Thursday, April 05, 2012

Federal Reserve Issues Statement on Rental of REOs

by Bill McBride on 4/05/2012 05:20:00 PM

This statement makes it clear that the Fed (and probably other regulators) will allow banks to rent residential Real Estate Owned (REO) for longer periods due to market conditions. I expect we will see more rental programs like the pilot program recently announced by BofA.

From the Federal Reserve:

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday released a policy statement reiterating that statutes and Federal Reserve regulations permit rental of residential properties acquired in foreclosure as part of an orderly disposition strategy. The statement also outlines supervisory expectations for residential rental activities.

The general policy of the Federal Reserve is that banking organizations should make good faith efforts to dispose of foreclosed properties (also known as "other real estate owned" or "OREO"), including single-family homes, at the earliest practicable date. In this context, and in light of the extraordinary market conditions that currently prevail, the policy statement explains that banking organizations may rent residential OREO properties within legal holding-period limits without demonstrating continuous active marketing of the property for sale, provided that suitable policies and procedures are followed.

Moreover, to the extent that OREO rental properties meet the definition of community development under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations, the banking organizations would receive favorable CRA consideration. In all respects, banking organizations that rent OREO properties are expected to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local statutes and regulations, some of which the policy statement highlights. The policy statement, in providing guidance to banking organizations and examiners, also describes specific supervisory expectations for banking organizations with a larger number of rental OREO properties, generally more than 50 properties available for rent or rented.

The policy statement applies to banking organizations for which the Federal Reserve is the primary federal supervisor, including state member banks, bank holding companies, non-bank subsidiaries of bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, non-thrift subsidiaries of savings and loan holding companies, and U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations.
Here is the statement.

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