Infobytes - A Weekly In-depth review of news & developments in the financial services industry - September 14 2012


Topics Covered In This Issue:










FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac Implement New Representation and Warranty Framework. On September 11, the FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) are implementing a new representation and warranty framework for all conventional loans sold or delivered to the GSEs on or after January 1, 2013. As detailed in subsequent announcements from the GSEs, including Fannie Mae Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2012-08, Fannie Mae Lender Letter LL-2012-05, Freddie Mac Bulletin 2012-18, and a Freddie Mac Industry Letter, the new framework is designed to improve the GSE loan review process and to clarify lenders' repurchase exposure. With regard to loan review, under the new framework, (i) GSE reviews will generally be conducted between 30 and 120 days after loan purchase, (ii) the GSEs will have consistent timelines for submission of loan file review requests, (iii) loan file evaluation will be more comprehensive and will leverage data from tools currently used by the GSEs, and (iv) the repurchase request appeals process will be made more transparent. For lenders, the new framework will provide relief from certain repurchase obligations for loans that meet specific payment requirements, including for loans with 36 consecutive months of timely payments and HARP loans with a twelve-month acceptable payment history. Lenders will receive additional detailed information about exclusions from this new representation and warranty relief.

FHFA Outlines Next Steps for Conservatorship, Announces Close of First REO Pilot Purchase. On September 10, FHFA Director Edward DeMarco, in a speech made to an industry conference, provided a progress report on his agency's role as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and outlined several next steps the conservator will take to alter the GSEs' operations in the mortgage market. Further to the FHFA's recent increases of guarantee fees, Mr. DeMarco announced that the FHFA plans to release a paper outlining a pricing approach that would better capture the costs associated with state and local policies by imposing an upfront fee on newly acquired single-family mortgages originated in states where default-related costs are higher than the national average. The FHFA plans to seek public comment on the proposal. In addition, Mr. DeMarco provided an update on the FHFA's work, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to develop a shared securitization platform. This secondary market infrastructure project, which was announced earlier this year and is expected to take multiple years to build and implement, is being designed not only to serve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while in conservatorship, but also a broader multiple-issuer market post-conservatorship. The infrastructure would include new standards for a variety of contractual agreements, including a model pooling and servicing agreement. The FHFA plans to issue a white paper on the platform in October and will seek public input. Also announced as part of the speech, as well as in a separate FHFA release, was the FHFA's completion of the first sale of REO properties in the pilot program through which the FHFA is selling foreclosed properties to be transitioned into rental housing.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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