FHA Programs

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

August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Reverse Mortgages Reportable Under HMDA

Reverse mortgages would be included in Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports under a proposed rule published recently by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The proposed rule would expand the definition of a “covered loan” under HMDA to include reverse mortgages and home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which include reverse mortgages structured as open-end HELOCs. Currently, HMDA regulations do not require reporting of HELOCs, although lenders may do so if they choose. Currently, financial institutions only have to report information on a closed-end reverse mortgage if the transaction involves a home purchase, home improvement or refinancing. Among other things, the CFPB has proposed to require that all reverse mortgages and HELOCs be identified by loan type to distinguish them from other categories of ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA’s Conversion Plan: Devil is in the Details

Two industry trade groups expressed support for consolidating Ginnie Mae’s mortgage-backed securities program and creating a new MBS but they are at loggerheads on some of the details. Commenting on the Ginnie Mae proposal, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said the disagreements are mostly on how to resolve issues related to winding down the Ginnie Mae I MBS program and providing a conversion option for existing securities. “It is clear that further discussion is warranted, and direct engagement with key stakeholders should be beneficial,” the trade groups suggested. Ginnie Mae has received considerable support from a variety of industry players for its “straw man” proposal to shift to a single MBS program based on the existing Ginnie II. The program now accounts for more than 90 percent of all ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Private MIs, VA Overtake Faltering FHA Program

Weighed down by high premium costs and lender overlays, FHA lost more primary market share to private mortgage insurers and the Department of Veterans Affairs during the second quarter of 2014. Although June’s FHA endorsement numbers have not yet been released, the trend seen in April through May, along with Ginnie Mae securitization data, suggest that FHA business was up a modest 11.5 percent from the first quarter. But that increase provides no comfort to FHA, which saw its market share go down to 33.7 percent, a six-year low. From April to May, FHA forward endorsements rose by 2.4 percent to $10.61 billion. On a year-over-year basis, however, endorsements were down from $21.9 billion in May 2013, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. On the other hand, private MI companies reported a total of $44.19 billion of new insurance written (NIW) during the ... [2 charts]


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

More Indemnification Demands Anticipated

The False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) not only have become strong enforcement tools in the fight against FHA mortgage fraud but also an efficient means of recovering taxpayer losses. Having used both federal statutes effectively to wrangle huge settlements from large banks, federal prosecutors now have their eyes set on mid-level banks, according to compliance experts during a recent webinar hosted by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications. “Because these FCA [and FIRREA] lawsuits have been a cash cow for the Department of Justice and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I think these agencies will target mid-level banks next,” said ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

IG Audit Finds Flaws in Indemnification Recovery

The Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to bill lenders for 486 loans with enforceable indemnification agreements that created losses for the FHA, according to the HUD Inspector General. The loans were originated between 2004 and 2014 and were either in the Accelerated Claims Disposition program or the Claims Without Conveyance of Title program, or they went into default before an indemnification agreement expired. Due to procedural errors and apparent lack of oversight, HUD failed to recover $37.1 million for 486 loans that had enforceable indemnification agreements. The unbilled loans represented 8.0 percent of total activity in the programs during that period. In addition, HUD did not ensure that indemnification agreements were extended to 64 of 2,078 loans that were streamline financed. As a result, HUD incurred losses of ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Chief Galante to Resign in the Fall

FHA Commissioner Carol Galante has announced plans to step down from her current post, leaving behind a Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund that appears well on its way to recovery and a slumping FHA business. Industry response to Galante’s Aug. 12 announcement was mixed. Some stakeholders applauded her toughness and resolve in steering FHA through hard times, while others criticized her for policies that made it more difficult and costly for first-time homebuyers to obtain an FHA-insured mortgage loan. Galante’s nearly three-and-a-half year stint as FHA commissioner was highlighted by her efforts to stabilize the FHA’s ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, reduce losses and improve lender oversight. She achieved these goals by creating a comprehensive risk-management structure at FHA, revamping FHA pricing and credit policies, and ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

