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Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

ESMA Publishes Final Technical advice on the MiFID II Directive and MiFIR - On December 19, 2014, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published final technical advice (ESMA/2014/1569) to the European...more

Four Key Voices in Washington’s Housing Finance Reform Debate

The 113th Congress adjourned on Dec. 16, 2014. Among its legislative shortcomings, including the last-minute failure to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (‘‘TRIA’’), was the inability to produce any meaningful reform to...more

FHFA Issues 2015 Scorecard for Fannie, Freddie and Common Securitization Solutions

On January 14, FHFA released the 2015 Scorecard? outlining specific priorities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their joint venture, Common Securitization Solutions, LLC. The Scorecard assesses Fannie and Freddie’s performance...more

The valuation process for LIHTC projects in financial distress – Part I

Note: This post is part of a continuing series on the Credit Report Blog on the subject of workouts and bankruptcies involving low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) projects. In a previous post, we wrote about the...more

When Being Ethical Pays Off – Countrywide Whistleblower Gets $56.7 Million Payout

A former executive at mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, is about to become an extremely wealthy man. Edward O’Donnell is set to collect $57.6 million from Bank of America, for his role in exposing fraudulent activity...more

FHFA Orders Contributions to Housing Trust Fund

Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin making contributions to the Housing Trust Fund (“HTF”) and the Capital Magnet Fund (“CMF”). The HTF is a formula...more

Congressional Leaders Urge FHFA To Investigate Fannie and Freddie Contractors

On December 11, Representatives Cummings (D-MD), Waters (D-CA), and Moore (D-WI) led the effort to submit a letter to FHFA’s IG requesting that the agency conduct a comprehensive audit to determine if Fannie and Freddie “are...more

Fannie and Freddie Announce Low Down Payment Programs for First-Time Homebuyers

On December 8, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced new loan programs allowing for a down payment as low as three percent intended to “remove barriers for creditworthy borrowers to get a mortgage” and provide them with “a...more

One small step for FHFA, one giant step for affordable housing and community reinvestment across the country

In what may be one of the longest tests of perseverance and intestinal fortitude in the history of legislative advocacy for affordable housing, supporters of the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) finally saw their proposal...more

Higher burdens in SOX whistleblower retaliation claims - 5 tips for employers

Two recent decisions have clarified the heightened burden facing employers addressing whistleblower retaliation claims under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). On October 9, 2014, in Fordham v. Fannie Mae,...more

FHFA Issues Advisory Bulletin, Tightens Oversight of Single-Family Servicers and Sellers

On December 1, the FHFA issued an advisory bulletin highlighting its supervisory expectation that Fannie and Freddie maintain the safety and soundness of their operations by closely assessing the risk profile of lenders and...more

FHFA Releases New Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Instructions on Single-Family Seller/Servicer Oversight

On December 1, 2014, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a new advisory bulletin with significant implications for “all entities that sell single-family mortgage loans to [Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac] or perform...more

Court Finds FHFA Claims Against Nomura Are Not Time-Barred

On November 18, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s motion for partial summary judgment on the statute of limitations...more

A Challenge to the New Congress: Pass Housing Finance Reform

Over six years ago, when the federal government placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship, experts from public, private, and academic worlds concurred: housing finance in the United States was mortally flawed....more

FHFA Announces First CEO For Common Securitization Solutions, LLC

On November 3, FHFA Director Mel Watt announced David Applegate as the CEO for Common Securitization Solutions, LLC (CSS). As detailed in FHFA’s 2014 Strategic Plan for the Conservatorships, the creation of CSS furthers the...more

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce CEO of Joint Securitization Entity and Enter Into Governance and Operating Agreements

On November 3, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac jointly announced the first CEO of Common Securitization Solutions, LLC (CSS), which was established by the companies to design, develop, build and operate the Common Securitization...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

EBA Consults on RTS on Contractual Recognition of Write-Down and Conversion Powers under BRRD - On November 5, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a consultation paper on draft regulatory technical standards...more

Financial Regulatory Agencies Adopt Final Risk Retention Rules, Causing Changes To Mortgage and Securitization Practices

On October 21 and 22, 2014, six federal regulatory agencies jointly adopted a final rule implementing certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) designed to require...more

Fannie Mae Provides New Appraisal Tool For Lenders

On October 20, Fannie Mae announced that its proprietary appraisal and analysis application, Collateral Underwriter, will become available to lenders in early 2015. Currently, Fannie Mae uses the tool to “analyze appraisals...more

Fannie Mae Appoints Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary

On October 20, Fannie Mae announced that, effective November 10, Brian Books would serve as its executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary. ...more

Massachusetts Suit Against Fannie and Freddie Dismissed

On October 21, a federal judge dismissed the claims brought by the State AG that the GSEs violated state law by putting limits on the sale of pre- and post-foreclosure homes. Commonwealth v. Fed. Hous. Fin. Agency, No....more

Seminal Decision Could Make it Harder for Publicly Traded Employers to Defeat Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Claims

Long awaited in Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower circles, on October 9, 2014 the U. S. Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued a split 2-1 panel decision in Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB No. 12-061,...more

OIG Audit Determines FHFA Should Direct The GSEs To Require Independent Assurance Of Counterparties’ Compliance

Recently, the FHFA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) concluded that the FHFA can further mitigate the risks posed by Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s reliance on third-party mortgage loan sellers and servicers...more

FHFA proposed rule on Enterprise housing goals is open for comments

Issued earlier this month, a proposed rule from the Federal Housing Finance Agency considers updates to the Agency’s Enterprise housing goals. The rule applies to mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for housing...more

HSBC Settles RMBS Claims with FHFA

On September 12, the FHFA and several HSBC affiliates and certain of their current and former officers (collectively, HSBC) announced a US$550 million settlement of claims that the FHFA had brought against HSBC in the...more

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