The Trump administration's Justice Department was expected to be less aggressive in its pursuit of False Claims Act cases against the mortgage industry. Instead, its focus has shifted to Federal Housing Administration-insured reverse mortgages.
Critics of recent False Claims Act enforcement argue the Justice Department is too heavy-handed toward lenders and servicers. But in an industry reputed for shoddy processes during the crisis, perhaps stringent oversight is warranted.
Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jerome Powell stopped short of endorsing any single housing finance reform plan, but called on lawmakers to resolve what he described as the biggest unfinished business of the crisis.
The Main Street GSE Reform Coalition offered three principles: creating a capital buffer for Fannie and Freddie, continuing with reforms by their regulator and ending the conservatorship that began in 2008.
Affordable housing shortages and declining loan volumes are making it difficult for banks to originate enough mortgages to meet their Community Reinvestment Act obligations, which could make filling shortfalls with loans from nonbanks more expensive.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's final rule to formalize guidance on a number of TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures compliance points omits an originally proposed fix for the so-called black hole that's created when a mortgage closing is delayed.