Key Stakeholders Comment on FHFA State-Level Guarantee Fee Pricing Proposal


Over the past week, key stakeholders submitted comments on the FHFA’s proposal regarding state-level guarantee fees, which would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to charge higher upfront fees for single-family mortgages originated in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. The FHFA argues that the higher fees are needed to offset higher default-related costs incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in those states resulting in part from state and local foreclosure policies. Senators from four of those states sent a letter on November 21, 2012 asking the FHFA to abandon the proposal in its entirety, citing shortcomings in the proposal and negative impacts on borrowers in those states. The senators argued that the proposal would penalize borrowers in states with higher consumer protections and would undermine those protections and restrict residential lending. The Attorneys General of Illinois, Connecticut, and New York similarly objected to the proposal in a November 26, 2012 letter. Also on November 26, 2012, the ABA submitted a letter in support of the increased fees in which it pointed out that the fees would be modest and argued that the fees would help to spur state and local policymakers to reform foreclosure processes. On the same day, the MBA submitted a letter seeking more information about the formula used by the FHFA to determine which states should be assessed the higher fees and urging the FHFA to (i) expand the proposal to reward states with lower default-related costs, (ii) change the format of the proposed pricing to more closely match industry practice, and (iii) alter its approach to compensatory fees charged to servicers for unavoidable foreclosure delays. The FHFA received numerous other comment letters.

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