Comment Period for Single Family Handbook Extended. The FHA has extended from July 29 to Aug. 15, 2014 the deadline for submitting feedback on certain sections within the draft Single Family Handbook. Comments are being sought on sections “Doing Business with FHA – FHA Lenders and Mortgagees” and “Quality Control, Oversight and compliance." Both sections’ contents, as well as supporting information, are posted for review and feedback on the SF Drafting Table in the FHA website. Each section’s web page also contains highlights of changes, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a feedback response worksheet. Julian Castro as New HUD Secretary. Julian Castro was sworn in as the 16th Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 28. He replaces Shaun Donovan, who is now director of the ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA’s Issuer Approval Process Goes Electronic

Ginnie Mae is taking its issuer approval process online effective Sept. 1, 2014. Entities seeking to become an approved issuer of Ginnie mortgage-backed securities must file their applications electronically through the new Application Connection (AC), which is on the agency’s website. Ginnie Mae will no longer accept paper applications after July 31 as it shifts from the old to the new system. The agency is strongly encouraging potential applicants to complete two required courses through the Ginnie Mae Online University before filling out an application to become a Ginnie Mae MBS issuer. The courses are “Ginnie Mae 101” and “Applying to Ginnie Mae.”The two mandatory courses and the Ginnie Mae Online University provide free training and how to apply for approval, as well as the role and responsibilities of a Ginnie Mae issuer in ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Data Show Wells, Chase Pulled Back

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have both paid major settlements regarding FHA lending, and both have curtailed their participation in the program, according to a new analysis of Ginnie Mae data by Inside FHA Lending. During the first six months of 2013, Chase accounted for 11.8 percent of the FHA mortgages in newly issued Ginnie mortgage-backed securities. During the first half of 2014, its volume of FHA loans in Ginnie pools was down 75.8 percent from the same period last year, and its share of the market sank more than half, to just 5.1 percent. Jamie Dimon, Chase’s president and CEO, recently questioned why the bank should stay in the FHA business when legal costs are so high. The Ginnie data show it ... [1 chart]


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Delinquency Rates Fall Midway Through 2014

The delinquency rate for residential FHA-insured mortgages fell at the halfway mark of 2014 from the end of the fourth quarter last year, a result of improved overall loan performance, strong credit standards and an improving, albeit slowly, economy, an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data suggests. Although the number of FHA lenders included in the analysis has doubled since year-end 2013, delinquency rates in the 30-60 days and 90-day plus buckets appear to be trending downward. As of June 30, FHA delinquencies across the board were down to 13.3 percent from 15.2 percent as of Dec. 30, 2013. The seriously delinquent rate – the percentage of loans that are 90 days or more past due – has dropped to 7.14 percent from 8.08 percent over the same period. The delinquency rate of FHA loans that are at least one payment past due also fell to ... [1 chart]


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lower Loan Limits Hit Some Markets

The FHA’s widespread reduction in loan limits for 2014 has had a mixed impact on production levels so far this year, according to a new Inside FHA Lending analysis of FHA endorsement data. Through the first four months of 2014, FHA endorsements were down 55.6 percent from the same period last year. But in counties where loan limits were lowered, FHA production was down 57.5 percent from early 2013. In the relatively few counties where loan limits actually increased in 2014, FHA endorsements were also down from a year ago, but by a less severe 47.4 percent. The biggest decline in endorsements has been in refinances, especially FHA-to-FHA refinances. In areas with lowered loan limits, production of these loans has plummeted 87.0 percent, and even areas with raised loan limits saw an 81.1 percent drop in streamlined refis. Purchase-mortgage originations have taken less of a ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

MRB Penalizes 46 Lenders, 25 Lose FHA Approval

Twenty-five lenders either settled or lost their FHA approval for a full year because they failed to complete their annual recertification requirement, while 21 others were subjected to enforcement actions because their origination or servicing files did not meet FHA requirements. Results from cases heard by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mortgagee Review Board in 2012 and 2013 showed that the board used all enforcement tools at its disposal. Specifically, the board took the following actions: Assessed money penalties of more than $1.5 million; imposed fees, refunds and principal buydowns totaling $1.2 million; required indemnification on 163 FHA-insured loans; withdrew FHA approval of four lenders; suspended the FHA approval of one lender; and placed one lender’s approval on probation. Violations were related to ...


