FHA Programs

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

February 5, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Cash-Out Refinances on the Rise, More GSE Borrowers Are ‘Un-HARPing’ Loans

Cash-out refinances are staging a quiet comeback as rising home-price appreciation makes such deals feasible for more homeowners. The number of cash-out refinances continued to reach new recent highs in the third quarter of 2015, rivaling numbers not seen since 2008. Black Knight Financial said close to 300,000 cash-out refinances were originated in the third quarter of last year, and about one-million over the past 12 months. During that same time period, 42 percent of all first-lien refinances had a cash-out component, the highest share since 2008. In addition, the average cash-out amount was the most it’s been since 2007 at more than $60,000. In all, these homeowners tapped...

January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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 ...

January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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.

January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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 ...

January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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 ...

January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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 ...

January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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 ]

January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM-Backed NPL Deal’s Strong Points Help Overcome Downside

The first rated securitization backed by nonperforming Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans contains strong, credit-positive features that outweigh the credit risk associated with nonperforming loans, according to a Moody’s Investors Service analysis. The effect of some of these positive features on the performance of Nationstar HECM Loan Trust 2015-2, however, depends on whether Nationstar Mortgage remains as servicer for the transaction, said the rating agency. Nationstar has a servicer rating of B2/Stable from Moody’s and is also the transaction’s sponsor. Nationstar issued NHLT 2015-2 in November 2015 and by the end of December, the first remittance report showed strong initial performance. Credit enhancement to the Aaa (sf)-rated notes increased by 1.69 percent in the first month of operations, Moody’s noted. “As long as Nationstar continues to be the ...

January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Broker Seeks Bids on $3 Billion GNMA Bulk Residential MSRs

Interactive Mortgage Advisors is auctioning off $3.02 billion in Ginnie Mae residential mortgage-servicing rights for an undisclosed client. According to IMA, the seller is a “well-known, independent mortgage banker with very strong net worth and well-versed in servicing transfers.” The loans are being sub-serviced by LoanCare. The MSR package consists of 17,989 loans – FHA (15,288) and VA (2,610) – with an average loan size of $168,886. The yield on the underlying mortgages is 4.069 percent. The service fee is 0.2917 percent. An estimated 8.92 percent of all loans in the deal are delinquent. Approximately 3.07 percent of the loans are either in bankruptcy or in foreclosure. The top states in the transaction are Texas, which accounted for 11.4 percent of all loans; California, 9.6 percent; Florida, 8.1 percent; and New York, 5.8 percent. The deadline for ...

January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Posts 2016 State Foreclosure Timeframes Following Review

The Department of Veterans Affairs has posted a chart on its web site showing the revised maximum allowable foreclosure timeframes for each state in 2016. State foreclosure timeframes are used in calculating the maximum interest payable on a foreclosure of a VA loan. They are subject to annual reviews and revised as needed. The chart reflects maximum allowable foreclosure periods that include the 210 calendar days for unpaid interest as well as foreclosure periods without the 210 days. Specifically, the chart shows timeframes the VA has determined to be “reasonable and customary” for all states, following an annual review of amounts allowed by other government-related home loan programs, such as FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The chart also lists the maximum amounts that will be paid on a claim processed in the ...

January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Borrowers Emerging from Two-Year Bankruptcy May Obtain FHA Loan

Reading about prospective homebuyers’ experiences in trying to obtain a new FHA loan after emerging from a Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy reveals a great lack of understanding of FHA bankruptcy guidelines. Potential homebuyers apparently are concerned because they have been hearing different required waiting periods. The waiting periods in these stories vary from two to three years, and some were told to start counting from the sheriff sale date rather than from the bankruptcy discharge date. According to the FHA’s 2016 guidelines for bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not disqualify a borrower from seeking FHA financing after hardship if, at the time of case-number assignment, at least two years have elapsed since the date of the bankruptcy discharge. During the two-year period, the borrower must have re-established good credit by making ...

