January 08, 2014

Watt to Fannie, Freddie: No fee hikes yet

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said Wednesday that his agency is reconsidering fee hikes announced last year and that any changes in fees will not be implemented for at least 120 days following review.

NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger hailed Watt's announcement. "NAFCU appreciates that FHFA and Director Watt are heeding our advice to reconsider the fee increases," he said. "We will remain vigilant in seeking to protect credit unions' margins and their ability to ensure members access to affordable mortgages."

The FHFA last month announced plans to raise guarantee fees and the loan-level price adjustments beginning this March. NAFCU strongly opposed these increases, and Watt said he planned to review them once he was put in the director's seat. He was sworn in Monday.

"The implications for mortgage credit availability and how these changes might interact with the new qualified mortgage standards could be significant," Watt said in Wednesday's announcement. "I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing."