FHA Programs

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHA Programs.

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Streamlined FHA Refinances Increase in 3Q14

Streamlined FHA refinance volume increased slightly in the third quarter of 2014 as incentives put in place in 2013 continued to attract FHA borrowers, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency information. Streamlined refi production rose 2.4 percent in the third quarter of last year, closing a nine-month period with $14.2 billion in new loans. A comparison of nine-month FHA-to-FHA refinance activity, however, shows volume falling a hefty 79.6 percent year over year. As of Sept. 30, 2014, streamlined refinances accounted for 14.3 percent of total FHA originations. The FHA announced a revised streamlined refi program in December 2013 to help FHA borrowers with underwater mortgages to refinance without added cost or penalty. The loan does not require an appraisal or verification of job, income or credit. A perfect, three-month payment history is required and ... [ 1 chart ]


January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA to Launch Issuer Scorecard in the Spring

Ginnie Mae will soon introduce the third prong of a strategy to improve its oversight of participants in its mortgage-backed securities program – a performance scorecard for issuers – and monitoring of its risk. Essentially a “scorecard,” the Issuer Operational Performance Profile (IOPP) will enable issuers to better understand and comply with Ginnie Mae’s expectations. It also provides a way for issuers to measure and improve their performance and compare it to the performance of their peers. Final testing and training for IOPP began this winter, with deployment expected “in early 2015,” the agency said. Issuers will be scored monthly based on a series of metrics. Each issuer will be rated against its peers by applying a weighting algorithm and, in some cases, adjusting for certain control factors. Each issuer will receive two scores: one for operational management and ...


January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Tweaks Rules for Doing Business with Agency

The FHA has proposed key changes to rules for 203(k) consultants, direct endorsement (DE) underwriters and nonprofit groups that do business with the agency. The changes are part of a draft section, “Doing Business with FHA – Other Participants,” which will be incorporated into the overall Single Family Policy handbook. The draft contains information regarding eligibility, approval and recertification requirements for 203(k) program consultants, direct endorsement (DE) underwriters and nonprofit groups. The FHA posted the draft versions of “Doing Business with FHA – Other Participants in FHA Transactions” and “Quality Control, Oversight and Compliance – Other Participants in FHA Transactions” on its SF Housing Policy Drafting Table for public review and comment. The draft consolidate various existing Department of Housing and Urban Development handbooks, mortgagee letters, housing notices and ...


January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Low Rates, High Demand Power VA’s 3Q14 Surge

Production of loans with a VA guaranty was moderately strong in the third quarter of 2014, thanks to lower rates and increased demand for the no-downpayment loans, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of the latest agency data. A 14.1 percent quarter-to-quarter surge helped the industry end last year’s first nine months with a total of $76.3 billion in VA loans, mostly purchase home mortgages taken out by a younger generation of war veterans. VA streamline refinancing also accounted for a substantial chunk of originations, 19.2 percent. Volume jumped from $19.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to $26.5 billion the following quarter. Lenders closed out the third quarter with $30.2 billion. Stanley Middleman, chief executive officer of Freedom Mortgage, said VA lending is on the upswing, driven by low interest rates. He thinks the VA home loan guaranty program has been ... [ 1 chart ]


January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Likely to Reclaim Share with Premium Cut

The half-percent annual premium reduction the FHA announced recently will likely enable the agency to reclaim the high loan-to-value segment of the mortgage market from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to analysts. Speaking with some originators that have been looking at the best way to securitize high LTV loans, Deustche Bank securities analysts said the lower FHA annual premium would put pressure on the government-sponsored enterprises to lower the cost of their guarantees. “The grapevine has anticipated for months that [g-fees] have little chance of going up and more chance of going down,” the analysts said. “But the specific risk triggered by the FHA move is that the cost of credit will now drop for high-LTV conventional borrowers.” Even before the FHA policy shift, private mortgage insurers have been pressuring the Federal Housing Finance Agency to ...


January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Expect Modest Refinance Wave

FHA lenders are gearing up to meet an anticipated increase in demand for purchase and refinance loans with mortgage rates falling to near-historic lows coupled by a 50 basis point cut in FHA’s annual insurance premium. Lenders hope the combination of lower mortgage rates and the revised FHA pricing structure will create sufficient incentive for more borrowers to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage. For example, Freedom Mortgage, 32nd in Inside FHA Lending’s 2014 ranking of FHA lenders, is looking to hire as many as 500 new employees to handle the anticipated surge following the FHA action. Stanley Middleman, chief executive officer of Freedom Mortgage, expects a robust FHA refinance market during the first half of 2015, tapering off in the second half. “Lower rates, coupled with premium reduction, put a lot of FHA borrowers in a position to get their ...


