[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 154 (Thursday, August 9, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 39323-39326]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-16972]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 

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Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 154 / Thursday, August 9, 2018 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 39323]]



FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD

12 CFR Parts 900, 906, and 956 Through 999

FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

12 CFR Parts 1200, 1206, 1223, and 1261

RIN 2590-AA91


Repeal of Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations; Technical 
Amendments to FHFA Regulations

AGENCY: Federal Housing Finance Agency; Federal Housing Finance Board.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is repealing two 
parts of the Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) regulations, 
which define terms used in Finance Board regulations, and which 
describe the process by which the Finance Board conducted its monthly 
interest rate survey (MIRS). The repealed definitions are either 
obsolete or duplicate definitions that FHFA has previously adopted. The 
regulation relating to the MIRS has become outdated because it does not 
accurately describe the manner in which FHFA currently conducts the 
survey. Although FHFA intends to continue to conduct the MIRS in the 
same manner as it is doing presently, there is no need to carry over 
this provision into its own regulations. This final rule also repeals a 
number of subchapters of the Finance Board regulations that it had 
previously reserved, but which no longer serve any purpose because they 
include no regulatory text, corrects inaccurate cross-references in 
regulations described in this rulemaking, and amends a table to update 
information relating to information collections under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act.

DATES: This rule is effective on September 10, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vickie R. Olafson, Assistant General 
Counsel, Vickie.Olafson@FHFA.gov, (202) 649-3025 (this is not a toll-
free number), Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW, 
Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications 
Device for the Deaf is (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Analysis

    Effective July 30, 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 
2008 (HERA) \1\ created FHFA as a new independent agency of the Federal 
Government, and transferred to FHFA the supervisory and oversight 
responsibilities of the Finance Board over the Federal Home Loan Banks 
(Banks), the oversight responsibilities of the Office of Federal 
Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) over the Federal National Mortgage 
Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (the 
Enterprises), and certain functions of the Department of Housing and 
Urban Development.\2\ Under section 1313(a) of the Federal Housing 
Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and 
Soundness Act), FHFA is responsible for ensuring that the Banks and the 
Enterprises operate in a safe and sound manner, including that they 
maintain adequate capital and internal controls, that their activities 
foster liquid, efficient, competitive and resilient national housing 
finance markets, and that they carry out their public policy missions 
through authorized activities.\3\ The Banks and the Enterprises remain 
subject to, and continue to operate under, regulations promulgated by 
the Finance Board and by OFHEO and HUD, respectively, until such 
regulations are superseded by regulations issued by FHFA.\4\ The 
Finance Board regulations that are the subject of this rulemaking have 
remained in effect pursuant to that authority.
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    \1\ HERA, Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654.
    \2\ See id. at section 1101, 122 Stat. 2661-62 (codified at 12 
U.S.C. 4511, 4511 note, and 4513).
    \3\ 12 U.S.C. 4513(a).
    \4\ 12 U.S.C. 4511 note.
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    On April 3, 2018, FHFA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to 
repeal certain outdated Finance Board regulations.\5\ FHFA proposed to 
repeal definitions under the Finance Board regulations that are 
obsolete or that duplicate FHFA definitions, and to repeal an outdated 
Finance Board regulation that describes the process the Finance Board 
used to conduct the MIRS. FHFA also proposed to repeal subchapters of 
the Finance Board regulations that were reserved and no longer serve 
any regulatory purpose. The comment period ended on May 18, 2018. FHFA 
received no comments in response to any part of the proposed 
rulemaking, and thus is finalizing the amendments to the Finance Board 
regulations as proposed.
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    \5\ Repeal of Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations, 83 FR 
14205 (Apr. 3, 2018).
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A. Definitions--Finance Board Part 900

