FHFA Increases 2016 Multifamily Lending Caps

On May 4, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it increased its 2016 multifamily lending caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from $31 billion to $35 billion.  The increase is based on growing estimates of the overall size of the multifamily finance market. Release.

FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce Independent Dispute Resolution Program

On February 2, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (the “FHFA”) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have implemented an independent dispute resolution process for resolving repurchase disputes.  The process would allow lenders to submit their unresolved loan level disputes to an arbitrator after certain other processes have been exhausted.  Press Release.

FHFA Finalizes House Price Index Measure for Conforming Loan Limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

On October 19, 2015, the Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a Final Notice indicating that it will continue to use “expanded-data” House Price Index when establishing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s maximum conforming loan limits.  Release.

 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Issue New Seller/Servicer Eligibility Requirements

On May 20, the FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new finalized operational and financial eligibility requirements for mortgage seller/servicers.  The updated requirements will be communicated through guides, bulletins and announcements and through best practices documents provided by Fannie and Freddie.  The operational requirements become effective no later than September 1, 2015 and the financial requirements become effective December 31, 2015.  ReleaseFannie Mae and Freddie Mac FAQs.

FHFA Releases Update on the Single Security Project

On May 15, the FHFA released an update on the structure of the Single Security, a project involving the development of a single mortgage-backed security that would be issued by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  The update contains FHFA’s decisions made in response to input previously provided by industry stakeholders.  ReleaseUpdate.

Court Enters $806 Million Judgment in FHFA v. Nomura

On May 16, 2015, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a judgment requiring Nomura and RBS to buy back, at a total cost of $806 million, seven RMBS certificates sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2005 to 2007.  The judgment stemmed from Judge Cote’s May 11, 2015 Opinion finding Nomura and RBS liable for violations of the Securities Act of 1933, the D.C. Securities Act, and the Virginia Securities Act.  For those certificates for which FHFA prevailed under multiple statutes, FHFA was permitted to, and did, elect the maximum available remedies.  Judge Cote also ordered that FHFA is entitled to post-judgment interest, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and costs.  Judgment.

Nomura Found Liable in RMBS Trial

On May 11, 2015, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found Nomura Holdings Inc. liable for inaccurately characterizing the mortgage loan collateral backing seven RMBS certificates it sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007.  The suit against Nomura is the last that remains of sixteen lawsuits originally filed against by FHFA against RMBS issuers and sellers alleging violations of Sections 12(a)(2) and 15 of the 1933 Securities Act and state securities laws.  Judge Cote’s decision followed a nearly 4-week bench trial that concluded on April 9, 2015.

In a 361-page decision, Judge Cote found, among other things, that 45% to 59% of the sample loans were materially defective insofar as they deviated from relevant underwriting guidelines, and that 27% of the sample loans were subject to inflated appraisals.  Judge Cote treated this as strong circumstantial evidence that the appraisers did not believe in the credibility of their appraisals at the time that they were made.  Additionally, Judge Cote found that inadequacies in credit ratings of the offered certificates were due to inaccurate loan tapes Nomura provided to the rating agencies.  Finally, Judge Cote found that Nomura’s due diligence practices were insufficient, and rejected Nomura’s argument that market conditions, and not the misrepresentations, caused the losses alleged.  Judge Cote did not specify the amount of damages and asked the parties to submit a proposed judgment by May 15, 2015.  Opinion and Order.

FHFA Release Results of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Dodd-Frank Stress Tests

On April 30, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released a report providing the results of annual stress tests Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required to undergo under the Dodd-Frank Act.  The report provide updated information on possible ranges of future financial results for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under severely adverse economic conditions.  Press ReleaseReport.