Text: H.R.3146 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (09/16/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 3146


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 16, 2009

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


AN ACT

To make improvements to the FHA mortgage insurance programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “21st Century FHA Housing Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Mortgage insurance for condominiums.

Section 203 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1709) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(y) Inapplicability of environmental review provisions.—In insuring, under this section, any mortgage described in section 201(a)(C), the Secretary shall not be subject to the conditions of, or review under, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 or any other provision of law that furthers the purposes of such Act.”.

SEC. 3. Energy efficient mortgages.

Section 106(a)(2)(C) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 12712 note) is amended—

(1) in clause (i), by inserting “(i)” after “(A)” each place such term appears; and

(2) in clause (ii), by striking “203(b)(2)(B)” and inserting “203(b)(2)(A)(ii)”.

SEC. 4. Modernization of workforce and resources.

Section 202 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1708) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsections:

“(g) Personnel.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding section 502(a) of the Housing Act of 1948 (12 U.S.C. 1701c(a)), the Secretary may appoint and fix the compensation of such officers and employees of the Department as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out the functions of the Secretary under this Act and any other functions of the Federal Housing Administration. Such officers and employees may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates.

“(2) COMPARABILITY OF COMPENSATION WITH FEDERAL FINANCIAL REGULATORY AGENCIES.—In fixing and directing compensation under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with, and maintain comparability with compensation of officers and employees of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

“(3) PERSONNEL OF OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES.—In carrying out the functions referred to in paragraph (1), the Secretary may use information, services, staff, and facilities of any executive agency, independent agency, or department on a reimbursable basis, with the consent of such agency or department.

“(4) OUTSIDE EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS.—The Secretary may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, to assist the work of the Department in carrying out the functions referred to in paragraph (1).

“(h) Information technology.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—In carrying out any program under this Act or any other program of the Federal Housing Administration, the Secretary may utilize any amounts as may be made available for such programs to ensure that an appropriate level of investment in information technology is maintained in order for the Secretary to upgrade the technology systems of the Department used in carrying out the functions referred to in subsection (g)(1).

“(2) USE OF PREMIUM-GENERATED INCOME.—To the extent that income derived in any fiscal year from premium fees charged under section 203(c) is in excess of the level of income estimated for that such year for such premium fees and assumed in the baseline projection prepared by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for inclusion in the President's annual budget request and subject to approval in advance in an appropriation Act, not more than $72,000,000 of such excess amounts may be used from such amounts for the purpose of carrying out this subsection.

“(i) Training and education program.—

“(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development shall carry out a comprehensive training and education program to improve the service provided by personnel of the Department carrying out functions referred to in subsection (g)(1) to users of the mortgage insurance programs under this Act and any other FHA mortgage insurance programs.

“(2) TOPICS.—The training and education program under this subsection shall—

“(A) have as its primary goal improving the quality and consistency of responses provided by such personnel of the Department headquarters and other offices and centers of the Department regarding regulations, handbooks, mortgagee letters, and other guidance; and

“(B) be designed to—

“(i) ensure that lenders participating in the FHA programs may rely on information provided by one office or center of the Department when doing business with a different office or center; and

“(ii) prevent such lenders from soliciting answers to the same question from different offices or centers of the Department in an attempt to obtain an answer that is satisfactory to the lender, by ensuring consistent responses from different offices and centers.”.

SEC. 5. Risk management improvements.

(a) Review of delinquencies and lender monitoring.—Section 202 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1708), as amended by the preceding provisions of this Act, is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(j) Risk management improvement.—

“(1) REVIEW OF DELINQUENCIES AMONG RECENT ORIGINATIONS.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall conduct an ongoing review of mortgages on single family housing originated during the preceding 12 months and insured pursuant to this Act under which the mortgagor has become 60 or more days delinquent with respect to payment under the mortgage during the first 90 days of the term of the mortgage to determine which mortgages should not have been originated or insured and the characteristics of such mortgages, and which lenders have relatively high incidences of such delinquent mortgages;

“(B) REPORTING TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the 21st Century FHA Housing Act of 2009, the Secretary shall make available to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate any information and conclusions pursuant to the review required under subparagraph (A).

