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Volume 7 - Number 25

December 5, 2014

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Accounting of Settlement Receivables Spotty

The FHA’s accounting of receivables from settled legal claims and partial claim notes is so sloppy that the exact amount collected might be difficult to gauge, according to an internal audit of the agency’s FY 2014 and 2013 financial statements. Conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General, the audit concluded that the FHA had booked receivables from seven cash settlements totaling $1.2 billion in FY 2014 but collected only $466.4 million of those settlements. In addition, during fiscal 2014, as part of its loss mitigation efforts to bring delinquent loans current, the FHA paid $4.4 billion to lenders for partial claims but never received the required promissory notes from the lenders for $1.5 billion of the claim payments. FHA rules require lenders to provide the agency with promissory notes for the payments made or ...

Groups Oppose FHA Quality Assurance Fee

Reports that the Senate Appropriations Committee might include a proposed FHA administrative fee in the Senate’s spending bill for financial and housing agencies is causing a furor within the mortgage financing industry. Industry groups have come out in force, urging the leaders of the Senate committee to remove the provision from a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Dec. 11. There is speculation that the House might go along with the fee. The provision, expected to raise $30 million for FHA quality assurance efforts, would allow the Department of Housing and Urban Development to charge a fee of no more than 4 basis points of the original principal balance of all FHA-insured mortgages a lender made in the previous fiscal year. HUD originally made the request in President Obama’s proposed FY 2015 budget. Over industry objections, the Senate later incorporated the ...

FHA: Loan Limits Same for 2015

The FHA has announced loan limits in 2015 for high- and low-cost areas, virtually unchanged from the loan limits in effect through the end of the year. The new limits will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015. The maximum loan limits in high-cost housing areas will remain the same as the 2014 level of $625,500. The current standard loan limit in lower-cost areas will also remain unchanged at $271,050. The mortgage loan limits for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans will continue to have a maximum claim amount of ...

FHA to Share in Landmark BofA Settlement

The FHA and Ginnie Mae will share in the record-setting $16.7 billion settlement between Bank of America, the Department of Justice and certain other federal agencies and six states to resolve claims related to mortgage fraud and toxic mortgage-backed securities. The FHA will receive approximately $800 million and an undisclosed amount for consumer relief from BofA. The bank was accused of falsely certifying poorly underwritten loans for FHA insurance, resulting in huge losses for the agency. It is unclear how much Ginnie Mae’s share would be from the settlement. “As a direct endorser of FHA-insured loans, Bank of America performs a critical role in home lending,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch for the Eastern District of New York during the announcement of the global settlement in August. “In obtaining a payment of $800 million and sweeping relief for troubled homeowners, we have not ...

Lenders Confused Over HUD’s Stance on LPI

A provision on lender-placed insurance in the servicing segment of the FHA’s draft Single Family Housing Policy Handbook appears to contradict the agency’s previously stated position on LPI, according to the American Bankers Association. The ABA urged the FHA to retain the current policy regarding a lender’s discretion in requiring hazard and flood insurance for loans the agency insures. In a comment letter, the ABA expressed concern about the FHA’s new proposed standard for LPI, which could limit the amount of LPI coverage a lender or servicer could impose on a borrower to the outstanding balance of the loan. It would apply broadly to hazard insurance, including flood insurance. There are several problems with this approach, the ABA said. The group noted that Congress had established a standard which requires any home construction in a special flood hazard area (SFHA) to obtain “at least” ...

Use of Fair Value in Foreclosure Sales Required

Unless contravened by another federal or state statute or jurisdiction, FHA lenders must use the agency’s adjusted fair market value (AFMV) for all foreclosure sales and post-foreclosure sales associated with defaulted FHA loans, according to the FHA. The FHA said it issued guidance because more lenders are using FHA procedures regarding claims without conveyance of title. Before applying the AFMV, lenders must ensure that th loan’s FHA insurance is still active and that the loan is not subject to indemnification. Both items may be verified by checking Neighborhood Watch. Working with the borrower, the lender must make sure that all possible applicable home-retention and loss-mitigation options have been considered and explored before moving to an AFMV alternative. In addition, the lender must determine that the borrower’s case does not meet the criteria for a pre-foreclosure sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Mortgagees may not proceed with any foreclosure sale until ...

30-60 Days Uptick Raises FHA Delinquency Rate

The delinquency rate for FHA-insured single-family mortgages increased slightly from June through September, with a slight uptick in the percentage of loans 30 to 60 days past due, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency servicing data. As of Sept. 30, FHA delinquencies across the board rose to 13.57 percent from 13.31 percent at midyear due to a slight pickup in 30- to 60-day delinquencies over the three-month period. The share of loans 30- to 60-days delinquent stood at 6.55 percent as of Sept. 30, up from 6.17 percent on June 30. Serious delinquencies dropped slightly to 7.02 percent from 7.14 percent over the same period as the FHA’s inventory of legacy loans continued to clean out and the more recent vintages continued to perform well. The overall foreclosure rate for FHA-insured loans fell to 2.15 percent from 2.30 percent, reflecting the ... [1 chart]

Waiver of Condo Approval Requirements Extended

The FHA has extended a temporary waiver of insurance requirements to allow certain condominium projects or developments that otherwise would not qualify for mortgage insurance to remain eligible. Temporarily waiving provisions pertaining to master/blanket hazard, flood, liability and other insurance requirements will help ensure the availability of affordable housing units, including condos, to people who cannot afford to purchase a home or could not qualify for a mortgage loan, the agency said. The temporary waiver was issued on Nov. 27, 2013, and now has been extended to Aug. 31, 2016. It allows individual-unit owners to obtain and maintain their own insurance coverage on their condo unit. The waiver also requires condo projects to maintain a master/blanket insurance policy for hazard, flood and liability risks and any other insurance that may be ...

Around the Industry

Final PMIERS Rule Expected in 1Q15. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has revised its timeline for publishing a final version of the Private Mortgage Insurance Eligibility Requirements, which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac proposed in July at the direction of the FHFA. The PMIERS will establish capital and other requirements for private mortgage insurers. In a statement, industry trade group U.S. Mortgage Insurers said it has received word from the agency that the final PMIERS would not be published until at least late in the first quarter of 2015. The FHFA initially indicated that a final rule would be issued by yearend 2014. The USMI reiterated its support for an updated PMIERS. Mortgage Executives Concerned About G-Fee Increase. A survey of mortgage executives at this year’s Mortgage Bankers Association annual conference found 53 percent saying that ...

Poll

What will Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s new 97 LTV programs mean for your business?

It will give our business a big boost as there is a lot of pent up demand for the product.
It will have only a minor impact on our overall business as we already are doing high LTV business through FHA and some of our high LTV FHA business is likely to shift to Fannie and Freddie.
It won’t have any impact on our business as we plan to steer clear of all high LTV business – particularly in the GSE market.

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