Description: Challenge to FHFA directive that prevented Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from purchasing mortgages on properties encumbered with liens under Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs.
County of Sonoma v. Federal Housing Finance Agency
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/19/2013 Opinion Download Opinion issued (1) vacating district court's order granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and (2) dismissing case . The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the regulator and conservator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, issued a directive preventing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae from purchasing mortgages for properties encumbered by liens created by property-assessed clean energy (PACE) programs. FHFA indicated, among other things, that the first liens of the PACE programs could disrupt the housing market and that there was a lack of underwriting standards to protect homeowners and an absence of energy-saving standards to allow for the valuation of home improvements. Plaintiffs alleged that FHFA must issue a regulation to implement this directive. The district court ruled against FHFA and required completion of notice-and-comment rulemaking. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit dismissed the action, ruling that FHFA’s directive was a lawful exercise of its statutory authority as conservator, and that the courts therefore lacked jurisdiction.