Advanced Search

Volume 10 - Number 2

January 20, 2017

Subscribers to Inside FHA/VA Lending have full access to all its stories and data online. Visitors may become subscribers for full access or may purchase individual articles and data.

FHA/VA Default Rates Spike Up In 4Q16, Nonbanks Still Growing

Mortgage default rates appeared to spike higher in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to a new analysis and servicer ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Some 5.51 percent of FHA loans in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pools were reported as 30- to 60-days past due at the end of December. That was up 80 basis points from the previous quarter and was easily the highest default rate in the past three years. FHA default rates were also up in more serious delinquency categories: loans 60- to 90-days past due and those over 90-days late. The figures are based on loan count and are not seasonally adjusted. Similar trends occurred in the VA home loan guaranty program. The 30-60 category was up 41 bps, while 90+ delinquencies jumped 19 bps. The supply of Ginnie single-family MBS outstanding continued to set new records. The total, not including multifamily and FHA home-equity conversion ... [4 charts]

Trump Administration Scuttles 25 bps Annual Premium Reduction

The Trump administration has officially set aside the 25 basis point cut in FHA annual premiums in a new mortgagee letter issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development hours after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Mortgagee Letter 2017-07 said that the annual-premium reduction HUD announced on Jan. 9 “has been suspended indefinitely.” Stakeholders will be notified in the event of a policy change, the letter added. The letter confirms reports earlier in the week that the FHA pricing adjustment was about to be spiked. Ben Carson, who had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee last week, told lawmakers that he planned to work with the FHA director and financial experts to review the cut. However, the HUD secretary-designate gave no indication as to whether he favored a premium reduction that would benefit thousands of ...

Lenders Expect VA Refis to Drop in 2017, Rising Demand for Purchase

VA originations have been trending upward over several quarters, thanks to an unusually heavy share of refinance business, but all good things, at some point, must slow down, lenders say. The refinance business overall has fallen to 45 percent from 55 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, and that will have an effect on VA originations in the first quarter of 2017, said Andy May, chief operating officer of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association Mortgage Division. Going forward, May expects VA originations to fall by 10 percent in the first quarter due to rising interest rates. But even though rates have been trending up, May saw an uptick in VA loan applications in January as fence-sitters jumped into the market to take out a loan before rates went any higher. “The MBA estimates rates will rise above 5 percent in the next 24 months and then down to 4.8 percent by the end of 2018, and up to 5.3 percent at the ...

FHA Codifies Key Changes to HECM Rules, Issues New Program Policies

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has codified significant changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program that have reduced risks to both FHA and reverse mortgage borrowers. Specifically, the rule codifies existing HECM policies implemented by mortgagee letters, implements statutory changes, issues new origination and servicing policies, and clarifies existing regulatory language. HUD said it has established an eight-month lead time between the publication of the final rule and the effective date, Sept. 19, 2017, to provide lenders enough time to understand the rule and plan for necessary changes. The grace period also allows time for FHA to issue guidance and make system changes. The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association expressed support for the final rule. “Personally, I am glad to see this final rule get out the door,” said NRMLA President and ...

DOJ’s Top FCA/FIRREA Prosecutor Agrees to Another Term at SDNY

Preet Bharara, the Department of Justice’s top prosecutor of FHA fraud and legacy mortgage-backed securities cases, has accepted President Donald Trump’s request to stay on as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The question is whether Bharara, who was nominated by President Obama in 2009, will be as aggressive as he was under the previous administration in holding FHA lenders accountable for faulty business practices that result in huge taxpayer losses. Since 2009, Bharara’s aggressive enforcement has resulted in cases filed against large and regional FHA lenders alleging fraud in violation of the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act. Except for two cases that went to trial, all the other FCA/FIRREA cases against FHA lenders ended in consent orders and huge settlements. The DOJ’s (and Bharara’s) vigorous enforcement of the two statutes, both of which provide for hefty monetary penalties, have forced many larger banks to exit the ...

HFAs to Benefit from FHA Premium Cut, Wage Growth Says Moody’s

The 25-basis-point decrease in the FHA’s annual insurance premiums translates not only to annual savings for homeowners but also boosts the competitiveness of housing finance agency loan products, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. The report regards the latest FHA pricing adjustment as credit positive for housing finance agencies (HFAs) because it would make FHA loans more affordable to borrowers and increase HFA loan originations. The announcement to reduce the annual mortgage insurance premium to its lowest allowable level took stakeholders by surprise. In November, FHA had no plans to lower premiums despite an uplifting actuarial report on the condition of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. This week, however, there is uncertainty as to whether the Trump administration will allow the reduced premiums to take effect for new loans closing on or after ...

Ex-FHA Chief Suggests Common Standards for FHA, VA, USDA, GSEs

A former FHA commissioner is calling for a common national housing policy and regulations, as well as aligned capital standards for FHA and the government-sponsored enterprises in lieu of the current regulatory regime – an idea first put forth by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Brian Montgomery, former assistant secretary for housing and FHA commissioner in the second Bush administration, said the nation’s homebuyers are at a disadvantage due to the lack of a unified, detailed plan for the housing finance system. Montgomery, a current contender for a top executive position at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, urged President Trump to create a new Office of National Housing Policy to develop a “unified and collaborative approach to our nation’s housing policy, including homeownership and subsidized rental housing.” “The prevailing view within the ...

E-Submission Required for VA Prior-Approval Loan Documents

Effective Feb. 13, 2017, VA lenders will be required to submit prior-approval mortgage loans electronically through the WebLGY system to improve the prior-approval process. Currently, lenders mail their prior-loan approval packages to the regional loan center that has jurisdiction over loan underwriting – a tedious, time-consuming process. Electronic submission will help speed things up, the VA indicated. Lenders must follow the guidelines for prior approval and stacking order in the VA’s Lender Handbook. In addition, lenders must furnish a cover letter with the uploaded package stating the reasons for the prior approval and explaining any unique circumstances. The cover letter also must include the submitting underwriter’s name, phone number and email address as well as contact information for the underwriter’s manager. The lender must ensure that the file contains the correct and complete ...

Around the Industry

Nonprofits Seek FHA Data on Reverse Mortgage Foreclosures at Steve Mnuchin’s Former Bank. Two nonprofit groups have submitted a Freedom of Information Act request regarding Financial Freedom’s history of reverse mortgage foreclosures. Financial Freedom is a reverse mortgage service owned previously by Steve Mnuchin, President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Treasury Secretary. The two groups, California Reinvestment Coalition and the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., have asked the FHA for data on Home Equity Conversion Mortgage foreclosures. The data request includes the number of HECM foreclosures in each state by the industry as a whole, and by Financial Freedom since April 2009, as well as the number of spouses who have invoked FHA’s option to remain in their homes after the death of their borrower spouse. NY Governor Announces Plan to Protect Seniors from ...

Poll

HUD has announced a 25 basis point cut in FHA premiums, which is slated to take effect in late January. Is your lending shop for or against a cut in FHA premiums?

For. It should help lending volumes.
Against. The private MI sector should take on this risk, not the government.
Too early to say.
I believe the new White House may scuttle the idea so it doesn’t matter.

vote to see results