Obama Endorsement Builds Momentum for Housing-Finance Overhaul

House finance regulator mulls action on “eminent domain” mortgage seizures

The question now is whether the coalition will be strong enough to push forward with an overhaul this year or next, or whether it will end up mired in partisan stalemate. I think there is greater momentum towards reform than there has been in quite a while, Michael Barr, a former Treasury Department official who led the Obama administrations efforts to rewrite financial rules, said in a interview. At the same time, he said, Its likely to take a while to continue to build consensus. How fast Congress acts likely depends on the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which must vote to approve any legislation. Republicans on the Financial Services Committee are moving forward with their own plan, which would nearly eliminate the government role in mortgages.

Obama Speech on U.S. Economy, Housing Market

Obama. That was anomalous. Translation: Fannie and Freddie werent always 800-pound gorillas in the mortgage market. In the 1980s, for example, Freddie Mac didnt have publicly listed stockit was cooperatively owned by the thrifts that were its customersand it didnt have a huge mortgage-investment portfolio. Instead, it functioned as a sort-of-boring utility for securitizing mortgages held by banks and thrifts, freeing up those banks to make more loans.

Five Takeaways on Housing-Finance Reform From Obama’s Town Hall

On Wednesday, an investor group filed a federal lawsuit against the northern California city in a bid to stop the plan. The lawsuit was filed in a northern California court by mortgage bond trustees Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank on behalf of an investor group that includes Pacific Investment Management Co, or PIMCO, BlackRock Inc and DoubleLine Capital LP. The use of eminent domain powers to restructure distressed mortgages has been debated by communities for more than a year and has been controversial with Wall Street banks and bond investors from the start. Alfred Pollard, FHFA’s general counsel, said in a memorandum posted on the agency’s website on Thursday that the uncertainty surrounding the use of eminent domain raises several issues, including its possible impact on the mortgage market and potential losses that Fannie Mae and Freddie Ma could incur.


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