Watt Concerned Loan Fee Hikes May Conflict with QM Rule

Mortgage & Real Estate

The new Federal Housing Finance Agency director said he is concerned the fee hikes on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans proposed by his predecessor could restrict access to mortgage credit.

The implications for mortgage credit availability and how these changes might interact with the new qualified mortgage standards could be significant, says FHFA director Mel Watt. I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing.

In early December, acting GSE regulator Edward DeMarco directed Fannie and Freddie to raise their guarantee fees by 10 basis points and raise their loan-level price adjustment fees. These fee hikes were slated to go into effect this spring.

Soon after his Senate confirmation, Watt said he would postpone the fee hikes until he has a chance to thoroughly review the matter.

Now the new GSE regulator says he will conduct a thorough evaluation expeditiously as possible. And he will not implement any changes without giving lenders at least 120 days advance notice.

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