    FHFA proposed repealing the Finance Board definitions located in 
Subchapter A, which consists of part 900 of the Finance Board 
regulations, and includes definitions of forty-two terms that had been 
used throughout the Finance Board regulations. In 2013 FHFA carried 
over into its own regulations (at part 1201) most of the Finance Board 
definitions, but did not repeal the Finance Board definitions at that 
time because a number of substantive Finance Board regulations that 
used those terms remained in effect.\6\ FHFA has now proposed repealing 
all of the definitions within part 900 of the Finance Board regulations 
because, since 2013, FHFA has relocated or repealed all of the 
substantive Finance Board regulations, other than those relating to 
Bank capital requirements, which are the subject of a separate 
rulemaking.\7\ The final rule is identical to the proposed rule on this 
topic.
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    \6\ See Relocation of Regulations, 78 FR 2319 (Jan. 11, 2013).
    \7\ See Federal Home Loan Bank Capital Requirements, 82 FR 30776 
(proposed July 3, 2017). As noted in the proposed rule, certain of 
those defined terms, such as ``capital plan,'' ``excess stock,'' and 
``advance,'' are used within the Finance Board capital regulations 
at parts 930 and 932, which likely will remain in effect during an 
extended transition period to the new FHFA Bank capital regulations. 
83 FR 14205, 14206. Each of those terms is well understood by the 
Banks and has been carried over into the FHFA definitions at part 
1201 without substantive change, and to the extent any interpretive 
questions may arise with respect to parts 930 and 932 after the 
definitions in part 900 are repealed, the Banks may look to the 
identical definitions in part 1201 of the FHFA regulations to 
address those questions. Id.

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[[Page 39324]]

B. Finance Board Part 906

    FHFA proposed repealing subchapter B, consisting of part 906 of the 
Finance Board Regulations that contains reserved subparts A and C, and 
subpart B, Sec.  906.5. Section 906.5 describes the manner in which the 
Finance Board conducted the ``Monthly Survey of Rates and Terms on 
Conventional One-Family Non-farm Mortgage Loans,'' commonly referred to 
as the ``Monthly Interest Rate Survey'' or ``MIRS.'' The MIRS is a 
monthly survey of mortgage lenders that solicits information on the 
terms and conditions on all conventional, single-family, fully 
amortizing, purchase-money mortgage loans closed during the last five 
working days of the preceding month. It was originally conducted by the 
Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB), and was continued by the Finance 
Board, in accordance with the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, 
and Enforcement Act of 1989, the legislation that abolished the FHLBB 
and established the Finance Board as its successor. FHFA also has 
continued to conduct the survey and publish the data tables monthly, as 
successor to the Finance Board.
    Historically, two housing finance benchmarks have been based on 
data obtained through the MIRS: (1) The ``national average one-family 
house price,'' which, between 1980 and 2008, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 
were statutorily required to use in making annual adjustments to the 
conforming loan limit; \8\ and (2) the Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) 
Index, which at one time was widely used by lenders in determining the 
appropriate periodic interest rate adjustment on their ARM loans.
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    \8\ The Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 tied the 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits to MIRS. See 
Public Law 96-399, Title III, section 313(a), (b), 94 Stat. 1644-45 
(Oct. 8, 1980).
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    Adjustments in the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac are no longer based on data collected through the MIRS. 
Some lenders, however, may still use FHFA's ARM Index, which is derived 
from MIRS data, as one factor in pricing mortgage loans that they 
originate. In addition, businesses, trade associations, and government 
agencies at both the federal and state level rely upon the MIRS data 
for various business and regulatory purposes.
    FHFA intends to continue conducting the MIRS and publishing the 
data results on its website monthly. Because the current MIRS 
regulation includes an outdated description of the manner in which the 
survey is conducted, however, and is not necessary in order to 
implement the statutory mandate that FHFA conduct the survey, FHFA has 
determined that the regulation is unnecessary.\9\ Given the absence of 
any comments on the proposed rule, the final rule is also identical to 
the proposed rule on this topic.
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    \9\ See Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement 
Act of 1989, Public Law 101-73, Title IV, section 402(e), 103 Stat. 
359-360 (Aug. 9, 1989), codified at 12 U.S.C. 1437 note (regarding 
the continuation of the ARM Index).
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C. Finance Board Parts 956-999 [Reserved] and Subchapters F-M 
[Reserved]

