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Posts Tagged ‘housing finance agency’

Modular Townhomes will Replace Housing Project

January 16th, 2014 Comments off

Livingston Manor at the southern edge of the Catskill Mountains in New York has won a $1.8 million grant to replace an affordable housing project with 27 two-bedroom and 33 three-bedroom modular townhomes, according to recordonline.com. Utilizing federal and state low-income housing tax credits, funding for the 60 unit Hemlock Ridge Preservation project will come from the state Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and M&T Bank, which is headquartered in Buffalo, New York, MHProNews.com has learned. The existing housing will be demolished.

(Photo credit: Excel Homes–modular two-story being sited)

NAHB Comments on FHFA Appointment

May 2nd, 2013 Comments off

MHProNews has learned the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder in Charlotte, NC, has issued a statement on the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). “We applaud the nomination of Representative Watt to this important position. After four years in conservatorship, the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stands at a crossroad. Rep. Watt brings years of experience to this position at a pivotal moment as our nation’s housing market recovers. NAHB looks forward to working closely with Rep. Watt to help address the many complex challenges facing the U.S. housing finance system upon his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.”

(Photo credit: Fotosearch)

Hearings Held on Housing Finance Reform

March 29th, 2013 Comments off

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) informs MHProNews hearings were held March 19 by both the House and the Senate on housing finance reform. Texas Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling stated he wants to abolish Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac and privatize the secondary mortgage market. Acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Edward DeMarco testified at the House hearing the housing recovery is gaining strength, and noted the joint securitization platform that will be used by Fannie and Freddie. South Dakota Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Tim Johnson expressed concern that privatizing the mortgage market will put homeownership out of the reach of many Americans. Two of the three witnesses at the Senate hearing say the federal government needs to provide a backstop for the GSE market in the future. MHI will continue to monitor Congressional activities to determine their impact on the manufactured and modular housing industry.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia–U. S. Capitol floor)

State Attorneys General: Replace DeMarco

March 19th, 2013 Comments off

HousingWire informs MHProNews a letter from prominent state attorneys general is calling on President Obama to replace Edward DeMarco, the acting head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), because they say his policy of refusing to allow principal reductions on loans backed by the GSEs that could result in loan modifications now leads to more foreclosures. The groups letter states, “It is far more profitable for any financial institution to hold a portfolio of performing $200,000 mortgages that keeps families in their homes than a portfolio of nonperforming $250,000 mortgages headed toward default.” Headed by Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley and New York’s AG Eric Schneiderman, the letter says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be partners in addressing underwater mortgages but instead are impediments to foreclosure prevention.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More Underwater Borrowers Grasp Lifeline

November 30th, 2012 Comments off

The government’s Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) saw a 75% growth over all of last year in the first nine months of 2012, amounting to 700,000 loans, according to nationalmortgagenews. Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) suggested the numbers might hit one million by year’s end. Backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the loans sparked after rules were changed that encouraged lender involvement, financing more than 1.7 million mortgages since the program began in 2009. Geared to help underwater borrowers, over 40% of the HARP refinances through the third quarter of this year went to those borrowers. As MHProNews has learned, mortgages that exceeded the value of the underlying homes by at least 25% accounted for a quarter of the 90,000 HARP loans in Sept.

(Image credit: hansafx)

Sobama, What Now?

November 8th, 2012 2 comments

While President Obama’s re-election will likely thwart hopes of altering Dodd-Frank or the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), a more immediate concern is the possibility that the U.S. Treasury Dept. may have to bailout the Federal Housing Administration’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, according to nationalmortgagenews. A Romney administration would likely have tightened FHA’s credit standards and increased down payments for borrowers with low credit scores. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will probably not change much in the next four years; but the expected chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Jeb Snarling, (R-TX), wants to move Fannie and Freddie out of conservatorship and privatize them in five years. Mortgage bankers are hoping the administration will replace Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), with a permanent director who will write down the principal on underwater mortgages, thereby helping thousands of borrowers restructure their notes. MHProNews has learned, meanwhile, newly-elected Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the engineer of the CFPB and critic of mortgage brokers, will likely seek a seat on the Senate Finance Committee where she will block any legislation that might reduce the whammy of the CFPB.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia–U.S. Capitol Floor)

Regulator May Act Against Eminent Domain Plan

August 14th, 2012 Comments off

fhfa-logo-headerReuters tells MHProNews that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) raised concerns about a private investor group’s controversial aim to seize and restructure poor-performing mortgages. The federal housing regulator of the GSEs said it is concerned about the program’s constitutionality. “FHFA has significant concerns with programs that could undermine and have a chilling effect on the extension of credit to borrowers seeking to become homeowners and on investors that support the housing market,” the agency said in a statement. Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the FHFA, has objected to principal reductions on mortgages. DeMarco told reporters “the anticipated benefits do not outweigh the costs and risks.” Concerns about costs to taxpayers was also expressed. Mortgage Resolution Partners, a San Francisco-based group backed by some prominent West Coast financiers, is promoting the concept. Eminent domain traditionally has been used by local governments to condemn buildings and properties for public works projects. A related column in Industry Voices can be found here. ##

(Graphic Credit: FHFA Logo)

Refis Jump Through HARP

August 8th, 2012 Comments off

Thirty-three percent of mortgages refinanced through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were closed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), the most since the program began in March 2009. For the first six months of this year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac processed 422,969 loans through HARP, more than the total of 400,024 for all of 2011. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), record-low mortgage rates, removal of the loan-to-value (LTV) ceiling for borrowers who refinance into FRMs (fixed rate mortgages), and reduced fees for some borrowers stimulated the increase in HARP volume. As HousingWire tells MHProNews, 1.4 million mortgages have been refinanced through HARP since it began.

(Image credit: Realtor)

Home Prices Creeping Back Up

July 24th, 2012 Comments off

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reports in its latest monthly House Price Index nationwide home prices rose 3.7 percent May 2011 thru May 2012. Home prices rose only 0.8 percent from April to May, while the price increase for April from the previous month was revised downward from 0.8 percent to 0.7 percent. As HousingWire tells MHProNews, the current home price index remains 17 percent below its level in 2007.

(Image credit: Mortgage Broker)

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Fed Lending Reforms due Soon

July 9th, 2012 Comments off

azstarnet reports the two major mortgage market overseers in the federal government are trying to convince private lenders to ease up on lending restrictions that have become tighter than those required by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which administers low-cost loans. Saying a minor infraction in documentation can conceivably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, lenders have adopted “overlay” rules adding extra fees, larger down payments , and requiring higher credit scores than the GSEs require. In addition, loan originators are unsure of the effect of upcoming Dodd-Frank regulations, and do not want to be charged with underwriting deficiencies after 2-3 years of a loan that has been on time. MHProNews.com has learned FHFA and FHA are expected to announce reforms soon.

(Image credit: Federal Housing Administration)