This annual report describes FHFA's accomplishments, as well as challenges, the agency faced in meeting the strategic goals and objectives during the past fiscal year.
Read about the agency’s 2020 examinations of Fannie Mac, Freddie Mac and the Home Loan Bank System.
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Implement critical reforms that will produce a stronger and more resilient housing finance system.
FOSTER competitive, liquid, efficient, and resilient (CLEAR) national housing finance markets that support sustainable homeownership and affordable rental housing; OPERATE in a safe and sound manner appropriate for entities in conservatorship; and PREPARE for eventual exits from the conservatorships.
2019 Conservatorships Strategic Plan
FHFA experts provide reliable data, including all states, about activity in the U.S. mortgage market through its House Price Index, Refinance Report, Foreclosure Prevention Report, and Performance Report.
FHFA economists and policy experts provide reliable research and policy analysis about critical topics impacting the nation’s housing finance sector. Meet the experts...
“Oversight of Housing Regulators"
Dr. Mark A. Calabria – Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Chairman Crapo, Ranking Member Brown, and
distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the invitation to appear
at today’s hearing.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency
(FHFA) has acted swiftly and prudently to respond to COVID-19. We continue to update
our policies as the challenges facing renters, borrowers, and market
participants evolve. We have worked in close partnership with FHA and Ginnie
Mae in developing many of our policies. I want to thank Secretary Carson, HUD
Deputy Secretary Montgomery, and Acting Ginnie Mae President Seth Appleton for
their partnership and leadership.
FHFA’s Actions to Protect Agency Workforce and Maintain
FHFA’s hard-working employees are
the Agency’s greatest asset. Their well-being is my top priority. Our teleworking
flexibilities have enabled our staff to remain safe and manage at-home
obligations, while continuing to fulfill the Agency’s vital mission.
The FHFA team has gone above and beyond
during these uncertain and challenging times. In March, our telework test
transitioned the very next day into full-time mandatory telework for the
Agency. FHFA employees quickly adapted to the new environment and the Agency
maintained continuity of operations during this crisis with crucial support
from the Office of the Chief Operating Officer.
The Office of Technology and Information Management
has kept the FHFA workforce productive and connected by rapidly deploying critical
remote tools and staff training, meeting employees’ IT equipment needs, and safeguarding
the Agency’s network capacity, connectivity, and security. The Office of
Facilities Operations Management has established protocols and procedures for
keeping our employees and headquarters safe and healthy, working tirelessly to
provide employees with the equipment and office supplies needed to set up and
sustain their remote workstations. The Office of Human Resources Management has
been instrumental in ensuring employees have the support they need to remain
engaged and productive, including by developing work schedule and leave
flexibilities, expanding the Agency’s Employee Assistance Program, and meeting
special accommodation requests resulting from our remote-work posture.
Across the board, the FHFA team has
seamlessly transitioned to a virtual environment. This includes the hiring,
on-boarding, and training processes that are essential for FHFA to continue developing
and retaining a highly talented and effective workforce. The Office of Budget
and Financial Management and Enterprise Program Management Office, working with
FHFA’s COVID-19 Task Force, have helped the Agency stay coordinated on the
updated guidance provided by various government entities, health officials, and
local authorities. I am proud of the flexibility, cooperation, and hard work of
every member of the FHFA team during this pandemic.
The Office of Congressional Affairs and
Communication has remained engaged with and accessible to members of Congress
and their staff. Since March, FHFA’s legislative affairs team has held dozens
of remote congressional meetings and briefings to discuss Agency policies and
provide technical assistance with legislation. This is a testament to FHFA’s
dedicated staff and our ongoing commitment to responding to congressional
inquiries in a timely manner, maintaining transparency, and connecting the
Agency’s many subject matter experts to legislative staff.
In responding to the COVID-19 national emergency,
FHFA has worked closely with our peer financial regulators and other federal
agencies. Through regular communication channels, FHFA and these agencies continue
to share, in real-time, challenges, ideas, and solutions to help each other
develop best practices based on the latest guidance available. Timely
information sharing has enabled FHFA to respond to evolving COVID-19 related
challenges in a rapid, nimble, and effective manner.