    The proposal also would have repealed subchapters F-M, consisting 
of parts 956-999 of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), 
which are Finance Board provisions that are designated as 
``[r]eserved.'' These reserved parts are currently the only items under 
subchapters F-M of chapter IX of title 12, and because they contain no 
substantive provisions there is nothing to revise and relocate to the 
FHFA regulations. Consequently, FHFA has determined that unless it 
affirmatively removes the reference to those parts as being reserved 
and removes subchapters F-M, those references and empty subchapters F-M 
would remain in the CFR after FHFA has removed or relocated all of the 
other substantive Finance Board regulations. Accordingly, in the 
interest of ensuring that all Finance Board regulations that will not 
be carried forward into the FHFA regulations are removed from the CFR, 
the final rule adopts the proposed provision to repeal without change.

D. Other Amendments

    FHFA is also using this final rule as a vehicle to address six 
other matters, each of which is technical in nature, that FHFA had not 
included in the proposed rule.
    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) \10\ and the implementing 
regulations of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) \11\ require 
FHFA to display a currently valid control number for each collection of 
information the Agency conducts or sponsors. To satisfy this 
requirement, Sec.  1200.4(b) of FHFA's regulations includes a table 
identifying each section of the regulations that contains an 
information collection requirement and showing, for each of those 
collections, the control number assigned by OMB and the expiration date 
of that control number. FHFA is using this final rule as a means to 
update the information contained in that table to reflect recent OMB 
actions and approvals.
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    \10\ 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.
    \11\ 5 CFR part 1320.
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    Separately, Sec.  1261.9(c) of FHFA's Federal Home Loan Bank 
directorship regulations includes an inaccurate cross-reference to a 
provision within FHFA's minority and women inclusion regulations. The 
regulation currently refers to 12 CFR 1207.21(b)(5), which FHFA 
relocated in 2017 to 12 CFR 1223.21(b)(7).\12\ The cross-referenced 
provision requires the regulated entities to have policies to encourage 
the consideration of diversity when nominating or soliciting 
nominations for positions on their boards of directors. FHFA is also 
using this final rule as a means to correct the cross reference within 
12 CFR 1261.9(c).
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    \12\ The relocation and redesignation occurred in two phases. In 
March 2017, FHFA redesignated the Minority and Women Inclusion (MWI) 
regulations that apply to the regulated entities from 12 CFR part 
1207 to 12 CFR part 1223, as a result of which Sec.  1207.21(b)(5) 
became Sec.  1223.21(b)(5). See Minority and Women Outreach Program, 
82 FR 14992, 14993 (Mar. 24, 2017). In July 2017, FHFA again amended 
the MWI regulations that apply to the regulated entities by, among 
other things, redesignating Sec.  1223.21(b)(5) as Sec.  
1223.21(b)(7). See 82 FR 34388, 34395-96 (July 25, 2017).
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    This final rule also corrects inaccurate cross-references that had 
not been updated in four other regulations, as follows. First, the 
reference to ``12 U.S.C. 3645'' in Sec.  1206.3(a)(3) is replaced with 
``12 U.S.C. 4635.'' Second, the reference to ``Sec.  1223.21(b)(6)'' in 
Sec.  1223.3(b) is replaced with ``Sec.  1223.21(b)(9).'' Third, the 
reference to ``Sec.  1207.3(b)'' in Sec.  1223.21(b)(9) is replaced 
with ``Sec.  1223.3(b).'' Fourth, the reference to ``Sec. Sec.  1207.20 
and 1207.21'' in Sec.  1223.23(b)(20) is replaced with ``Sec. Sec.  
1223.20 and 1223.21.''
    The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) provides that an agency may 
amend its regulations without going through a notice and comment 
rulemaking if it finds good cause that it would be ``impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' \13\ Each of the six 
amendments described above is technical in nature and does not present 
any issues on which public comment would be necessary. Moreover, it is 
consistent with the public interest for FHFA to correct inaccurate 
citations within its regulations and to ensure that it periodically 
updates the information pertaining to OMB control numbers and the 
expiration dates for its collections of information. Accordingly, FHFA 
finds that there is good cause for amending these two provisions 
without an

