The last holdout, Edward DeMarco, caved today on forbidding principal reductions, from HW:
Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco said principal reductions done under larger incentive payments from the Treasury Department would save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enough money to begin an umbrella write-down program.
DeMarco released preliminary findings from an FHFA analysis in a speech at the Brookings Institute Tuesday.
According to the early results of a potential pool of nearly 700,000 borrowers, Fannie and Freddie are expected to lose $63.7 billion on those loans if they are not modified. With the tripled incentive payments to reduce principal under the Home Affordable Modification Program, the losses would be $53.7 billion if some principal is forgiven, compared to $55.7 billion through forbearance.
The Treasury could potentially send $3.8 billion in incentive payments to Fannie and Freddie after redefaults are factored in. Based on net-present-value models, reducing the principal on significantly underwater mortgages would save the GSEs $1.7 billion, resulting in a $2.1 billion cost to taxpayers for the program.
“Because the Enterprises would receive the tripled incentive payments for principal forgiveness, PRA is better for the Enterprises [and] reduces Enterprise losses by $1.7 billion,” DeMarco said.