August 1, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Reassess FHA Business, Exposures

For FHA lenders, the idea of a large lender exiting the FHA market and creating opportunities for market share has been overshadowed by concerns regarding liability in the wake of recent fraud-related settlements between lenders and the federal government. Compliance experts said many of their FHA clients are quietly reassessing their FHA business after JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, during a recent earnings call, spoke out loudly against the government’s stringent enforcement actions aimed at recovering “wrongfully” claimed funds. Lenders fear that FHA enforcement actions have taken a turn for the worse in recent years, and that even errors that have nothing to do with loan default are construed as fraud by government prosecutors, resulting in billion-dollar penalties against FHA lenders. Seven major banks, so far, have paid ...


July 24, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

As Subprime Auto Lending Heats Up, Losses Are Trending Higher on Securitizations, Ratings Stable

Subprime auto lending is just about back to the levels seen before the financial crisis, with increased ABS issuance volumes, somewhat higher credit losses and more credit enhancement to offset declining ABS credit quality, according to new research from Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. While newer subprime auto ABS have more credit risk, ratings are expected to remain stable. During an S&P webinar this week, Amy Martin, a senior director at the rating service, pointed out...


July 24, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Freddie’s H-Pools Backed By Modified Mortgages Seen as Good Investment to Avoid Prepayment Risk

MBS from Freddie Mac backed by modified mortgages offer investors protection from prepayment risk in an environment in which interest rates are expected to climb, according to analysts at Barclays Capital. The analysts said Freddie’s H-pools are particularly attractive, as the loans in the deals have been restructured under the Home Affordable Modification Program. Slightly more than $1.0 billion in H-pools have been issued, with the most recent activity in October. Barclays noted that Freddie could significantly increase its issuance of H-pools as the government-sponsored enterprise has accumulated a substantial amount of modified mortgages in its retained portfolio in recent years. Freddie had...


July 24, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Two-Plus Years Have Passed and Fannie Still Isn’t Doing Much Business with BofA; As for Jumbo MBS…

More than two years have passed since Bank of America parted ways with Fannie Mae on selling new purchase-money loans to the government-sponsored enterprise and no remedy seems in sight regarding a resolution to the matter. “There’s no change that I’m aware of related to the Fannie Mae situation,” said a spokesman for the bank. “We’re able to handle our loan origination business just fine with Freddie Mac.” According to figures compiled by Inside MBS & ABS, BofA did sell...


July 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

2014 Loan Limit Decreases Slowed FHA Lending, But Impact Muted in Purchase-Mortgage Sector

FHA single-family endorsements fell 55.6 percent in the first four months of 2014, compared to the same period last year, but the impact was far from uniform across the country. A new analysis by Inside FHA Lending, an affiliated newsletter, shows that housing markets where FHA loan limits were reduced this year have seen a bigger drop in FHA business than elsewhere in the country. In counties with lower FHA loan limits, production in the first four months of 2014 was down 57.7 percent from a year ago, while production in markets where there was no change fell 51.3 percent. FHA lending declined...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

House Democrats’ Bill Features Amped-Up GNMA

Ginnie Mae would play a greater role in a private-market partnership model envisioned in proposed housing finance reform legislation introduced recently by House Democrats. However, many in the industry doubt whether a Democrat-sponsored reform bill will pass in this Congress. Sponsored by Reps. John Delaney (MD), John Carney (DE) and Jim Himes (CT), the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act would put Ginnie Mae in charge of all single- and multifamily mortgage-backed securities with government backing. Among other things, H.R. 5055 would create a new Ginnie Mae MBS for conventional mortgages backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government with minimum support from the private sector. Under the proposed model, private entities would assume up to 5 percent of the first-loss capital on the MBS. The remaining 95 percent would be shared between ...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae Servicing Remains Flat in 2Q14

