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House Republicans Urge FHFA Not To Direct GSEs To Start Contributing To Affordable Housing Funds Established By HERA

On April 2, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), joined by Congressmen Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Ed Royce (R-CA), urged FHFA Director Mel Watt to continue the FHFA’s five-year-old policy of...more

House Financial Services Ranking Member Unveils Housing Finance Reform Alternative

On March 27, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, released draft legislation to reform the housing finance market. Congresswoman Waters also released a summary of the...more

FHFA’s Former Acting Director Announces Departure

On March 24, the FHFA announced that former Acting Director Ed Demarco will leave the agency at the end of April....more

President Signs Flood Insurance Bill

On March 21, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, which includes several provisions impacting previously enacted mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements. The bill, among...more

The Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2014

This article provides a brief summary of the key provisions of a new bi-partisan Senate bill, based on the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013, as well as a brief discussion of a new House of...more

Johnson and Crapo Release Housing Finance Reform Proposal

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) recently released the highly anticipated text from their housing finance reform proposal. As expected, the 442-page proposal—officially...more

New Bill Poised to Revamp Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Following months of negotiations that involved collaboration between Republicans and Democrats, Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) announced Tuesday that the Senate Banking Committee had reached an agreement on...more

Senate Banking Committee Leaders Reach Agreement on Housing Finance Reform

Yesterday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) announced that they have reached a broad agreement to overhaul the housing finance market and wind down Fannie Mae and...more

Congresswoman Urges OCC to Scrutinize Mortgage Servicing Rights Sales to Nonbank Servicers

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who serves as the ranking member on the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, sent a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Mortgage...more

President Releases FY 2015 HUD Budget

President Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), released on March 4, 2014, increases funding for many programs compared to the fiscal year 2014 appropriation. It also...more

New York Landowners Sue Governor Cuomo Over Fracking Review

A large group of New York property owners have filed suit against Governor Andrew Cuomo, demanding that the state concludes its five-year-long assessment of whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The group, called...more

Farm Bill Passage A Boon To Homebuilders

The Farm Bill, which was approved by the Senate on Monday and the House last week, contains a provision that was supported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that will enable millions of Americans to maintain...more

Senate Democrats Press FHFA On Housing Trust Fund

On January 24, Senators Warren (D-MA), Reed (D-RI), Boxer (D-CA), and 29 other Senate Democrats sent a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt asking that he lift the suspension on funding for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF)...more

Senate tax reform proposals: “chilling effect” on real estate industry

A tax reform proposal released by the Senate Finance Committee would have a major impact on the real estate industry, according to comments submitted to the committee by a number of industry groups. If enacted in their...more

CFPB Director Defends Mortgage Rules, Discusses Plans In Other Markets

On January 28, the House Financial Services Committee held a lengthy hearing with CFPB Director Richard Cordray in connection with the CFPB’s November 2013 Semi-Annual Report to Congress, which covers the period April 1, 2013...more

Members Seek Update to Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act

On January 9, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2279, the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act. The package, composed of three separate bills, seeks to modernize existing federal law and increase the role...more

Bipartisan Group Of House Members Ask FHFA To Allow Use Of Alternative Credit Scores

On January 9, Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA), Jim Himes (D-CT), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) petitioned FHFA Director Mel Watt to expeditiously direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to revise their...more

Capital Thinking: Homeland Security

Homeland Security Nominations - The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a nomination hearing for President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the next Inspector General of the U.S. Department of...more

Capital Thinking: General Legislative

The Senate will convene today, Monday, January 27, at 2:00 pm. After any leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S. 1926, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. At...more

House Financial Services Subcommittee Holds Hearing on How QM Harms Homeowners

On January 14, 2014, the House Subcommittee on Financial Services held a hearing entitled “How Prospective and Current Homeowners Will Be Harmed by the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage Rule.” Four lender representatives and one...more

House Financial Services Committee to hold hearing on QM rule

The House Financial Services Committee has announced that on Tuesday, January 14, it will hold a hearing entitled “How Prospective and Current Homeowners Will Be Harmed by the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage Rule.”...more

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Proposes Repeal of Like-Kind Exchange Deferral and Other Changes Affecting Real Estate

On November 21, 2013, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released the third package in a series of "Staff Discussion Drafts" containing proposals to reform the tax code. This third set of proposals focuses on...more

Senate Confirms FHFA Director; FHFA Announces Senior Staff, Organizational Change

On December 10, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Representative Mel Watt (D-NC) to serve as Director of the FHFA. Once sworn in, Mr. Watt will replace Edward DeMarco, who has led the agency on an “acting” basis for more than...more

Texas Reverse Mortgage Constitutional Amendment Takes Effect

On November 22, an amendment to the Texas constitution took effect to permit the use of a reverse mortgage for the purchase of a homestead property. The amendment was approved by Texas voters on November 5. ...more

Senate Introduces Bill To Amend Endangered Species Act

A bill to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—entitled the Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act (Bill)—has been introduced in the United States Senate. The Bill, authored by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike...more

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