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Volume 7 - Number 5

February 28, 2014

DOJ Investigates BofA for Alleged FHA Fraud

The Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating Bank of America's compliance with the requirements of the FHA's Lender Direct Endorsement program. BofA disclosed the investigation in its recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission but withheld details. Department of Justice investigations of FHA-related fraud are based typically upon an alleged violation of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) and/or the False Claims Act (FCA). Civil monetary penalties under FIRREA could go as high as $1.1 million per violation while treble damages are potentially available for FCA claims. Both laws have a 10-year statute of limitation. As a direct endorsement lender, BofA is authorized to originate, underwrite and certify loans for mortgage insurance without further reviews by the FHA or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If the loan defaults, the holder of the loan may ...

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With rates higher this year, there has been talk of lenders liberalizing their underwriting standards in an effort to increase volume and make up for lower refis.

Do you think your shop will loosen standards over the coming three months?

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Yes, by a lot.
Yes and, heck, we may even do non-QM lending.
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No and we may even tighten credit.

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