DeMarco to WaPo: No plans to leave

Nov. 6, 2012 – Ed DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told The Washington Post that he isn’t looking to step down from his current position, according to an article Nov. 3.

“My approach from the beginning has been, as long as I’ve been asked to have this responsibility, to carry it out in the best way I can,” he is quoted saying in the piece. “I always envisioned myself as a career official, and I still am a career official.”

The article looks at recent disagreements between DeMarco and others over the future of the government-sponsored enterprises and their role in helping distressed homeowners. It notes that if President Obama wins reelection, DeMarco’s position may be at risk. On the other hand, it indicates Republicans would likely continue to block efforts to appoint someone else to head the FHFA.

The latest source of tension has been over whether to allow principal reduction on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans for borrowers who are delinquent on their mortgage payments. NAFCU has opposed such a move, noting it would be harmful to credit unions and credit union members. DeMarco does not favor principal reduction, but Treasury has been pressing it.

NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker told DeMarco in April that principal reduction would have a greater impact on credit unions than other institutions.

“We are gravely concerned that incorporating principal forgiveness modification as part of borrower assistance programs would create an incentive for at least some borrowers to strategically default, causing credit unions and their members significant losses that they will not be able to recoup,” the NAFCU president wrote.