Ginnie In Brief
|Ginnie Mae’s Role in Facilitating Rural Homeownership|
|by Ginnie Mae | 3/23/2020|
As Ginnie Mae’s role in the housing finance system has grown since the 2008 housing crisis, it has generated a significant amount of attention for its support of affordable housing through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage programs. Less known, though, is Ginnie Mae’s role in facilitating affordable mortgage lending in rural parts of the U.S.
Ginnie Mae is an essential and consistent source of mortgage capital in communities all across the country, including approximately 2.1 million outstanding mortgage loans in rural areas at the end of 2019.
While most observers readily connect Ginnie Mae to the FHA and VA mortgage programs, which are very active in rural areas, few are aware of another aspect of Ginnie Mae’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) program that facilitates homeownership in rural parts of the United States.
Ginnie Mae’s charter enables it to guarantee MBS that are backed by loans guaranteed by the Rural Housing Service, a unit with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Mortgages financed through the USDA’s Rural Housing Service support a variety of programs. In the last 10 years, more than 1.3 million of these loans and mortgages on residential homes have been packaged into Ginnie Mae MBS.
|VA Mortgage Program Fuels Ginnie Mae MBS Issuance |
|by Ginnie Mae | 12/6/2019|
Ginnie Mae’s current position in fixed-income markets is vastly different than it was a decade ago. Our outstanding mortgage-backed securities (MBS) have grown steadily over the past ten years as the agency has fulfilled its mission to support the government-guaranteed mortgage market by attracting broad investor support for the government-guaranteed MBS product. Consider the numbers: Over the past decade, the value of Ginnie Mae’s outstanding MBS more than doubled from $888 billion at the end of fiscal year 2009 to $2.1 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2019.
The volume increase in outstanding MBS reflects an expansion of the portion guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The share of VA mortgages in new Ginnie Mae MBS has increased sharply since the housing crisis, from more than 16% in 2009 to 42% in 2019.
Ginnie Mae is committed to maintaining a strong MBS program built on a foundation of flexibility and reliability in order to meet the secondary market needs of the Issuers responsible for loans to veterans under the VA program. Recent policy changes regarding eligibility for VA mortgages pooled into our securities underscore our commitment to providing a liquid and efficient MBS product for lenders and investors that protects veterans’ home equity while also minimizing risks to taxpayers.
|Deploying Robotic Process Automation at Ginnie Mae|
|by Ginnie Mae | 10/16/2019|
Ginnie Mae’s data processing operations manage millions of data records each month, including the information that enables the flow of billions of dollars in principal and interest payments to investors around the world. To keep this enormous task running as smoothly and efficiently as possible, Ginnie Mae is investing in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities led by teams within the agency’s Office of Securities Operations and Office of Enterprise Data and Technology Solutions.
These efforts align with the Presidential order on AI from earlier this year, which serves as the basis for a whole-of-government strategy to tap private sector innovation in support of government program excellence.
AI encompasses a range of applications, processes and technologies. At Ginnie Mae, robotic process automation (RPA) is the first type of AI that we have deployed. Despite “robotic” as part of its name, RPA does not actually involve robots or other physical manipulative assets; RPA uses software to replicate repetitive human tasks such as the collection and analysis of data. (see Figure 1)
In the second half of 2019, Ginnie Mae completed two RPA projects, or bots. The first is designed to collect and organize data related to the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR), the principal index for the majority of adjustable rate mortgage-backed securities. The second bot assists staff within the agency’s Chief Financial Officer division to manage and report key information into the Ginnie Mae general ledger. Both bots free our staff to work on more value-added tasks, increasing the overall efficiency of the agency.
Although RPA is an excellent tool for increasing the efficiency of repeatable processes, it has also been important to recognize that not every repeatable process is the same. For example, research shows that RPA is best applied to processes that use structured and accessible data sources, such as the publicly available data on LIBOR or in-house financial statement data. RPA can also be used with unstructured data with a clear rules-based protocol for data manipulation. However, any break from the rules could cause an exception, or breakdown, that would require staff intervention, ultimately rendering the process ineffective.