January 22, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

At Least 90 Percent of the Time the Loan Officer Never Meets the Client Face-to-Face; Does it Matter?

Roughly 90 percent of the time, residential loan officers never see the end mortgage customer, according to several weeks’ worth of interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Finance. However, few in the industry think it’s a problem. “We have the technology not to see our applicants,” said Jim Picard, vice president of home loans for Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union. The technology that Picard and others refer to is...


January 15, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Low Interest Rates Prompting Lenders to Prepare for an Increase in Refi Activity

Falling interest rates and a pending cut in FHA insurance premiums are prompting many lenders to prepare for a boost in refinance activity. “Recent-period lows should stimulate strong refinance activity,” said Bard Blackwell, an executive vice president and portfolio business manager at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. He noted that low yields on 10-year Treasury notes have helped to decrease interest rates on mortgages in recent months. As of press time, the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell...


January 15, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSE Securitization of Insured Mortgages Down Slightly in 4Q14; MI Penetration Rate Unchanged

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitized $46.91 billion of home loans with private mortgage insurance during the fourth quarter of 2014, down 1.9 percent from the previous quarter, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. The drop in private MI volume nearly mirrored the 2.1 percent decline in overall mortgage-backed securities production by the two government-sponsored enterprises over the same period. For all of 2014, the volume of private MI loans included in Fannie/Freddie MBS was down 22.5 percent, while total GSE securitization tumbled 45.4 percent from 2013. While MI-insured purchase mortgages declined by 7.0 percent from the third quarter, securitization of refinance loans with private MI jumped...[Includes two data charts]


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae MBS Volume Fell Slightly in 4Q14

Ginnie Mae issuance fell 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 as the agency closed a busy year with more than $288.1 billion in total business, according to analysis of agency data. Home-purchase loans, at $192.6 billion, comprised the bulk of new government-loan securitizations, while refinances accounted for $73.0 billion. Loan modifications represented $22.6 billion in total issuances. FHA funneled $158.1 billion in loans to Ginnie Mae while VA and Rural Housing Development loans accounted for $109.5 billion and $19.9 billion, respectively. Wells Fargo led all Ginnie MBS issuers with $57.6 billion followed by PennyMac in distant second with $16.7 billion. Chase Home Finance landed in third place with $15.0 billion while Freedom Mortgage closed the year in fourth place with $14.8 billion. Rounding out the top five Ginnie Mae issuers, Quicken Loans ended 2014 with ... [ 1 chart ]


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

HECM Volume Declines Further in FY 2014

FHA reverse mortgage production fell during the first nine months of 2014 compared to same period in the prior year due to changes made by the agency to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. The nine-month HECM volume stood at $10.1 billion as of Sept. 30, down 14.8 percent from the previous nine-month period in 2013, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. Volume also fell 9.8 percent on a quarter-to-quarter basis. HECM purchase loans accounted for 93.5 percent of the market while a large majority, 77.0 percent, appeared to favor adjustable-rate reverse mortgages over fixed-rate reverse mortgages. Limited maximum draws in the first year and reduction of principal limit factors – actions taken by HUD to improve the HECM program – significantly decreased the demand for HECM products compared with ... [ 1 chart ]


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Borrowers Benefit from MHA Enhancements

FHA borrowers who refinance through the agency’s Home Affordable Modification Program will also be eligible to earn $5,000 in the sixth year of their performing, modified loan, subject to the Department of the Treasury’s guidelines, the FHA has announced. The incentive to FHA-HAMP borrowers is one of several enhancements to the Making Home Affordable program that the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department unveiled in December last year. The enhancements were designed to motivate homeowners in MHA to continue making timely mortgage payments, strengthen the safety net for those still facing financial hardships, and help them build equity in their homes. Under the revised HAMP guidelines, all homeowners in the program become eligible to earn $5,000 in the sixth year of their loan modification. This means a borrower’s outstanding principal balance could ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lenders Agree to Settle DOJ Fraud Charges

Two FHA lenders have agreed to separate settlements with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to resolve allegations of mortgage fraud that resulted in huge losses for HUD. Golden First Mortgage Corp. and its owner/president, David Movtady, have agreed to a $36.3 million settlement with the DOJ to resolve allegations they had lied to the FHA about the quality of loans they had certified for FHA insurance since July 2007. Consequently, the agency incurred more than $12 million in losses since that time, according to court documents. Filed in April 2013 in Manhattan federal court and amended in August 2013, the government complaint sought damages and penalties under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act against Golden First for years of misconduct as an FHA direct-endorsement lender. Golden First was a ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Tweaks Method of Reporting PETRs Results

