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Public listening sessions regarding Fannie and Freddie capital rules

To allow interested parties to elaborate on their public comment letters on the re-proposed capital rule for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will host two listening sessions on September 10, 2020 and September 14, 2020. These listening sessions are opportunities for interested parties to elaborate on specific subjects and do not substitute for formal comment letters.

The first session will be held on September 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT and will focus on credit risk transfers.

The second session will be held on September 14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT and will focus on affordable housing access.

Interested parties must request a speaking slot.


CFPB analysis of HMDA data

The CFPB has published a second data point article analyzing 2019 HMDA data. Some of the key findings in the article include:

  • The top 25 open-end lenders accounted for about 573,000 open-end originations, or 53.6 percent of all open-end originations reported under HMDA.
  • Conventional jumbo loans have the highest mean and median credit scores among closed-end mortgages, with a mean score of 765 and a median of 773.
  • FHA borrowers have the lowest mean and median scores among closed-end mortgages, with a mean score of 668 and a median of 663.
  • Among Black and Hispanic White homebuyers seeking conventional conforming loans, the median combined loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios are higher than their Asian and non-Hispanic White counterparts.


Bureau publishes RFI and QM proposal

The CFPB has published in today's Federal Register:

  • its previously-announced Request for Information [85 FR 53299] relating to a review of rules under the CARD Act. Comments are due in 60 days (by October 27, 2020).
  • its previously-announced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [85 FR 53568] proposing the addition of a new "Seasoned QM Loan" definition for section 1026.43 of Regulation Z. Comments are due in 31 days (by September 28, 2020).

The Top Stories announcing the RFI and NPRM have been updated with this information, and the comment deadlines have been added to the BankersOnline Compliance Deadlines Calendar.


FHA foreclosure and eviction moratorium extended

The FHA has announced the third extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages covered under the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This extension provides an additional four months of housing security to homeowners, as they will not fear losing their homes as they work to recover financially from the adverse impacts of the pandemic. With this third extension, the FHA has now provided more than nine months of foreclosure and eviction relief to FHA-insured homeowners.


CFPB issues consent order against mortgage broker

The Bureau has issued a consent order against, Inc., a California corporation that is licensed as a mortgage broker or lender in about 11 states. The Bureau found that PHLoans sent consumers numerous mailers for VA-guaranteed mortgages that contained false, misleading, and inaccurate statements or that lacked required disclosures, in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s prohibition against deceptive acts and practices, the Mortgage Acts and Practices–Advertising Rule (MAP Rule), and Regulation Z. The consent order requires PHLoans to pay a civil money penalty of $260,000 and imposes requirements to prevent future violations.

This is the fourth case stemming from a Bureau sweep of investigations of multiple mortgage companies that use deceptive mailers to advertise VA-guaranteed mortgages.

PDF of Consent Order against PHLoans


Iowa storm-related relief

FDIC FIL-81-2020 provides guidance concerning steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Iowa affected by severe storms on or about August 10, 2020.

A federal disaster for selected areas in Iowa was declared on August 17, 2020. Additional designations may be made after damage assessments are completed in the affected areas. A current list of designated areas is available at

The FDIC is encouraging banks to work constructively with borrowers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of damage caused by the severe weather. Extending repayment terms, restructuring existing loans, or easing terms for new loans, if done in a manner consistent with sound banking practices, can contribute to the health of the local community and serve the long-term interests of the lending institution.

Banks may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery. The FDIC also will consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements


Fannie and Freddie extend COVID-19 loan flexibilities

The FHFA has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend buying qualified loans in forbearance and other loan origination flexibilities until September 30, 2020. The changes are to ensure continued support for borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency. The flexibilities were set to expire on August 31, 2020. Extended flexibilities include:

  • Buying qualified loans in forbearance;
  • Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans;
  • Alternative methods for documenting income and verifying employment before loan closing; and
  • Expanding the use of powers of attorney to assist with loan closings.


Disaster assistance for California wildfire victims

HUD announced yesterday it will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of California and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes in areas affected by the wildfires. A Presidential major disaster declaration issued on August 22 included the counties of Lake, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo. HUD is:

  • Providing immediate foreclosure relief - HUD’s automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages commenced for the California counties covered under the Presidential declaration on the date of the declaration.
  • Making mortgage insurance available - HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs.
  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation - HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home.
  • Making information on housing providers and HUD programs available - The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties. This includes public housing agencies and multi-family owners. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.


Residential sales increased in July

HUD and the Census Bureau have jointly announced statistics on new residential sales for July 2020:

  • New Home Sales - Sales of new single-family houses in July 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 901,000. This is 13.9 percent (±20.0 percent)* above the revised June rate of 791,000 and 36.3 percent (±27.4 percent)* above the July 2019 estimate of 661,000.
  • Sales Price - The median sales price of new houses sold in July 2020 was $330,600. The average sales price was $391,300.
  • For Sale Inventory - The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 299,000, a supply of 4.0 months at the current sales rate.

* - Because these figures are from sampling surveys and are subject to sampling variability and nonsampling errors including bias and variance from response, nonreporting, and undercoverage, the numbers in parentheses are estimate relative standard errors. A statement such as "13.9 percent (± 20.0 percent)" indicates the range (-6.1 to +33.9 percent) in which the actual percentage change is likely to have occurred.


FHFA softens refinance fee impact

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to delay the implementation date of their Adverse Market Refinance Fee until December 1, 2020. The fee was previously scheduled to take effect September 1, 2020. In its press release, the FHFA also said the Enterprises will "exempt refinance loans with loan balances below $125,000, nearly half of which are comprised of [sic] lower income borrowers at or below 80% of area median income." Affordable refinance products, Home Ready and Home Possible, are also exempt.

The FHFA anticipates projected COVID-19-related losses of at least $6 billion at the Enterprises, and perhaps more, depending on the path of economic recovery. The Adverse Market Refinance Fee is necessary, said the FHFA, to cover those projected losses.


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