DeMarco departs FHFA

by Ryan Smith25 Mar 2014
The former acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency is leaving at the end of April, it was announced Monday.

Edward J. DeMarco, who served as the agency’s acting head from 2009 until FHFA Director Mel Watt came on board in January of this year, confirmed his departure in a letter to Watt.

“I appreciate your invitation to assist you with the recent leadership transition and I have been pleased to do so,” DeMarco wrote. “I am also grateful for the thoughtfulness you have shown me during this transition period. With the transition now well along, I believe the time has come for me to seek other opportunities.”

DeMarco was a controversial figure in the industry. His plan to decrease the maximum loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac drew broad condemnation from mortgage industry groups and stoked the ire of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who said DeMarco lacked the authority to make the cuts. He also announced a plan to increase the guarantee fees charged by Fannie and Freddie by an average of 11 basis points. One of Watt’s first acts upon assuming the directorship was to delay the implementation of that increase until he could “evaluate fully the rationale for the plan and the plan's impact.”

DeMarco, a longtime advocate of ending government conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, took a parting shot at the mortgage finance giants in his Monday letter.

“I have publicly stated numerous times that the conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were never intended to be a long-term solution,” he wrote. “Congress must act to bring the conservatorships to an end and chart the course for a new structure for housing finance. My earnest hope is that recent legislative initiatives in the House and the Senate lead to the consensus needed to bring such legislation to enactment.”


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