Some in the industry have initiated a charge to eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and take over the mortgage industry—and at the forefront of that charge is a group of high-level industry professionals that has moved back and forth between the public and private sectors since the housing crisis in 2008, according to a report from the New York Times on Monday morning. The Times suggested that some of the country’s high-profile housing policy specialists who were instrumental in proposing a series of recommendations to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the same time advocating for their private sector clients in order to receive a share of the 5 point 7 trillion dollar mortgage market.
The story names former FHA Commissioner and current MBA President David Stevens, former MBA chairman and HUD adviser Michael Berman, and current Urban Institute research fellow and former HUD adviser and housing policy leader for the White House Jim Parrott. All three deny that there was any conflict of interest or ethics violations. The MBA stated that, quote, At no point during David Stevens' tenure in the government and now as president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, did he ever violate any ethics statute. End quote
Freddie Mac on Monday announced that all fixed-rate single-family mortgages have been added to the Enterprise’s publicly available Single-Family Loan-Level Dataset, bringing the total of mortgage loans in that dataset up to 21 point 5 million. The goal of the expanded dataset is to help investors build more accurate credit performance models in support of Freddie Mac’s single-family credit risk offerings by providing transparency for a wider range of mortgage loans owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac, according to the announcement.