The FHA has temporarily suspended publication of its Quarterly Loan Review Findings Report, which contains the results of all post-endorsement technical reviews (PETRs) conducted by the FHA during a particular quarter. The suspension will give the FHA sufficient time to “recalibrate how the report is run” as well as improve the report, the agency explained. The report is currently published in Lender Insight, a quarterly publication that contains information from the FHA’s Office of Lender Activities and Program Compliance. Specifically, the report contains charts that divide PETRs findings into five main categories. Each chart lists the top five underwriting errors in each category for each review period. The FHA said it is working to display the results in a more user-friendly, actionable manner. It did not say when the quarterly report will be ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Opens Up on QC Reviews, Targeting Methods

The FHA rarely talks about its lender and loan review process in detail but in the latest issue of Lender Insight the agency discusses how it is done and how it selects targets for each review. FHA’s overall counterparty quality-control efforts are divided into lender-monitoring reviews, nonperforming loan reviews, post-endorsement technical reviews of performing loans, post-endorsement technical reviews of early payment defaults (EPD), early cohort claim reviews and lender self-reports. For lender-monitoring reviews, the FHA uses a targeting methodology that takes into account loan volume, default/claim rates, participation in specific FHA loan programs, servicer loss-mitigation performance and certain other factors. Loans are selected to determine compliance with FHA requirements. The Quality Assurance Division (QAD) in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Single-Family ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

New VA Limits: No Material Impact on Borrowers

Despite reduced guaranty limits in more than 80 counties, recent changes to the VA mortgage limits in 2015 will have no material impact on veteran borrowers or hurt credit availability, according to industry analysts. In enacting the omnibus spending bill, Congress reduced the maximum size of mortgages guaranteed by the VA, matching it to the $625,500 high-cost loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA. The change took effect on Jan. 1, 2015, affecting 82 counties, some seeing as much as a 40 percent reduction in the VA loan limit. For example, loan limits in the New York area fell by 36.1 percent and in the Washington, DC, area, lenders saw a 9.7 percent decline, according to estimates by the Urban Institute. The VA home loan program does not require a downpayment and the guaranty is limited to 25 percent of the loan amount. In certain cases, the program allows a veteran to ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Cuts Annual Premium by 50 Basis Points

The Obama administration this week announced a half-percent reduction in the annual mortgage insurance premiums all borrowers will have to pay for an FHA-insured forward mortgage loan. In a press briefing, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro said the annual MIP willd be lowered from the current 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent – a difference of 50 basis points – to enable more creditworthy first-time homebuyers to purchase their homes. Approximately 250,000 new homeowners will benefit from reduced premiums over the next three years, saving them an average of $900 annually, Castro said. He further estimated that lowering the annual MIP will make homeownership more affordable for more than 2 million borrowers over the three-year period. The upfront fee of 1.75 percent and the current requirement that borrowers continue paying premiums for the life of the loan were ...


January 8, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSE Business Volume Down Modestly in 4Q14 Thanks To Stronger Refi Market; Year 2014 Officially a Dud

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saw a modest decline in production of new single-family mortgage-backed securities at the end of 2014, but a rally in refinance lending softened the thud. The two government-sponsored enterprises securitized $179.38 billion of single-family MBS during the fourth quarter of last year, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of loan-level data. That was down 2.1 percent from the third quarter of 2014. But the GSEs securitized...[Includes three data charts]


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

MBA Boycotts FHA Panel Talk for Being too Biased

The Mortgage Bankers Association this week declined to participate in a panel discussion on FHA hosted by the American Enterprise Institute because the trade group did not believe the discussion would be balanced and though it would favor only a certain point of view. The topic was “FHA from 1934 to 1938: Lessons for Wealth Building,” with Ed Pinto, a resident fellow at AEI, and Dave Stevens, MBA president, as presenters. Stevens, however, decided to pull out of the event when he saw the format. In a letter to the AEI organizers, Stevens said he agreed to be a presenter thinking the debate “would be a balanced approach.” “When I first agreed to do this, I did not expect that the format would be 45 minutes of [Ed Pinto] and then no more than 12 minutes for me to respond,” he wrote. “That’s an extremely lopsided approach that did not appear to be ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ocwen Reports FHA Buyouts from Ginnie II Pools

