Obama nominates N.C. congressman to run FHFA

May 01, 2013 12:30PM

President Barack Obama is expected to tap a North Carolina congressman to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CNBC reported.

Rep. Melvin Watt, a Democrat and senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, was integral to passing Dodd-Frank, the financial regulatory overhaul enacted in 2010.

If the U.S. Senate were to confirm the nomination, Watt would replace Edward DeMarco, who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush.

DeMarco has earned his share of criticism, including from New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, for an apparent unwillingness to help residential borrowers underwater on their homes.

Fannie Mae earned $17.2 billion last year, its largest annual profit to date, CNBC said. Fannie and Freddie collectively own or guarantee nearly 31 million home loans – roughly half of all mortgages in the U.S. [CNBC] – Mark Maurer