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Tag Archives: House Financial Services Committee

Industry Calls for Less GSE Action, More Investor Protection

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, witnesses voiced concerns about the government's participation in the mortgage market as well as the lack of transparency between servicers and investors. One analyst described the U.S. housing finance system, where the GSEs account for over 90 percent of new mortgages, as ""problematic."" Others said government is crowding out the private market with programs that make below-market-rate loans available to nearly all borrowers, and they advocated for the expiration of increased conforming loan limits.

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Bill Introduced to Support Foreclosure Rentals

The House Financial Services Committee is considering a bill to ease the pressure that unsold inventories of vacant, foreclosed homes are putting on the housing market. The Neighborhood Preservation Act would authorize FDIC-member banks, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac to enter into five-year lease agreements to rent REO properties back to the foreclosed homeowner. News surfaced last month that the administration was considering such a policy for Fannie and Freddie, but a group of bipartisan U.S. representatives want to enact it with legislation.

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Legislation Introduced to Speed Lender Response to Short Sales

Two lawmakers, one Republican and one Democrat, have joined forces to push federal legislation through that would facilitate wider use and shorter transaction timelines for a foreclosure alternative that some say could be a lifeline for millions of underwater homeowners while drastically reducing the number of empty, repossessed homes lining U.S. neighborhoods - the short sale. The bill would impose a deadline of 45 days on lenders to give an approval, disapproval, or status of a decision on an offer for a short sale.

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Lawmakers Clash over Means of Implementing GSE Reform

A House subcommittee convened Tuesday to mark-up eight bills aimed at winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While lawmakers agree that reform is needed, they were divided on just how to proceed with the medley of individual bills in front of them. Republicans' string of separate bills, which could ultimately tally 24, is a conscious effort to pull in Democratic support on individual reforms. But some are calling the multiple-bill approach for a single-end-goal ""scattered"" and ""without vision.""

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House Republicans Introduce Eight Bills to Speed Wind-Down of GSEs

In a legislative hearing scheduled for Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee will listen to eight proposals centered around winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on a faster timeline than proposed by the Obama administration last month. The eight proposals include measures to raise guarantee fees the GSEs will charge for mortgage-backed securities they insure and to prevent the GSEs from offering any new products while they are under conservatorship.

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Frank Wants Tax on Banks, Hedge Funds to Subsidize Housing Programs

House Republicans may have succeeded in passing legislation to end federal housing programs that are intended to provide assistance to unemployed homeowners and support efforts to clean up vacant foreclosed homes, but their Democratic counterparts aren't going to take it lying down. Rep. Barney Frank, the top-ranking Democrat of the House Financial Services Committee, has introduced legislation that would require the biggest banks and hedge funds to cough up $2.5 billion to keep those very same programs alive.

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Lawmakers Demand Answers from Treasury on Proposed Settlement

More backlash from the 27-page proposed servicer settlement developed on Wednesday when representatives from the House Financial Services Committee voiced their disapproval and concern in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The letter, signed by committee chairman Spencer Bachus and four other members, was obtained by DS News on Thursday. It contains a page of questions the group wants answered, with a great deal of attention focused on principal write-down mandates.

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Committee Advances Bills to End Two More Foreclosure Aid Programs

The House Financial Services Committee voted Wednesday to send two bills to the full House that would terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The committee says the bills would prevent $30 billion in taxpayer funds from being spent on ""ineffective"" programs. Already, the House has cleared the way to begin deliberations this week on the two bills advanced by the committee last Thursday to end FHA's Short Refi Program and the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program.

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Federal Foreclosure Programs to Cost Less than Expected

Members of the House Financial Services Committee are advocating for the termination of federal foreclosure relief programs largely based on the argument that their cost outweighs the benefits. Committee members are scheduled to vote on bills ending the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) on Wednesday. Information provided by the Congressional Research Service indicates that the price tag for the government's foreclosure mitigation programs will come in well below earlier estimates.

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Committee Votes to Kill Two Housing Programs, Delays Decision on Two

The House Financial Services Committee voted Thursday to scrap two foreclosure relief programs - one that gives underwater homeowners a federal refinancing option through FHA's Short Refi Program, and a second that provides temporary assistance to unemployed homeowners through the Emergency Mortgage Relief Fund. The two bills now move to the full House for debate. The committee was also planning to consider two separate bills to end the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program, but votes on these have been pushed to next week.

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