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Volume 9 - Number 26

December 2, 2016

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FHA, VA Deliveries to Ginnie Mae Increase During First Nine Months

Total FHA and VA originations increased during the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, although VA was more active, posting a double-digit production increase, according to an analysis of Ginnie Mae data. Lenders delivered $201.0 billion of FHA loans to Ginnie single-family mortgage pools over the last three quarters, up 4.8 percent from the previous year. Approximately 65.4 percent and 29.3 percent of FHA loans securitized were purchase loans and refinances, respectively. The remainder was loan modifications. VA originations totaled $143.2 billion over the same period, up 22.3 percent from last year. Refinances accounted for 51.9 percent of volume and purchase loans comprised 47.0 percent. The share of FHA loans in agency mortgage-backed securities for the nine-month period was 19.5 percent and 13.9 percent for VA. FHA loans accounted for ...

FHA Raises Loan Limits for HECMs, Forwards; VA Follows Freddie Mac

The FHA this week announced higher “floor” and “ceiling” loan limits for forward and reverse mortgages for 2017, pushing loan limits upward in certain metropolitan statistical areas by as much as $162,500. The loan-limit changes will take effect on Jan. 1, spurred by rising median home prices. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for September reported that home prices increased 5.5 percent year-over-year, driven by a tight supply of homes for sale, especially in the West. Each year, FHA recalculates its loan limits based on 115 percent of the median house price in the area. For counties located in MSAs, the loan limit is calculated based on the highest-cost county within the MSA. Under the 2017 changes, FHA will raise its nationwide “floor,” or low-cost area mortgage limits, for one-unit properties to $275,665 from $271,050, a difference of $4,615. In high-cost areas, the loan-limit ceiling for a ... [ 2 charts ]

CFPB Issues New Exam Procedures For Reverse Mortgage Servicing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ditched the antiquated method for assessing servicer compliance with reverse mortgage-servicing rules in favor of new examination procedures. Depending on the scope, each reverse mortgage-servicing exam will include one or more of eight modules covering various facets of reverse mortgage servicing. There are two kinds of reverse mortgages. The FHA, under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, insures most reverse mortgages. As with other FHA mortgage products, it has a maximum loan amount. Some lenders also offer proprietary (non-HECM) reverse mortgages, which are designed generally for borrowers with higher home values and more equity, the CFPB noted. Proprietary reverse mortgages are not federally insured. However, companies that offer them copy the consumer protections found in the HECM program, including ...

Groups Favoring One-Unit Approval, Differ on Owner-Occupancy Rate

Stakeholders voiced support for an FHA proposal to revive the agency’s single-unit approval policy for condominium financing but differed on owner-occupancy requirements. Both items are part of a proposed rule which would give the FHA more wiggle room in formulating its condo rules. The proposed rule’s 60-day comment period ended on Nov. 28. Among other things, the FHA is proposing to reinstate “spot approval” financing on individual units in condo projects that are not currently approved for FHA insurance. The Department of Housing and Urban Development terminated single-unit approvals a few years ago in favor of mandatory condo-project approval. Ultimately, the current approval process proved to be more cumbersome, resulting in many condo projects opting out of FHA. Under the proposed rule, single-unit approvals are limited to a maximum of 20 percent of the units in the ...

Jury Finds Allied Home Mortgage Entities Guilty, Awards $93M to US

A federal jury awarded more than $93 million in damages to the federal government after finding Allied Home Mortgage entities liable for civil mortgage fraud against the FHA. A unanimous jury found Allied Home Mortgage Capital and Allied Home Mortgage Corp., as well as the company’s president and chief executive, Jim C. Hodge. guilty of mortgage fraud. The jury awarded the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice a total of $93 million in damages, including $7.4 million against Hodge. The Allied entities allegedly violated the federal False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) in connection with “a decade of fraudulent misconduct” related to FHA lending. The FCA provides for treble damages and imposes a penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 for each violation. Separately, FIRREA imposes a ...

HUD Eases FHA Outsourcing Rules, Clarifies Lenders’ Responsibilities

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has clarified requirements for FHA lenders before they can hire professional employer organizations to handle their human-resource (HR) functions. Generally, the HUD Single-Family Policy Handbook bars FHA lenders from outsourcing HR services such as payroll processing, payment of employment taxes, and/or the provision of employee benefits. However, HUD has decided to ease the rules in new guidance issued on Nov. 28. Based on an analysis of certain policies and potential risks, HUD now allows lenders to outsource their HR services if they retain full responsibility and legal liability for the actions of covered employees with respect to HUD regulations and requirements, particularly in the areas of compensation and use of contractors. Specifically, the lender must not compensate employees who perform underwriting, quality control, or ...

HUD Fears Cycle of Restatements As IG Withholds Opinion Again

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has expressed concern about the inspector general’s decision to withhold its opinion on the results of FY 2016 audits of HUD and Ginnie Mae. In its audit report, the HUD inspector general said it has issued a disclaimer of opinion on HUD’s fiscal years 2016 and 2015 (restated) consolidated financial statements because of the agency’s failure to deliver both statements and their accompanying notes in a timely manner. In addition, there were several unresolved audit matters from past audits that prevented the IG from completing an examination of HUD’s and Ginnie Mae’s accounts and rendering an opinion. These unresolved matters related to a number of things, including the Office of General Counsel’s refusal to sign a management representation letter, HUD’s improper use of budgetary accounting methods, and the $4.2 billion in ...

Around the Industry

US Court Issues Injunction on DOL’s Overtime Pay Rule. A federal judge in Texas granted states’ motion to block the Department of Labor’s controversial overtime pay rule set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016. In late breaking news, the Department of Justice said it will appeal the injunction. The decision handed down by Judge Amos Mazzant of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas would deprive approximately 4.2 million workers who stand to benefit from the rule. Twenty-one states, a coalition of business organizations and the Plano Chamber of Commerce challenged the rule in separate amici briefs, arguing they stand to lose money if the final rule takes effect. The final rule would require employers to pay a higher salary level for certain employees to be exempt from overtime. In addition, it would automatically update the minimum salary level every three years. In his decision, Mazzant determined that ...

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