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News Now

Washington
Inside Washington (12/03/2007)
* WASHINGTON (12/4/07)--Efforts to redefine Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s role in helping the mortgage crisis have drawn more criticism, further dividing lawmakers and regulators on the issue. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) Director James Lockhart stated last week that the two enterprises should stay out of the crisis due to their lack of experience in the jumbo market (American Banker Dec. 2). Conversely, Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Board chairman, stated last month that the enterprises, under control of the federal government, could take on the jumbo loans and sell them to the secondary market. But some industry representatives, such as Judy Kennedy, president/CEO of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, are skeptical. Kennedy said it would be a “mistake” to allow the enterprises into the market without reform legislation. Kurt Pfotenhauer, Mortgage Bankers Association lobbyist, recognized that letting the enterprises into the market could bring equal amounts of risk and promise. On Monday, Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide, said he supported efforts to allow Fannie and Freddie to securitize loans, stating that the two should take action to increase liquidity in the market (CNNMoney.com Dec. 3) … * WASHINGTON (12/4/07)--The discussion draft of Sen. Christopher Dodd’s (D-Conn.) industrial loan company (ILC) bill has been released. If passed, the legislation would prevent ILCs from establishing loan offices or placing ATMs in states outside of those that the ILCs operate. The draft also states that ILCs may only be grandfathered in if they are approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). The draft has been released just one month before the FDIC’s moratorium on ILCs is set to expire …


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