Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA writes to HFSC prior to hearing on GSEs response to COVID-19
Posted September 15, 2020 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to the House Financial Services Committee hearing re: “Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” CUNA wrote to Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry about how mortgage forbearance, homeowner and rental assistance programs, and the refinance fee increase affect credit unions and their members. 

Our letter writes in support of H.R. 6729, the COVID-19 Homeowner Assistance Fund Act, which provides $75 billion for states and territories to prevent mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and displacements of individuals and families experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. 

The letter also writes in opposition to H.R. 6741, the COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Act, which expands the CARES Act foreclosure and forbearance without providing the requested assistance. Lenders and servicers cannot be expected to continue to cover the costs of forbearance indefinitely without some form of assistance. 

As we stated in previous correspondence with FHFA, CUNA opposed the recently announced 0.5% adverse market fee increase for certain refinanced mortgages purchased by the GSEs. That said, we appreciate that FHFA delayed implementation of this fee by three months, until December 1st, and exempted refinance loans with loan balances below $125,000 from the fee. We understand Fannie and Freddie may see losses as forbearance ends and borrowers must resume making payments. CUNA will continue to work with Congress on solutions that would eliminate the need for this fee while keeping the GSEs solvent.