From the Trump administration's initial efforts at reg relief and GSE reform to dramatic shifts in the servicing landscape, here's a look back at the top stories shaping the mortgage industry during the first half of 2017.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office as First Lady-elect Melania Trump stands during the 58th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States today, in a celebration of American unity for a country that is anything but unified. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
— After an interview that some read as support for the plan known as "recap and release" to return Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the private sector, Mnuchin struck a more cautious tone during his confirmation hearing, assuring lawmakers he intends to work with them on a long-term plan for the government-sponsored enterprises. (more on the GSEs in a moment…)
The U.S. Capitol building stands before sunrise in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 24, 2017. House GOP leaders are hurtling toward a vote Friday on their embattled health-care bill without knowing for sure whether they have enough support to pass the measure, after yielding to Trump administration demands to act now. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), listens during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 7, 2016. Testimony from Cordray today may shed light on the status of several regulations that could curtail revenue from payday loans, prepaid cards and other financial products. At a March 16 hearing, Cordray hinted that a rule to limit prepaid cards won't be finished until June. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Richard Cordray
CFPB: the Constitution, Cordray and consent orders
— The case's path took a curious turn with the election of Donald Trump in November. The Trump Justice Department later sided with PHH in the case, and because of a peculiarity in the CFPB's authorizing statute, the agency requires Justice Department approval to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Citigroup Inc. signage is displayed outside a bank branch in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Citibank Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on January 18. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
— Then in April, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Ocwen, while regulators from more than 30 states issued cease-and-desist orders, all accusing the company of widespread servicing errors such as sending inaccurate monthly statements to borrowers, improperly crediting payments, and mishandling taxes and insurance in escrow accounts.
— Ocwen also sued a subsidiary of Fidelity National Information Services, accusing it of padding timesheets and claiming excessive and improper expenses while FIS was conducting an independent audit of Ocwen on behalf of the California Department of Business Oversight. FIS has denied the allegations and the case is still pending.
Representative Mel Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina and U.S. President Barack Obama's nominee as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), speaks during a Senate Banking Committee nominations hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 27, 2013. Watt faced lawmakers skeptical of his knowledge of housing finance issues today at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on his nomination to oversee mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Mel Watt
The pandemic has turned stress-testing around liquidity from theory into an actual case study. And while lenders shore up their cash reserves, they explain why many have been hesitant to take advantage of Ginnie Mae's Pass-Through Assistance Program.