FHFA has continued to foster an
environment where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued for our
differences. The senseless violence and loss of innocent life that has roiled
our nation in recent weeks – and that tears apart too many communities across
the country – highlight the importance of this work both in the workplace and
beyond. The unrest across our nation in recent weeks reaffirms why fairness,
diversity, and inclusion are core values for me personally and our Agency. FHFA
has one of the most diverse workforces amongst federal regulatory agencies. Our
diversity is – and will remain – a key source of FHFA’s success. I commend FHFA’s
Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) for its steadfast support of the
Agency’s workforce during this time. This includes OMWI’s work, with my
support, to launch FHFA’s Diversity Advisory Council, which aims to ensure
diversity in all aspects of the Agency’s employment and contracting practices
and to create regular programs that engage employees on professional and
personal diversity and inclusion issues. OMWI is also playing an essential role
in helping FHFA employees affected by the recent events and tensions across the
country, offering training, listening sessions, and other resources.
Across all divisions and offices,
FHFA’s employees have remained focused on fulfilling the Agency’s important
mission, united by a shared vision that, during this crisis, Americans should
not have to worry about losing their homes. We have worked closely with our
regulated entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the
Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks), to support borrowers and renters, while ensuring
the proper functioning of the mortgage market both during and after this
crisis. Our actions have been – and continue to be – data driven.
FHFA’s Strong Research
Capabilities Are Key to Agency’s Data Driven Policymaking
oversight of the regulated entities, FHFA collects and analyzes a significant
amount of data on trends in the housing and mortgage markets. This enables the
Agency to respond appropriately to market developments, promote market
efficiency and stability, and disseminate information to improve the public’s
understanding of housing finance markets. Economic research and data analytics
are core competencies of effective safety and soundness supervision, which is
essential to preparing the Agency and the Enterprises to responsibly exit and
operate safely outside of conservatorship. That is why, from the beginning of
my term, one of my top priorities has been to strengthen FHFA’s research and
data analysis capabilities.
instance, the Agency has enhanced the accessibility of existing data products,
such as quarterly and monthly house price indexes (HPIs). FHFA produces the
nation’s only public, freely available HPIs that measure changes in
single-family house prices based on data that cover all 50 states and over 400
American cities and extend back to the mid-1970s. The HPIs are built from tens
of millions of home sales and offer insights about house price fluctuations at
the national, census division, state, metro area, county, ZIP code, and census
tract levels. On May 26, with the publication of the HPI report for the first
quarter of 2020, FHFA launched a new interactive dashboard, available on the
Agency’s website, that illustrates house-price trends across the top 100
Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
addition to increasing the exposure of existing data products, FHFA has taken
several steps to elevate and expand the Agency’s research capabilities and
contributions. In January 2020, as part of an organizational realignment, FHFA
created the Division of Research and Statistics (DRS) to strengthen the
Agency’s data collection and analysis capabilities. DRS is FHFA’s center for
economic and market research, data development, and statistical analysis to
support the Agency’s divisions and offices engaged in oversight, supervision,
rulemaking, and policy development. The division examines trends and risks in
housing and housing finance markets, advances modeling capabilities, develops
and maintains data, evaluates policy impacts, and engages with research
communities outside of the Agency.
research and data analysis capabilities that FHFA created and continues to
strengthen within DRS have been critical to supporting the Agency’s data-driven
response to COVID-19. For instance, DRS has enhanced FHFA’s capacity to monitor
housing and mortgage markets by leveraging existing data sources and seeking
out new ones. This has provided a comprehensive view of the state of the
mortgage market prior to the pandemic and it has enabled FHFA to understand, in
real time, how circumstances have changed over the course of the crisis.
The State of
the Market Before and During COVID-19 Crisis
the start of 2020, the American housing market was in a strong position. A low
interest rate environment and stable labor markets drove robust demand and
price appreciation. Home price growth in the first quarter of 2020 outpaced
annual growth from the same period a year ago as falling interest rates and
shrinking inventories for sale led prices higher just prior to the COVID-19
crisis. Nationwide, house prices increased 1.7 percent in the first quarter of
2020, up 5.7 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019. FHFA’s seasonally
adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.1 percent from February. Because of
the lag between contract signing and sale closing when FHFA’s data are
recorded, the first quarter’s housing statistics were relatively unaffected by
the COVID-19 outbreak. However, this does not account for any modifications or
cancellations of sales later in March.
home sales had been on a steady upward trajectory since early 2019, after
declining throughout 2018 due to rising rates. The National Association of
Realtors’ months’ supply of existing homes for sale in February reached its
lowest level since the series started in 1999, driving home prices upward at a
faster rate in the first quarter. Single-family housing starts in February 2020
reached the highest three-month rate since November 2006, on a seasonally
adjusted basis, after more than ten years of slow but steady increases.