Ginnie Mae servicing remained flat in the second quarter of 2014, continuing a trend that began in the third quarter of last year as FHA refinancing fell and purchase activity slowed, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of Ginnie Mae data. Servicing volume rose by only 0.7 percent from the first quarter, slightly lower from the 0.9 percent increase reported by Ginnie Mae servicers for the first three months of 2014. On the other hand, volume was up modestly by 5.9 percent year-over-year, data showed. Ginnie Mae servicers ended the second quarter with a total of $1.46 trillion in unpaid principal balance, up from $1.45 trillion in the prior quarter. Four out of the top five Ginnie Mae servicers were banks. Wells Fargo closed out the second quarter with $425.9 billion in servicing volume, a 0.2 percent decrease from the previous quarter but up 2.1 percent from a year ago. Its 29.2 percent market share put it ... [1 chart]


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

VA Clarifies Impact of Same-Sex Marriage Policy

Same-sex couples are entitled to veteran benefits, including home loan guaranty, if their marriage is recognized by the state where they live or where they lived when they filed a claim for benefits – and not where the marriage took place.The VA made the clarification in the wake of guidance the agency issued regarding the benefits and services same-sex married couples are entitled to under current laws and regulation. On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which governs the definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” for all federal agencies, because it was unconstitutional. The court held that the provision deprives a person of the right to equal liberty, which is protected by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. Prior to the SCOTUS opinion, DOMA defined “marriage” as a ...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Infractions that Could Trigger MRB Enforcement

One deficiency commonly noted in cases heard by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mortgagee Review Board is failure by FHA lenders and servicers to implement and maintain a quality control (QC) plan. FHA’s focus on quality control has increased over the last couple of years as the agency strives to correct underwriting flaws that have contributed to the massive losses and severe depletion of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. After years of guiding and helping clients comply and cope with FHA regulations, requirements and enforcement actions, the Collingwood Group reports that a common QC-related mistake among FHA lenders is failure to document steps taken to correct deficiencies – or to take any corrective action at all. Tied to this issue is ...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Borrower OK Required to Voluntarily End Federal MI

New FHA guidance regarding voluntary termination of FHA mortgage insurance does not affect separate guidance requiring borrowers to continue payment of their annual insurance premium regardless of the loan’s amortization terms. The FHA made the clarification in relation to Mortgagee Letter 2014-13, which requires written consents by the lender and the borrower in all voluntary terminations of FHA mortgage insurance. The requirement becomes effective on Oct. 1st this year. Specifically, the guidance requires FHA lenders to document that they have obtained the borrower’s informed consent to terminate FHA insurance on the mortgage. The change ensures that the lender would incur no liability and that the borrower understands the terms of the voluntary termination. Under current rules, the FHA may terminate mortgage insurance at the request of the borrower and the lender. The lender may cancel the insurance endorsement upon notification by the FHA commissioner that the insurance contract is terminated.


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA to Lenders: Try PFS First Before DIL Option

If an FHA borrower runs out of options for loss mitigation and home retention, a lender must first consider a pre-foreclosure or short sale, with deed-in-lieu (DIL) of foreclosure as a second option, according to new FHA guidance. Mortgagee Letter 2014-5 states that the lender must first determine whether the borrower facing default or at risk of default qualifies for a pre-foreclosure sale (PFS). The FHA allows pre-foreclosure sales to be processed as either a “standard PFS” or a “streamline PFS.” The former is available only to owner-occupants while the latter is for both owner- and non-owner-occupied single-family properties. In determining standard PFS eligibility, the lender must use a “deficit income test” to determine whether the borrower is experiencing hardship and is able to sustain his or her mortgage. A DIT resulting in a negative amount would likely qualify the borrower for a ...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

JPMorgan Chief Seeks FHA Safe Harbor for Bank

JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jaime Dimon this week warned that the investment bank may rethink its FHA business without some type of safe harbor to shield it from potential future liabilities arising from the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act and the False Claims Act. In February this year, JPMorgan agreed to pay $614 million to the federal government to settle allegations that it falsely certified poorly underwritten loans for FHA endorsement, causing massive losses to taxpayers in paid claims. Dimon lashed out at the government during a telephone briefing on the company’s second-quarter 2014 earnings report. He said JPMorgan lost a tremendous amount of money over what the government claimed was fraud but was in fact a “commercial dispute” between FHA and the bank. “We collected $600 million in insurance, the [government] disputed $200 million [alleging] it was fraud ...


