The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury suspended certain provisions added to the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements (PSPAs) with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Jan. 14, 2021.
“This suspension will provide FHFA time to review the extent to which these requirements are redundant or inconsistent with existing FHFA standards, policies and directives that mandate sustainable lending standards,” said FHFA Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson, in a statement.
FHFA will consult with the U.S. Treasury on the scope of the review and recommended revisions to the PSPA requirements. The suspended provisions include limits on the enterprises’ cash windows (loans acquired for cash consideration), multifamily lending, loans with higher risk characteristics, and second homes and investment properties.
Fannie and Freddie will continue to build capital under the continuing provisions of the PSPAs. FHFA also continues to direct the enterprises to “operate in a safe and sound manner consistent with their statutory mission, and to foster resilient housing finance markets given prevailing housing market conditions, which include elevated demand relative to available inventory.”
FHFA is reviewing the Enterprise Regulatory Capital Framework and should announce additional action in the near future.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says it applauds the announcement by the Treasury and FHFA.
“The suspensions will eliminate several market and pricing disruptions caused by these caps that were harming lenders and borrowers alike and pave the way to restore appropriate regulatory authority to the FHFA,” said Robert D. Broeksmit, president and CEO of MBA. “MBA looks forward to working with Treasury, FHFA and all other stakeholders on these and other ways to protect consumers and strengthen the mortgage market.”