

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President Trump Signs Memo on Housing Finance Reform

President Trump signed a memorandum that directs HUD and Treasury to draft administrative and legislative options for housing finance reform to be submitted to the President for approval as soon as practicable. HUD will prepare a reform plan for the housing finance agencies it oversees, and Treasury will prepare a reform plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The reform plans will aim to end the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and improve regulatory oversight over them and promote competition in the housing finance market and create a system that encourages sustainable homeownership and protects taxpayers against bailouts.

Enterprise Blog Summarizes and Responds to Chairman Crapo’s Housing Finance Reform Outline

NH&RA member Enterprise Community Partner recently published a blog post on Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) housing finance reform outline. Vice President of Policy Development Andrew Jakabovics argues that eliminating the explicit commitment to affordable housing is a step in the wrong direction and that the housing finance system should be designed from the start to serve eligible borrowers of modest and mid-priced homes in the normal course of business and without special programs.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Crapo Releases Outline for Housing Finance Reform

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) released an outline for housing finance reform legislation. In a statement Chairman Crapo said, “we must expeditiously fix our flawed housing finance system. My priorities are to establish stronger levels of taxpayer protection, preserve the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, increase competition among mortgage guarantors, and promote access to affordable housing.” 

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FHFA Acting Director Announces Plans to Overhaul Housing Finance System

Joseph Otting, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), told employees that the administration would not wait on Congress to overhaul the nation’s housing finance system. According to remarks obtained by POLITICO at a Jan. 17 FHFA staff meeting Otting said, in the next two to four weeks you’re going to be able to see some communication that comes out of the White House and Treasury that really sets a direction for what the future of housing will be in the U.S. and what the FHFA’s part of that will be.”

Following Ottings’s remarks, White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters said in an email, “the White House expects to announce a framework for the development of a policy for comprehensive housing finance reform shortly. At this time, no decisions have been made on any reform plan. As part of the process, however, the Administration will work with Congress to formulate a plan that fully addresses the risks to taxpayers presented by the current housing finance system and that improves the ability of creditworthy Americans to buy a home,” according to the Washington Examiner.

GAO Releases Report on Housing Finance Reform

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a new report Housing Finance: Prolonged Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Prompt Need for Reform. The report, prepared for Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI), calls on Congress to “consider legislation for the future federal role in housing finance that addresses the structure of the enterprises, establishes clear, specific, and prioritized goals and considers all relevant federal entities, such as FHA and Ginnie Mae.”

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