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Volume 7 - Number 23

November 7, 2014

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HUD Rejects CFPB’s QM Cure Provision

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will not take on the new points-and-fees cure provision for qualified mortgages adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency is concerned that lenders might inadvertently violate the FHA’s statutory 3.5 percent downpayment requirement. HUD adopted other changes in the CFPB’s revised final rule on ability to repay and qualified mortgages (ATR/QM) to maintain consistency but saw no need for any further ability to cure points-and-fees errors. Reimbursement of any excess points and fees to the borrower could take away from the mandatory 3.5 percent downpayment and render the loan ineligible for FHA insurance, the agency explained in a notice published in the Nov. 3 Federal Register. HUD said it would provide lender guidance under its own QM rule on ...

Reinstating 97s Could Delay Recovery for MMIF

Reinstating the government-sponsored enterprises’ conventional 97 percent loan-to-value mortgage programs would benefit first-time homebuyers and borrowers with little or no cash reserves for a downpayment but adversely affect the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, according to analysts. If limited to first-time homebuyers, a conventional 97 LTV loan would offer some new homeowners better home loan financing than FHA and provide greater access to mortgage credit, said analysts with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. For years, Fannie Mae offered conventional 97 LTV loans through its MyCommmunityMortgage to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home with only a 3 percent downpayment. It was a better alternative to FHA’s main product, which required a 3.5 percent downpayment. The Fannie product also had less ...

USDA Loan Guarantees Decline as Refis Slow

The Department of Agriculture’s single-family guaranteed housing loan program ended fiscal 2014 with $19.1 billion in loan guarantees, down from the record $22.4 billion in loan guarantees reported in the prior year, according to agency estimates. Month-over-month, Section 502 loan guarantees were up to $2.1 billion in September over August, ending the quarter on a strong note. 2013 was a record year for loan guarantees under the USDA’s Section 502 loan program, the largest of the agency’s single-family housing program, thanks to robust refinancing activity. Many USDA homeowners took advantage of the lower rates offered under a joint refi pilot program by USDA and Chase Home Finance, the top USDA lender, last year. Chase fully funded the pilot. In 2014, Texas led all states in rural housing guarantees with $927 million, followed by North Carolina ($880 million), Michigan ($720 million) ... [1 chart]

GNMA Servicing Improves Slightly in 3Q14

Ginnie Mae servicing bumped up slightly in the third quarter after an uneventful prior quarter as FHA purchase activity continued to drag, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Servicing volume rose quarter over quarter by 1.4 percent. On an annual basis, volume increased 4.6 percent from the same period a year ago. Ginnie Mae servicers ended the quarter with a total of $1.48 trillion in unpaid principal balance, up from $1.46 trillion in the previous quarter. The top three servicers saw volume drop on both quarterly and year-over-year bases. Wells Fargo remained as top servicer of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities, closing out the quarter with $422.4 million, down 0.8 percent from the previous quarter and down 0.6 percent from the prior year. The mega-servicer dominated the Ginnie market with a 28.6 percent market share. JPMorgan Chase carved out a 10.1 percent market share with ... [1 chart]

NAR Urges FHA to Tighten Short Sale Oversight

The real estate industry is urging the FHA to tighten up its pre-foreclosure sale process and be more vigilant before referring loans to the single-fThe real estate industry is urging the FHA to tighten up its pre-foreclosure sale process and be more amily loan sales program (SFLS). Commenting on the proposed section on servicing of the FHA Single Family Policy handbook, the National Association of Realtors expressed concern that the FHA is auctioning large pools of mortgages without considering the investor’s ability to achieve neighborhood stabilization goals such as homeownership preservation and affordable housing. The first step for FHA to improve servicing and pre-foreclosure efforts is to ensure mortgage servicers’ full compliance with FHA loss-mitigation requirements before referring loans to the SFLS, the NAR suggested. In addition, the FHA should ...

FHA Single-Family Production Drops in August

FHA single-family mortgage originations fell slightly in August from July as the agency’s home-purchase volume continued to falter, agency data showed. In August, the latest month for which FHA origination data are available, forward-loan originations totaled $12.6 billion, down 3.2 percent from the prior month and down 25.1 percent from the same period last year. Purchase mortgages made up 81.1 percent of all FHA-insured single-family loans originated during August, while refinances accounted for the remainder. Fixed-rate mortgages were the product of choice, as they have been in previous periods. Quicken Loans relied more on refis than on purchase lending (38 percent of new loans) as it closed the month with $534.8 million in new production, down 8.5 percent from July. Nonetheless, it was good enough for a 4.2 percent FHA market share. Second-place Wells Fargo’s total production for the month was ... [1 chart]

Reverse Mortgage Lenders Seek Policy Revisions

Reverse mortgage lenders are seeking a policy change that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to count reverse mortgages toward their proposed annual affordable housing goals. In another regulatory area, the industry has asked to delay a proposed mortgage disclosure rule until reverse lenders’ concerns have been resolved. Commenting on the proposed 2015-2017 affordable housing goals for the government-sponsored enterprises, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association is urging the Federal Housing Finance Agency to allow the GSEs to reenter the reverse mortgage market through a proprietary reverse mortgage program. Specifically, such a change would enable Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase reverse mortgages or securities backed by the product. Currently, the FHA under its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program insures most ...

Around the Industry

Radian Reports Strong 3Q14 Results. Radian Guaranty’s new mortgage insurance written increased to $11.2 billion in the third quarter compared to $9.3 billion in the previous quarter, and down from $13.7 billion from the same period last year, according to company financial results for 3Q14. Overall, the private mortgage insurer reported net income of $153.6 million for the quarter, which executives attributed to strong credit performance, a growing MI book of business and solid performance from Clayton Holdings. Radian recently acquired the due-diligence firm for $305 million. Total primary MI in force was $169.2 billion as of Sept. 30, 2014, up from $165.0 billion the prior quarter, while persistency was 83.5 percent at the end of the third quarter. The total number of primary delinquent loans was down 4 percent from the second quarter and down by ...


What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

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