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Tag Archives: FHFA

FHFA: Fannie, Freddie May Need $142B More in Taxpayer Funds

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released projections Thursday that showed the GSEs may need anywhere from $51 billion to $142 billion more taxpayer funds over the next few years, even as one Republican lawmaker offered a plan that would siphon federal support for the companies. The scenarios show that the companies will ultimately need to withdraw anywhere from $220 billion to $311 billion from the federal government, a lower estimate for forecasts that originally fixed their needs at anywhere from $221 billion to $363 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged from Week Earlier

Mortgage rates largely remained near historic lows from the week earlier, reflecting a sense of uncertainty that continues to persist among wary homebuyers. Bankrate.com denoted a new low for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which fell from 4.38 percent last week to crest at 4.33 percent this week. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage giant Freddie Mac polled financial institutions and the like in their weekly surveys. Freddie differed by few turns, signaling the loss of one percentage point this week.

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Leadership Shakeup Underway for Freddie Mac

Freddie

In a surprise move, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a flurry of resignations for Freddie Mac over this year and the next, with CEO Ed Haldeman, Chairman John Koskinen, and several other board members set to step down. Other resigning officers include Laurence Hirsch, a board member who will not seek re-election, and Robert Glauber, chairman of the GSE├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós nomination and governance committee. It remains unclear why Haldeman made the decision to leave the company he helped guide through the financial crisis.

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Obama Refi Proposal Takes Shape in HARP Changes

Federal regulators announced their intentions Monday to expand the Home Affordable Refinance Program available via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Among other modifications, the FHFA said it plans to eliminate a number of risk-based fees for short-term mortgage borrowers, take off the 125-percent loan-to-value ratio for loans guaranteed by the GSEs, and void requirements for new property appraisals in lieu of automated estimates. Market watchers around the industry offered reactions that ranged from skepticism to optimism.

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Reports: Expect Obama’s Housing Finance Plan Soon

A declaration by President Barack Obama to end the war in Iraq helped drown other news Friday, including apparent moves by the White House to float a housing finance stimulus plan in the next few weeks. Some of the initiatives currently under wraps include an expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program and a selloff in mortgage-backed bonds by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to invite private-sector investment back into the housing finance system. The Federal Housing Finance Agency plays a major role for either proposal.

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B of A Moves to Dismiss Counsel for AIG

Continuing its legal wrangling with American International Group, Inc., Bank of America Corp. has filed a motion to dismiss Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan as the company's counsel for AIG's $10 billion lawsuit against the financial institution. In its move to disqualify the firm, BAC cited conflict of interest due to partner Marc Becker's previous involvement with the bank's chosen law firm, Munger, Tolles & Olson.

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Private Investment Pilot Program Gains Traction

Capitol Hill is buzzing with the news of a pilot program that would facilitate the redirection of private investments into the U.S. mortgage industry. The potential moves from the Obama administration and federal housing regulators represent a transition from a mortgage-backed securities market that is largely controlled by the government sponsored enterprises. Talk in Washington, D.C., indicates that as early as 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would initiate the sale of portions of securities to specific private investors.

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Lawmakers Press Officials Over Mass Refinance Program

Sixteen lawmakers from both parties inked their names to a widely circulated letter Wednesday that called for the implementation of a massive refinance program first proposed by President Barack Obama. Addressing several high-ranking officials, the bipartisan group pressed in the letter for the elimination loan-to-value ratio caps, risk-based loan fees, and barriers like second lien holders. Supporters say an expanded refi program would allow for an unprecedented surge in refinancing activity.

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Reports: Obama Refinance Proposal Expected Soon

Following a better-than-expected jobs report Friday, emerging news reports suggested that the Obama administration could submit in full a controversial refinance proposal that sources say would allow eligible homeowners to refinance their mortgages at current rates. Government officials remain mum about exactly when officials and policymakers will see the proposal, but continue to offer snippets about their intentions for it. The one stumbling block for the proposal: the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

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What the Lower Conforming Loan Limits Mean

Making good on promises by policymakers from both parties, Congress allowed the $729,750 threshold for conforming loans with federal guarantees to expire Saturday, pinching high-end borrowers in a marginal number of counties and potentially leaving a swath of new market share for private bankers. Homebuyers looking for more than $625,000 in financing for their mortgage loans will accordingly fall short of eligibility requirements needed for federal insurance.

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