July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Endorsements Up for 620-679 Credit Scores

Mortgages with 620-679 credit scores accounted for more than half of FHA’s mortgage insurance business in the first quarter of 2014, up from 42.0 percent a year ago, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s latest quarterly report to Congress on the state of the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Data showed FHA-insured mortgages in the 620-679 credit score range, a band typically identified with borrowers with slightly tainted credit, comprised 51.1 percent of new endorsements in the first quarter. This was up from 50.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. FHA endorsements in the 620-plus category started trending upward in the first quarter of 2011, while endorsements in the 720-850 credit score range began a slow decline during the same period. The distribution of borrower credit scores continued the migration seen in previous quarters, though at a ...


July 18, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Citigroup’s Settlement a Gain for Government, But Observers Say It’s a Setback to Recovery

The Department of Justice this week announced a $7 billion settlement with Citigroup to resolve federal and state civil claims related to legacy residential MBS. Industry attorneys are warning that such gargantuan settlements might cause lenders to pull back further, making credit far less available to borrowers and causing economic recovery to falter further. The settlement includes...


July 17, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA MI Proposal Could Give a Competitive Edge To ‘Newbies,’ Narrow Gap With FHA Pricing

Private mortgage insurers that survived the housing market collapse are quietly gnashing their teeth over new eligibility rules proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which likely will cause some to reengineer their corporate structures and/or raise additional capital. The good news for the legacy firms – Genworth, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., Radian and United Guaranty – is that they have the financial ability to meet the new capital standards. The bad news – for this group and MI newcomers – is that the FHFA’s proposals would narrow the competitive gap between the private MIs and the FHA. One trade group official, speaking under the condition his name not be used, noted...


July 11, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Experts: FHFA’s HARP Campaign Won’t Attract Many More Refis, With or Without Eligibility Extension

The Home Affordable Refinance Program has nearly reached the practical limit of eligible homeowners willing and/or able to refi – whether or not the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac further tweaks the program’s eligibility requirements, say industry observers. This week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt met with community leaders in Chicago in a town hall-style meeting to discuss the benefits of HARP. Last fall, the agency launched a nationwide public awareness campaign to reach eligible borrowers and encourage them to participate in HARP, with little apparent success. “We are...


July 11, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Purchase Mortgages Fueled Second-Quarter Surge in Agency 1-Family MBS Production

A promising surge in purchase-mortgage lending was the key ingredient in the 13.3 percent increase in agency issuance of single-family MBS during the second quarter of 2014, according to a new market analysis and ranking by Inside MBS & ABS. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued a total of $212.23 billion of single-family MBS during the second quarter. That was a nice gain from an exceptionally poor $187.38 billion in production during the first three months, but it still marked the second lowest quarterly volume since the beginning of 2005 – and it fell short of the $213.12 billion produced at the low point in the financial crisis at the end of 2008. The agencies securitized...[Includes two data charts]


July 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Securitize Hefty Crop of Privately-Insured Mortgages in 2Q14

The modest rebound in the housing market during the second quarter of 2014 produced a solid increase in the volume of home loans with private mortgage insurance securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking reveals that the two government-sponsored enterprises securitized $37.36 billion of single-family mortgages with private MI coverage during the second quarter. That was up 24.7 percent from the first three months of the year, which had produced a dismal $29.95 billion of MI-insured loans in new GSE mortgage-backed securities. By comparison, total GSE business was...[Includes two data charts]


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Home-equity lending is beginning to show new life. My company (pick one):

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