FHFA Extends GSEs Ability To Buy Loans In Forbearance

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday that it will extend Fannie and Freddie’s ability to purchase some single-family mortgages in forbearance to continue to support the liquidity of mortgage lenders during the pandemic. FHFA originally put the policy in place in April in response to borrowers seeking mortgage forbearance shortly after closing on loans – and before the lender could deliver the loan to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. 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. The latest extension covers loans originated through November 30. “Eligible loans will continue to be priced to mitigate the heightened risk of loss to the…

FHFA Proposes New Fannie, Freddie Product Rule

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Monday announced a new rule that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide advance notice to FHFA of new activities and obtain prior approval before launching new products. The rule, which was announced by FHFA Director Mark Calabria at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual meeting, “establishes revised criteria for determining whether a new activity requires notice to FHFA and for determining if that activity is a new product that merits public notice and comment.”  “The proposed rule will enhance the safety and soundness of the secondary mortgage market by ensuring the Enterprises adhere to their statutory missions,” Calabria said. “This proposed rule is an important step as the Agency works to end…

Ginnie Mae Completes Record-Setting Year

Ginnie Mae issued a record $748 billion in mortgage-backed securities during the recently completed fiscal year, nearly 50 percent higher than the previous record, the government-owned housing corporation announced Wednesday. Ginnie Mae, which is the largest source of mortgage funding for first-time homebuyers, helped more than 2.8 million households secure homeownership or rental housing. The previous record was $504 billion in 2017. “2020 is a year that will stand out in the record books for Ginnie Mae,” Principal Executive Vice President Seth Appleton said. “We attracted record capital to support affordable homeownership and rental housing opportunities for millions of American households, advanced key modernization initiatives, and responded swiftly to the COVID-19 National Emergency, all while operating in a remote environment.”…

Trump Tweets: “GOODBYE SUBURBS!” Under Biden

President Trump once again warned Americans on Wednesday that the suburbs will be destroyed if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected next month. The President Tweeted, “Biden supports Cory Booker’s Bill that will force low income housing in the Suburbs, which will lower property values and bring crime to your neighborhoods. If Dems win, GOODBYE SUBURBS!” Biden supports Cory Booker’s Bill that will force low income housing in the Suburbs, which will lower property values and bring crime to your neighborhoods. If Dems win, GOODBYE SUBURBS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2020 Sen. Booker’s HOME Act would require states that receive community development block grants to create “an inclusive zoning strategy” to attract more affordable housing and “create…

Census: 5.4 Million Expect To Lose Housing In 2 Months

There’s big housing news out of the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest Household Pulse Survey released Wednesday – and it doesn’t bode well for homeowners and renters. Of adults who are not current on rent or mortgage payments, 32.1 percent say it is somewhat or very likely they will be evicted or have their loans foreclosed on in the next two months, the survey found. The survey found that 6.8 percent of adults are either not current on their rent or mortgage payment. The survey findings would mean about 5.4 million expect to be evicted or face foreclosure in the next two months. This is based on a US adult population of roughly 250 million, according to the Census Bureau. Wyoming…

Urban Flight: How Will It Impact Election?

Could the trend toward greater suburbanization – and migration among states – have an impact on next month’s election in the United States? An analysis released Tuesday by realtor.com finds that the majority of out-of-town searches for homes in the battleground states of Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – all of which voted for President Trump in 2016 – come from blue states and counties. But that doesn’t mean it will tip an election – at least not yet. “For years homebuyers have looked from urban areas to more suburban and rural areas to find the affordability that makes buying a home possible. The additional time at home and flexibility to work remotely as a result of the pandemic have…

Trump, Biden Spar Over Suburbs In Debate

The future of suburbs briefly took center stage Tuesday night in the first 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden – continuing a months-long dispute on the issue between the two. Following up an exchange about crime in American cities, Trump brought up the issue by saying, “By the way, the suburbs would be gone.” Biden: “You wouldn’t know a suburb unless you took a wrong turn …” Trump: “… I know the suburbs.” Biden: “Suburbs are by and large integrated. People driving their kids to soccer practice are black and white and Hispanic in the same care more than at any time in the past. (Suburbs) are dealing with Covid. They are dying…

NAHB Backs Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

The National Association of Home Builders on Tuesday came out in support of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. “NAHB supports President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said. “Throughout her distinguished career as a federal appellate judge and Notre Dame law professor, Judge Barrett has been recognized for her sharp legal mind and as a steadfast defender of the Constitution. In her court decisions, Judge Barrett has been a bulwark against government overreach, ruling in favor of private property rights and providing certainty for small business owners who must constantly grapple with burdensome regulations.” Trump nominated Barrett on Saturday. Senate…

Loan Origination Flexibilities Extended Again

Yet another month. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday that it is extending the loan origination flexibilities currently offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac designed to help borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.  Originally put in place at the height of the pandemic, FHFA has repeatedly extended the flexibility offered by Freddie and Fannie. They include: Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans;Alternative methods for verifying employment before loan closing;Expanding the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations to assist with loan closings; andAuthority to purchase mortgages in forbearance. …

Calabria Defends Adverse Market Fee

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria on Wednesday defended his agency’s much maligned “adverse market fee” that is designed to help cover losses at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. “Conservative estimates price COVID-19 related costs for the Enterprises at roughly $6 billion … (and) $4 billion is from expected loan losses due to projected forbearance defaults,” Calabria testified before the House Committee on Financial Services. “The expected losses associated with the foreclosure moratorium amount to at least $1 billion. Other forbearance-related expenses and fees, such as the $500 fee the Enterprises pay to servicers for loss mitigation, account for another $1 billion.” The fee on refinances – which drew criticism from members…