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CHLA Says No to G fee Increase – 9/03/14

CHLA Comment Letter: NO to more G-FEE Increases;
YES to More Transparency and Full Pricing Parity

CHLA Letter Cites Impact on Minority, Low & Moderate Income Borrowers

Contact: Scott Olson                                                                                                          For Immediate Release
(571) 527-2601                                                                                                                   Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) today submitted a comment letter (see under Actions) to the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) that opposes any increase in G-fees, and also urges more transparency, and well as complete parity, with respect to G Fee pricing among lenders of different sizes. CHLA believes that all of these policies are important to promote access and affordability, particularly with respect to borrowers served by community lenders who might be adversely affected by differential pricing or policies.
“Like others weighing in, the CHLA does not believe that further G Fee increases are warranted,” said David Wind of Odyssey Funding. “But we feel an equally important issue is to promote transparency and parity with respect to pricing among different sized lenders, in order to protect all consumers.”
The CHLA comment letter notes that any G-fee increase would be passed on to borrowers, increasing the cost and affordability of a home purchase, particularly for minority and low income borrowers. The letter also questions the effectiveness of G-fee increases as a strategy to bringing private capital back into the market, arguing that risk sharing is a better way to do this. CHLA notes that it would be more open to G Fee increases if they were used to build up Enterprise reserves, but that does not take place under the Treasury Agreement.
CHLA also argued in their comment letter to the FHFA that approximate parity of pricing among lenders was not good enough, and that FHFA should implement an explicit policy of complete parity. CHLA also noted that there are other areas in which seller lenders can be adversely treated, such as proxies for pricing, the granting of LP/DU waivers, and the terms of seller-servicer agreements. As a result, CHLA asked the FHFA to make all these policies fully transparent. The letter also encourages FHFA to undergo detailed periodic reviews of GSE pricing and other policies, with samples that include seller-servicers of different sizes, to determine whether and to what extent disparities exist.
Scott Olson, Executive Director of the CHLA, said that, “Ultimately, we don’t know whether and to what extent there is parity among different lenders with respect to GSE pricing and other important policies. The only remedy to this – and the only way to assure borrowers of fair and equal treatment – is the sunshine of full transparency, as well as periodic reviews of these policies among a cross sample of lenders by size.”