FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC WILL NOT WRITE DOWN MORTGAGES
This news is just breaking now via Bloomberg and CNBC.
What does this mean?
Basically, The Treasury has been pressuring the GSEs to allow for some kind of homeowner principle writedown scheme.
Their chief regulator Ed Demarco has always been against this idea (quite controversially) over a fear of more strategic defaults if allowed.
DeMarco has thus once again denied this desire.
According to CNBC’s Diana Olick, Tim Geithner has already requested DemCraco change his mind.
Here’s the full response via Binyamin Appelbaum
STATEMENT BY EDWARD J. DEMARCO, ACTING DIRECTOR, FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, ON THE USE OF PRINCIPAL FORGIVENESS BY FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC
Today, I provided a response to numerous congressional inquiries as to whether the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) would direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to implement the Home Affordable Modification Program Principal Reduction Alternative (HAMP PRA). After extensive analysis of the revised HAMP PRA, including the determination by the Treasury Department to begin using Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) monies to make incentive payments to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHFA has concluded that the anticipated benefits do not outweigh the costs and risks. Given our multiple responsibilities to conserve the assets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, maximise assistance to homeowners to avoid foreclosures, and minimize the expense of such assistance to taxpayers, FHFA concluded that HAMP PRA did not clearly improve foreclosure avoidance while reducing costs to taxpayers relative to the approaches in place today.
I have also previewed for Congress several housing-related initiatives to strengthen the loss mitigation and borrower assistance efforts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as improve the operation of the housing finance market. These initiatives include new and consistent policies for lender representations and warranties, alignment and simplification of the Enterprise short sales programs, and further enhancements for borrowers looking to refinance their mortgages.