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Volume 9 - Number 3

January 29, 2016

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GNMA Servicing Stable in 4Q15, Performance Improves Slightly

The FHA and VA mortgage servicing markets saw relatively little growth but steady performance trends during the fourth quarter of 2015, after a turbulent market early in the year. A new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae disclosure data shows delinquency rates edged slightly lower at the end of last year, although virtually all of the improvement was in the less-severe category of loans 30-60 days past due. The 60-to-90-day delinquency rate was unchanged for FHA loans but up slightly for VA loans. And both programs saw modest increases in loans more than 90 days past due. The data provide a mixed view of growth in the outstanding supply of FHA and VA servicing. According to Ginnie’s monthly summary, the outstanding balance of single-family mortgage-backed securities (excluding home-equity conversion mortgage pools) was $1.495 trillion at the end of ... [ 4 charts ]

VA Issues Guide to Understanding Interim Qualified Mortgage Rule

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance to help VA lenders understand better the agency’s interim final rule on a borrower’s ability to repay and qualified mortgages. The guidance was published in a frequently asked questions (FAQs) format to clarify and explain both the VA’s ATR and QM standards. The VA interim final rule became effective on May 9, 2014, the date it was published in the Federal Register. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 requires residential mortgage lenders to make a reasonable and good faith determination that the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms. The statute directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to develop and implement an ATR/QM rule. Under the CFPB’s final rule, a qualified mortgage is a category of loans that have certain, more stable features that ...

VA, USDA Issue 2016 Guidelines For Post-Bankruptcy Lending

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service have issued 2016 guidelines for lending to borrowers who have gone through a bankruptcy, foreclosure or a short sale. Under VA guidelines, borrowers emerging from a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy may apply for a VA loan two years after the bankruptcy discharge. Borrowers with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may qualify for a new VA loan if they have made at least 12 months of payments and the lender concludes that they have reestablished satisfactory credit. Before the bankruptcy-tainted borrower applies for a VA loan, however, the trustee or the bankruptcy judge must approve the new loan. The lender may put in a good word on behalf of the borrower provided the latter has met all requirements for a new loan. Borrowers may apply for a VA loan two years after a foreclosure or a short sale. In the case of ...

Private Flood Insurance Can Be FHA’s Ally During Emergencies

The FHA flood insurance requirements could make it difficult or more risky for lenders to originate FHA loans in states with significant flood risk or where flood maps may not accurately reflect the current flood risks, the Mortgage Bankers Association warned. Testifying during a recent hearing on private flood insurance, Steven Bradshaw, executive vice president of Standard Mortgage and MBA representative, warned that FHA’s current requirement for lenders to secure flood insurance on properties only if it is located within a high flood-risk zone has had some unexpected adverse impact, particularly in the wake of hurricane-related catastrophes. Bradshaw noted that many homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina were not located in special flood-hazard areas (SFHA) and therefore were not required to have flood insurance. “Sadly, these borrowers were often uninsured and the ...

FHA Extends Due-and-Payable Notifications for Problem HECMs

The FHA has given lenders and servicers an additional extension through April 17, 2016, to submit due-and-payable notices when Home Equity Conversion Mortgage borrowers fall behind on their property tax or insurance payments. The extended deadline also provides FHA lenders and servicers an opportunity to pursue loss mitigation before initiating foreclosureThe latest deadline extension was the second such extension. In April 2015, the FHA announced a policy change providing HECM lenders and servicers an additional 60 days in which to initiate foreclosure proceedings against any troubled HECM borrower with a case number issued prior to Aug. 4, 2014, with a non-borrowing spouse. Lenders and servicers are required to comply with reasonable-diligence timeframes for such HECMs. Debenture interest will not be curtailed during this period. The April policy allows mortgagees full discretion as to when to use the extension.

USDA Renews LOs’ Authority to Approve Direct Home Financing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has extended temporary authorizations to USDA loan officers to approve home financing for very low- and low-income persons in rural areas in 2016. The temporary authorizations are available through Sept. 30, 2016, according to the agency’s recently issued fiscal 2016 guidance. The USDA extends authority to “loan-approval officials” to approve Single-Family Housing Section 502/504 direct home loans provided they have an acceptable appraisal. Loans obligated under this authorization must be for housing purposes only and the applicant must meet all eligibility criteria, according to the guidance. The Rural Development (RD) field staff must first review the appraisal before the loan is closed. Funding must be cancelled as quickly as possible whenever a transaction falls through. RD state offices are responsible for reviewing accounts if they ...

RHS Clarifies Implementation, Use of Protective Advances

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service has issued updated guidance regarding the use of protective advances and partial releases in the agency’s Single-Family Housing Direct Loan Program. Designed to safeguard the government’s security interest, protective advances are used to finance essential repairs on the property, satisfy prior liens, pay taxes and insurance premiums, or pay local assessments. Protective advances for essential repairs will only be available if the borrower cannot obtain a subsequent loan. They are charged subsequently to the borrower’s account. According to RHS Administrator Tony Hernandez, protective advances are a last-resort measure since they pose a higher risk of loss to the government, compared to other alternatives. In addition to greater risk, advances create tax consequences for the borrower. They can also be more costly to the ...

FHA Cuts Premiums for Multifamily, Energy-Efficient Properties

The Department of Housing and Urban Development this week announced an insurance rate reduction for multifamily affordable and energy-efficient properties to stimulate production and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. The new reduced rates will take effect on April 1, 2016, and will directly affect FHA’s Multifamily Housing Programs and properties housing low- and moderate-income families. For “broadly affordable” housing, the FHA is lowering annual mortgage insurance rates to 25 basis points. Rates for affordable mixed-income properties would be lowered to 35 bps. For energy-efficient properties, the annual rates would be reduced to 25 bps. To ensure that broadly affordable and energy-efficient properties benefit directly from the lower rates, FHA will limit the fees that can be charged on these loans. “The reduction in mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans on ...

Onboarding Phases Down to Three, FHA Reminds Lenders to Register

On Jan. 21, 2016, the FHA issued a reminder to lenders to register for one of the three remaining phases of Electronic Appraisal Delivery (EAD) Onboarding, before the electronic appraisal submission requirements become mandatory on June 27, 2016. The remaining onboarding phases are the following: Feb. 15-April 15 (registration closes on Feb. 14); March 15-May 15 (registration closes March 14); and April 15-June 15 (registration closes on April 14). All appraisals for FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 27, 2016, must be submitted to FHA through the ...

Around the Industry

Poll

A lot has been written lately regarding loan closing delays tied to the new TRID rule. What’s been the average delay at your lending shop, if at all? (Report in business days, not calendar.)

TRID has caused no delays whatsoever because we were prepared.

30%

1 to 4 days.

27%

5 to 10 days.

13%

11 to 15 days. It’s been a nightmare.

11%

We’re too embarrassed to tell you.

20%

Housing Pulse