Federal Housing Finance Agency Print
Home / Media / FHFA Publishes Report on the Performance of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Single-Family Credit Risk Transfers
News Release

FHFA Publishes Report on the Performance of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Single-Family Credit Risk Transfers

Report finds the Enterprises’ CRT net cost was $15 billion from July 2013 through February 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
5/17/2021

​Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today published a report on the performance of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's (the Enterprises') single-family credit risk transfers (CRT). The report focuses on securities issuance and insurance/reinsurance credit risk sharing vehicles, which account for about 90 percent of all CRT issuance to date.

In 2019, FHFA called for a comprehensive review of the Enterprises' CRT programs for the first time since their inception in 2013. As an initial step toward that objective, this report estimates the historic and projected net costs of the Enterprises' CRTs, discusses the performance of CRT vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic, and identifies areas for research and analysis to clarify CRT-related costs and benefits and assess potential risks to the Enterprises, their missions, or the housing finance markets.

“Given the size and complexity of the CRT market, this report is an important step to fulfill FHFA's statutory duties as a prudential regulator. The report is especially timely as it incorporates initial lessons from the COVID-19 stress and raises issues related to potential changes in the design of CRT structures while the Enterprises continue building capital. The findings of this report, and the research that it calls for, will inform FHFA's and the Enterprises' decisions about how best to utilize CRT in the future," said Director Mark Calabria.     

Key findings from the report include:

  • Risk in Force:  Between July 2013 and February 2021, about $126 billion of risk in force (RIF), or the Enterprises' maximum credit risk coverage, had been placed through securities issuance and insurance/reinsurance CRTs. As of February 2021, $72 billion combined RIF at issuance remained in force on a reference pool of $1.7 trillion in unpaid principal balance (UPB).
  • The Enterprises' net cost – defined as CRT benefits (investor write downs and counterparty reimbursements) minus CRT costs (interest and premiums):
    • Through February 2021: $15.0 billion (the Enterprises received approximately $0.05 billion via investor write downs and counterparty reimbursements and paid approximately $15.0 billion in interest and premiums).
    • Projected Lifetime (i.e., the sum of $15.0 billion in net cost through February 2021 and projected net cost over the remaining lifetime of active CRTs):
      • Baseline Scenario: $32.6 billion under a baseline scenario.
      • Severely Stressed Scenario: $20.6 billion under severely stressed housing market conditions similar to those of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Fast prepayments accelerate the reduction of credit risk protection: The amount of credit risk protection that CRTs provide the Enterprises decreases as the principal balances of the reference pool mortgages are paid down. As a result of fast prepayments starting in mid-2019, by September 2020, soon after COVID-related delinquencies began to increase, almost all of the most senior investor tranches in securities issuance CRTs issued before 2020 had been fully paid off.
  • CRTs remain untested by a serious loss event: With the prospect of potential future losses at the onset of COVID-19, some investors suggested that their willingness to continue to invest in CRTs was contingent on the Enterprises' amending or suspending certain contractual provisions of early fixed-severity securities issuances. The Enterprises affirmed that COVID-related forbearance mortgages would be treated as specified in the contracts and disclosures.

The report identifies several areas beyond its scope that are in need of research and analysis to inform the future direction of the CRT programs: (1) more accurate measurement of the amount of credit risk transferred via CRTs over time, as well as CRT-related costs and benefits; (2) the Enterprises' exposure to counterparty risk through insurance/reinsurance CRTs and the costs, benefits, and potential risks of the Enterprises' approaches to mitigate counterparty risk; (3) the efficacy of, and potential costs and benefits of innovations to, certain features of CRT structures; and (4) the value of the information about credit risk that has been and can be derived from CRT pricing.

​Link to report​

Attachments:

###

​​The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks. These government-sponsored enterprises provide more than $7.2 trillion in funding for the U.S. mortgage markets and financial institutions. Additional information is available at www.FHFA.gov, on Twitter, @FHFA, YouTube, Facebook,​ and LinkedIn.​
Contacts:

Media: Raffi Williams Raffi.Williams@FHFA.gov / Adam Russell Adam.Russell@FHFA.gov

© 2021 Federal Housing Finance Agency