In response to
COVID-19, financial markets endured a severe dislocation in March. Uncertainty
over public health and the economic impacts of the pandemic caused financial
liquidity to dry up, significantly disrupting the financing, lending, and
hedging activities of mortgage lenders as well as many other market participants.
Spreads between the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate and 10-year Treasury yield
widened during this period. Even Treasuries experienced
periods of rising yields as a market-wide rush to cash led investors to sell
off their most liquid assets in response to redemption demands.
Employment fell by
more than 20 million jobs between February and May, an unprecedented demand
shock and hardship to households. The unemployment rate reached 13.3 percent in
May from its 50-year low of 3.5 percent in February. Despite the dramatic drop
in demand, the months’ supply of existing homes for sale remained near historic
lows in April as the inventory of homes available for sale also decreased. This has thus far provided support to home prices.
In the multifamily market, thus far, turnover has been
lower than normal, and more renters are continuing to pay rent than projections
Response: Supporting Borrowers and Renters
the beginning of this crisis, FHFA’s policy, conservatorship, and research teams
have worked together to produce forecasts and estimates of the future impact of
COVID-19 on our mortgage market, based on key indicators such as unemployment
insurance claims and house prices. They have also developed models to support
decision making regarding loan modifications, servicing, and other issues. This
internal research, monitoring, and analysis have helped to inform and guide
FHFA’s policy actions.
of our top priorities has been to support renters and homeowners struggling to
pay for housing because of COVID-19. To do this, FHFA has directed the
Enterprises to put in place certain protections. The Enterprises own or
guarantee approximately $5.7 trillion in mortgages. That includes about 43
percent of multifamily units, which represents about 8.6 million households and
more than half of single-family mortgages or about 28 million homeowners. FHFA’s policies apply to all single-family
homeowners and multifamily property owners with an Enterprise-backed mortgage. In
addition, FHFA’s policies also help to set workable standards for the entire
homeowners facing foreclosure before COVID-19, we suspended all foreclosures
and evictions for at least 60 days. FHFA later extended this foreclosure and
eviction moratorium through at least June 30.
borrowers financially impacted by COVID-19, we allowed homeowners to take a
timeout from mortgage payments through forbearance. We then announced that
borrowers in forbearance who can return to making their regular monthly
payments can repay missed payments when they sell their home or refinance their
loan. This new payment deferral option simplifies options for borrowers and
provides an additional tool for mortgage servicers.
also took action specifically to protect renters struggling to pay rent because
of COVID-19. It is important to recognize that the Enterprises do not have a
contractual relationship with tenants. Their relationship is with the property
owners or landlords. Therefore, if a multifamily loan is performing and the
property owner does not seek forbearance, the Enterprises cannot impose
requirements on the landlords.
March 23, FHFA announced the Enterprises’ policies providing a forbearance
option for multifamily property owners with an Enterprise-backed mortgage that prohibits
tenants from being evicted for the nonpayment of rent during forbearance. On
March 27, the President signed the CARES Act, which provides a 120-day eviction
moratorium for renters in properties with an Enterprise-backed mortgage, even
if the property owner does not enter forbearance. As a result, renters living
in multifamily properties with an Enterprise-backed mortgage cannot be evicted
for either four months or the duration of the property owner’s forbearance
period, whichever is longer; and all late fees, charges, and penalties are
waived for both borrowers and tenants during the eviction moratorium or
the single-family forbearance program was modeled on prior disaster response
efforts, the multifamily forbearance programs with tenant protections were
developed from the ground up. After putting these programs in place, at FHFA’s
direction, the Enterprises created online lookup tools that show whether a
single-family or multifamily property has a mortgage owned or guaranteed by
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This information indicates whether renters are
covered by the CARES Act’s eviction protections and whether single-family
borrowers are eligible to apply for forbearance.
