MBA Advocacy Update Feb. 14 2022

Bill Killmer; Pete Mills

On Tuesday, House lawmakers passed a continuing resolution by a bipartisan vote of 272-162, sending the measure to the Senate for a vote ahead of a February 18 federal government funding deadline. And on Wednesday, the FHFA published its draft strategic plan for fiscal years 2022-2026.

House Passes Stopgap Government Funding Bill; Senate Expected to Pass This Week

On Tuesday, House lawmakers passed a continuing resolution by a bipartisan 272-162 vote, sending the measure to the Senate for a vote ahead of a February 18 federal government funding deadline.

  • Why it matters: The CR, which includes a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program authorization, would extend government funding to March 11. The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week to provide additional time for Congress to complete bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on “omnibus” Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations legislation.
  • What’s next: Negotiations are already underway in the House and Senate for the longer-term funding bill. MBA will provide members with any relevant updates as those discussions continue.

For more information, please contact Borden Hoskins at (202) 557-2712 or Alden Knowlton at (202) 557-2741.

FHFA Releases Updated Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022 – 2026

On Wednesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency published its draft strategic plan for fiscal years 2022-2026. This strategic plan highlights FHFA’s ongoing and future efforts to oversee and reform the GSEs, as well as improve its own operations. ​It contains several objectives aimed at accomplishing three topline goals: securing the regulated entities’ safety and soundness, fostering housing finance markets that promote equitable access to affordable and sustainable housing, and responsibly stewarding FHFA’s infrastructure. Notably, the plan mentions the ongoing effort to update the GSEs’ pricing frameworks to strengthen safety and soundness while providing improved support for core mission borrowers. The plan also reiterates FHFA’s desire for greater examination authority with respect to nonbank servicers, which was included in the previous plan, and which MBA has opposed.

  • Why it matters: This strategic plan provides a roadmap of FHFA Acting Director Sandra Thompson’s priorities for FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks in the coming years. The objectives contained within the strategic plan will guide FHFA’s actions as conservator and regulator, which in turn will have a significant impact on the health of the mortgage market.
  • What’s next: FHFA will accept public comments on the strategic plan through March 11. MBA will develop a response that highlights the importance of reforms to ensure that the GSEs provide fair and reliable access to the secondary market. This response will advocate for sensible reductions in fees charged by the GSEs, with a focus on products used by first-time and historically underserved borrowers, as well as note that direct FHFA examination of GSE servicers would be inappropriate and outside the bounds of its role as a secondary market regulator.

For more information, please contact Sasha Hewlett at (202) 557-2805.

Ginnie Mae Releases LIBOR Transition Guide

On Wednesday, Ginnie Mae published a new guide to assist issuers and other stakeholders in the transition away from LIBOR. The guide describes key milestones and recommended actions for adapting business policies, procedures and processes to prepare for the discontinuation of LIBOR.

  • Why it matters: LIBOR-indexed single-family loans no longer are eligible for pooling into Ginnie Mae securities. Ginnie Mae notes in the guide that less than 0.002 percent of its forward securities program is backed by LIBOR-indexed loans and there have been no new issuances of such securities since March 2020. Market participants will, however, need to identify and implement alternative indices for existing LIBOR-indexed loans when LIBOR is discontinued on June 30, 2023.
  • What’s next: A joint transition plan from Ginnie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for legacy securities is under analysis. Additional details related to servicing requirements, program document updates, and other impacts will be released at a later date. MBA, meanwhile, will continue its work to help the industry prepare for the expected cessation of LIBOR in mid-2023.

For more information, please contact Dan Fichtler at (202) 557-2780.

Upcoming MBA Education Webinars on Critical Industry Issues

MBA Education continues to deliver timely programming that covers the spectrum of challenges, obstacles and solutions pertaining to our industry. Below, please see a list of upcoming webinars – which are complimentary to MBA members:

  • Commercial Insurance Issues and Problems 2022 – February 15
  • Making the Purchase Pivot – February 16
  • The Last Mile for LIBOR – February 17
  • CONVERGENCE: The 2022 Legislative Outlook for Affordable Housing – February 17
  • A Lender’s Playbook for Maximizing the ROI of your CRM – March 1
  • COVID’s Continued Impact on CECL and Lending – March 8

MBA members can register for any of the above events and view recent webinar recordings. For more information, please contact David Upbin at (202) 557-2931.