SIFMA Sends Comment Letters to FHFA on Credit Risk Transfer


SIFMA, along with the Association of Mortgage Investors and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, and separately along with the ABA, AMI, HPC, MBA, and SFIG, submitted comment letters to the FHFA in response to the FHFA request for comments on the GSEs credit risk transfer programs, particularly with respect to exploration of more “front end” risk transfer options that share risk with the private sector before, or concurrently with, the purchase of loans by the GSEs. SIFMA, AMI, NAREIT Comment Letter Joint Trades Comment Letter.

FHFA Further Adjusts Multifamily Lending Caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac


On August 18, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) announced an additional increase to the 2016 multifamily lending caps for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The caps for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were raised from $35 billion to $36.5 billion, effective immediately. Press release.

FHA Price Cuts to the Streamline Refinance Program

On March 6, the FHA announced price cuts to the Streamline Refinance Program.  Beginning June 11, the FHA will lower its Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium to 0.01% and reduce its annual premium to 0.55% for certain FHA borrowers.  To qualify, borrowers must be current on their existing FHA-insured mortgages which were endorsed on or before May 31, 2009.  FHA Release.

Administration Support for Homeowners

On March 6, President Obama announced two steps to support homeowners: (i) the nation’s five largest servicers have agreed to provide relief for servicemembers and veterans, including those wrongfully foreclosed upon or denied a lower interest rate on their mortgages and (ii) a reduction of fees for FHA borrowers looking to refinance under the Streamline Refinance Program.  Fact Sheet.

Rating Agency Developments

On March 1, S&P requested comments by March 30 on rating methodology and assumptions for derivative product companiesS&P Request for Comment.

On February 28, Fitch updated its U.S. municipal structured finance criteria.  Fitch Report.

On February 27, S&P released FAQs on its revised principal stability fund / money market fund criteria.  S&P FAQs.

On February 27, Fitch published criteria on U.S. mortgage REITs and similar finance companies.  Fitch Report.

On February 27, Fitch published criteria on U.S. equity REITs and REOCs (real estate operating companies). 
Fitch Report.

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Extension of Deadline for Independent Foreclosure Review

On February 15, the Fed and OCC announced that the deadline for submitting requests for Independent Foreclosure Review has been extended to July 31. Borrowers are eligible to request an Independent Foreclosure Review if: (i) the mortgage loan was serviced by one of the participating mortgage servicers, which include the 14 large servicers subject to the April 2011 enforcement actions; (ii) the mortgage loan was active in the foreclosure process during 2009 or 2010; and (iii) the property securing the mortgage loan is the borrower’s primary residence. Fed Release.

Syncora Sues JP Morgan For Losses From Insuring RMBS

On February 14, 2012, Syncora Guarantee filed a complaint in New York state court against JP Morgan, Bear Stearns, and EMC Mortgage alleging $52 million in losses incurred by the insurance company as a result of its insuring RMBS issued by the defendants. Syncora alleges that the defendants misrepresented not only the quality of the home-equity line of credit residential mortgages underlying the RMBS, but also the quality of their due diligence processes during the securitization. Syncora brings claims for breach of contract and common-law fraudulent inducement. Complaint.

Rating Agency Developments – Week of January 9, 2012

On December 28, S&P updated its methodology for analyzing corporate profitability when determining issuer credit ratings for global corporate issuers. S&P Release.

On December 27, S&P issued an advance notice of criteria change for its methodology for rating second-lien U.S. RMBS transactions. S&P Release.

On December 22, S&P released its outlook assumptions for the U.S. residential mortgage market. S&P Release.

On December 20, S&P updated its project finance construction and operations counterparty methodology. S&P Release.

On December 19, DBRS released its methodology for rating global structured finance CDO restructurings. DBRS Release.

On December 19, DBRS released its unified interest rate model for global structured finance CDO restructurings. DBRS Release.

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Putative Investor Class Action Brought in S.D.N.Y. Against Bank of America Alleging False Statements Relating to Bank of America’s RMBS Exposure

Anchorage Police & Fire Retirement System v. Bank of America Corp., No. 11-2216 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2011)

An Alaska retirement fund filed a putative class action complaint against Bank of America and certain of its directors and officers in the Southern District of New York. Plaintiff bring claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the ’34 Act, alleging that defendants concealed material information and made false and misleading statements relating to Bank of America’s exposure to several forms of risk, including Bank of America’s (1) exposure to faulty mortgages originated by Countrywide; (2) exposure to mortgages upon which it could not legally foreclose; (3) exposure to systemic mortgage servicing problems; and (4) “dollar rolling” practice, through which the company allegedly artificially reduced reported leverage ratios while taking on more risk than it disclosed to the market and federal regulators. Complaint.