Since implementing the single-family
and multifamily forbearance programs, FHFA has closely monitored the data to
understand the responses by borrowers and the market. As a staffer on this
Committee during the 2008 financial crisis, I saw firsthand the importance of
resisting the pressure to “act first, analyze later” that arises in a period of
financial stress. In a crisis, panic can lead to ill-conceived policy responses
and send confounding signals to the market. It is imperative to remain calm and
make decisions based on careful, thoughtful analysis of the most up-to-date
data available. This has been a fundamental objective of FHFA during the
COVID-19 national emergency.
in the crisis, there were a wide variety of predictions about the future
effects of COVID-19 on housing markets. Some observers contended that
forbearance rates would reach as high as 25 to 50 percent. Given the
unprecedented nature of the pandemic and the high degree of uncertainty about
the economic impact, FHFA carefully monitored the data we received from our
Division of Research and Statistics, the Enterprises, and market participants
to ensure we were developing and updating our policies in response to the facts
on the ground. At this point, I remain encouraged by what the data is telling
us about the trajectory of forbearance rates.
developed internally at the Enterprises and by industry groups indicate that
Enterprise forbearance rates remain manageable. After rising precipitously in
April, the rate of forbearance uptake slowed during the last few weeks of May.
According to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, as of May 24,
6.4 percent of total Enterprise-backed mortgages were in forbearance, compared
to 11.8 percent of mortgages backed by Ginnie Mae (see Figure 1). In March, just over 1 percent of borrowers with loans in
Enterprise mortgage-backed securities (MBS) were 30- or 60-days delinquent on
payment. By May, this rate increased to 5.2 percent, according to RiskSpan. The
30- and 60-day combined delinquency rate remains below the estimated rate of
forbearance as some borrowers who have requested forbearance are nonetheless
continuing to make payments on their loan. FHFA’s internal analysis shows that
approximately 130,000 units of multifamily housing are in properties receiving
forbearance from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, representing about 1.5 percent of
outstanding multifamily mortgage balances at the Enterprises.
*Source: Mortgage Bankers Association
The mortgage market still faces
challenges. Responding to substantial federal support in the form of MBS
purchases by the Federal Reserve, spreads between the current coupon MBS and
10-year U.S. Treasury have largely returned to levels observed at the beginning
of 2020, at least for the to-be-announced (TBA) market. On the other hand, spreads between the
30-year fixed mortgage rate and the 10-year Treasury yield remain high. These
primary market spreads have declined in recent weeks, but they have not yet
returned to pre-crisis levels (see Figure 2). This is likely a result of
ongoing uncertainty about the pace of economic and labor market recovery, the
impacts on mortgage servicing rights, and constrained lender capacity to absorb
increased levels of borrower demand.
*Source: Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey,
Bloomberg, U.S. Treasury
However, current mortgage rates
reported by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association are at the lowest
point on record in the series dating back to 1971 and 1990, respectively. And
FHFA continues to work with the Enterprises to ensure that borrowers can access
new purchase and refinancing opportunities at historically low rates. For
instance, at FHFA’s direction, the Enterprises have issued new guidance that
borrowers in forbearance who continue to make payments will be treated as
current when it comes to refinancing their loan or buying a new home. In
addition, borrowers’ credit history will not be negatively impacted by entering
a COVID-19 related forbearance plan.
have also helped clarify consumers’ options. We have emphasized that those who
can make their mortgage payments should continue doing so. We updated the scripts
that servicers use when talking to borrowers about forbearance. We have
emphasized to servicers and the public that no lump sum repayment is required
at the end of forbearance. We partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau to launch the Borrower Protection Program. And FHFA helped develop a website
that consolidates federal information about mortgage relief options, renter
protections, and how to avoid scams.
Response: Ensuring the Proper Functioning of the Mortgage Market
Working with our regulated entities,
FHFA has also taken several steps to ensure the mortgage market continues to function
properly both during and after this crisis.
To ensure the safety of market
participants, FHFA authorized several loan-closing, employment-verification,
and appraisal flexibilities. The changes include allowing desktop and
exterior-only appraisals, providing alternative methods to demonstrate
construction completion and satisfy borrower documentation requirements,
allowing renovation disbursements, and expanding the use of power of attorney,
appraisal waivers, and remote online notarization. FHFA put these flexibilities
in place for 60 days and then extended them through at least June 30.
forward, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and update our
policies based on what borrowers, appraisers, lenders, government services, and
other market participants are experiencing on the ground. This crisis has
highlighted how much of the real estate process as we know it currently depends
on face-to-face interactions. Changes made in response to the pandemic will
likely accelerate the uptake of streamlined methods and models, jumpstarting
the use of more e-mortgage tools across the industry. As business practices
adapt to new realities, FHFA will continue working with stakeholders, consumer
groups, and other regulators to streamline the homebuying process in a prudent
manner that meets the health needs of the nation.
