Société Générale Agrees to $122M Settlement in RMBS Suit

On February 27, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it reached a settlement with French bank Société Générale of an RMBS suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  FHFA alleged violations of federal and state securities law in connection with RMBS purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2006.  The settlement agreement contains no admission of liability or wrongdoing.  Société Générale and four of its subsidiaries will pay $122 million dollars to the agency.   Press Release.

FHFA and Deutsche Bank Reach RMBS Settlement

On December 20, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it had reached a settlement for $1.925 billion with Deutsche Bank AG to resolve claims pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York related to the sale of private-label RMBS between 2005 and 2007.  The FHFA asserted claims for violations of federal and state securities laws on the basis of allegedly false and misleading statements and omissions in the registration statements and prospectuses of securities sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.  Press Release.

FHFA Increase of Guarantee Fees

On December 9, the FHFA, in connection with its fulfillment of the ‘Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships,’ directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise their guarantee fees in three separate components: (i) increase the base (or ongoing) fee by 10 basis points; (ii) update the upfront grid to better align pricing with the credit risk characteristics of the borrower; and (iii) eliminate the upfront 25 basis point adverse market fee except in the four states where foreclosure carrying costs are more than two standard deviations greater than the national average.  For loans exchanged for MBS, the price changes will be effective starting April 1, 2014.  For loans sold for cash, the price changes will be effective starting March 1, 2014.  FHFA Release.

FHFA Announces Changes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Mortgage Insurance Master Policy Requirements

On December 2, the FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have completed the first major overhaul of mortgage insurance master policy requirements.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with FHFA oversight, addressed gaps in the existing master policy framework, focusing on loss migration, establishing timeframes for claim processing, setting standards for determining when coverage must be maintained or could be revoked, and promoting information sharing.  Press Release.

Wells Fargo Settles FHFA’s RMBS Claims

On November 6, Wells Fargo & Co. disclosed in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it settled claims by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (acting as conservator to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) against it for approximately $335 million.  Wells Fargo noted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had opted out of a class settlement approved in 2011 in a suit alleging misstatements in the offering documents for the RMBS securitizations.  10Q Excerpt.