Ocwen Financial’s dry spell of acquiring nonperforming FHA loans out of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pools ended in early December with the nonbank servicing giant buying $253.1 million of delinquent product. Speculation, however, is mounting that Ocwen may not be long for the Ginnie Mae business, at least as a servicer. Ocwen’s disclosure of the “early” FHA buyouts came 11 days after it sold to an undisclosed buyer. In the first quarter, the company engaged in $646 million of early buyouts (EBO) and followed up with a $490 million EBO deal in the second quarter. However, EBO volume fell to zero in the third quarter. The December acquisition came in one fell swoop raising cautious, short-term expectations at Ocwen. “We expect to execute more such purchases in the next few months, as long as market conditions are favorable,” said Chief Investment Officer John Britti. As fast as it had ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Jumbo Originations Surge in 3Q14

Production of FHA-insured jumbo loans ballooned in the third quarter of 2014 reflecting heightened activity in this loan segment during the period. A 23.7 percent quarter-over-quarter surge helped push FHA jumbo lenders’ total volume to $7.71 billion at the end of the nine-month period ending Sept. 30. It was a significant increase for a segment that represents only a sliver of FHA’s overall business. However, compared to last year’s first nine months, volume was down by almost half (48.8 percent) as lenders struggled to keep pace with last year’s output. Strong purchase demand helped drive FHA jumbo originations (all FHA loans over $417,000 up to $625,500 in high-cost areas), as purchase mortgages accounted for 81.1 percent of all FHA jumbos originated during the first nine months of the year. Fixed-rates comprised 86.4 percent of FHA jumbos originated during ... [1 chart]


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

OIG Recovers $300M from SunTrust Settlement

The Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a $300 million recovery from an earlier settlement between SunTrust Mortgage and the Department of Justice, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the HUD Office of the Inspector General, and 50 state attorneys general. The settlement resolved allegations of violations of FHA requirements in a joint complaint filed on June 14, 2014, by federal and state enforcement agencies. The suit against SunTrust alleged misconduct related to the origination and servicing of single-family residential mortgages. The problem loans were uncovered during a routine OIG review of targeted FHA-insured loans. According to the suit, as an FHA direct endorsement lender, SunTrust certified poorly underwritten loans for FHA insurance from January 2006 through March 2012, despite its knowledge of ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

VA Announces New, Lower Loan Limits in 2015

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced new, lower loan limits for 2015 after Congress decided not to extend the agency’s current maximum lending limits beyond 2014. The current limits will expire on Dec. 31. Under new guidelines, the maximum guaranty amounts for VA loan limits in 2015 will match the lower conforming loan limits established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for the government-sponsored enterprises next year. These limits range from $417,000 to $625,500, depending on where the borrower is located. VA’s loan limits are tied to the county-based limits established for conforming loans backed by Freddie Mac. Freddie’s loan limits are calculated based on median house prices in counties across the nation. In recent years, VA’s high-cost loan limits have exceeded Freddie’s due to statutory authority granted under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The VA authority was ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Congress Shoots Down HAWK, Rejects FHA Fee

Congress denied funding for an enhanced FHA housing counseling initiative for first-time homebuyers and rejected a request for authority to collect a new FHA fee to enhance quality-assurance reviews. President Obama this week signed the FY 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, a comprehensive package of 11 funding bills for federal agencies. The bill does not include the provisions the FHA had sought to toughen enforcement and help lower costs for first-home purchases. The House passed the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, H.R. 83, by a vote of 219-to-206 on Dec. 11, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. The Senate approved the bill on Dec. 13. The bill allocates $47 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing counseling program and $50 million for foreclosure mitigation counseling. It also provides $400 billion in ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

2015 Outlook: Downward Trend Continues

FHA originations are expected to decline modestly in 2015 unless the agency gives in to industry pressure to lower mortgage insurance premiums and lenders ease up on their overlays, according to analysts. Analysts anticipate no meaningful decline in FHA market share next year but do expect some drop as private mortgage insurance become more competitive, especially among borrowers with 720+ FICO scores. Overall, analysts expect 2015 to be slightly better than 2014 because of increased purchase-mortgage lending, which is partly offset by lower refinance activity. Mortgage volumes should climb to $1.18 trillion in 2015, some say. At Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, analysts Bose George and Chas Tyson predict private MIs will take more market share from the FHA in 2015. They do not expect meaningful policy changes from the FHA this year. For example, FHA has given ...


Poll

The FHA is cutting its annual premium by 50 basis points. How much of a difference will this cut make in your FHA business?

Not much at all—maybe 10 percent at best.
Modestly. We expect a 10 percent to 25 percent gain in applications.
This is a real game changer, 25 percent or better.
Hard to say. This cut may just steal business away from the new Fannie/Freddie 97 LTV effort.

vote to see results
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