NEW RISK RETENTION (QRM) PROPOSAL

On August 28 the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a notice revising a proposed rule requiring sponsors of securitization transactions to retain risk in those transactions. The new proposal revises a proposed rule the agencies issued in 2011 to implement the risk retention requirement in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).

The rule would provide asset-backed securities (ABS) sponsors with several options to satisfy the risk retention requirements. The agencies are proposing that risk retention generally be based on fair value measurements.

As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the proposal would define “qualified residential mortgage” (QRM) and exempt securitizations of QRMs from risk retention. The new proposal would define QRMs to have the same meaning as the term qualified mortgages as defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The new proposal also requests comment on an alternative definition of QRM that would include certain underwriting standards in addition to the qualified mortgage criteria.

The proposed rule recognizes the full guarantee on payments of principal and interest provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for their residential mortgage-backed securities as meeting the risk retention requirements while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in conservatorship or receivership and have capital support from the U.S. government.

The comment period ends on October 30, 2013.

The 505 page proposal is available here.

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