A Fannie Mae test to handle the private mortgage insurance process for lenders may raise concerns that it's going outside the scope of its secondary market mission. But the effort reflects its mandate to explore new credit-risk transfer alternatives, a company executive said.
Fannie Mae's first-quarter profits were enough for it to rebuild its minimum capital buffer and pay the Treasury Department dividend after being forced to take a draw during the previous fiscal period.
If Freddie Mac's credit-risk transfer activities continue to grow, mortgage lenders could eventually see a reduction in the guarantee fees they pay to the government-sponsored enterprise, according to CEO Donald Layton.
A group of reinsurers has committed to provide up to $650 million of coverage for credit risk on some $21 billion of 30-year, fixed-rate loans that the government-sponsored agency will acquire over the next two years.
The jump is from a very low base; absolutely delinquency rates on mortgages referenced in GSE credit risk transfer deals are still likely to remain under 1% and much of the effect is likely to be temporary.