Washington, D.C. (April 7, 2021) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and other financial, mortgage, and civil rights groups today are calling on the Treasury Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency to delay and withdraw new product restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“There is little question these changes will not only alter the role and obligations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but will also have significant impacts on borrowers, lenders, servicers, and affordability,” the coalition wrote in a joint letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “Some of the proposed limits on single family acquisitions will have a disproportionate impact on borrowers of color as well.”
The restrictions are included in a recent amendment to the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements between Treasury and the government-sponsored enterprises. They include a volume cap on sales through the GSE cash window and purchase restrictions on certain loans, including affordable housing. Introduced without any notice, these changes would disrupt the housing market and limit access to affordable mortgage credit, particularly for low- and moderate-income or minority borrowers.
In their joint letter, the groups urged the agencies to delay implementation of these restrictions and remove them from the PSPAs. They also called for increased transparency and a detailed analysis on how PSPA changes would affect market liquidity and LMI borrowers.
The Independent Community Bankers of America creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, over $4.4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.