FHFA Seeks Input on Single Security for Fannie, Freddie
On Aug. 12, 2014, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, published a proposed framework for how the two mortgage-finance companies might issue and back a single-type of mortgage-backed security (MBS). The framework is a key step on the way to development of a single security, which FHFA officials said will reduce borrowing costs for potential homeowners. It would also potentially reduce costs for Freddie Mac who has had to offer discounts on guarantee fees to make up for the price difference of their MBS versus Fannie Mae’s. Originally discussed conceptually, Director Watt made the development of creating a single security a priority for the agency when he took office in January. The FHFA said the new security would combine some aspects of the current Fannie mortgage-backed security with the disclosure framework of Freddie's securities. The new security would have underlying loans that were purchased either by Fannie or Freddie, rather than combine the loans. The FHFA has requested input from the public on the proposed security's structure and NAR plans to submit comments.