January 02, 2014

FHFA: $8 billion in recoveries in 2013

Jan. 3, 2014 – The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Thursday announced that it has secured nearly $8 billion from settlements in 2013 with financial institutions that sold private-label securities to the government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007.

The government-sponsored entities remain a topic of discussion for Congress, which hopes to put together a housing finance reform package this year. NAFCU will continue to monitor actions within FHFA and Congress in its work to ensure preservation of credit unions' guaranteed access to the secondary mortgage market and fair pricing based on loan quality, not volume, in any iteration of housing finance reform.

Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., recently confirmed as the next FHFA director, is due to be sworn in to his new post Monday. Confirmed by the Senate on a vote of 57 to 41, Watt will fill the post Ed DeMarco has held in acting capacity since 2009. As FHFA director, Watt will exercise direct control over the regulation, supervision and conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He will also oversee the regulation and supervision of the Federal Home Loan Banks.

Watt has already announced that he will delay the implementation of planned mortgage-fee increases until he can "evaluate" the plan further; NAFCU strongly supports the delay.

FHFA announced a 10-basis-points increase in guarantee fees, or g-fees, last month and said it also planned to increase its loan-level price adjustment, which is typically passed onto borrowers, for certain single-family loans with maturities greater than 15 years.

NAFCU objected strongly to the planned fee increases. Watt later said he planned to hold off on the fee hikes for further review. His announcement was reported in The Wall Street Journal, which also cited NAFCU's opposition to the increases.