“(C) SUFFICIENT RESOURCES.—There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 the amount necessary to provide 90 additional full-time equivalent positions for the Department, or for entering into such contracts as are necessary, to conduct reviews in accordance with the requirements of this section.

“(2) LENDER MONITORING.—In conducting monitoring and analysis of the performance of lenders for mortgages on single family housing insured under this Act, the Secretary shall utilize a one-year period for such monitoring and analysis, to promote earlier identification of problem lenders and allow earlier intervention and sanctions.”.

(b) Analysis of mortgage performance.—Section 203(g)(2) of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (12 U.S.C. 1708 note) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1), by striking “and” at the end;

(2) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(3) analyze the portion of mortgages randomly reviewed pursuant to subparagraph (B) on the basis of performance.”.

SEC. 6. Sense of Congress regarding adequate capital flow for mortgage loans.

(a) Congressional findings.—The Congress finds that—

(1) warehouse lending, which provides short-term lines of credit to non-depository lenders for mortgage loans that are eventually sold into the secondary market to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, is a critical link in the housing finance chain;

(2) according to data obtained pursuant to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975, nondepository lenders that utilize warehouse lines of credit account for as much as 40 percent of all residential mortgage loans in the United States, and nearly 55 percent of FHA loans, which are increasingly popular;

(3) it is estimated that since 2006 warehouse lending capacity available to the mortgage lending industry has declined by nearly 90 percent to the current level of approximately $20 billion to $25 billion;

(4) based upon projected 2009 lending volume, there could be a shortfall of hundreds of billions of dollars in home mortgage availability caused by a lack of warehouse lending capacity; and

(5) unless Federal regulators promptly address the issue, borrowers seeking to take advantage of today’s low interest rates will face rising costs and reduced credit access, which could undermine the housing market recovery.

(b) Sense of the Congress.—It is the sense of the Congress that—

(1) the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency should use their existing authorities under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, and other statutory and regulatory authorities to provide financial support and assistance to facilitate increased warehouse credit capacity by qualified warehouse lenders;

(2) such financial support and assistance should—

(A) be used only to expand the amount of credit or lending capacity made available to qualified mortgage lenders by qualified warehouse lenders for the purpose of funding residential mortgage loans;

(B) be provided in such form and manner as such Secretaries or the Director, as applicable, consider appropriate, which might include direct loans, guarantees, credit enhancement, and other incentives; and

(C) comply with other requirements established by such Secretaries or the Director, as applicable.

(c) Definitions.—For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) QUALIFIED MORTGAGE LENDER.—The term “qualified mortgage lender” means an entity that—

(A) is engaged in the business of making mortgage loans for one- to four-family residences that are—

(i) insured under title II of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1707 et seq.);

(ii) guaranteed, insured, or made under chapter 37 of title 38, United States Code;

(iii) made, guaranteed, or insured under title V of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1471 et seq.); or

(iv) eligible for purchase by the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation; and

(B) is not a depository institution.

(2) QUALIFIED WAREHOUSE LENDER.—The term “qualified warehouse lender” means an entity that extends credit to qualified mortgage lenders for the purpose of originating mortgage loans described in paragraph (1)(A), or that otherwise facilitates the origination of such loans by a qualified mortgage lender.

SEC. 7. Foreclosure avoidance initiatives.

Section 230 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715u) is amended by inserting after subsection (d) the following new subsection:

“(e) Foreclosure avoidance demonstration programs.—The Secretary may carry out such demonstration programs as the Secretary from time to time determines are appropriate to demonstrate the effectiveness of alternative methods of avoiding foreclosure on mortgages insured under this title, including methods involving short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure, and such methods may involve partial or full payment of insurance benefits to the mortgagee.”.

Passed the House of Representatives September 15, 2009.

    Attest: lorraine c. miller,   
    Clerk.