After successfully completing this topic, you will be able to describe the role of the secondary mortgage market and know the features of the major agencies active in the secondary market.
Years ago, depository lenders kept their mortgage loans in their own portfolio. The sources of funds for originating the loans came from deposits and mortgage repayments. When the loans exhausted their funds, they could make no more loans.
Today, most mortgage lenders sell the loans they originate in the secondary mortgage market. The proceeds from the sale of the loans give the lender the funds necessary to originate new loans.
The secondary mortgage market, because it gives lenders a place to sell their loans, provides liquidity to the marketplace.
When persons put their funds into a depository, such as a bank or savings association, the depository then lends the money to borrowers who need the funds. The depository is an intermediary, and the process is called intermediation. When those persons remove their funds to buy property or stocks, the process is called disintermediation.
The secondary market works most efficiently because loan documents such as mortgage applications, appraisal forms, and mortgages, and closing disclosure are the same.
A conforming loan is one that meets the requirements to be sold to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or other secondary market buyers. A nonconforming loan is a loan that is higher than the allowed limits (jumbo loan) and cannot be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Conforming loans are easier to qualify for, have lower interest rates, may have a lower down payment, and give a little more flexibility with the credit score.
Portfolio lenders keep the mortgages they originate in their own portfolio. This is unusual, but may be done for a bank’s good customer who has a nonconforming loan. The real issue for portfolio lenders is interest rate risk; as interest rates increase, the value of the loan decreases. In case the lender has a liquidity problem and must sell the loan later, the lender may have a significant loss.
The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), informally known as Fannie Mae, is a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE). Fannie Mae is a private corporation that is supervised by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Fannie Mae stock is publicly traded in the over-the-counter market. Fannie Mae stimulates the housing market by making more mortgages available.
Fannie Mae does not make mortgage loans. Fannie Mae buys FHA, VA and conventional mortgages, usually from larger commercial banks. Fannie Mae is a major factor in the secondary market.
Here’s how it works.
Fannie Mae bundles many loans into a security that investors can buy. The structure of the MBS may be known as “pass-through”, where the interest and principal payments from the borrower or homebuyer pass through it to the MBS holder, or it may be more complex, made up of a pool of other MBSs.
Freddie Mac, short for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, was created by congress in 1970. Freddie Mac buys FHA, VA, and conventional loans, primarily from small banks and savings associations which helps their liquidity.
Ginnie Mae is government owned and financed. It is a part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It guarantees bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Ginnie Mae does not sell or buy mortgage loans. Fannie and Freddie packages thousands of mortgages into bundles with similar interest rate and maturities. Ginnie Mae’s guarantee has the backing of the federal government, helping Fannie and Freddie get a better price when they sell the bundles to investors.
Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities are often called pass-through securities, because when loan payments are made, the principal and interest are passed through to the securities investor.