Mortgage

Trump administration to release plan for Fannie, Freddie after Labor Day

Here’s what to expect

The Trump administration plans to release the plan for the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in early September, sources close to the matter told HousingWire.

Fannie and Freddie are coming up on their 11th anniversary of being taken into conservatorship, and now the administration seems to be taking serious steps to remove government-sponsored enterprises from conservatorship.

Last summer, President Donald Trump released a massive proposal that, among other things, would end the government conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In a section of the 132-page document entitled “Reform Federal Role in Mortgage Finance,” the Trump administration proposed ending the conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie and privatizing the government-sponsored enterprises.

Now, the administration is preparing to release its comprehensive plan for the GSEs. It is expected to release the plan shortly after Labor Day.

“I’m expecting that Treasury and the administration will lay out their vision of what they think Congress should do, what they think I should do and what they think the Treasury and I should be able to do together in terms of amendments to the share agreements that allow an exit out of conservatorship,” Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said in an exclusive sit down with HousingWire.

Calabria explained the plan will include parts directed at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Administration and FHFA.

“I’m hopeful that it will lay the groundwork so that we can all engage with Congress and continue to do my work with Treasury as well as my work as an independent agency,” Calabria said.

So what will be in the administration’s report? Calabria explained he is expecting to see a suggested blueprint for GSE reform.

“There will be suggestions, of course we’re an independent regulator, so Treasury will likely make suggestions on things that they think I should do, and being an independent regulator I will give those to consideration and see what makes sense for us to do,” Calabria said. “There will be a bit of a blueprint that will be a suggested roadmap for Congress.”

“I don’t expect to see legislative language, but I expect to see conceptual language that lays out a vision and a set of principles from the administration of what they think Congress should put in place in terms of a new model,” he said. That’s my expectation of what I think we’re likely to see.”

The plans released previously by the administration also give some idea of what to expect.

According to the administration, the GSEs play an outsized role in the country’s mortgage finance system and stand in the way of competition in the market. Under the previous proposal, Fannie and Freddie would be converted to “fully private entities.”

Under the plan, Fannie, Freddie, and “other competitive entrants” would have access to an “explicit Federal guarantee” for mortgage-backed securities they issue, which is only “exposed in limited, exigent circumstances.” According to the plan, that explicit guarantee would be “on-budget and fully paid-for.” Click here to see more about the previously released plan.

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

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