A regulatory relief package is likely to come out of the Senate in the new year, and lawmakers could follow it up with a housing finance reform push. But the midterm elections could cause some reform initiatives to grind to a halt.
PHH Corp. agreed to a $45 million settlement to resolve allegations from 49 states and the District of Columbia that it engaged in "foreclosure process abuses" involving "inconsistent signatures" in its servicing business from 2009 to 2012. The settlement comes as the nonbank mortgage company continues its legal challenge to a separate regulatory action by the CFPB.
Adolfo Marzol, an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is optimistic that technological improvements and other changes can help draw Federal Housing Administration lenders back to the fold.
The tax law is expected to eliminate 300,000 affordable housing units over 10 years in part because it will reduce the value of banks’ low-income tax credits, which finance half of all affordable housing units.
Mark Calabria, chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, said passage of the regulatory relief bill could be delayed as policymakers deal with other items such as budget deadlines and an infrastructure bill.
The GSEs are on their way to paying back the money they owed the government under the original bailout deal made at the height of the financial crisis, making 2018 an opportune time for an overhaul of the housing finance market.