April, FHFA recognized that nonbank servicers needed clarity to serve the
market through the crisis. In response, we instituted a four-month limit on
servicers’ obligations to advance principal and interest payments on loans in
forbearance. When a mortgage loan is in a MBS, Fannie Mae servicers with a
scheduled payment remittance had been responsible for advancing the principal
and interest payment regardless of borrower payments. Freddie Mac servicers,
who are generally responsible for advancing scheduled interest, are only
obligated to advance four months of missed borrower interest payments. FHFA’s
policy established a four-month advance obligation limit for Fannie Mae
scheduled servicing, which is consistent with the current policy at Freddie
keep the mortgage market working for current and future borrowers, and to help
originators continue lending, FHFA enabled the Enterprises for a limited period
of time to purchase certain single-family mortgages in forbearance that meet
their criteria. Charging a fee for these transactions is consistent with FHFA’s
statutory mandate to “preserve and conserve assets” and the Enterprises’
charter requirement to purchase only those loans that meet the standards
imposed by private institutional mortgage investors. Prior to this, the
Enterprises had never purchased loans in forbearance. Our policy provides a new
option to lenders and the Enterprises.
FHFA took several steps to ensure the Federal Home Loan Bank System could
continue to support member liquidity and housing finance markets. We
relaxed liquidity requirements in a countercyclical fashion. We reminded the
FHLBanks of their obligation to offer advances up to 10 years in maturity to
meet their members’ needs and their ability under FHFA regulations to provide
below-cost advances during disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic.
We allowed the FHLBanks to accept
Paycheck Protection Program loans as collateral when making loans to their
members and allowed them to accept as collateral loans that have been modified
or that are in COVID-19 related forbearance. To avoid exacerbating potential
liquidity problems, FHFA deferred certain deadlines related to the FHLBanks’
transition from LIBOR-based exposures, while continuing our efforts to prepare
for the eventual end of LIBOR. To protect the safety and soundness of the
FHLBanks, FHFA issued guidance related to collateral and pricing policies aimed
at ensuring that all members are treated fairly and that every FHLBank can
continue to provide liquidity to institutions and communities in its district.
It is important to recognize the
vital support that the FHLBanks provided to the market in response to the
financial stress caused by the pandemic. A core function of the FHLBanks is to
provide liquidity in times of stress. This support is critical for small and
community banks that often do not have access to other sources of low-cost
funding. When the COVID-19 crisis began, the FHLBanks stepped up to keep
liquidity in the market, meeting unprecedented advance demand from their member
In March, while other liquidity
sources dried up, FHLBank System advances grew by $189.4 billion – or 30.7
percent – at their peak. For the quarter ending March 31, FHLBank System
advances increased 25.8 percent to $806.9 billion. While access to long term
debt markets was severely limited, the System was able to fund this increased
advance demand largely through discount notes and floating rate bonds indexed
to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). For the first quarter of 2020,
outstanding debt increased to $1.18 trillion, growing at the fastest pace in
As advances and assets grew,
earnings decreased significantly because of reduced net interest spread and
mark-to-market accounting effects. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, net
interest income fell a substantial $350 million (28.6 percent) to $872 million,
and net income decreased $262 million (29.5 percent) to $627 million.
Nevertheless, for the first quarter of 2020, FHLBank System retained earnings
grew $141 million to $20.7 billion, or 1.6 percent of total assets.
Following the injections of
liquidity provided by the Federal Reserve and the CARES Act, the FHLBanks’
balance sheets – both advances and debt outstanding – have fallen to or below
pre-crisis levels (see Figure 3). This is exactly what the FHLBanks are
supposed to do as counter-cyclical providers of liquidity. And it is why FHFA
is focused on protecting the System’s safety and soundness. It is critical that
the Banks remain capable of being a source of liquidity when their members and
the economy need it most.
of Finance, FHLBanks
Assessing FHFA’s Policy Response: The State of the Market Today
I am proud of what FHFA has done to
help borrowers, renters, and the housing market deal with this crisis. FHFA
recognizes that more work remains. The crisis caused by COVID-19 is not over.
