FHFA Proposes Decreased Loan Purchase Limits

Posted on December 21st, 2013 in Federal Issues, Mortgages By BuckleySandler

On December 16, the FHFA requested public comment on a plan gradually to reduce the maximum size of loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The FHFA bases the plan on the uncertain future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and “the desire for private capital to re-enter the market.” The FHFA states that it is considering starting the gradual decrease with approximately a four percent reduction in the maximum loan limit for one-unit properties—for example, from $417,000 to $400,000 in most locations, and from $625,000 to $600,000 for the highest-cost areas. The lower purchase limits would, at the earliest, apply to loans originated after October 1, 2014. The FHFA seeks specific comments on (i) the appropriate advance notice period for any final changes; (ii) the timing of any subsequent adjustments; (iii) whether any such subsequent adjustments should be announced in a multi-year schedule, and, if so, whether they should be based on specific dollar amount reductions or percent changes per year; (iv) whether reductions to the limit for areas that fall between the baseline limit and the high-cost limit should continue to be tied to median house prices or should be proportional to reductions in the baseline limit; and (v) whether loan limits should be set at even multiples of either $1,000 or some other dollar amount. Comments are due no later than March 20, 2014.

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