October 13, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

House Passes Bill to Delay Enforcement of New Mortgage Disclosures

The House voted 303 to 121 to pass a bill that would delay enforcement of new mortgage disclosures that went into effect on Oct. 3.  The Homebuyers Assistance Act would shield lenders from private litigation as well as regulatory enforcement actions during a five month period.  The legislation attracted significant Democratic support despite a veto threat by President Obama. "This is a bipartisan bill. It provides security for those who act in good faith in trying to implement the most dramatic changes in our real estate disclosure laws in a decade," said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling.

Corker and Warner at BPC: GSE reform just isn’t going to happen soon

Credit sharing does not take the place of reform
Seven years after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship, there is still a lack of consensus on how to reform the GSEs.   Two panels hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center explored GSE reform, including the primary issue of conservatorship and bringing in private capital, with a focus on risk-sharing — specifically “front-end” versus “back end” — and looked more broadly at how to make housing finance more sustainable.

Standoff Between HUD and Inspector General Flares Up

The clash between the Department of Housing and Urban Development and its inspector general over down payment assistance programs run by state or local housing finance agencies continues to heat up.  In an audit released by HUD's Office of Inspector General, the watchdog said that Fremont, Calif.-based LoanDepot is charging higher interest rates on Federal Housing Administration-insured loans. The premium pricing is used to cover some of the costs of down payment assistance provided by the Golden State Finance Authority, according to the report which is dated Sept. 30.  "The funds derived from a premium priced mortgage may never be used to pay any portion of the borrower's down payment," wrote Tanya Schulze, an auditor for the HUD IG based in Los Angeles.

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