Mortgage Market Reforms Continue On Difficult Path

While Congress continues to wade through a myriad of possible housing finance system models, financial regulators and housing agencies are working on their own to address the future of the housing finance system.

A range of housing policy changes have been discussed by the U.S. House, the Senate, and the Obama administration in recent months, including full market privatization, limiting government market intervention, and several stops in-between. (See Part 1 of this two-part series, detailing legislative work to address housing finance issues, in an April 1 News Now story: GSE Reform Will Remain Hot Topic As Congress Returns)

Engaging in housing finance reform is one of the Credit Union National Association’s top 2013 legislative priorities.

Fannie Mae this week reported a record $17.2 billion in annual profits and $7.6 billion in fourth quarter profits for 2012, and said it “expects to remain profitable for the foreseeable future.” However, many, including Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), have expressed the need for long-term housing finance system reforms, and said these record profits should not become an excuse for inaction.

So, profitable or not, Fannie Mae and fellow government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) Freddie Mac seem set for reforms.

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