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FHFA director delays impending g-fee hike

Wants time to evaluate changes

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday it will delay plans to raise the base guarantee fee by 10 basis points for all mortgages securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to give newly appointed FHFA Director Mel Watt time to review the changes.

The agency also planned to update the g-fee grid and eliminate the upfront 25 basis point adverse market fee this year, but those initiatives also have been delayed.

All of the changes were supposed to take effect in March and April, but newly minted FHFA Director Mel Watt told the market he needs more time. 

Watt intends to conduct a thorough evaluation of the proposed changes and their likely impact on the mortgage market. Watt's office will give no less than 120 days notice after completing the evaluation before implementing any changes.

“The implications for mortgage credit availability and how these changes might interact with the new qualified mortgage standards could be significant,” said Watt.

“I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing,” he added.

Watt was officially sworn in as director of the FHFA on Jan. 6. 

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