President Obama Nominates New FHFA Director

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On May 1, President Obama announced the nomination of Representative Mel Watt (D-NC) to serve as Director of the FHFA. Mr. Watt has represented portions of Charlotte and other North Carolina communities since 1993 and currently is a member of the House Committees on Financial Services and Judiciary. He would replace FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco, who federal and state Democratic policymakers and housing groups have called on to be replaced, in part based on his decision to not direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to engage in broad principal reduction programs. On the same day as the President’s announcement, the Congressional Budget Office released a report that examined three options for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to use principal forgiveness, which the CBO finds would be likely to (i) result in small savings to the government, (ii) slightly reduce mortgage foreclosure and delinquency rates, and (iii) slightly boost overall economic growth.

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