The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a report today 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.
“I’m very proud of the work we’ve accomplished over the past year,” FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt said in a press release. “Some very important steps have been taken to meet our strategic goals and, while much more remains to be done, we look forward to continuing collaboration with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to receiving input from stakeholders as we move forward.
The 2014 Conservatorship Scorecard expressed the expectation that the Enterprises would work to increase access to mortgage credit for creditworthy borrowers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have since released programs that allow buyers to obtain a mortgage with a 3 percent down payment. In addition to providing better access to 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 (LTV) 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.
According to the report, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exceeded their $90 billion risk transfer goal. During 2014, the two Enterprises executed credit risk transfers on single-family mortgages with unpaid balance transfers of over $340 billion. As part of the FHFA requirement both enterprises continued to reduce their mortgage portfolios. As of December 2014, Freddie Mac’s portfolio stood at $408 billion and Fannie Mae’s stood at $413 billion, for a combined reduction of $131 billion. Both numbers were significantly under the $470 billion cap required by the Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements.
In 2010, the FHFA directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to initiate the Uniform Mortgage Data Program (UMDP), through which the Enterprises are collaborating with the industry to develop and implement uniform data standards for single-family mortgages. During 2014, FHFA and the Enterprises worked on three initiatives that build on previous UMDP efforts. They have added the Uniform Closing Dataset, the Uniform Loan Application Dataset, and the Serving Data Technology Initiative to the online platform in an effort to streamline processes.
The FHFA said they welcome public input on that progress of these initiatives from interested parties. Input can be submitted via email to ConservatorshipStrategicPlan@fhfa.gov.