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8 11, 2022


2022-11-09T12:49:02-05:00November 8th, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

A Most Unpretty Picture

In its latest blast on racial equity, the Treasury Department‘s Office of Economic Policy has issued a blog post cataloguing racial disparities in residential-mortgage finance.  None of it is news – indeed, the post goes light on key questions such as refi disparities and small-balance loans.  As with most such blog posts, it’s clearly the work of industrious interns set to scrivening by higher-ups with an eye on a political prize.  Still, at a time of high-pressure lobbying to get some sort of housing-relief legislation in the lame-duck, these data will be powerfully deployed by those using racial-equity arguments to advance the left-behind housing provisions of Biden’s Build Back Better omnibus.


19 10, 2022


2022-10-20T17:16:10-04:00October 19th, 2022|2- Daily Briefing|

CFPB Brings Older Adults Into Fair-Fee Focus

Following yesterday’s enforcement action and furthering its “fair-fee” policy agenda (see FSM Report CONSUMER38), the CFPB today published an Issue Brief on overdraft fees and economically-insecure older adults.

HUD Advances LIBOR Replacement As Deadline

Following its ANPR on replacing LIBOR last year, HUD today published a proposed rule to remove LIBOR as an approved index for forward ARMs and reverse mortgages, replacing it with SOFR.  For existing ARMs, HUD proposes to establish a spread-adjusted SOFR index to transition from LIBOR, with a lifetime five percent interest-rate cap for monthly adjustable rate reverse mortgages.

House Republicans Question PayPal’s Content Fine Mistake

Following revelations that PayPal had temporarily imposed a penalty fee on certain content, HFSC Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Rodgers (R-WA), and Reps. Emmer (R-MN) and Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman requesting more information about PayPal mistakenly updating its Acceptable Use Policy to include a fine for sharing “objectionable” messages on the platform.

Fed Study Finds Little Evidence of Discrimination in Mortgage Lending

A new Fed study on racial bias in mortgage lending finds little evidence of discrimination, concluding instead that disparities in observable applicant risk explain most racial denial disparities.  The study uses confidential HMDA supervisory data from 2018-2019 that controls for credit scores, DTI, and LTV on top of automated underwriting systems (AUS) recommendations.


6 10, 2022


2022-10-06T11:10:21-04:00October 6th, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

How Low Can You Go?

FHA’s request for input on small-dollar loans could mean much for this equality-essential product or little beyond a lot more public debate.  It was issued concurrently with a high-profile Administration event on racial equity, coming also in concert with a new HUD report on small-balance mortgages (i.e., those with balances of less than $70,000) mandated under an FY22 appropriations measure.  Depending on what it does, HUD could do more for small-dollar loans than FHFA explicitly pressed in its equitable-finance plan, although Fannie and Freddie might come round to crafting some programs in the special-purpose credit programs they anticipate.


27 09, 2022


2022-09-27T10:47:33-04:00September 27th, 2022|1- Financial Services Management|

Equality-Oriented Mortgage Finance

The CFPB has asked for views on the extent to which it can facilitate certain refinancing (refi) products it believes enhance economic justice.  It has also identified refi features it believes put consumers – and especially vulnerable ones – at undue risk, identifying alternative products that it believes would significantly advantage these households.  The agency is also looking to encourage or even require automatic forbearance to increase borrower protection in the event of widely shared stress or personal hardship, although it could also be costly to servicers and investors depending on how any such program is designed.


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