WASHINGTON (6/21/13)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney is urging Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton to confirm that the company has decided to reverse course and refrain from imposing fees on mortgage sellers and servicers that do not meet minimum activity thresholds.
The government-sponsored enterprise on May 15 announced that effective Jan. 1, 2014, sellers and servicers that did not meet minimum activity thresholds for the prior calendar year would have been assessed a fee of $7,500 for low activity. Sellers and servicers would have had to sell loans with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $5 million, or service or act as servicing agent for loans with an aggregate unpaid principal balance of $25 million in the prior calendar year, to avoid the fees.
CUNA requested that the decision imposing these fees be revisited in a letter sent to Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Ed DeMarco early this week. It also was a topic in testimony given by Jerry Reed of Alaska USA FCU to the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit Tuesday.
According to published reports, the fee will only apply to lenders who have Freddie Mac approval but do not sell or service any of the company's mortgages, and that as long as a lender handles or writes at least one Freddie Mac loan over a three-year period, they will be able to avoid the fee. "This is a welcome development," Cheney wrote in his letter to Layton.
"The fee would have unfairly burdened credit unions in rural and underserved areas where annual real estate sales activity and housing prices are not high enough to generate the dollar figures that meet Freddie Mac's thresholds," Cheney added.