FHFA Director Mel Watt announced Wednesday he will delay planned increases to mortgage loan guarantee fees at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“The implications for mortgage credit availability and how these changes might interact with the new qualified mortgage standards could be significant,” said Watt, who was sworn into office on Monday.
“I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing,” he added.
NAFCU President/CEO Dan Berger praised Watt’s decision to reconsider the fee hikes, which were initially announced last year.
“NAFCU appreciates that FHFA and Director Watt are heeding our advice to reconsider the fee increases,” Berger said. “We will remain vigilant in seeking to protect credit unions’ margins and their ability to ensure members access to affordable mortgages.”
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney also released a statement lauding his trade association's advocacy efforts on the issue.
"We urged FHFA not to go forward with fee increases and we are pleased to see that Director Watt has delayed any immediate increase on guaranteed home loan fees," he said. "Over the last several years the FHFA has continued to allow these fees to steadily increase, making home lending unnecessarily expensive for lenders and borrows. For the benefit of many American home buyers, we hope that moving forward the FHFA will help curtail these fee increases."
Last month, the FHFA announced plans to increase guarantee fees and the loan-level price adjustments in March of 2014.
Watt said the agency would provide at least 120 days notice prior to the implementation of any mortgage loan fee changes.