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July 25, 2014

Obama Picks Watt for FHFA Post

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Obama Picks Watt for FHFA Post

President Obama is due today to announce his nomination of U.S. Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

If confirmed, Watt would replace acting director Edward DeMarco, who has drawn the criticism of consumer advocates, state attorneys general, liberal groups, and some lawmakers. The biggest complaints detractors have had against DeMarco are his persistent refusal to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are regulated by the FHFA, to forgive the housing debt of troubled borrowers and his perceived lack of other action to help curtail foreclosures.

Watt, who has earned a reputation for fighting predatory lending and increasing access to mortgages for borrowers with low incomes and flawed credit files, is viewed as a candidate who would conform to administration requests -- which could actually hurt his chances of confirmation, due to GOP opposition.

The National Association of REALTORS® commended Watt's nomination in a press release today.

"The extended conservatorship of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is one of the most pressing issues facing the housing sector. NAR appreciates the administration's recognition that a permanent director is required for the regulatory organization overseeing the operations of these two important entities," said NAR President Gary Thomas. "We look forward to continuing our work with the FHFA and Representative Watt upon his confirmation."

Source: "Mel Watt Picked for FHFA Post by White House to Replace Ed DeMarco," Huffington Post (05/01/13)

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