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Tag Archives: FHFA

Lawmakers Target Fannie, Freddie Over ‘Questionable’ Practices

A minibus bill cobbled together by House lawmakers would slash spending from several federal agencies, including HUD, and limit a hike in conforming loan limits to the Federal Housing Administration. House lawmakers drafted the stopgap bill to resolve funding needs for the federal government and avoid a shutdown for the remainder of the fiscal year a step in the direction of an agreement reached by White House officials and member of Congress earlier this year.

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DeMarco: $13M in GSE Exec Bonuses Help Protect Taxpayers

Pressure from Congress over some $13 million in bonuses for GSE executives crystallized in a hearing Tuesday that saw Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco defend himself and the controversial pay packages against critical questions from lawmakers. Members of the Senate Banking Committee largely took turns criticizing the FHFA's decisions and probing for statements about the housing finance system. The head of the agency responsible for regulating the GSEs portrayed his decision as one that would ultimately help keep taxpayers off the hook.

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Lawmaker Wants Dodd-Frank Financial, Regulatory Analyses

As pressure builds to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, one lawmaker pushed back by formally requesting an analysis of the rulemaking effort and financial consequences under the financial legislative overhaul. Sen. Tim Johnson wrote two letters to public officials Thursday to make the request, with clear intentions to secure a formal, objective analysis that lends credibility to the financial law and overall rulemaking process. Included agencies in the requested analyses: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Housing Finance agency.

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Senator Proposes Bill to Wean GSEs Off Federal Funds

Fielding more pressure for housing finance reform, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to decouple government assistance from the GSEs and shore up private-sector involvement in mortgage markets. The bill, titled the Residential Mortgage Market and Privatization Act, proposes gradually reducing the percentage of principal in the GSEs├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó mortgage-backed securities, streamlining underwriting standards and origination databases, and removing federal guarantees to create a much-discussed to-be-announced market.

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Furor Mounts Over $13M in GSE Exec Bonuses

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain under scrutiny in the wake of large salaries and bonuses for their executives, as lawmakers from both major parties mount a rare joint effort to criticize the GSEs and their federal regulator. No less than 60 senators a total of 35 Republicans and 25 Democrats crossed the aisle to circulate a letter Friday that denounced the Federal Housing Finance Agency for signing off on $12.79 million in bonuses for ten executives with the GSEs. Furor over the bonuses follows a string of changes for Freddie Mac.

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FHFA Serves Related Cos. with Subpoena

New York developer Related Cos. has been served. The company received a subpoena from the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as part of its investigation into business transactions between the entity and Fannie Mae. In early 2011, Related entered into a joint venture with the GSE, and through the deal, Related gained an investment stake in multiple apartment properties that were in foreclosure via Fannie. Reports signal that the FHFA's legal pursuit is only after a portion of the transaction.

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New Rule Would Streamline GSE Fraud Reports

Fraudsters and money-launderers may find it more difficult to move forward with their illicit activities if a new draft rule receives approval. Publishing a draft rule in the Federal Register Thursday, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network proposed eliminating the Federal Housing Finance Agency as a middle-man in the reporting process for suspicious activity for GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The rule would require GSE officials to file suspicious activity reports with FinCEN itself.

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Policymakers See GSE-Free Future as Freddie Asks for $6B

The head of the agency that regulates the GSEs addressed one lawmaker's recent proposal to eliminate the federal lifeline for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Thursday even as the latter filed staggering third-quarter losses and requested another $6 billion in taxpayer funds. Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco and several others testified before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, which heard the chief regulator describe why the federal government needs to slowly phase out taxpayer support for the GSEs.

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Lawmakers Argue for More HARP 2.0 Modifications

A bipartisan group of lawmakers called for more modifications to the Home Affordable Refinance Program Wednesday in a public letter addressing federal officials. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) joined eight other lawmakers to call for the FHFA and other federal regulators to lift access barriers to borrowers with higher-equity government-backed loans. The letter argues that new modifications could benefit approximately 12 million other borrowers.

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Nation’s Big Four Banks Sign Up for HARP Expansion

The nation's four biggest mortgage lenders recently signed up for modifications to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, adding credibility to a mass refinance opportunity that met with cheers and criticism this week. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced this week that it would lift the 125-percent loan-to-value ratio for mortgages, do away with risk-based fees for borrowers with short-term loans, and extend the lifetime of the program until 2013. B of A, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo all came forward.

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