Politics & MoneyMortgage

Key housing, mortgage finance bills facing markup in House

Fannie-Freddie CEO compensation, TRID grace period up for grabs and more

The full House Financial Services Committee meets today to markup several bills of critical interest to the mortgage finance and housing industries, including a measure to formalize the TRID “hold harmless” grace period and a cap on CEO compensation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Among the bills being marked up today in the House are:

  • H.R. 3192, the “Homebuyers Assistance Act,” which would provide temporary safe harbor from the Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure rule;
  • H.R. 1941, the “Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act,” aimed at improving the examination of depository institutions;
  • H.R. 1210, the “Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act,” to provide a safe harbor from certain qualified mortgage requirements for residential mortgage loans held on a mortgage originator’s portfolio;
  • H.R. 766, the “Financial Institutions Customer Protections Act,” which would require federal regulators to provide a material reason for ordering financial institutions to terminate account relationships through the Justice Department’s “Operation Choke Point” initiative; and
  • H.R. 2243, or the Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015, which would cap pay to the GSE executives to the highest salary at their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency

On Monday, more than 20 real estate and finance industry trade groups joined together in support of HR 3192, the Homebuyer Assistance Act, which will provide an official hold-harmless period for enforcement of TRID for those that make good-faith efforts to comply.

The letter came just one week after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officially finalized the rule to change the effective date of the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, also called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, to Oct. 3.

The industry welcomed the news after pushing for a delay for some time, but it still wants a more formal grace period on enforcement.

“A hold-harmless period helps ensure consumers’ real estate closings will not be disrupted after this complicated regulation’s Oct. 3 effective date,” the letter, signed by trade groups such as the MBA, NAR, NAHB, CMLA and MBLA, read. “We note that 250 Members of the House and 41 Senators have written to CFPB urging the action that this legislation would mandate.”

On the issue of compensation at the GSEs, earlier this year, FHFA Director Mel Watt authorized the GSEs to propose new executive compensation plans for the position of CEO that may be as high as the 25th percentile of the market, or approximately $7.26 million a year.

On July 1, the GSEs announced that their CEOs would receive $4 million a year compensation packages, a dramatic raise from their current annual salaries of $600k set at a cap by former FHFA Director Edward DeMarco.

H.R. 2243, or the Equity in Government Compensation Act of 2015, caps pay to the GSE executives to the highest salary at their regulator, the FHFA.

A CBO estimate in 2011 found this to be $255,000 per year.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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