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. …

Fannie, Freddie Extend Ban On Foreclosures, Evictions

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced Thursday that they are extending the ban on single-family foreclosures and evictions for properties with mortgages managed by the two companies. The suspension, which was put in place to protect homeowners and renters amid the pandemic, will be in effect through the end of the year. It had been set to expire next week. “The extension of our eviction and foreclosure moratorium is just one part of the comprehensive assistance we’re providing borrowers and communities impacted by COVID-19,” said Donna Corley, executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac’s Single-Family business. “We are committed to helping families affected by the pandemic, and we have instructed servicers to work with borrowers who are unable to…

FHFA Again Extends Flexible Fannie, Freddie Rules

One month at a time. The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Wednesday announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac again extend flexible policies put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including buying loans in forbearance. “Extending these COVID-19 flexibilities helps keep the mortgage market moving and borrowers safe during the pandemic,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. The extensions cover: Buying qualified loans in forbearance.Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate-term refinance loans.Alternative methods for documenting income and verifying employment before loan closing.Expanding the use of power of attorney to assist with loan closings. The extension is through Sept. 30. The policies had been set to expire on Monday.…

FHFA Delays Refinance Fee For 3 Months

Faced with a barrage of criticism, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it is delaying the implementation date of the “adverse market refinance fee” for three months. The fee – which drew criticism from members of Congress, industry groups and housing advocates – was scheduled to take effect next week. It is now going to take effect Dec. 1, FHFA announced FHFA also said the fee will not apply to refinances on loans below $125,000. “We welcome today’s announcement from the FHFA amending the recently announced Adverse Market Refinance Fee from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Bob Broeksmit said. “Extending the effective date will permit lenders to close refinance loans that are…

State Bankers Assail FHFA Refinance Fee

State bankers associations from every state sent a letter to Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria, urging him to rescind the “adverse market fee” on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage refinances. The fee is designed to protect Fannie and Freddie from risk associated with the pandemic. It charges 0.5 percent of the loan amount to the borrower who is refinancing, or roughly $1,400 on the typical mortgage in the United States. “The new fee, referred to as an “adverse market refinance fee,” will harm consumers in urban, rural, and suburban communities across the country,” the associations said in the letter. “Borrowers have been helped by the historically low interest rates, allowing them to refinance their loans into significantly lower…

Mortgage, Housing Groups Assail FHFA Fee

A coalition of housing, banking and public interest groups on Thursday strongly condemned the Federal Housing Finance Agency for implementing an “adverse market fee” on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage refinances. The fee is designed to protect Fannie and Freddie from risk associated with the pandemic. It charges 0.5 percent of the loan amount to the borrower, or nearly $1,500 on the typical mortgage in the United States. The American Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors and 17 other organizations called the fee an “ill-timed, misguided” surprise.  “Wednesday night’s surprise announcement by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) conflicts with the Administration’s recent executive actions urging federal agencies to take all measures within their authority…

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…

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.…

FHFA: Fannie, Freddie Play Too Big Of A Role

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria on Monday warned Congress that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a disproportionately large role in the housing market and are badly undercapitalized – creating significant risk to the nation’s economy. In a letter to the banking and housing chairs introducing FHFA’s annual report, Calabria urged Congress to give the agency greater authority to charter competitors to Fannie and Freddie and limit their relative power in the housing market. “A root cause of the 2008 financial crisis was imprudent mortgage credit risk backed by insufficient capital,” Calabria wrote to Congress. “This fundamental problem remains unresolved today. The Enterprises are inarguably undercapitalized for their size, risk, and systemic importance. Calabria said Fannie and Freddie…