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DS News Webcast: Tuesday 3/17/2015

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a report detailing its progress on initiatives released in the 2014 Strategic Plan for the Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the 2014 Conservatorship Scorecard. The report highlights activities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac undertook to maintain credit availability in a safe manner, reduce taxpayer risk, and build a new infrastructure. FHFA Director Mel Watt said he is "very proud" of the progress his agency has made in the last year.

In addition to providing better access to borrowers by initiating a 3 percent down payment for qualified first-time borrowers, the report stated improvements in the Enterprises’ risks. The improvements include stronger underwriting standards and stricter purchasing guidelines. For example, 97 percent loan-to-value ratio loans must be fixed-rate and cannot have an adjustable rate. This provides a responsible approach to improving access to credit while also furthering safe and sound lending practices.

Washington, D.C.-based non-profit NeighborWorks America has announced the awarding of $44.8 million to various organizations in the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program to help distressed families and individuals whose homes are facing foreclosure. This is the ninth round of grant funding conducted through the NFMC program, and it is expected to directly assist approximately 130,000 homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure.

About Author: Jordan Funderburk

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