The full economic and financial impact of the pandemic is not yet known. The
future state of the labor market remains uncertain. The mortgage market is
still under stress. For these reasons, the FHFA team is still hard at work to
ensure our policies continue to respond to the challenges as they evolve. We
remain committed to working with other federal agencies, Congress, our
regulated entities, and stakeholders to get through this difficult time. That
said, at this point, I am encouraged by what the data tells us about the state
of the mortgage market and the capacity of servicers following FHFA’s robust
Total monthly Enterprise principal
and interest payments are approximately $32 billion. Of that, about 40 percent,
approximately $13 billion, of the advance obligation rests with the
Enterprises. About $11 billion, approximately a third, rests with depositories.
Therefore, roughly $8 billion, approximately a quarter, of the potential
monthly advance obligation rests with nonbanks. At a 6.5 percent forbearance
rate this translates into approximately $520 million per month of nonbank
incremental advance needs. And, as noted above, not all borrowers in
forbearance have stopped making mortgage payments. As a result of FHFA’s
four-month limit on servicers’ obligations to advance principal and interest
payments on loans in forbearance, nonbanks’ total four-month obligation is
approximately $2.1 billion.
Were forbearance rates to rise dramatically
to 15 percent, nonbank servicers’ monthly advance obligations would be roughly
$1.2 billion. FHFA’s analysis of servicer capacity indicates that servicers as
a whole have multiples of that number available should they need it. FHFA’s
internal modeling projects that forbearance rates will not reach as high as 15
percent. But this type of analysis provides useful context to the forbearance
rates we are seeing today. In addition, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs
allow servicers to use a portion of mortgage payoffs from refinancings to help
cover these advance obligations. This has a significant impact especially under
the Fannie Mae program.
In addition, servicers have recently
increased their available liquidity. Total nonbank liquidity increased by 9
percent to $36 billion in the first quarter of 2020. Of that, unencumbered cash
and equivalents made up $13 billion, an increase of 19 percent from December
31, 2019. At the end of April, nonbank servicers’ cash positions improved
compared to the end of March and profitability increased. This was
driven by the stability in the 10-year Treasury bond, which led to stability in
mortgage servicing rights (MSR) values combined with strong volume and wide
Servicing buyers are beginning to return to
the MSR purchase market, providing access to liquidity especially for smaller
firms that have been forced to hold servicing. Lenders have shown a willingness
to renew warehouse lines of credit and some appetite to offer new credit for
MSR Advance Facility Financing.
Following some contraction in mortgage market
activity in March and April, the purchase market appears to be rebounding (see
Figure 4), and combined purchase and refinance mortgage application activity
has increased to levels last seen in 2013. According to analysis by the
American Enterprise Institute based on data from Optimal Blue on mortgage loan
applications receiving rate locks in May, average credit scores, debt-to-income,
and loan-to-value ratios have not changed dramatically on a year-over-year
basis for conventional loans. The Enterprises, at the direction of FHFA, will
continue to take measured and responsible steps to maintain a prudent risk
profile and address layered risks. Moving forward, FHFA will continue to
closely monitor all sources of market data and let the data drive our
Mortgage Bankers Association
The Urgent Need to Build Capital at the Enterprises and Advance Housing Finance
this does not mean that all is well. This crisis has provided ample evidence of
the critical vulnerabilities in our mortgage system that put taxpayers and our
housing market at risk. Most notably, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lack the
capital to withstand a serious housing downturn. This undermines their
countercyclical role and jeopardizes their important mission.
the Enterprises a stronger foundation on which to weather periods of financial
stress, on May 20, FHFA released a re-proposed capital rule. This rule will
help each Enterprise become safe and sound to fulfill its statutory mission
across the economic cycle. It is essential to building a strong, resilient
housing finance system that supports sustainable and affordable homeownership.
Congress can enact the reforms necessary to fix the structural flaws in our
housing finance system. To that end, next week, I will submit FHFA’s Annual
Report to Congress that includes several legislative recommendations to
strengthen FHFA with additional regulatory and supervisory authorities similar
to those of other independent federal financial regulators. I stand ready to work with all who share the
goal of building a stronger, more resilient housing finance system in America.
Raffi Williams Raffi.Williams@fhfa.gov
© 2021 Federal Housing Finance Agency