Refinance Option Available To Low-Income Borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced a new refinance option that will provide low-income borrowers with reduced interest rates and lower monthly payments. The new option is available to borrowers with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae backed loans. It includes: A requirement that the lender provides a savings of at least $50 in the borrower’s monthly mortgage payment, and at least a 50-basis point reduction in the borrower’s interest rate.A maximum $500 credit from the lender for an appraisal if the borrower is not eligible for an appraisal waiver (the Enterprises will provide the lender a credit of $500 upon the loan’​s sale to an Enterprise).A waiver of the 50 basis point up-front adverse market refinance fee for borrowers with loan balances…

Freddie Mac Reports $7.3B In Net Income

Freddie Mac on Thursday announced net income of $7.3 billion for 2020, up $100 million from the year before as the housing market surged amid pandemic-induced record low interest rates. Freddie Mac also reported: Net worth increased to $16.4 billion, from $9.1 billion at the end of 2019. Net income of $2.9 billion and comprehensive income of $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter, up $400 million and $100 million, respectively, from the prior quarter, driven by a reserve release due primarily to realized house price growth during 4Q 2020. “In 2020, Freddie Mac continued to serve the important role for which it was founded: supporting the housing market in all economic conditions. In the face of extraordinary economic uncertainty caused…

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…

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…

Waters Opposes Calabria’s Fannie, Freddie Goals

Mark Calabria wants to pull Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship by the time President Trump leaves office next month. Not so fast, says Rep. Maxine Waters. The chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee sent Calabria a letter last week urging him to “fully engage with Congress, halt all efforts to raise the capital requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and halt all efforts to release them from conservatorship.” “I believe that it is entirely inappropriate for you and your agency to be focusing on releasing the Enterprises from conservatorship during the pandemic with the assistance of a lame duck Treasury Secretary,” Rep. Waters wrote. “At the very least, the Congress and the American public deserve transparency…

Calabria Seeks To End Conservatorship By Jan. 20

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria is trying to pull Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship before the Trump Administration ends on January 20, the Wall Street Journal reported. Mark Calabria, a libertarian economist who heads the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has made it a priority to return Fannie and Freddie to private hands, a goal shared by Mr. Mnuchin. How that is done could affect the cost and availability of mortgages backed by the companies, which guarantee roughly half of the $11 trillion in existing home loans. Completing the complex process before President Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20 is a long shot, and President-elect Joe Biden is considered unlikely to continue the effort. But Messrs.…

FHFA Sets Multifamily Fannie, Freddie Caps

The 2021 multifamily loan purchase caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be $140 billion – or $70 billion for each Fannie and Freddie, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday. The $140 billion will support the multifamily market, and at least 50 percent of Fannie and Freddie’s multifamily loans are required to be used for affordable housing. “Multifamily housing is a critical component of the nation’s housing supply and especially of its affordable housing stock.  As we continue to address the shortage of affordable housing, especially amid the COVID crisis, FHFA will keep a close eye on the multifamily caps to ensure that they are sufficient and serve to increase the supply of affordable housing but do not…

Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman Resigns

Freddie Mac chief executive officer David Brickman notified the company this week that he is stepping down from the role he has held since just last year, Freddie announced Friday in an SEC filing. Brickman’s resignation will be effective January 8. Freddie gave no reason for Brickman’s decision in the filing, though a spokesman told the Wall Street Journalthat it was a “personal decision.” The SEC filing said, “The Board will also be launching a search for a new CEO for Freddie Mac.” Following the notification, Freddie appointed Michael T. Hutchins interim president, effective Monday. Hutchins, 64, has served as Freddie Mac’s Executive Vice President – Investments and Capital Markets since January 2015, and prior to that, he served as Senior…

FHFA Approves GSE Use Of Classic FICO

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it had validated and approved the use of the Classic FICO credit score model by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as work continues to assess adopting more modern credit score tools. In February, FHFA sought input on new credit score models, but Tuesday’s announcement gives FHFA time to sort through the different models. FHFA said it expects Fannie and Freddie will take “an additional year to complete the validation and approval process of the remaining credit score models submitted in response to the solicitation.” “The validation and approval of Classic FICO by the Enterprises allows them to continue supporting the mortgage market while assessing more modern credit score models that were submitted…