January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Non-Borrower Spouse Issue Arises, VA Explains Use of Loan Guaranty

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a clarification for non-borrower spouses on VA title documents, which apparently has created some confusion when lenders try to foreclose on VA-backed properties. VA is aware that lenders occasionally make loans to veterans who wish to use their home loan benefit to purchase a home and include their spouse in ownership, but the spouse does not wish to be on the mortgage loan. Including the spouse on the deed but not on the mortgage note can create a problem if the VA loan goes into foreclosure because the non-borrowing spouse’s ownership in the property could defeat the foreclosure action, the VA explained. “Delaying or preventing a foreclosure increases foreclosure claim cost to the government and the veteran,” the agency said. According to the VA guidance, when a loan is originated that includes a ...

January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Quicken Loans to Request Change Of Venue for DOJ’s FCA Lawsuit

Quicken Loan attempt to have a governmen false-claim lawsuit against the lender moved from Washington, DC, to a federal court in Detroit will not necessarily secure a win, according to a mortgage industry attorney. “I think it was more the device Quicken needed in order to become the plaintiff instead of the defendant,” said one attorney who preferred to remain anonymous because his firm handles other legal matters for Quicken Loans. He said it does not matter whether the case is tried in Washington or Detroit but what matters is its actual substance. At the same time, there is no reason why those defenses could not be raised in a DC court, the attorney added. Last month, a federal judge in Detroit dismissed Quicken’s preemptive lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Justice Department for failure to state a claim. Ultimately, the court ...

January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae Issuance Hits New High In Securitized VA, FHA, RHS Loans

Issuers of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pushed a record $435.80 billion of government-insured loans through the program during 2015, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis and ranking. Last year’s total Ginnie MBS issuance topped the previous record of $429.50 billion issued during 2009. The $435.80 billion total for 2015 includes securitization of FHA home-equity conversion mortgages and other single-family loans guaranteed by FHA, the VA, and the Department of Agriculture rural housing program from Ginnie pool-level MBS data that are not truncated. Production in 2015 hit its high-water mark in the third quarter with $128.23 billion in issuance, and then fell 18.0 percent in the final three months of the year. Purchase mortgages continued to account for most Ginnie business in 2015, 58.0 percent of the agency’s forward-mortgage securitizations. But a huge factor in the ... [ Charts ]

January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Joint Enforcement Actions Result In Huge Recoveries for FHA in 2015

Joint civil fraud initiatives have resulted in $558.5 million in recoveries and receivables to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in FY 2015, according to the HUD inspector general’s semiannual report to Congress. The amount includes civil settlements of $212.5 million from First Tennessee Bank, $29.6 million from Reverse Mortgage Solutions, and $1.8 million from three other settlements. The settlements resolved enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice on behalf of HUD in pursuit of civil remedies under a variety of statutes, including the False Claims Act, Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act, and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. Recoveries and receivables for other entities during the reporting period – April 1 to Sept. 30, 2015 – totaled $86.9 million and $268.2 million for the entire fiscal year. Some of the payments were made to the ...

January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lenders’ Mitigation Efforts Reduce Share of ‘Unacceptable’ Mortgages

The share of “unacceptable” ratings for defective FHA loans following a post-endorsement technical review has dropped from double- to single-digits in FY 2015 due to lenders’ mitigation efforts, according to the FHA’s latest loan-review results. FHA’s initial unacceptable rate has remained at 45 to 47 percent over the last four quarters, but lender submission of mitigating documentation has reduced that rate to 5 percent as of Oct. 31, 2015, the FHA report said. This means an overall mitigation rate of nearly 90 percent of the FHA-insured loan sample. The number of initially unacceptable findings and those findings subsequently mitigated are based on 6,415 FHA-insured mortgages that underwent post-endorsement technical reviews between April 1 and June 30, 2015. Of the total loans reviewed, 68.6 percent were purchase loans, 17.9 percent streamline refinance and ...

