FHFA Audit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Consumer Complaints Process

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FHFA Audit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Consumer Complaints Process

FHFA Audit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Consumer Complaints Process

BACKGROUND

On July 30, 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established FHFA as regulator of the three housing-related government-sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks). FHFA’s mission is to promote their safety and soundness, support housing finance and affordable housing goals, and facilitate a stable and liquid mortgage market.

On September 6, 2008, just five weeks after its creation, FHFA became conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) began providing the Enterprises substantial financial support. As conservator, FHFA preserves and conserves the assets and property of the Enterprises, ensures they focus on their housing mission, and facilitates their financial stability and emergence from conservatorship. As of March 31, 2011,
Treasury had invested almost $154 billion in the Enterprises in an effort to stabilize their operations and the mortgage market generally. The Federal Reserve also took steps to support the Enterprises, such as committing to purchase up to $1.25 trillion of their securities.

On October 12, 2010, FHFA’s first Inspector General was sworn in, and FHFA-OIG commenced operations. In November 2010, FHFA-OIG initiated this audit to assess how FHFA processed consumer complaints. For purposes of this report, consumer complaints include, but are not limited to, those involving allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse. These complaints run the gamut from difficulties obtaining information from the Enterprises to allegations of potential criminal activity. The time period covered by this audit begins with the creation of the Agency on July 30, 2008, and continues for two years and three months, through October 31, 2010, when FHFAOIG’s operations began.

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