Industry NewsMortgage

Realtors weigh in on Fannie, Freddie takeover

California trade group cautions about 'short-circuit' in role of GSEs

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The U.S. Treasury Department takeover of mortgage entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could "short-circuit" the role of the entities during real estate downturns and lead to higher down-payment requirements and lower home-ownership rates, the California Association of Realtors cautioned in a statement Monday afternoon. "Without an institutionalized mortgage-backed securities market, mortgage capital will be less predictable and more expensive, and adjustable-rate mortgages could become the standard loan for home buyers, as could higher down-payment requirements," said Joel Singer, executive vice president for the trade association, in a statement. "The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage as we know it will no longer be readily available for most home buyers and may effectively disappear. The result could be a dramatic decline in home-ownership rates in California and across the nation." Singer also stated that the short-term impact of the Treasury Dep...