[[Page 39325]]

opportunity for prior notice and comment.
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    \13\ 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).
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II. Considerations of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

    Section 1313(f) of the Safety and Soundness Act requires the FHFA 
Director, when promulgating regulations ``of general applicability and 
future effect'' relating to the Banks, to consider the differences 
between the Banks and the Enterprises as they may relate to the Banks' 
cooperative ownership structure, mission of providing liquidity to 
members, affordable housing and community development mission, capital 
structure, and joint and several liability.\14\ As was stated in the 
proposed rule, FHFA has determined that no such analysis is required in 
this case because the final rule would not impose any new obligations 
on the Bank or have any future effect on their rights and 
responsibilities.
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    \14\ 12 U.S.C. 4513(f).
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III. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The PRA requires that FHFA consider the impact of paperwork and 
other information collection burdens imposed on the public.\15\ Under 
the PRA and OMB's implementing regulations, an agency may not collect 
or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an 
information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid 
control number assigned by OMB.\16\ The MIRS addressed by 12 CFR 906.5 
is a collection of information that OMB has approved under control 
number 2590-0004, which is due to expire on September 30, 2020.
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    \15\ See 44 U.S.C. 3507(a), (d).
    \16\ See 44 U.S.C. 3512(a); 5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3)(vi).
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    Although the final rule removes the descriptive provision regarding 
the MIRS that now appears at 12 CFR 906.5, that removal does not change 
any aspect of the information collection; that is, FHFA will continue 
to conduct the survey in accordance with the terms of the existing PRA 
clearance. Therefore, FHFA has not submitted to OMB a request to 
approve a revision to control number 2590-0004.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that 
a final regulation that has a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities, small businesses, or small 
organizations must include a regulatory flexibility analysis describing 
the regulation's impact on small entities. Such an analysis need not be 
undertaken if the agency has certified that the regulation will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of this 
rulemaking and certifies that it will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities because the amendments 
are entirely technical in nature. Even if the final rule were to have 
an economic impact, it would apply only to the regulated entities, 
which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act.

V. Congressional Review Act

    FHFA has determined that this regulatory action does not qualify as 
either a ``rule'' or a ``major rule'' under the Congressional Review 
Act. See 5 U.S.C. 804(2), (3).

List of Subjects

12 CFR Part 900

    Federal home loan banks, Office of finance, Regulated entity.

12 CFR Part 906

    Conventional one-family non-farm mortgage loans, Government 
contracts, Minority businesses, Monthly interest rate survey, 
Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1200

    Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Seals and insignia.

12 CFR Part 1206

    Federal home loan banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1223

    Civil rights, Equal employment opportunity, Government contracts, 
Minority businesses.

12 CFR Part 1261

    Banking, Banks, Conflicts of interest, Elections, Ethical conduct, 
Federal home loan banks, Financial disclosure, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

Authority and Issuance

    Accordingly, for reasons stated in the preamble and under the 
authority of 12 U.S.C. 4511, 4512, 4513, and 4526, FHFA amends 
subchapters A, B, and F-M of chapter IX and subchapters A and D of 
chapter XII of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

CHAPTER IX--FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD

SUBCHAPTER A--[REMOVED AND RESERVED]

0
1. Remove and reserve subchapter A, consisting of part 900.

SUBCHAPTER B--[REMOVED AND RESERVED]

0
2. Remove and reserve subchapter B, consisting of part 906.

