FHFA Director Signals No Change in Credit Scoring Models

At the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ annual conference, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt gave a speech focused on African American homeownership and its decline since the housing crisis. He discussed historic discrimination, employment and wage challenges, lack of savings, and the impact of predatory lending. Director Watt discussed how more households are wary of homeownership since the housing crisis and cultural changes like delayed marriage and gentrification. He then moved on to discussing activities at FHFA that may help improve the African American homeownership rate including revisions to the representation and warranties framework, low downpayment programs and reduced fees for low-income borrowers, and some flexibility around debt to income ratios. Director Watt discussed FHFA’s alternative credit scoring project and the agency’s decision to wait to change credit scoring models until 2019, when the Common Securitization Platform is operational and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implement the Single Security. FHFA will be issuing a request for input in the fall to get additional information about the impact of alternative credit scoring models.

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