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Volume 8 - Number 4

February 20, 2015

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VA Lending Up in 4Q, Year Over Year

VA loan volume continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by low interest rates and a strong demand for the lower downpayment loans, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae/VA data. The volume of VA loans securitized in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities rose 4.0 percent in the fourth quarter to $107.8 billion from the previous quarter, with more than half of the loans coming through the retail channel. Retailers accounted for $51.5 billion in VA loans securitized during the quarter while correspondents and brokers accounted for $44.4 billion and $11.9 billion, respectively. The overall average FICO score for VA loans was 707, with average loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios of 95.0 percent and 38.2 percent, respectively, during the quarter. Correspondents came up big with VA purchase loans, accounting for $31.7 billion of the $65.1 billion in total purchase loans produced during the fourth quarter. Retail loan officers accounted for $28.5 billion while brokers brought in ... [ 1 chart ]

Tech Issues Delay HECM Financial Analysis Rule

The FHA has delayed the effective date of new guidance that will require reverse mortgage lenders to perform a financial assessment of applicants for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. The FHA indicated that the change was necessary to allow vendors and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to align their respective software before the new system can be operational. Those familiar with the technology said delivering the required system enhancements should not take long. The FHA said a new effective date should be expected within 30 to 60 days of the original March 2 effective date. It will be announced in a new mortgagee letter, the agency added. The new guidance requires lenders to evaluate HECM borrowers’ willingness and capacity to meet their obligations and to comply with program requirements. “Financial assessment” means doing a much more ...

Lenders Urged to Study Changes in New Handbook

FHA lenders should spend the next couple of months familiarizing their staff with the requirements in the FHA’s new Single Family Housing Policy Handbook to ensure proper implementation of the changes on June 15, 2015, according to compliance experts. The impending changes in the Single Family Handbook are complex and significant. Lenders will need proper legal guidance to navigate and understand hundreds of pages of consolidated housing policies and guidance, as well as substantive changes to FHA requirements, said K&L Gates experts in a recent analysis. The handbook is a consolidated, authoritative source of single-family housing policy and is meant as a one-stop resource for FHA lenders. It gathers and streamlines all FHA requirements, which are currently spread throughout various handbooks, mortgagee letters and other documents, making it easier for lenders to ...

CFPB Takes Action Against Deceptive Advertising

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently sued a reverse mortgage lender and issued consent decrees against two other mortgage companies for misleading consumers with false advertising about FHA-insured mortgage products. The CFPB filed suit against All Financial Services (AFS), a Maryland-based reverse mortgage lender, in the federal district court in Baltimore alleging that the lender disseminated misleading ads for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans between November 2011 and December 2012. In addition, AFS allegedly failed to maintain copies of the ads as required by the CFPB under its reverse mortgage regulations. According to court filings, the CFPB alleges that the lender/broker mailed out ads using materials and language that seemed to indicate that it was a federal entity or an affiliate of a government entity. All AFS ads appeared as if they were ...

VA to Issue Final ‘Qualified Mortgage’ Rule in May

The Department of Veterans Affairs expects to have a finalized Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule by May to help clear up some issues that have arisen since the agency issued an interim final rule last spring. The VA issued the interim QM rule for comment on May 9, 2014, to define which VA loans will have QM status under the ability-to-repay (ATR) rule. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the ATR rule provided temporary QM status to loans eligible for FHA insurance and guaranties by the VA and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service. Eligible government-backed loans must be 30-year fixed-rate with no interest-only, negative amortization or balloon features. Total points and fees must not exceed 3 percent of the total loan amount for loans of $100,000 or more. Loans that meet the definition of a temporary VA-eligible QM are considered as in compliance with the ATR rule. They are designated as “safe harbor QMs,” provided they are not ...

Ginnie Mae Servicing Up Slightly in 4Q, 2014

Ginnie Mae servicing volume gained a mere percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the previous quarter, capping a productive year for servicers of government-backed mortgages, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Servicing volume rose by only 1.0 percent to $1.5 trillion during the last three months of 2014 from $1.4 trillion in unpaid principal balance in the first quarter, and increased 4.0 percent year over year. Four out of the top five Ginnie Mae servicers were banks, of which three experienced declines in their servicing portfolios on quarterly and year-over-year bases. The leader of the pack, Wells Fargo, closed out the year with $416.0 billion in Ginnie Mae servicing and capturing 27.8 percent of the market. Its servicing portfolio fell ... [ 1 chart ]

Around the Industry

Issuer Performance Tool. Ginnie Mae expects to release its long-anticipated Issuer Operational Performance Profile system on or about Feb. 24. The IOPP system features a scorecard to measure an issuer’s compliance with Ginnie Mae standards and to compare its performance with those of its peers. Final Tier Ranking Scores. The FHA has issued a reminder that under the Tier Ranking System II (TRSII) Servicer narrative, all scored servicers – including those that have not opted out – may have their names and performance scores published on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Tier Ranking System page on HUD.gov at the end of each calendar year. The information is now available for review. TRSII scores servicer compliance with HUD/FHA delinquent servicing guidelines and requirements in the areas of delinquency intervention, loss mitigation based on ...

Poll

With the recent dip in interest rates, how do you feel about loan volumes this year?

We see loan production ending 2015 flat compared to 2014.
We’re optimistic that our originations will rise by 10 to 20 percent year over year.
We’re really optimistic: We expect production to increase by 20 percent or better from last year.
We’re not so bullish. Originations for us may actually fall.

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