Filtered by category: Legislative Clear Filter

CFPB Wants to Cut Debt-to-income Requirement from QM Rule

By Ben Lane

Over the last several months, a number of the nation’s largest lenders and housing trade groups have called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make changes to the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule.

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Recap: The last Chapter Business Meeting of 2019!

This past December, over 110 members & guests attended the 2019 Q4 Chapter Business Meeting and Installation Banquet at the Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte. Last month’s program was packed full with 6 newly designated members receiving their certificates, a thrilling PAC raffle, committee updates on how we ended the year, a special presentation honoring the late Ted Anglin, MAI, Sheri Colvin, MAI gave her final address as the 2019 President, and the 2020 officers were installed, including 2020 President, Chris Johnson, MAI, SRA, ASA. Check out photos of the event below (more coming soon!) and read Sheri’s farewell and Chris’ kickoff letters. 

 

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FHFA Issues Request for Input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac UMBS Pooling Practices

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today issued a Request for Input (RFI) about Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises’) pooling practices for the formation of “To-Be-Announced” (TBA)-eligible Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities (UMBS).  FHFA is also seeking public input about other policies and practices that might affect UMBS fungibility, including the Enterprises’ oversight of UMBS prepayment speeds and alignment.

This RFI follows on the successful launch of UMBS and seeks to ensure that UMBS remain a source of stable, affordable liquidity for the U.S. housing finance system.  The requested input will help FHFA determine whether further action or alignment is necessary to ensure reasonably consistent security cash flows and continued fungibility of the Enterprises’ UMBS.

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Banking Committee Leaders Seek Answers on Appraisal Waiver

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on Sept. 24 submitted a letter to the Appraisal Subcommittee seeking answers about its July decision to grant a waiver of appraiser certification and licensing to the state of North Dakota. The letter expressed “surprise and concern” about the “unprecedented” waiver.

Waters chairs the House Financial Services Committee and Brown is ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

“It is so concerning that the ASC, the primary federal organization with oversight over appraisal and appraiser standards, has acted to waive appraiser certification requirements with minimal justification,” the letter stated, noting that appraisals are essential to safety and soundness and consumer protection. The letter explains that the move is unprecedented because the ASC has not granted any waivers since the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council first fully implemented appraisal rules. In granting this one, the ASC ignored the objections of the North Dakota Real Estate Commission.

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HUD Indefinitely Suspends Rule Change to FHA Down Payment Assistance Guidelines

By Jessica Guerin

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a notice to lenders announcing the formal suspension of its rule change to down payment assistance guidelines.

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Court Grants Stay of Motion in FTC Case Against LREAB

A Louisiana court on July 29 granted a motion to stay in the Federal Trade Commission's case against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board in which it alleged the LREAB illegally determined a floor for appraiser prices. The court ruled that, among other things, continuing the case would hamper the state's ability to make and enforce policies.

Read more here.

White House Plans September Release for Proposed Reforms to Fannie, Freddie

By Pete Schroeder and Richard Leong

The Trump administration’s hotly anticipated blueprint for overhauling mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may not be published until September as the U.S. Treasury juggles several other pressing issues, the housing regulator told Reuters.

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Federal Agencies Exempt Community Banks From Volcker Rule

Five federal financial regulatory agencies announced on Tuesday that they adopted a final rule to exclude community banks from the Volcker Rule, consistent with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

The Volcker Rule generally restricts banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading and from owning, sponsoring, or having certain relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds. Under the final rule, which is unchanged from the proposal, community banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets and total trading assets and liabilities of 5 percent or less of total consolidated assets are excluded from the Volcker Rule.

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Appraisal Institute Urges Congress to Address Valuation Issues

The president of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, encouraged Congress to act on valuation topics during today’s hearing on Capitol Hill.

Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, told the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing, Community Development and Insurance Subcommittee that the Appraisal Institute supports passage of H.R. 2852, which would allow licensed appraisers to perform appraisals for Federal Housing Administration loans.

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FHFA Director to Congress: End Fannie, Freddie Conservatorship

By Austin Weinstein

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s chief regulator is calling on Congress to pass housing-finance reform legislation that sets a path to return the companies to private hands.

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Appraisal Institute Urges Congress to Address Valuation Issues

The president of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers, encouraged Congress to act on valuation topics during yesterday’s hearing on Capitol Hill.

