Congresswoman Maloney Secures Commitment from FHFA to Prevent Disruption in Housing Finance System, Protect Homeowners and Renters

Sep 16, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC — At today’s House Financial Services Committee hearing, “Prioritizing Fannie’s and Freddie’s Capital over America’s Homeowners and Renters? A Review of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic”, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), senior member of the committee, secured a commitment from Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Calabria to postpone his harmful push to release Fannie and Freddie from conservatorship before the end of the year, protecting homeowners and renters and preserving the availability of affordable mortgages for low-income and minority communities.

 

During the hearing, the Congresswoman stated, “I think we all agree that we can’t keep Fannie and Freddie in conservatorship forever, but we want to make sure they have enough capital, and that the right regulatory regime is in place, before we release them. I think we need to be very cautious about this.

 

“I’m very concerned that the administration is going to rush a number of major decisions before the end of the year — and certainly before January 20th. I think rushing to release Fannie and Freddie before the end of the year would be catastrophic,” she continued.

 

When asked, “Can you commit that you will not, under any circumstances, release Fannie and Freddie from conservatorship before the end of the year?,” Dr. Mark A. Calabria, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency stated, “I can’t envision a scenario where they would be ready to leave before the end of the year. […] Under no circumstances would I release them if they were not ready to be released. I can absolutely commit that to you.”

 

You can watch the Congresswoman’s full exchange with Dr. Calabria below. 

 

Background

Representative Maloney has fought to provide economic relief for those with federally-backed mortgages during the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

·       On March 17 – four days after the national emergency was declared – Congresswoman Maloney lead a letter with more than 100 Members of Congress in asking for an immediate, nationwide moratorium on all foreclosures and evictions from properties owned, insured, or overseen by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in light of the developing coronavirus epidemic. All told, these agencies account for more than 63% of all mortgages originated in the United States. The very next day, the FHFA announced it had directed Fannie and Freddie to suspend foreclosures and evictions. HUD, the VA, and USDA also imposed their own moratoriums soon after.

 

·       At the end of July – as the August 30 deadline for the FHFA’s renewed moratorium was approaching – Congresswoman Maloney sent another letter to the agency requesting it extend its moratoriums again to at least the end of 2020. At the end of August, the FHFA announced it would be extending the moratoriums again until the end of 2020.

 

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