Edwards to Fannie
The government-sponsored enterprise said Monday that it had hired Edwards as the executive vice president for credit portfolio management. In this newly created position, which combines duties previously held by several other executives, he oversees all functions related to preventing foreclosures and mitigating losses on the roughly $2.9 trillion of single-family loans Fannie owns or guarantees. That includes executing the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable program, disposing of foreclosed properties and making sure mortgage insurers pay Fannie's claims.
Mike Williams, Fannie's president and CEO, said in a press release that Edwards has "a critical role at Fannie Mae at a critical time." Indeed, the share of Fannie's portfolio that was 90 days overdue or in foreclosure nearly tripled from a year earlier, to 3.94% on June 30. Since it seized Fannie and Freddie Mac a year ago, the government has made the GSEs key instruments of policies designed to keep people in their homes.
Edwards worked nearly three decades at PHH. This year Pennant Capital Management LLC, which owns 9.94% of PHH and criticized the Mount Laurel, N.J., lender's management, successfully campaigned to get two representatives elected to the PHH board.
Sex, Loans and Videotape
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has long criticized home lending practices, is now trying to get its own house in order.
The group made headlines this week after two self-described "conservative activists" posing as criminals walked into Acorn offices around the country, hidden camera in tow, and asked counselors for advice on getting a mortgage for a brothel. The Acorn employees were captured on camera saying things like "you can't say what you do for a living."
On Wednesday Acorn said it had stopped taking on clients until an independent audit is completed. The group said it will pick an auditor by Friday but will begin retraining "front-line staff" within 48 hours.
"We have all been deeply disturbed by what we've seen in some of these videos," Acorn's CEO, Bertha Lewis, said in a press release.
One of Acorn's old targets, Wells Fargo & Co., had its own embarrassment this week.
The San Francisco company dismissed for violating company policies a senior vice president who was accused of improperly using a foreclosed home in Malibu, Calif. After a couple who lost money in Bernard Madoff's fraud surrendered the oceanfront home to Wells Fargo, neighbors saw the executive hosting lavish parties there, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. Wells Fargo told the Times Monday that it concluded its internal investigation with the dismissal of Cheronda Guyton.