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Posts Tagged ‘Treasury Secretary’

Raise Debt Limit or Risk another Recession, says Lew

October 10th, 2013 Comments off

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told members of the Senate Banking Committee failure to raise the debt limit could result in the rise of interest rates, possibly jeopardizing the nascent housing recovery, as well as lead to higher costs on retirement accounts and make it more expensive to buy a car or start a business. Noting the rise in interest rates recently that slowed mortgage applications, Lew suggested another hike resulting from failure to raise the debt limit, combined with spillover effects including loss of value in the dollar and credit market disruptions, could potentially result in another recession, according to housingwire.com. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) says 70-80 percent of the American people want to limit spending and President Obama’s response is that he will not negotiate. MHProNews learned Lew responded, saying, “Congress needs to open the government and make it possible for us to pay our bills,” and then the president will negotiate.

(Image credit: housingwire.com)

Personnel Changes Inside the Beltway

November 14th, 2012 Comments off

HousingWire reports Raj Date, deputy director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will be leaving his post next year. As industry expert and consumer advocate, Date was the acting director from the inception of the agency in July 2011 until Richard Cordray took over the position. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) CEO David Stevens says Date was beneficial to the industry and the CFPB, and hopes Date is replaced with someone of equal caliber and ability. Meanwhile, leadership changes in Congress could have a large impact on the housing industry. The Senate Banking Committee has 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans with two Democrat spots open. Will Elizabeth Warren, the engineer of the CFPB, sit on this committee? Stevens points out Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) could become Chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, and Rep. Maxine Waters (D.Calif.) may become the new ranking member of that committee. As MHProNews has learned, Stevens does not expect much in the way of regulatory alterations anytime soon, but is concerned about a possible new treasury secretary and the replacement for FHFA acting director Ed DeMarco.

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Dodd-Frank Entities Lack Transparency and Accountability

September 14th, 2012 Comments off

The House Financial Services Committee says after an extensive nine month audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of the Financial Stability Oversight Committee (FSOC) and the Office of Financial Research (OFR), both creations of the Dodd-Frank Act, public information of their activities is limited. Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer, who requested the report, said in a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who is chairman of FSOC, “The actions that FSOC and OFR have taken, and will take in the future, have the potential to directly and significantly affect the financial stability of the United States. It is therefore critically important that FSOC and OFR operate in a manner that promotes greater congressional and public understanding of their actions.” MHProNews has learned in a letter to Secretary Geithner, Reps. Bachus and Neugebauer ask for more detailed recommendations, accountability, and transparency of the proceedings of the FSOC, and how the agency will promote more coordination among its member agencies.

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Experienced Eyes Watching Dodd-Frank

June 8th, 2012 Comments off

A line-up of former regulators, lawmakers, and other financial policy makers headed by one-time Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) chairman Sheila Bair will form the Systemic Risk Council to keep tabs on the enforcement of the new regulations under Dodd-Frank. As NationalMortgageNews tells MHProNews.com, the group was organized by the Pew Charitable Trusts and CFA Institute, an organization that sets standards for investment pros. Other council members include former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Brooksley Born and former Treasury secretary Paul O’Neill. One-time Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker will be a senior adviser. Noting a major concern that reform is not moving fast enough, the group will also focus on the enforcement of regulations, transparency, and financial disclosure.

(Image credit: Benzinga)

GSE’s and Private Sector to Share Risks

June 5th, 2012 Comments off

Speaking to the American Real Estate & Urban Economics Association, special adviser to the Treasury secretary Michael Stegman, noting the restructuring of GSEs to allow private investors to share the risks of Fannie and Freddie MBS (mortgage-backed securities), says: “We believe that this initiative could help support our broader efforts to restart the private mortgage market, shrink the government’s footprint in housing finance, and protect the long-term interests of taxpayers.” NationalMortgageNews tells MHProNews.com the loans would have to structure private investors in to risk-sharing, and be attractive to a wide investor base. GSE executives will receive compensation incentives if they initiate risk-sharing deals by the end of Sept. 2012.

