While residential mortgage lenders are facing tough headwinds driven by rising interest rates and low housing volume, the current market presents opportunities for savvy investors looking at mortgage servicing rights (“MSRs”). The current mortgage market is supported by non-bank mortgage originators and servicers who lack the same access to capital and liquidity as traditional banks.
Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) announced an eagerly awaited policy allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the “Agencies”) to address one aspect of the liquidity crisis for mortgage servicers facing mounting advance obligations due to forbearances. Going forward, once a servicer of single-family mortgage loans pooled into an Agency mortgage-backed security has advanced four months of missed payments on a loan in forbearance, it will have no further obligation to advance scheduled payments of principal and interest. The FHFA reports that this applies to all Agency servicers.
This answers one of the four main questions that servicers have asked about forbearance required under the CARES Act in the context of Agency servicing advances. Whether a servicer has to advance for forborne payments is the first question. If so, for how long, is the second question. Third, when will a servicer be reimbursed by the Agencies for such advances. Last, will the Agencies, directly or through the Federal Reserve Board or Department of Treasury, provide a liquidity facility or financing for required advances?
Continue Reading Fannie and Freddie to Relax Servicer Advance Requirements for Loans in Forbearance
While residential mortgage loan servicers, trade associations and various members of Congress have been urging the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board to provide a dedicated servicing advance facility, Ginnie Mae did just that. On April 10, 2020, Ginnie Mae announced the final terms of its much-anticipated Pass-Through Assist Program for Issuers of…
Freddie Mac is revising its reporting cycle for greater alignment with Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, and to help pave the way for Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s joint initiative to develop a single mortgage-backed security for issuance by both. Read more about it here.
Continue Reading Freddie Mac’s investor reporting changes