August 1, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — A key federal regulator has rejected a push by the Obama administration to reduce the mortgage debt of millions of distressed homeowners. It's a setback for the White House, which wants to reduce foreclosures to help the economic recovery. Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said Tuesday that allowing up to 2.6 million borrowers who owe more than their houses are worth to have their mortgage principal reduced would end up costing taxpayers money and could encourage additional defaults.
July 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — Two federal agencies with far-reaching influence over the mortgage market are working on a problem that could affect the ability of many consumers to obtain a home loan: How to encourage private lenders to ease up on their underwriting restrictions that go beyond what the agencies themselves require for mortgage approvals. Both the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees giant investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration, which runs the low-down-payment FHA program, are considering steps they might take to persuade lenders to open the mortgage spigots a little wider.
June 9, 2012 |
With legislation to impose new regulations on Buy Here Pay Here dealers marching through the statehouse, California's used car industry is redoubling efforts to block their passage. But the insurgent opposition, which in recent weeks formed a new group to stop the three bills, will have to take its fight to Sacramento without the aid of one of the state's most powerful lobbies - new car dealers. The Coalition to Protect Our Freedom to Drive argues that the bills, which last month passed floor votes in their originating houses, would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales tax revenue and keep working families from gaining access to vehicles.
May 9, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - In a potential turning point for one of the biggest financial crisis bailouts, Fannie Mae reported a first-quarter profit and - for the first time since the government seized it in 2008 - does not need a quarterly infusion of taxpayer money. The $2.7-billion profit that the giant housing finance company posted Wednesday was its largest since the housing bubble burst in 2007 and is another signal that the real estate market finally might have hit bottom. "It's always hard to call a turn until everything is in the rear-view mirror," said Susan McFarland, Fannie Mae's chief financial officer.
May 1, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Pressure is mounting on a key federal regulator to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce loan principal amounts for struggling homeowners, after disclosures that a plan to do that was scuttled even though it was aimed at saving taxpayer money and helping to heal the housing market. Fannie Mae officials in 2009 supported principal reductions in some cases and crafted a pilot program that would have cost only $1.7 million to implement but could have provided more than $410 million worth of benefits to homeowners, according to internal company documents cited by two House Democrats.
April 11, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could save $1.7 billion by reducing the amount that some underwater homeowners owe on their mortgages, according to a preliminary analysis by the regulator for the seized housing finance giants. But a principal reduction program by the government-owned companies, which many economists, lawmakers and state officials have called for, would not solve the housing market's problems, the head of the regulating agency said Tuesday. In addition, it could encourage homeowners who are making their monthly payments to fall behind in order to reduce the principal on their loans, adding to the $188 billion in taxpayer money already pumped into the companies to keep them afloat, said Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.