Witnesses for FHFA, GSEs testify today on reform

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Dec. 10, 2013 – Top staff from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and others will testify on transferring credit risk in a reformed housing finance system today during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

The hearing – “Housing Finance Reform: Fundamentals of Transferring Credit Risk in a Future Housing Finance System” – begins at 10 a.m. Eastern. FHFA Deputy Director for Office of Strategic Initiatives Wanda DeLeo will testify along with the vice presidents of Freddie and Fannie, Kevin Palmer and Laurel Davis. Other witnesses include the vice president of analytic services for the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation, Ted Durant, and the head of residential and commercial credit strategy at Barclays Capital, Sandeep Bordia.

NAFCU is urging Congress to preserve credit unions’ guaranteed access to the secondary mortgage market in any iteration of housing reform and to ensure fair pricing based on loan quality instead of volume. In November, Apple FCU Associate Vice President of Risk Management John Harwell testified before the same committee on behalf of NAFCU on the importance of guaranteed access for credit unions.

“NAFCU and its member credit unions have examined various proposals for reform of the housing finance system and have reached the conclusion that we cannot support any approach that does not maintain an explicit government guarantee of payment of principal and interests on mortgage backed securities,” Harwell testified. “The explicit guarantee will provide certainty to the market, especially for investors who will need to be enticed to invest in the MBS and facilitate the flow of liquidity in times of economic uncertainty.”

NAFCU will closely monitor this and other hearings this week, including the House Financial Services Committee’s hearing tomorrow featuring testimony from the Treasury secretary, and its hearing on Thursday, titled “Rethinking the Federal Reserve’s Many Mandates on Its 100-Year Anniversary.”

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"FHFA ups g-fees for Fannie, Freddie," 12/10