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Volume 9 - Number 14

June 17, 2016

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Maximum Civil Penalties for HUD, FHA Violations Set to Increase

FHA lenders will face stiffer maximum monetary penalties later this year for various violations of agency rules and regulations. The higher monetary penalties are the result of legislation signed into law late last year requiring federal agencies to adjust the current maximum penalty amounts for inflation in order to maintain their deterrent effect. Specifically, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 (2015 Act) requires federal agencies to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rule and subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. The interim final rules with the initial penalty adjustments must be published by July 1, 2016. The new penalty levels must take effect no later than Aug. 1, 2016. Additionally, agencies are required to make annual inflation adjustments, starting Jan. 15, 2017, and for each year going forward. The adjustments will ...

FHA Production on a Positive Trend Despite Falling Endorsement Levels

FHA single-family forward endorsements fell by 8.0 percent in the first quarter of 2016 from the prior quarter, suggesting a continued slowing in endorsement in the latter part of 2015 and early 2016 compared to earlier quarters, according to the FHA’s latest quarterly report to Congress on the state of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Overall though, the FHA MMIF report as well as FHA monthly production reports for March and April continued to show the very positive trends – rising volume, lower delinquencies and outstanding credit quality – that have been occurring in the FHA program since 2009. Endorsement volume for purchase and refinance loans was down to $53.5 billion during the first three months of 2016 from $58.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, the MMI Fund report showed. Last year, forward endorsements soared in the second quarter and reached a record high in the ...

HECM Pumps Up 1Q16 with Higher Purchase Originations, Data Show

FHA reverse mortgage lenders closed out the first quarter of 2016 with $3.9 billion in total originations, up 7.7 percent from the previous quarter, according to Inside FHA/VA Lending’s analysis of agency data. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage volume for the first three months is nearly unchanged from the same period in 2015. At 84.6 percent, HECM purchase loans accounted for the bulk of originations. Improving HECM production helped put FHA’s capital level above the 2.0 percent statutory minimum. The capital ratio for FHA forward mortgages was only 1.6 percent at the end of FY 2015, but this was boosted by a 6.4 percent capital ratio in the HECM program. The FHA actuarial report, however, noted the capital instability in the HECM program and suggested taking HECM out of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. However, unless the MMI Fund’s capital drops to precarious levels ... [ 1 chart ]

Potential FHA Rate Cut Possible, Private MIs Have Nothing to Fear

An FHA price reduction remains a possibility but its impact is likely to be limited, according to analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. While some industry observers might think another mortgage insurance premium cut is inevitable, there is no broad pressure from any group or coalition that would compel FHA to do so, said KBW analysts Bose George and Chas Tyson, both panelists at KBW’s Mortgage Finance Conference recently. Given last year’s 50-basis-point cut, the FHA’s ability to cut rates meaningfully is somewhat limited, they said. The FHA annual MIP is currently 80 to/or 85 bps, down from the pre-reduction premium of 130 to/or 135 bps and higher compared to the average annual premium of 50 to/or 55 bps before the financial crisis. If FHA decides to reduce the premium again, George and Tyson believe the floor will likely be at the pre-crisis premium level, which would suggest a ...

USDA Securitization Down in 1Q16, Agency to Lower Premium, Fees

Ginnie Mae securitization of rural home loans got off to a wobbly start in the first quarter of 2016 as securitization volume fell 13.8 percent from the prior quarter, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of Ginnie data. Approximately $3.9 billion in loans with a USDA guarantee were securitized during the first three months, with the top five issuers accounting for $2.1 billion of mortgage-backed securities produced by the segment during the period. USDA securitization volume dropped 9.2 percent year over year. Top USDA issuer Chase Home Finance accounted for $1.2 billion of securitized rural housing loans, while PennyMac, in distant second place, finished the quarter with $378.5 million. Wells Fargo ($294.0 million), Pacific Union Financial ($122.8 million) and Amerihome Mortgage ($102.2 million), in sequential order, comprised the rest of the top five issuers. Pacific Union climbed over ...

HOAs Required to Disclose VA, FHA Certification of Condo Projects

A new California law requiring condominium homeowner associations to disclose to their members whether the VA or the FHA has certified their buildings will soon take effect.Starting July 1, 2016, California HOAs will have to disclose in their annual budget report whether or not their condominium projects have been approved for VA or FHA financing. Gov. Jerry Brown, D, signed Assembly Bill 596 into law in August last year to encourage more veterans and first-time homebuyers to purchase condominiums and take advantage of the benefits of government-backed home financing. In signing the measure into law, Brown expressed hopes that condominium HOAs will step up their certification or recertification process. Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, author of the bill, estimates there are 28,000 condo projects in the Golden State, and only a third are FHA-certified. There are far fewer projects that are ...

