FHFA Announces New Renter Protections

Multifamily property owners whose mortgages are backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae must inform tenants in writing about rent and eviction protections if they enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement, The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday. While in forbearance due to economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, property owners must agree not to evict tenants solely for not paying rent. “Landlords in forbearance must notify their tenants that they cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “If tenants are able to pay their rent, they should continue to do so.”  Other protections previously announced include: Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate;Not charging tenants…

FHFA Extends Policy Protecting New Borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is extending a policy that allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase some single-family mortgages in forbearance in an attempt to support the liquidity of mortgage lenders during the coronavirus pandemic. Originally enacted in April, the policy is designed to protect borrowers seeking mortgage forbearance shortly after closing on loans – and before the lender could deliver the loan to Fannie or Freddie. Prior to the change, loans in forbearance were ineligible to be sold under Fannie and Freddie requirements, placing the borrower and the lender in jeopardy. “Extending the Enterprises’ ability to purchase these previously ineligible loans will help provide liquidity to mortgage markets. That said, to make homeownership sustainable, lenders…

Fed: Rates Staying At 0, More MBS Purchases

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will continue to load up on mortgage-back securities to ensure credit is available to businesses and individuals to keep the economy afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. “We have been purchasing sizable quantities of Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities in order to support orderly conditions in the markets, which are vital to the flow of credit in the economy,” Chairman Jerome Powell said. “To sustain smooth market functioning and foster the effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions, we will continue to increase our holdings of Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace. These purchases are also fostering more accommodative financial conditions.” Powell emphasized the need to keep…

Trump: Suburbs Will “No Longer Be Bothered” By Low-Income Housing

President Trump said Wednesday that his recent action to rescind an Obama-era housing rule will keep low-income housing out of the suburbs. “I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood,” Trump Tweeted, follow it up with: “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!” …Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020 Last week, Trump rescinded President Obama’s…

Senate Confirms Dana Wade As FHA Boss

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Dana Wade as the commissioner of the Federal Housing Agency by a 57-40 vote. All votes against the nomination came from Democrats, with Democratic Sens. Doug Jones (Arkansas), Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Chris Murphy (Connecticut), and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) joining Republicans to vote to confirm. “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to hit the ground running during this critical time for our nation’s housing markets,” Commissioner Wade said. Wade previously served as Acting Federal Housing Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing from July 2017 to June 2018, where she oversaw over 2,400 employees and implemented enhanced risk management and monitoring of FHA’s $1.3 trillion portfolio. Wade also served as a Program Associate Director for…

FHFA Releases 2021 Housing Goals For Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Finance Housing Agency on Monday announced 2021 housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are identical to the mortgage purchase goals that were in place for the last three years. “Due to the economic uncertainty related to the COVID-19 national pandemic, FHFA is proposing benchmarks for calendar year 2021 only, and those levels will remain the same as they were for 2018-2020,” FHFA said in announcing the goals. Here are the single-family goals for 2021: GoalCurrent 2018-2020 benchmark Proposed 2021 benchmarkLow-Income Home Purchase Goal24 percent24 percentVery Low-Income Home Purchase Goal6 percent6 percentLow-Income Areas Home Purchase Subgoal14 percent14 percentLow-Income Refinancing Goal21 percent21 percent Here are the multi-family goals for 2021: GoalCurrent 2018-2020 benchmark Proposed 2021 benchmark Low-Income Goal315,000…

FHFA Again Extends Flexible Loan Origination Policies

As the coronavirus pandemic drags into summer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday that it is extending flexible loan origination policies for another month. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac policies, which had been set to expire at the end of July, will be extended until the end of August. They include: Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans;Alternative methods for documenting income and verifying employment before loan closing; andExpanding the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations to assist with loan closings.…

Report: Supreme Court To Hear GSE Shareholder Suit

As the Supreme Court wrapped up its current term, it announced Thursday that it would hear a pair of cases related to litigation around the structure and payout dividend payout practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Reuters reported. Reuters reports: The justices will review a 2019 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that shareholders in the two companies could pursue a challenge to the 2012 agreement between the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Treasury Department. The deal eliminated dividend payouts to various shareholders and required the companies to pay the U.S. Treasury an amount equal to their quarterly net worth each quarter. The court also took up a related appeal brought by the shareholders…

Dems Release Exhaustive Housing Policy Agenda

By Jim Perskie Opposing wings of the Democratic Party released sweeping policy recommendations, including proposals to reverse policies and practices that “have made homeownership all but impossible for millions of working families.” The proposals – released by the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force – were released Wednesday as part of a 110-page document meant to bring together supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders ahead of the November election. “Democrats believe the government should take aggressive steps to increase the supply of housing, especially affordable housing, and address long-standing economic and racial inequities in our housing markets,” the proposal states. “We will equalize access to affordable credit and improve access to down payment assistance to help families of color, low-income…

Trump: Biden To Have “Devastating Impact” On Suburbs

President Trump announced overnight that he is considering doing away with a federal rule designed to overcome historic patterns of segregation. “At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas. Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE. Not fair to homeowners, I may END!” the President Tweeted Tuesday night. At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas. Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE. Not fair to…