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Tag Archives: RMBS

FHFA Sounds Private-Sector Mantra With Plans to Raise GSEs’ Fees

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin raising the fees they charge lenders for guarantees on mortgage loans next year. According to the companies' regulator, it's a step toward readying the market for private-sector reinforcements and weaning the nation's housing sector off of low-cost government support. FHFA's director says it ought to be clear at this point that the two mortgage giants will not be able to emerge from conservatorship. He argues that more progress should have been made on housing finance reform by now.

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Total Mortgage Approved as Fannie Mae Seller and Servicer

Total Mortgage Services, LLC, a Connecticut-based mortgage lender, has received approval from Fannie Mae to be a seller/servicer for one-to-four unit single-family first lien mortgages. The company explained that with the designation it can now retain mortgage servicing rights for GSE loans, as well as sell and pool loans into mortgage backed securities (MBS) and expand its product offerings.

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Government Guarantees Called Into Question at Senate Hearing

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing Tuesday on housing finance reform, the first of three housing-related hearings on the agenda this week. The issue of government guarantees for home mortgages came under some fire. One witness with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. noted that without any change in policies and without any further increase in the GSEs' debt, the national debt will reach $30 trillion in 10 years.

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Congressman Suggests Extension of Conforming Loan Limit

Congressman Gary Ackerman of New York has sent a letter to House Appropriators urging them to extend the temporarily increased conforming loan limit that will otherwise expire October 1. Ackerman was joined by 36 members of Congress in his request. He suggested the conforming loan limit extension be built into the continuing resolution that will keep the federal government functioning when the new fiscal year begins next month. Private investors, though, are advocating for the loan limit increase to expire.

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American Securitization Forum Proposes New RMBS Guidelines

The American Securitization Forum (ASF) recently released the ASF Model RMBS Repurchase Principles, which were designed to align the incentives of originators with those of investors. The trade group's guidelines deal specifically with maintaining skin-in-the-game through the enforcement of representations and warranties. ASF says the risk retention rules proposed by regulators, on the other hand, are not sufficiently tailored to various asset classes and will likely have negative consequences.

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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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Financial Firms ‘Disappointed’ FHFA Chose Lawsuits Over Negotiations

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's decision to pursue legal action against firms that sold residential mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could potentially strain relationships between the GSEs and the companies named as defendants, many of whom still sell mortgages to Fannie and Freddie and service home loans held by the two mortgage financiers. Some of the financial firms have been forthcoming with pledges to aggressively defend themselves against the allegations and are disappointed by the fact that FHFA has taken to the courts.

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FHFA vs. Mortgage Powerhouses: What Does It Mean for the Market?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is suing 17 financial institutions in an attempt to recover losses incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from mortgage bonds purchased between 2005 and 2007. Based on initial reports, FHFA is looking to recoup as much as $45 billion. At least one financial analyst believes the matter will end in a settlement significantly south of that amount. Others say a more long-lasting impact may come in the form of higher mortgage costs for consumers.

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Sen. Franken and Others Address Rating Agency Reform

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota continues to express concerns that the new rules regarding ratings agencies are not addressing fundamental issues with ratings procedures. Franken, along with other congressmen and policymakers, believes ratings agencies inflated assessments of mortgage-backed securities and that these inflated ratings ultimately led to the financial crisis. During a conference call hosted by Americans for Financial Reform, Franken and others spoke out on the inherent conflict of interest they see within ratings procedures.

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FHFA Files with Court Considering BofA Proposal to Mortgage Investors

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is the second regulatory body to file a petition with the New York federal court that is reviewing Bank of America's $8.5 billion settlement proposal to Countrywide mortgage investors. FHFA has filed a Notice of Appearance and Conditional Objection in order to obtain additional information related to the proposal, but the agency says it sees ""no basis"" to raise a substantive objection to the settlement at this time.

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