VA Servicer Reminders: Conveyance Guide, POC List, Compromise Sale

The Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Guaranty staff is reminding VA servicers of new title requirements taking effect this week for conveying properties to the VA. Under VA regulations, a conveyance or transfer of real property to the department is acceptable if the holders of the VA-guaranteed loan provide covenants or warranties against the acts of the holder and/or their agents. In addition, conveyances would be acceptable to the VA if it vests or entitles the agency to such title as is. In addition, the VA would take possession of collateral as long as it is acceptable to prudent lenders, informed buyers, title companies and attorneys in the community in which the property is located. However, the VA’s determination of clear and marketable title rests on state statutory requirements, the agency noted in its guidance. The VA is providing servicers a revised state-by-state list of ...

Court Finds No Violation of FDCPA, FHA Borrower Liable for Deficiency

A federal district court in Illinois recently dismissed a putative class action against a foreclosure firm, holding that an allegation in a foreclosure complaint that the borrower is personally liable for any deficiency on an FHA-insured mortgage is not a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In Justin Gierke v. Codilis and Associates, the plaintiff obtained an FHA loan in 2013 and subsequently defaulted due to financial hardship. The defendant, a law firm, filed a foreclosure action in state court against the plaintiff in February 2015. The complaint identified the plaintiff, the borrower, as personally liable for any deficiency. The plaintiff responded by filing a counter-complaint against the defendant alleging violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. He alleged that the FHA “narrowly limits the circumstances under which a deficiency will be sought to cases where the borrower committed fraud or engaged in ...

CA Realtors Seek Rule to Prohibit PACE Lien Seniority over FHA Lien

The California Association of Realtors renewed its push for rules addressing the proliferation of FHA-insured mortgages that have Property Assessed Clean Energy super liens. In a recent letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan, the CAR requested that both FHA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development adopt policy that is consistent with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s existing policy on PACE liens. Specifically, such a policy would prohibit the use of PACE encumbrances with a “super lien” priority over mortgage financing. The group also urged HUD to issue guidelines directing FHA lenders and servicers not to place PACE liens above any mortgage insured by FHA. The CAR expressed concern about how PACE liens might affect the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which is currently recovering from years of losses. “If the ..

Radian Says It’s Ready for DU 10.0, Will Insure Non-Traditional Loans

Radian Guaranty has voiced its support for Fannie Mae’s updated Desktop Underwriter 10.0 and reiterated its ability to underwrite borrowers with non-traditional credit, one of the changes made in the latest version of DU. The Philadelphia-based private mortgage insurer said it is working on supporting MI applications for borrowers with nontraditional credit through other submission methods, including delegated submissions. Initially, applications will be accepted through MI Online’s “Quick Submit” option, or borrowers may fax or email their application and documents to intake@Radian.biz. Teresa Bryce Bazemore, president of Radian, said nontraditional underwriting is nothing new to Radian, which has maintained a small share of such loans. “We always had the ability to look at those loans and underwrite them manually,” she said. Besides nontraditional credit underwriting, the updated DU 10.0 includes ...

Around the Industry

FHA Revises TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard. Effective on June 11, 2016, the FHA’s TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard no longer returns either upfront or annual mortgage insurance premium factors to an automated underwriting system. The FHA directs lenders to consult Appendix I of its Single Family Housing Policy handbook for applicable MIP factors. AUS vendors have been notified of the change and have adjusted their systems accordingly. HUD, First Citizens Bank Settle Fair Lending Complaint. A South Carolina bank has agreed to correct its lending practices and allocate funding to resolve allegations that it denied more loans to minorities compared to similarly-situated white loan applicants. The settlement agreement stemmed from a complaint filed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development against First Citizens Bank and Trust Co. in 2011 after an analysis of ...

Poll

What is the very best source of new mortgage customers for your lending shop? (Choose one only.)

Leads provided to me by employer

13%

Paid internet/website leads

9%

Real estate agents/Realtors

31%

Homebuilders

6%

Our existing customer base/our servicing customers

19%

My own personal sales "leads" database

13%

Other

9%

Housing Pulse