President Nominates New Head of FHFA

President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Joseph A. Smith, Jr., as the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The FHFA has been the conservator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks since 2008.

“Mr. Smith brings to this position both tremendous expertise and a deep commitment to strengthening our housing finance system for the American people,” said President Obama. “I’m grateful that he has accepted this nomination, and I look forward to working with him in the months and years to come.”

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Smith will replace the current acting director Edward DeMarco and plays an important role in the future of the government sponsored enterprises. He is the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks, an office he has held since June 2002 and which he currently holds for a term ending on March 31, 2011.

As Commissioner, he heads an agency charged with the supervision of banks and thrift institutions; the licensing and regulation of firms and individuals engaged in mortgage banking and brokerage; and the regulation of a variety of consumer finance enterprises.

He is Immediate Past Chair of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and founding member of the Board of Managers of State Regulatory Registry LLC, a limited liability company established to implement a nationwide mortgage licensing system.

Smith is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Virginia Law School and is licensed to practice law in New York and North Carolina.

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  • Does anyone know what position, if any, Mr. Smith has on reverse mortgages and what position he might take on the recent announcement that Fannie Mae will no longer purchase any reverse mortgages? How do his positions differ from those of Mr. DeMarco? Will his appointment have any impact on the equity requirements to qualify as a Ginnie Mae HMBS issuer when Ginnie Mae starts accepting new applications?

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