Washington, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has issued a final rule that requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to align programs, policies, and practices that affect the cash flows of “To-Be-Announced” (TBA)-eligible Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS). The issuance of the final rule is a major step forward, significantly improving the predictability of cash flows to MBS investors.
The final rule addresses feedback expressed by commenters on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by refining alignment requirements to assure market participants that the Enterprises will maintain consistent cash flows and makes explicit the potential consequences to the Enterprises for misalignment. The preamble to the final rule also notes that FHFA has instructed the Enterprises to lower the maximum mortgage note rate eligible for inclusion in an MBS.
These requirements apply to both the Enterprises’ current offerings of TBA-eligible MBS and to the new Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security (UMBS), which the Enterprises will begin issuing in June 2019.
“This rule demonstrates FHFA’s commitment to the success of the UMBS, which will promote liquidity and efficiency in the secondary mortgage market.” – FHFA Acting Director Joseph Otting.
The final rule becomes effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.