government affairs blog

OLD Gov't Affairs Blog
We stopped using this blog after the 2013 Florida Legislative Session and created a new Government Affairs Forum, which will allow us to better control distribution of information.  This one will be maintained as an archive. 

More formal bulletins, summaries of legislation, position papers and the like appear on the Government Affairs page

  • 09/09/2011 2:14 PM | Anonymous

    Major banks allegedly misrepresented the owner occupancy and loan-to-value ratios by sometimes as many as 50 percentage points or more on securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to the lawsuits theFederal Housing Finance Agency filed last week.

    The FHFA, overseer of the government-sponsored enterprises, filed suits against 17 major banks and scores of individual executives, alleging they knowingly falsified the quality of mortgage-backed securities sold to the GSEs. The lawsuits span nearly $190 billion in MBS.

    More from Housing Wire

  • 09/09/2011 1:30 PM | Anonymous
    The Wall Street Journal offers President Obama six ideas that would help achieve his stated goal of more refinancings.

    More from the Wall St. Journal
  • 09/09/2011 1:28 PM | Anonymous
    Time is running out for Congress to decide whether to block a scheduled drop in the maximum size of government-backed mortgages, and some House lawmakers are calling for quick action.
    The group, mainly Democrats from pricey coastal housing markets, is pushing to add to a federal spending bill a measure preventing the maximum size of loans that can be backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration from declining next month.  

    More from the WSJ
  • 08/26/2011 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    Another bill to watch on the national level -- Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) are sponsoring a bipartisan bill to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.   The bill has already received qualified statements of support from the National Association of Realtors, the National Consumers Law Center and the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.

    The Boxer-Isakson legislation would do several things, including saving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money as a result of lowering the foreclosure rate. It would eliminate risk-based fees on loans for which Fannie and Freddie already bear the risk, removing refinancing limits on underwater properties and making it easier for borrowers with second mortgages to participate in refinancing programs, and it would help borrowers receive a fair interest rate, comparable to one received by any other borrowers in good standing who have not had a drop in home value and have stayed current with their mortgage payments.

    More from The Hill

  • 08/26/2011 9:41 AM | Anonymous
    Florida was among the first in the nation to ban Private Transfer Fee Covenants over four years ago.  That largely solved "our" title problem with them.   But the battle continues in other states and through the aggressive efforts of ALTA and other state title associations more and more states are banning or placing significant restrictions on such transfer fees. 

    Steve Gottheim, ALTA's legislative and regulatory counsel, recently participated in an October Research Webinar on the status of Private Transfer Fee Covenants nationally.   More information is available here.  

  • 08/24/2011 12:09 PM | Anonymous
    The General Accounting Office has released its study entitled:  "MORTGAGE 
    FORECLOSURES - Documentation Problems Reveal Need for Ongoing Regulatory Oversight" which can be accessed here.

    Among other recommendations they suggest a need for federal standards on the handling of foreclosures -- a matter which could significantly impact title practices.
  • 08/24/2011 10:34 AM | Anonymous
    The National Notary Association reports that 46 percent of Notaries who responded to its poll said they do not carry Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance, leaving nearly half of the Notary community vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

    Do the Mobile Notaries you use carry this coverage?

  • 08/19/2011 2:09 PM | Anonymous
    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners Title Insurance (C) Task Force (Task Force) will meet during the NAIC’s summer meeting Aug. 30 in Philadelphia to discuss issues related to title insurers and title insurance producers.

    The Task Force will hear reports from its four working groups. The Annual Statement Instructions (C) Working Group had seven proposals approved by the Blanks (E) Working Group. The proposals involve improvements to the title annual statement and filing instructions, which include crosschecks for title filing data. ALTA’s Accounting Committee has been helpful providing information to this group.

    The Task Force also will consider a Title Agent Statistical Data Plan Implementation Guideline as recommended by the Title Statistical Plan (C) Working Group. The NAIC says the guideline will assist states in implementing the Title Insurance Agent Statistical Report. The data call report and guideline will assist members in the collection of various data elements that could be useful in market analysis and market regulation. ALTA will continue to work with the NAIC to improve stat plan.

  • 08/18/2011 11:51 AM | Anonymous

    President Obama has directed a small team of advisers to develop a proposal that would keep the government playing a major role in the nation’s mortgage market, extending a federal loan subsidy for most home buyers, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The decision follows the advice of his senior economic and housing advisers, who favor maintaining the government’s role as an insurer of mortgages for most borrowers. The approach could even preserve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants owned by the government, although under different names and with significant new constraints, said people knowledgeable about the discussions.

    More from the Washington Post

  • 08/18/2011 11:47 AM | Anonymous
    Bonds backed by the Federal Housing Administrationand Veterans Affairs loans are beginning to show a few cracks, prompting Moody's Investors Service to place $3.5 billion of residential mortgage-backed securities issued through 39 transactions on watch for a possible downgrade.

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