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Government

Freddie Mac CEO Moffett Resigns

Freddie Mac today announced that its CEO, David Moffett, has resigned from his position of chief executive and as a member of the organization’s board, effective March 13, 2009. The GSE’s board of directors is working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to appoint a successor to Moffett, and said it plans to name an interim CEO before March 13 to assume chief responsibilities once Moffett leaves.

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Push for Downpayment Assistance Continues

According to AmeriDream, a non-profit organization based in Maryland that provides housing-related programs to low and moderate income Americans, last week’s report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showing yet another decline in January home sales is strong evidence that Congress must provide proven incentives like downpayment assistance (DPA) in order to stabilize the housing market.

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Treasury Ups Stake in Citigroup

The Treasury Department reached a deal late Thursday to increase its stake in Citigroup to an estimated 36 percent as part of a third bailout for the struggling bank. Already, the U.S. government holds an 8 percent ownership in the New York institution.

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Banking Groups Sound Off Against RESPA

Eight banking groups led by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) are calling for the government to throw out the new Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), claiming that changes to the regulation are needed to ensure mortgage disclosures truly benefit borrowers.

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Economy Shrinking Faster Than Estimated

According to government officials, the economy contracted at an alarming 6.2 percent during the last quarter of 2008 — the worst showing in 26 years. The Commerce Department released the revised gross domestic product (GDP) number on Friday, showing that the national economy deteriorated much faster than the 3.

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Gov. Perry Addresses Texas Realtors

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addressed the board of directors of the Texas Association of Realtors during the organization’s annual Winter Meeting held in Austin this week. The meeting included discussions relating to the statewide real estate market and Texas economy, legislative issues affecting Texas homeowners, commercial real estate trends, and professional standards for Realtors.

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Mortgage Rates Inch Up

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending February 26, 2009, showing little change in mortgage rates this week with only slight upticks in three of the four categories of loan products analyzed.

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Treasury: Capital Assistance Now Available

The U.S. Treasury Department has released plans for its Capital Assistance Program (CAP), a core element of the government’s Financial Stability Plan. The Treasury issued terms and conditions for CAP on Wednesday, saying that the new program is intended to support confidence in the health of the nation’s financial institutions and in the system as a whole, and promote lending to creditworthy borrowers.

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Bank Rescue Open to Fraud

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the $700 billion federal purse formerly known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), told congressional leaders on Tuesday that the government’s bank rescue efforts could be vulnerable to fraud, potentially stripping taxpayers of tens, maybe hundreds of billions of dollars.

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