Stephen S. Wagner, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS, told the House Financial Services Committee’s Housing, Community Development and Insurance Subcommittee that the Appraisal Institute supports passage of H.R. 2852, which would allow licensed appraisers to perform appraisals for Federal Housing Administration loans.

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PACE Financing, Mortgage Disclosure Act Among CFPB's Top Rulemaking Priorities for the Year

By Diane Thompson

The Bureau is publishing its Spring 2019 Agenda as part of the Spring 2019 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which is coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget. As an independent regulatory agency, the Bureau voluntarily participates in the Unified Agenda. The agenda lists the regulatory matters that the Bureau reasonably anticipates having under consideration during the period from May 1, 2019, to April 30, 2020, as described further below

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2nd Quarter 2019 Washington Report & State News

Appraisal Institute Among Organizations Opposing Residential Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute on Feb. 4 was one of six organizations signing a comment letter that "strongly opposed" a proposal from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to raise the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000. 

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SBA Releases Updated Appraisal Policy, Adds Evaluations

The Small Business Administration issued revised guidance March 26 stating that an appraisal may be needed to evaluate the creditworthiness of commercial real estate loans below $500,000. New legislation that aligned SBA regulations with those from the federal bank regulatory agencies eliminated the appraisal requirement for commercial loans below the half-million-dollar threshold. 

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NC Appraisal Board Suspends CoesterVMS

On Monday, February 26, 2019, the North Carolina Appraisal Board voted to summarily suspend the registration of CoesterVMS. Coester has failed to respond to seven complaints filed against it and has failed to maintain a surety bond after its surety bond was cancelled. Effective March 1, 2019, Coester’s registration is suspended and they shall cease all activities which constitute appraisal management services in North Carolina. The suspension shall remain in effect until the Board issues a Final Decision in this matter or until the parties enter into a Consent Order that is a final determination in this matter.

AI Among Groups Opposing Federal Banking Agencies' Action

The Appraisal Institute on Feb. 4 was one of six organizations signing a comment letter that “strongly opposed” a proposal from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to raise the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000. 
 
If the proposal is approved, nearly three quarters of residential real estate loans held in portfolio by depository institutions would be exempt from appraisal requirements. A high percentage of those loans are from rural areas.
 
The same proposal was evaluated and answered in 2017 as part of the process of the federally mandated Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act — a regulatory relief effort that encompassed four different notice and comment periods and six public hearings. At that time, the same agencies that are now proposing the increase said it “would not be appropriate” to increase the residential threshold considering safety and soundness and consumer protection concerns.
 
The “about face” is an apparent attempt by the agencies to pacify rural community banks that received discrete relief from Congress through EGRPRA. The valuation organizations that signed the comment letter have also requested a hearing on the proposal, but the agencies continue to deliberate on the issue.
 
In addition to the Appraisal Institute, the comment letter was signed by: 
  • American Guild of Appraisers, OPEIU, AFL-CIO;
  • American Society of Appraisers;
  • American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers;
  • MBREA | The Association for Valuation Professionals; and
  • RICS.
Read the comment letter.

FHFA Won't Defend Its Structure, Constitutionality in Court

By Kelsey Ramirez

The Federal Housing Finance Agency revealed it will no longer defend its own structure, calling itself unconstitutional.

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AI Opposes Residential Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute, the American Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers participated in bipartisan meetings with members of Congress Jan. 15, urging them to review a proposed increase to the residential appraisal threshold.
 
The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have proposed raising the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000.
 
The Appraisal Institute is asking appraisers to voice their opposition to the proposed increase. AI created an action alert where its professionals and others can weigh in on this important matter. The action alert provides talking points that appraisers can use in their letters, and AI encourages appraisers to share their own stories and experiences when speaking against the proposal. 
 
Use the AI action alert to make your voice heard.
 
If you have any questions regarding this issue, contact Bill Garber, AI’s director of government and external relations, at 202-298-6449 or by email at [email protected].

FEMA Brings Back Flood Insurance Policies During Lingering Government Shutdown

By Caroline Basile

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced late Friday that it will resume selling and renewing flood insurance policies, rescinding its initial ruling that the National Flood Insurance Program cannot be renewed amid the ongoing government shutdown.

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AI Seeks Public Hearing on Appraisal Threshold Increase

The Appraisal Institute and 15 other organizations submitted a letter Dec. 21 to the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency requesting that they hold a public meeting as part of the process to determine whether to increase the residential appraisal threshold from $250,000 to $400,000. 

Click here to read the letter.