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Tag Archives: FHFA

Senate Clears STOCK Act, Prohibits GSE Bonus Pay

The Senate cleared a bill Thursday that bans bonuses for executives with either of the GSEs and requires mortgage disclosures from senior-level government officials. The bill ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô passed by a count of 96 to 3, according to news outlets, and combines an earlier House version with Senate amendments. Except in certain circumstances, under the law, government officials and their spouses will need to disclose report on and disclose information about their mortgage loans. GSE executives will be eligible only for federal pay grades.

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Fannie, Freddie See Q4 HARP Loan Volume Tick Up

Refinance activity ticked up for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the fourth quarter, showing an increase in interest for the Home Affordable Refinance Program over last year. The Federal Housing Finance Agency released the results Monday in a Foreclosure Prevention and Refinance Report for the last quarter. Total HARP refinance volume came to include more than 1,021,800 loans, with a cumulative rise by 10 percent for the GSEs in the fourth quarter. Of these, Fannie Mae netted 376,365 in refinance loans, a measure of 2,045,777 HARP loans it saw last year.

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Standard & Poor’s: Has the Housing Market Hit Bottom?

Standard & Poor's Tuesday Webinar provided insight into a key industry question - "Is the housing market bottoming out?" The broad inquiry served as the title for S&P's web-based presentation, which included contributing analysts Beth Ann Bovino, Erkan Erturk, and Valerie White. Offering their take on the current state of U.S. real estate, the participants discussed home pricing, the return of the private-label securitization market, not-for-profit housing, corporate homebuilders, and the nation's housing agencies.

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Report Slams FHFA, Freddie for Poor Servicer Oversight

Freddie

The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency released a report Tuesday that criticizes the agency, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac for a series of ongoing oversight problems with mortgage servicers. The document charges that the FHFA failed to implement service guidelines for the mortgage company last year and portrays today├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós environment as one in which the agency, GSEs, and servicers all punt responsibility down the ladder. It also alleges that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac routinely fail to swap servicer information.

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NAHB Proposes Plan to Overhaul Secondary Market

A prominent housing trade group joined a growing roster of policy makers by outlining ways to take the GSEs off federal conservatorship, reintroduce private mortgage-backed securities, and charge existing government entities with stewardship of the new system. The National Association of Home Builders released a white paper Monday that calls on lawmakers to slowly transition a system dominated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to one that shares and balances responsibility. The proposal comes as others arrive from lawmakers and policy makers to replace the GSEs.

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Housing Looms Large, As Ever, For Bernanke, Lawmakers

A hearing held by House lawmakers Wednesday with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recast housing and the Dodd-Frank Act as issues critical to the economic recovery. The central banker said that 30 percent of home sales recently consisted of foreclosures and properties in distress, reflecting ongoing trouble for a market underpinned by high home vacancy rates and downward pressure for home prices. The underwriting process, down payments, and pending regulations also took center-stage during the discussion, with House members spotlighting recent servicer consent orders.

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FHFA’s Fourth Quarter Findings a Mixed Message

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released its data from the fourth quarter of 2011, and findings from the government organization├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós survey show that U.S. home pricing was slightly on the decline during the period. The FHFA├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós seasonally-adjusted, purchase-only house price index (HPI) demonstrated a 0.1 percent drop in pricing between quarters, and year-over-year, the statistics displayed a decrease of 2.4 percent. In spite of the national trend, however, HPI findings from the FHFA indicated that 27 states and the District of Columbia recorded a rise for the fourth quarter of last year.

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FHFA Proposes Remaking Secondary Mortgage Market

The federal agency responsible for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released a proposal Tuesday that calls for lawmakers to gradually wean the GSEs off taxpayer funds and stand up a new secondary market, replete with new institutions, securitization measures, and servicing standards. The proposal outlines steps for ways to shift risk and responsibility from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to a new market that lawmakers would need to establish without destabilizing a cornerstone of the economy.

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Senators Introduce Bill to Pay GSE Execs Federal Salaries

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle introduced legislation Thursday to curb multibillion-dollar bonuses for senior-level executives with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sens. Mark Begich and John Thune sponsored the bill, colorfully titled the Stop the Outrageous Pay at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Act. The bill would assign federal pay scale to employees with either of the GSEs, capping the highest salaries at $275,000. It would also repurpose any such funds so designated this year to pay down the politically important national debt.

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