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May 15, 2014

U.S. housing bill passes Senate panel but unlikely to become law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate panel on Thursday approved legislation to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and redesign the U.S. mortgage finance system, but sparse support among Democrats means the measure is unlikely to make it into law.

The Democratic-controlled Senate Banking Committee approved the bill in a 13-9 vote, with only half of the panel’s 12 Democrats voting in favor.

May 15, 2014

U.S. housing bill passes Senate panel but unlikely to become law

WASHINGTON, May 15 (Reuters) – A Senate panel on Thursday
approved legislation to wind down Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac and redesign the U.S. mortgage finance
system, but sparse support among Democrats means the measure is
unlikely to make it into law.

The Democratic-controlled Senate Banking Committee approved
the bill in a 13-9 vote, with only half of the panel’s 12
Democrats voting in favor.

May 15, 2014

U.S. housing bill unlikely to become law despite Senate panel passage

WASHINGTON, May 15 (Reuters) – A Senate panel on Thursday
approved legislation to wind down Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac and redesign the U.S. mortgage finance
system, but sparse support among Democrats means the measure is
unlikely to make it into law.

The Senate Banking Committee approved the bill by a 13-9
vote. Senate aides have said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
was unlikely to bring the measure up on the Senate floor unless
it received wide support among his fellow Democrats.

May 13, 2014

Regulator opens door wider for Americans on mortgages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday laid out new policies that could make it easier for many Americans to obtain mortgages, in part by holding off on any reduction in the size of mortgages the two firms can buy.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, in his first public speech since taking office in early January, also said the two government-controlled firms would ease standards that govern when banks must buy back faulty loans from the two mortgage finance giants, which could also help loosen the credit taps.

May 13, 2014

U.S. regulator opens door wider for Americans on mortgages

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – The regulator of Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac on Tuesday laid out new
policies that could make it easier for many Americans to obtain
mortgages, in part by holding off on any reduction in the size
of mortgages the two firms can buy.

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, in his
first public speech since taking office in early January, also
said the two government-controlled firms would ease standards
that govern when banks must buy back faulty loans from the two
mortgage finance giants, which could also help loosen the credit
taps.

May 9, 2014

Senate push for U.S. housing finance bill comes up short

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – A bid by the leaders of the
U.S. Senate Banking Committee to secure more support from
Democrats for a housing finance reform bill has fallen short,
likely dooming their effort to push the legislation to a vote on
the Senate floor.

Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, a Democrat, and Senator Mike
Crapo, the panel’s top Republican, last week delayed a vote on
the bill to build more backing for the plan, which would wind
down taxpayer-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac.

May 8, 2014

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac post profits driven by legal settlements

WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – Government-controlled mortgage
finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
will send the U.S. Treasury dividends totaling $10.2 billion
after posting quarterly profits driven mainly by income from
legal settlements.

Fannie Mae posted net income of $5.3 billion for the three
months ended March 31, which included $4.1 billion from
settlements of litigation over mortgage-backed securities.

Apr 29, 2014

Senate panel to debate U.S. housing finance, but no vote scheduled

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) – The Senate Banking
Committee will open debate on a bill to wind down taxpayer-owned
mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
on Tuesday, but does not plan any votes as the panel’s
leaders scramble for broader support.

The decision to postpone any votes reflects the difficulty
Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, a Democrat, and the panel’s top
Republican, Mike Crapo, are having rounding up the backing
needed to increase the likelihood the legislation will reach the
Senate floor.

Apr 29, 2014

Senate panel moves to remake U.S. housing finance, long haul seen

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) – The Senate Banking
Committee could approve as early as Tuesday a bill to wind down
taxpayer-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac, but the measure faces an uncertain future
given competing and powerful political forces.

The legislation would replace the firms with an agency that
offers a government mortgage guarantee, but one that only kicks
in after private interests absorb big losses.

Apr 25, 2014

Exclusive: Freddie Mac CEO sees market stability risk in housing bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate bill on housing finance reform could undermine the stability of the mortgage market if it became law in its current form, the head of government-run mortgage financier Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) warned the company’s regulator.

Donald Layton, chief executive of Freddie Mac, said in an April 16 letter to the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency that lawmakers should take steps to make sure Freddie Mac could fulfill its role supporting the mortgage market during any transition period to its eventual closure.