December 23, 2015
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has posted the 2016 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Common Securitization Solutions. The FHFA assesses the three entities using the following criteria, among others:
- The extent to which each Enterprise conducts initiatives in a safe and sound manner consistent with FHFA’s expectations for all activities;
- The extent to which the outcomes of their activities support a competitive and resilient secondary mortgage market to support homeowners and renters . . . (2)
The FHFA expects Fannie and Freddie to “Maintain, in a Safe and Sound Manner, Credit Availability and Foreclosure Prevention Activities for New and Refinanced Mortgages to Foster Liquid, Efficient, Competitive, and Resilient National Housing Finance Markets.” (3) The specifics are, unfortunately, not too specific when it comes to big picture issues like maintaining credit availability in a safe and sound manner, although the scorecard does discuss particular programs and policies like the Reps and Warranties Framework and the expiration of HAMP and HARP.
The FHFA also expects Fannie and Freddie to “Reduce Taxpayer Risk Through Increasing the Role of Private Capital in the Mortgage Market.” Here, the FHFA has more specifics, as it outlines particular risk transfer objects, such as requiring the Enterprises to transfer “credit risk on at least 90 percent of the unpaid principal balance of newly acquired single-family mortgages in” certain loan categories. (5)
The last goals relate to the building of the Common Securitization Platform and Single Security: Fannie and Freddie are to “Build a New Single-Family Infrastructure for Use by the Enterprises and Adaptable for Use by Other Participants in the Secondary Market in the Future.” (7) The FHFA us moving with all deliberate speed to reshape the secondary mortgage market in the face of indifference or gridlock in Congress.
The FHFA may implement the reform of Fannie and Freddie all by its lonesome. Maybe that’s the best result, given where Congress is these days.