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With New Director, CFPB May Emerge Swinging—or Not

January 10th, 2012 Comments off

With President Obama’s questioned recess appointment of Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency can now implement the full authority of the Dodd-Frank Act, according to BusinessWeek. Dodd-Frank resulted from lawmakers complaining that regulators did not do enough to protect borrowers, and was passed over the objections of many Congressional Republicans. The agency began work July 21 but needed a director to officially supervise and regulate non-bank lenders. The largest banks—those with over $10 billion in assets– came under supervision July 21, and some are currently being examined. Initiatives are already in place to improve disclosure regarding mortgages, credit cards, and student loans, and the streamlining of mortgage applications has begun as mandated by Dodd-Frank. Formal rule-making to examine the activities of non-bank firms—an issue Cordray has named as top priority– will not begin until companies targeted for examination are specified, which may be a matter of months or perhaps  a year. However, former Republican Senate aide Mark Calabria tells MHProNews.com in TownHall the so-called “recess appointment” of Cordray—since technically the Senate was not in recess— may be null and void because Dodd-Frank specifies the new director must be “confirmed by the Senate.” Otherwise, the authority remains with the Treasury Secretary and Cordray will not be able to police non-bank lenders, nor enforce those provisions of Dodd-Frank that negatively impact the MH industry. Calabria suggests Obama, a one-time constitutional law professor, is gambling on the constitutionality of his “recess appointment.” He also says there is a legality question in regulating non-bank finance, noting it was not the pay-day lenders and check cashers that led to the credit crisis in 2008; it was the Wall Street bankers, and they are exempt from the CFPB’s scope. In any event, manufactured housing industry lenders and those companies which do ‘buy here, pay here’ lending are cautioned by associations and experts to be prepared for the implementation of the new regulations.

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New CFPB Director Fills Staff Positions

January 6th, 2012 Comments off

According to HousingWire, Richard Cordray, the newly-appointed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), chose Raj Date as the agency’s first deputy director. Originally the head of research, markets, and the regulations division, Date took over from CFPB architect Elizabeth Warren as special advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He has served as the de facto head of CFPB pending Cordray’s appointment, which was effected during the Senate recess this week. Kent Markus, previously chief counsel to Ohio’s governor, was named by Cordray as assistant director of the office of enforcement.

(graphic rcedit: CFPB)

FHFA, HUD and Treasury calls for RFI input on disposition of REOs

August 10th, 2011 Comments off

FHFA US Treasury and HUD Logos posted Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management MHMSM.com MHProNews.com RealEstateRama reports the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has announced a Request For Information (RFI). The RFI seeks input on new options for selling single-family real estate owned (REO) properties held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”), and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The RFI will explore alternatives for maximizing value to taxpayers and increasing private investment in the housing market, including approaches that support rental and affordable housing needs. “While the Enterprises will continue to market individual REO properties for sale, FHFA and the Enterprises seek input on possible pooling of REO properties in situations where such pooling, combined with private management, may reduce Enterprise credit losses and help stabilize neighborhoods and home values,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “Partnerships involving Enterprise properties may reduce taxpayer losses and meet the Enterprises’ responsibility to bring stability and liquidity to housing markets. We seek input on these important questions.” “…it’s critical that we support the process of repair and recovery in the housing market,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “Exploring new options for selling these foreclosed properties will help expand access to affordable rental housing, promote private investment in local housing markets, and support neighborhood and home price stability.” “Millions of families nationwide have seen their home values impacted as their neighbors’ homes fall into foreclosure or become abandoned,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “At the same time, with half of all renters spending more than a third of their income on housing and a quarter spending more than half, we have to find and promote new ways to alleviate the strain on the affordable rental market. Taking steps to encourage private investment in REO properties and transition them into productive use will help stabilize neighborhoods and home values at a critical time for our economy.”

Enterprise FHA/REO Asset Disposition Request for information

(Image credit: respective federal agencies)