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Inside Washington (11/13/2009)
* WASHINGTON (11/16/09)--Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan said he is looking to increase government mortgage insurance program premiums and downpayment requirements to boost the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) reserves. The FHA’s reserves have fallen to 0.53%, according to an audit released Wednesday. Donovan said he is seeking to balance boosting the reserves and supporting the housing market. Rodney Anderson, executive director and managing partner of Rodney Anderson Lending Services, said raising premiums would be better than increasing downpayments (American Banker Nov. 13). FHA borrowers currently pay an up-front 1.75% of their mortgage amount and 1.5% of the mortgage to refinance. They also pay monthly premiums of 0.5% to 0.55% each year ... * WASHINGTON (11/16/09)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) said Thursday that it would retain a policy through April that would prevent the agency from laying claim to securitized assets at failed banks (American Banker Nov. 13). However, the agency warned that it could impose other conditions on securitizers that seek exemption. The agency said it would propose a policy next month that would eliminate a blanket exemption for securitizers. Credit card issuers and other industry representatives have watched closely the securitizations decision. Since 2000, the FDIC has kept securitized assets off of balance sheets, but in June, the Financial Accounting Standards Board began requiring securitizations be placed back on banks’ balance sheets ... * WASHINGTON (11/16/09)--Regulatory agencies Friday issued a final rule providing that mortgage loans modified under the Department of the Treasury’s Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) will retain the risk weight appropriate to the mortgage loan prior to the modification. The final rule clarifies that mortgage loans whose HAMP modifications are in the trial period, and not yet permanent, qualify for the risk-based capital treatment contained in the rule. Agencies issuing the rule included the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of Thrift Supervision ...

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