January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA to Propose Rule Changes on Fees, LDPs, Appraisers, Income

The Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to propose changes to rules under its Home Loan Guaranty program related to loan fees, appraisers, limited denial of participation and residual income. Three of the proposed rules are slated for publication in the first quarter of 2016, according to the VA’s semiannual regulatory agenda. Agenda items, however, usually do not follow their publication dates and most rulemakings take a while before they are finalized. One proposed rule would establish reasonable fees that VA lenders may charge in connection with the origination and servicing of VA loans. All proposed fees would be in line with those charged by private mortgage lenders, assuring the sustainability of the VA loan program, the agency noted. In addition, the VA plans to propose rule changes regarding limited denials of participation (LDPs). LDPs are VA-specific sanctions that the Loan Guaranty Service may ...

January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Loan Limits Stay Same in 2016, Guaranty Based on One-Unit Limit

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced its loan limits for 2016, which are the same as the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this year. Currently, the VA’s maximum guaranty amounts are indexed to the FHFA loan limits, which range from a base of $417,000 to a high-cost area limit of $625,500. The FHFA conforming loan limit will remain unchanged at $417,000 for single-family homes, effective Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016. However, in 39 counties deemed “high cost,” the conforming loan limits will increase this year. VA loan limits are calculated based on the county median home values reported by FHA. The maximum guaranty amount for loans over $144,000 is 25 percent of the current VA county loan limit. Veterans with full entitlement available may borrow up to this limit and VA will guarantee 25 percent of the loan amount. In addition, the VA county limits ...

January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Urges Calendar-Year Lenders To Begin Recertification Early

Nearly 2,400 FHA lenders will receive electronic notifications on Jan. 1, 2016, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development instructing them to begin their recertification process or risk exclusion from the FHA program. HUD is encouraging the estimated 85 percent of FHA lenders that operate on a calendar-year basis, instead of a fiscal-year basis, to prepare their recertification packages for submission to the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP). LEAP allows FHA lenders to complete annual recertification, among other things. The portal is accessible through FHA Connection, which provides lenders and business partners a path to HUD’s computer systems. Annual recertification can be a lengthy, time-consuming process for ...

January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Endorsements Up in 2015, Increase Due to Program Changes

FHA lenders funded $12.3 billion in new Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans during the first nine months of 2015, up a hefty 22.2 percent from the same period in the prior year, according to Inside FHA/VA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Likewise, HECM endorsements increased 17.3 percent to $4.5 billion in the third quarter from $3.9 billion in the prior quarter. This was the highest HECM endorsements have been since the second quarter of 2013, when they totaled $4.1 billion. Purchase loans accounted for 85.8 percent of all HECM originations over the nine-month period. The majority of borrowers favored adjustable-rate HECMs over fixed-rate HECMs, which accounted for only 14.8 percent of HECM transactions. In addition, the initial principal amount at loan originations totaled $7.3 billion, up from $4.6 billion midway through 2015. The volume increase is attributable to program changes implemented ... [1 chart]

January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Pools Likely to See Rising Share of VA Collateral in 2016

Investors should see a higher share of VA collateral in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pools due to increasing VA loan originations, according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Given their rising share of VA collateral, new Ginnie pools are likely to have worse convexity than most of those originated in 2015, analysts said. “VA loans tend to prepay faster than FHA loans when in the money as VA loans have larger loan sizes, higher FICO scores and a more efficient streamline refi program that requires a minimum three months seasoning,” they observed. In addition, analysts expect the population of younger veterans to surge approximately 36 percent over the next five years. “[As such], there will be a healthy supply of new VA originations eligible for pooling,” they said. As a result, the share of FHA relative to VA collateral in new Ginnie II pools will likely decrease, they said. Such a trend has manifested itself slowly as ...


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.


1 to 4 days.


5 to 10 days.


11 to 15 days. It’s been a nightmare.


We’re too embarrassed to tell you.


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