GSEs To Stay Under Govt Control For Time Being

The Trump Administration announced Thursday that it would not seek to pull Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship before President Trump leaves office next week.  Instead, the Department of Treasury and the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced amendments to their preferred stock purchase agreements that allows Fannie and Freddie to keep more of their earnings as they continue to work to leave conservatorship. “Today’s agreement that allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to continue retaining earnings is a step in the right direction, but more hard work remains,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “Capital at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac protects the housing finance system and taxpayers. Retained earnings alone are insufficient to adequately capitalize the Enterprises. Until…

HUD Official Resigns After Capitol Siege

A high-ranking Department of Housing and Urban Development official announced his resignation on Thursday, a day a mob took over the U.S. Capitol. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, stepped down on the same day Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced their resignations, among others. “I have informed the Secretary that I will be resigning today at the close of business,” Kurtz wrote in an email to HUD staff. I just want to take a moment and thank you. Being the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing and working with you over the past 18 months has truly been the greatest honor and privilege of my life. During this time, we have…

Business Groups Condemn Siege On Capitol

Business groups – including housing and mortgage organizations – were quick to condemn the mob that overran the Capitol on Wednesday as the Congress was working to certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden. Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Bob Broeksmit condemned “the vicious, lawless mob that descended on the U.S. Capitol today and wreaked havoc on our democratic process.” “Their actions were abhorrent and not representative of the ideals and character of America,” Broeksmit said. “The United States’ democracy is the model for the world; those who deliberately undermine or disrespect it, or who fail to protect it, should be ashamed. … MBA looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration and new Congress in the weeks and…

FHFA Seeks Feedback On Appraisal Process

The appraisal process may be headed for a makeover. The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Monday requested input on potential changes to “appraisal-related policies, practices and processes.” FHFA will take the input and decide if changes need to be made to ensure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are operating properly when it comes to appraisals. FHFA is seeking input on: Appraisal modernization.The Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) and the design of appraisal forms.Automated Valuation Models (AVMs) and appraisal waivers.Valuation differences by borrower and neighborhood ethnic makeup. “Modernizing the appraisal process has the potential to create a more streamlined and accurate collateral valuation process. But if modernization is not properly adopted, it could have negative unintended consequences,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said.…

FHFA Extends Multifamily Forbearance Offer

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending forbearance opportunities to qualifying multifamily property owners through the end of March. The multifamily forbearance program, which had been set to expire at the end of this year, allows property owners with Fannie or Freddie-backed mortgages to enter a new or modified forbearance program if they suffer financial hardship to the Covid-19 pandemic. Property owners who enter into a forbearance agreement must: Inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods.Agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.  Additional tenant protections apply during the repayment periods, including: Giving tenants…

Rule Would Require Living Wills For Fannie, Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a new proposed rule Tuesday that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to have living wills, similar to what many large financial institutions must file under federal law. Under the proposed rule, Fannie and Freddie will have to demonstrate “how core or important business lines would be maintained to ensure continued support for mortgage finance and stabilize the housing finance system, without extraordinary government support to prevent (Fannie or Freddie) from being placed in receivership, indemnify investors against losses, or fund the resolution of (Fannie or Freddie).” “The rule proposed today is an important step toward a stronger housing finance system. Requiring the Enterprises to develop living wills, helps FHFA fulfill its responsibility…

Stimulus Package Includes $25B For Rent Aid

The new $900 billion stimulus package agreed to by Congressional leaders includes additional housing relief, but an advocate is warning that more assistance may be needed after the new year. The deal, which is before the House, incudes $25 billion in rental assistance for families struggling to make monthly payments. It also extends the ban on evictions through the end of January. David M. Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference, applauded the deal while cautioning that much work remains ahead. “Help is on the way for millions of renters and small business property owners who for months have faced an impending housing crisis,” Dworkin said. “The $25 billion for rental assistance announced by Congress … is a…

FHA Extends Foreclosure, Eviction Ban

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hammer away in the United States, the Federal Housing Administration announced Monday that it is extending the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for FHA-insured mortgages through February 28. The FHA also is extending the deadline for single-family borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages to request forbearance from their lender. Forbearance allows homeowners to defer or reduce mortgage payments for up to six months, along with a possible six-month extension. “Today’s foreclosure moratorium and forbearance extensions for single family homeowners ensure American homeowners continue to have the critical relief and support they need to get back to financial stability,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said.   This is the fourth extension of FHA’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium, which bars servicers…

FHFA Proposes GSE Liquidity Rules

The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Thursday announced a proposed rule on liquidity requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including reporting rules and minimum liquidity and funding. The four liquidity requirements in the proposed rule include: A short-term 30-day requirement that is based on a cumulative net cash outflow analysis, plus an additional $10 billion cushion requirement that must be met by highly liquid assets, like Treasury securities.A 365-day requirement extending the short-term cumulative cash outflow analysis to a full year. Over this intermediate term, Fannie and Freddie may count borrowings against certain fixed income instruments that the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation deems eligible collateral (subject to a haircut), which they cannot count under the 30-day requirement. There is…

Biden Officially Nominates Fudge To Lead HUD

President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday officially announced that Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge, who had wanted to lead the Department of Agriculture, was one of five major appointments unveiled. They include Tom Vilsack (USDA), Denis McDonough (Veterans Affairs), Katherine Tai (US Trade Representative) and Susan Rice (director of White House Policy Council). “This dedicated and distinguished group of public servants will bring the highest level of experience, compassion, and integrity to bear, solving problems and expanding possibilities for the American people in the face of steep challenges,” Biden said. “The roles they will take on are where the rubber meets the road — where competent and crisis-tested governance can make…