The Federal Housing Finance Agency on Friday announced that on Aug. 1, it will eliminate a controversial 0.5% fee on refinancing of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages, a fee that the Trump Administration had said was needed to help the Enterprises weather the coronavirus economic crisis.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency must tailor its programs to ensure that small credit unions have access to its secondary markets, Elizabeth LaBerge, the Credit Union National Association’s senior director of regulatory advocacy and council told the agency Thursday.
The Trump Administration ignored congressional guidance to place a high priority on helping small businesses in underserved areas weather the pandemic—one of myriad failures in the administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis, House Democrats charged Friday. Democrats on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis issued a scathing report Friday, charging that the administration failed to adequately assist Americans as the virus spread. “The Select Subcommittee’s findings demonstrate that the Trump Administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is among the worst failures of leadership in American history,” the subcommittee charged. In releasing the report, Subcommittee Chairman James Clyburn (D-S.C.)
Five Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are accusing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen Kraninger of “coddling” large banks and mortgage servicers while failing to help borrowers.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria again defended the agency’s plan to charge a new 0.5% fee on refinancing of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages, telling Credit Union National Association President/CEO Jim Nussle that, “This fee is necessary to keep people in their homes during the pandemic.”
House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Wednesday called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency to kill—not just delay—its controversial 0.5% fee on the refinancing of Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages.
Under intense pressure from members of Congress and financial trade groups, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it will delay a new fee on the refinancing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages until Dec. 1.
The new fee had been scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1.
The “modest” fee increase on the refinancing of mortgages will help Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae continue to weather the coronavirus economic crisis, while still helping homeowners who need the help the most, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae officials said this week.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Id.) wants to know why the Federal Housing Finance Agency—amid a financial crisis– is imposing new fees on homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages.
“Many housing market stakeholders have highlighted the potential negative impact the announced pricing increase will have on consumers seeking to access this benefit by increasing the average cost of refinancing,” Crapo wrote in a letter late last week to FHFA Director Mark Calabria.
As pressure builds on the FHFA to reverse its 0.5% fee, the president of the Cooperative Credit Union Association pointed out that the two Government Sponsored Enterprises affected—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—posted large profits in the second quarter of the year.
Wednesday’s “surprise” announcement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will impose a new 0.5% fee on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinance mortgages will hurt homeowners struggling through the coronavirus economic crisis and will harm efforts to help the economy recover, a broad coalition of credit union, banking, housing and consumer groups said Thursday.