Watt to delay NAFCU-opposed mortgage fee hikes

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Dec. 23, 2013 - Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., the Federal Housing Finance Agency's incoming director, announced on Friday that he would delay the implementation of planned mortgage fee increases, until he can "evaluate" the plan further.

Watt was confirmed on Dec. 10, and will be sworn in on Jan 6. He said in a statement on Friday that he would announce the delay upon his swearing-in: "I intend to announce that the FHFA will delay implementation until such time as I have had the opportunity to evaluate fully the rationale for the plan."

The FHFA had announced a 10-basis-points increase in guarantee fees, or g-fees, earlier this month. The agency was also planning to increase its loan-level price adjustment, which is typically passed onto borrowers, for single-family loans with maturities greater than 15 years where borrowers do not make large down payments and do not have high credit scores.

NAFCU objected strongly to the plan, and in reporting on Watt's announcement, The Wall Street Journal cited NAFCU's opposition.

Watt said he would elaborate on his position after being sworn in, but believed it was "important" to say something now, as the fee increase had been scheduled to take place in March.

Related Links:
Wall Street Journal article
"NAFCU opposes Fannie, Freddie fee hikes," 12/19/13