SUBCHAPTERS F-M--[REMOVED]

0
3. Remove reserved subchapters F-M, consisting of reserved parts 956 
through 999.

CHAPTER XII--FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

SUBCHAPTER A--ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS

PART 1200--ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS

0
4. The authority citation for part 1200 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552, 12 U.S.C. 4512, 12 U.S.C. 4526, 44 
U.S.C. 3506.


0
5. In Sec.  1200.4, revise the table in paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1200.4  OMB control numbers assigned under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 12 CFR part or section where identified    OMB control     Expiration
              and described                     No.            date
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1222.22.................................       2590-0013      07/31/2018
1222.23.................................       2590-0013      07/31/2018
1222.24.................................       2590-0013      07/31/2018
1222.25.................................       2590-0013      07/31/2018
1222.26.................................       2590-0013      07/31/2018
1223.23.................................       2590-0014      07/31/2018
1261.7..................................       2590-0006      02/28/2021

[[Page 39326]]

 
1261.12.................................       2590-0006      02/28/2021
1261.14.................................       2590-0006      02/28/2021
1263.2..................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.4..................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.5..................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.6..................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.7..................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.8..................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.9..................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.11.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.12.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.13.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.14.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.15.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.16.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.17.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.18.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.19.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.24.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.26.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1263.31.................................       2590-0003      03/31/2020
1264.4..................................       2590-0001      12/31/2018
1264.5..................................       2590-0001      12/31/2018
1264.6..................................       2590-0001      12/31/2018
1266.17.................................       2590-0001      12/31/2018
1268.7..................................       2590-0008      02/29/2016
1277.22.................................       2590-0002      04/30/2020
1277.28.................................       2590-0002      04/30/2020
1290.2..................................       2590-0005      03/31/2020
1290.3..................................       2590-0005      03/31/2020
1290.4..................................       2590-0005      03/31/2020
1290.5..................................       2590-0005      03/31/2020
1291.5..................................       2590-0007      03/31/2020
1291.6..................................       2590-0007      03/31/2020
1291.7..................................       2590-0007      03/31/2020
1291.8..................................       2590-0007      03/31/2020
1291.9..................................       2590-0007      03/31/2020
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 1206--ASSESSMENTS

0
6. The authority citation for part 1206 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 4516.


Sec.  1206.3  [Amended]

0
7. Amend Sec.  1206.3(a)(3) by removing the reference ``12 U.S.C. 
3645'' and adding in its place the reference ``12 U.S.C. 4635''.

SUBCHAPTER B--ENTITY REGULATIONS

PART 1223--MINORITY AND WOMEN INCLUSION

0
8. The authority citation for part 1223 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 4520 and 4526; 12 U.S.C. 1833e; E.O. 11478.


Sec.  1223.3  [Amended]

0
9. Amend Sec.  1223.3(b) by removing the reference ``Sec.  
1223.21(b)(6)'' and adding in its place the reference ``Sec.  
1223.21(b)(9)''.


Sec.  1223.21  [Amended]

0
10. Amend Sec.  1223.21(b)(9) by removing the reference ``Sec.  
1207.3(b)'' and adding in its place the reference ``Sec.  1223.3(b)''.


Sec.  1223.23  [Amended]

0
11. Amend Sec.  1223.23(b)(20) by removing the reference ``Sec. Sec.  
1207.20 and 1207.21'' and adding in its place the reference 
``Sec. Sec.  1223.20 and 1223.21''.

SUBCHAPTER D--FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANKS

PART 1261--FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK DIRECTORS

0
12. The authority citation for part 1261 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432, 4511 and 4526.


Sec.  1261.9  [Amended]

0
13. Amend Sec.  1261.9(c) introductory text by removing the reference 
``Sec.  1207.21(b)(5)'' and adding in its place the reference ``Sec.  
1223.21(b)(7)''.

    Dated: August 2, 2018.
Melvin L. Watt,
Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
[FR Doc. 2018-16972 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8070-01-P