On June 13, 2012, NAR President Moe Veissi submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs)) on its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-2017 that incorporates the strategic plan for the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FHFA sent to Congress in February 2012.
NAR outlined several suggestions in response to FHFA’s strategic goals:
- Regulatory policies and supervisory guidance intended to improve the GSEs’ risk management and operating standards should also ensure the continued availability of mortgage finance.
- The GSEs should take every feasible action to keep families in their homes with a loan modification and broaden opportunities for consumers to refinance. These home retention initiatives mitigate losses to both the GSEs and taxpayers, and provide stability to local housing markets.
- Renewing and increasing the focus on foreclosure alternatives such as loan modifications and short sales will minimize the need for more taxpayer dollars being used to support the GSEs.
- FHFA should not overly contract the role, or the underwriting standards, of the GSEs, to the point of essentially removing the government’s involvement in the secondary mortgage market. This will offer no incentive for market participants to reach out to those creditworthy consumers who may not meet extremely high, purely private sector lender underwriting standards that seek to virtually eliminate risk.
- FHFA’s effort to bring back stability and confidence in the housing finance system is important to a continued recovery in America’s housing markets.
NAR believes providing creditworthy consumers with reasonable access to mortgage capital, bolstering refinancing, loan modification and short sale efforts, and ensuring that the future of housing finance includes a robust secondary mortgage marketplace will significantly improve the agency’s success in achieving its goals.