As Ginnie Mae moves forward with its strategic and technology modernization plans, the agency intends to expand the number of RPA processes deployed and implement more sophisticated AI functions, such as machine learning, where appropriate.
Each phase of our modernization strategy will be governed by what is fiscally sound and secure. Our plan is to leverage capabilities of the private sector, as defined in the aforementioned Presidential order, as well as adopt or develop capabilities in partnership with leading-edge firms that advance our technological infrastructure. This strategy will effectively meet the changing needs of a sophisticated and nimble mortgage finance market, while keeping true to our mission to protect taxpayers and provide a robust secondary mortgage market for government home loans.
|Take a Look Back at 2018 in Ginnie Mae’s Annual Report|
|by Ginnie Mae | 12/20/2018|
2018 capped a remarkable decade of growth for Ginnie Mae. We reached $2 trillion in outstanding mortgage-backed securities (MBS), which represents considerable growth from less than $427.6 billion in 2007. Our role in the mortgage market continued to grow, and in 2018 we served nearly 1.9 million American households, and celebrated our 50th anniversary of providing capital to the housing market to help more Americans achieve the goal of homeownership through government lending programs. In our 2018 Annual Report, we take a look back at our accomplishments in the past fiscal year. These include:
Growing our relationships with our largest investors, both long-time and newcomers. We have recognized the importance of finding new, dedicated investors across the globe. The top four countries investing in Ginnie Mae in 2018, based on estimated value of Ginnie Mae holdings among investors from those nations, were Taiwan, Japan, China and Ireland.
Focusing on the intersection of investor and borrower needs, while also protecting taxpayers. Our commitment to this mission led to our decision to sanction a small group of Issuers whose loan performance damaged the integrity of our securities and our ability to effectively serve American homeowners. We have not hesitated to police our program in order to provide the best possible mortgage rate to consumers and a market-predictable MBS to our investors. Monitoring the performance of our security is now part of the routine business of Ginnie Mae, and additional steps can be expected throughout the next year.
Strategically investing in technology and process redesign. Early in 2018, we successfully completed our first three waves of IT infrastructure migration from our pool processing agent to a government SmartCloud. During the year we also announced our commitment to modifying the MBS program to permit the inclusion of mortgages that exist only in digital form, an initiative that will be shaped into a pilot program in 2019. We will continue to invest in technology in the upcoming fiscal year, making enhancements outlined in our June 2018 white paper “Ginnie Mae 2020.”
Responding proactively to the fact that more and more of our Issuers are independent nonbank mortgage lenders. These groups are often efficient at mortgage servicing, but are not subject to federal safety and soundness regulations. This reality requires Ginnie Mae to focus on ensuring the strength and liquidity of our partners and the mortgage market that we serve. To that end, we evolved our approach to counterparty risk management in 2018, and we will take additional steps in 2019 and beyond.
As elected officials continue to debate how best to reform the broader U.S. housing market, Ginnie Mae has and will continue to provide insight on the relevant aspects of administering an explicit government guaranty. Meanwhile, in the new year we’ll continue to do our part to ensure that secondary market capital flows to a safe, liquid and accessible residential mortgage market.
Read Ginnie Mae’s 2018 Annual Report.
|Modernizing the Ginnie Mae MBS Program and Platform|
|by Ginnie Mae | 12/10/2018|
To keep pace with the dynamic mortgage market, Ginnie Mae is committed to modernizing its technology in order to deliver a better and safer experience for all participants in the Ginnie Mae program. Advancements already underway to Ginnie Mae’s technology and systems are enabling us to more effectively securitize mortgages, disseminate data, increase efficiency and, ultimately, ensure the stability of Ginnie Mae’s MBS program. In the above video, Ginnie Mae’s EVP and COO Michael Bright and EVP Maren Kasper outline the roadmap for becoming the industry leader in technology and innovation.
To further your understanding of how Ginnie Mae is modernizing its platform, read Pillar I of the Ginnie Mae 2020 report.