New GSE Regulator Set for Swearing-In Ceremony

Mortgage & Real Estate

Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., will be sworn in as the new Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Bank regulator Monday morning at the Federal Housing Finance Agency auditorium.

The Senate voted 57-41 to confirm Watt on Dec. 10. He will be the first Senate-approved FHFA director since the GSE regulatory agency was created by Congress in 2008.

Edward DeMarco has served as the acting FHFA director since August 2009.

DeMarco is expected to remain at the agency through a transition period and possibly longer.

One source expected Watt would ask DeMarco to remain at the agency as deputy director. But that was before DeMarco issued a statement just before Watt’s confirmation that said the FHFA would raise Fannie and Freddie loan guarantee fees along with higher loan fees in early 2014.

This forced Watt to issue a statement saying he will postpone the fee increase once he is sworn in and has a chance to review the fee increases.

As the new FHFA director, Watt is expected to consider the impact such a fee increase would have on access to credit and first-time homebuyers. DeMarco was mainly focused on shrinking the GSEs’ market share and making room for private capital to return to the mortgage market.

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