Federal thrifts may buy securitized loans from Neighborhood Housing Services of America, the Office of Thrift Supervision said in a legal opinion released last week.
In a letter dated March 28 and released April 28, Carolyn Buck, OTS chief counsel, concluded that buying securities from the nonprofit corporation could help thrifts improve their Community Reinvestment Act ratings.
Neighborhood Housing Services of America, Oakland, Calif., securitizes low-interest loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers.
The OTS gave thrifts some leeway to purchase these loans, exempting them from a rule that limits their commercial lending to 10% of assets. However, a rule limiting a thrift from extending more than 15% of its unimpaired capital and surplus to any one borrower remains in effect.