FHA Programs

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

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

HUD Issues Guidance on Fair Housing Act Protections for People with Limited English Skills. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidance on how the FHAct applies to claims of discrimination by people who either lack or have poor English communication skills. The guidance is significant because more than 25 million people in the United States do not speak, read or write in English very well, said HUD in a statement issued with the guidance. Nearly 9 percent of the U.S. population is limited in English proficiency. The majority of these people speak Spanish, while the rest are comprised of speakers of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Tagalog (the main dialect spoken by Filipinos). The FHAct prohibits any overt act of discrimination in the rental or ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

PACE Guidance Not Reassuring, Too Many Uncertainties, Pitfalls

New FHA guidance for dealing with mortgages with a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) obligation went into effect last week but uncertainty lingers and its full impact remains to be seen, according to an industry attorney. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidance specifically allowing properties encumbered by a PACE lien to be eligible for FHA mortgage financing for both purchase and refinance loans. The department of Veterans Affairs has issued similar guidance. According to Erika Sonstroem, an attorney with the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, the PACE industry is touting the guidance in its pitches to lenders as posing no risk to mortgage investors. PACE is a program that lends money to homeowners for home-energy savings projects. It is treated much like a tax lien on a property and is included in the ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Clarifying Guidance for Manufactured, Mobile Properties

VA Home Loan Guaranty has issued clarification regarding title requirements for manufactured or mobile homes conveyed to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Effective immediately, VA is requiring proof of noteholders’ compliance with the agency’s requirements for guaranteed mobile-home financing. Foreclosure title packages that do not include the required documents will be rejected, the agency warned. Under federal law, a manufactured home must be permanently affixed and classified as real property in the state where it is located. VA will not guarantee financing if the property does not meet the criteria. To ensure that a guaranty claim is fully payable and that the holder has the option to convey the manufactured home to VA, servicers must ensure that home loans with a VA guarantee meet federal requirements. Under the clarified VA guidelines, servicers may submit the ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Shares Pointers to Help Avoid Delays in Processing COE Requests

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made recommendations to VA lenders and borrowers calling in with questions and problems at VA regional centers to avoid long wait times and have their concerns resolved as quickly as possible. In a recent memo to lenders, the VA Loan Guaranty Service is reporting that many of its regional loan centers (RLC) are being swamped with calls due to record increases in VA originations in recent months. While this suggests that more veterans are using their housing loan benefit than ever before, the large volume of calls to VA has caused long hold times for callers and delayed processing of borrower certificates of eligibility (COE). To cut down on the waiting time, the VA urged lenders and borrowers to consider several things before making the call. First, do not call to check on the status of a COE request if there is no urgent need, like an ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Poised to Collect Huge FCA Settlement Funds from Lenders

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is set to receive more than $140 million in settlements with three individual lenders in connection with defective loans they originated with FHA insurance. Freedom Mortgage Corp., M&T Bank, and Land Home Financial Services all reached separate agreements this year with the Department of Justice on behalf of the HUD Inspector General to resolve the allegations. On April 15, Freedom agreed to pay $113 million, in response to charges that “it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination, underwriting, property appraisal and quality of certain single-family mortgages insured by FHA.” The disputed forward loans were insured by FHA between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2011, which resulted in claims submitted to HUD on or before June 15, 2015. HUD incurred substantial losses when it paid claims on the ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Liquidity, Net Worth Issues Persist But Nothing Ginnie Can’t Manage

Ginnie Mae continues to wrestle with issuers lacking liquidity and net worth although the number of such cases has gone down significantly, thanks to tight oversight, according to the agency’s top counterparty risk officer. Briefing participants at this year’s Ginnie Mae summit in Washington, DC, Zack Skochko, director of counterparty risk, reported that some issuers are still struggling to comply with Ginnie Mae’s liquidity and net worth requirements.A number of small issuers failed their liquidity and net worth audits this year by not maintaining the minimum $1 million cash or 10 basis points of outstanding Ginnie securities required to participate in the agency’s mortgage-backed securities program. Ginnie Mae also requires issuers to meet a minimum net worth of $2.5 million plus 35 bps of the issuer’s total effective single-family obligations The requirements were designed to ensure that the ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Originations Stayed Strong in 2Q16 as Volume Rose 30 Percent

VA lenders recorded a strong first half for 2016, thanks to a substantial boost in production in the second quarter, agency data show. VA guarantees on purchase and refinance mortgages totaled $83.5 billion for the first six months, as lenders made a strong second-quarter push that brought production up by 29.9 percent. Streamlined refinancing, also known as Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs), comprised a hefty portion of total VA originations – 21.7 percent. VA has been particularly strong in the refinance segment over the last six months, racking up $44.3 billion in total refi volume, far exceeding FHA’s $36.4 billion and private mortgage insurers’ $21.6 billion. (see IFHA/VA Lending, 8/9/16.) Overall, FHA remained the top mortgage insurer in the government-backed lending market with $123.0 billion, compared to VA’s $84.8 billion. Loans with primate MI totaled $102.7 billion ... [ 1 chart ]


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Streamline Refi Segment Causing Problems for VA, Ginnie Investors

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a change to its existing streamline refinancing policy to address a problem that is giving VA and Ginnie Mae the fits. Under the VA’s qualified-mortgage rule, a VA borrower must wait six months and show six months’ worth of mortgage payments before they can refinance into an IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan) and take advantage of the lower rate. However, it seems not all VA lenders are adhering to the rule and that a good number are refinancing veterans into IRRRLs even before the mandatory seasoning period ends for fear interest rates might rise and the borrower might not benefit from the lower rate. “I’ve redone the numbers in 20 different directions on how much a borrower would save if they had to wait two more months and the rate went up a quarter of a point because they lost those two months ...


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Tennessee Lender Agrees to $70 million Settlement to Resolve Alleged FHA Violations. Franklin American Mortgage of Franklin, TN, has agreed to pay the federal government $70 million to resolve allegations of failing to comply with FHA requirements. Specifically, the direct endorsement lender allegedly engaged in improper underwriting of FHA loans between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2012, which later resulted in submission of claims and substantial losses to the FHA insurance fund. Franklin entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General. As part of the settlement, Franklin acknowledged “it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination, underwriting, and quality control of certain single-family residential mortgage loans insured by FHA.” The settlement was neither an admission of ...


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CA Lender Exposed MMIF to Higher Risk, Ordered to Indemnify HUD

A California FHA lender could face monetary penalties totaling $242,828 for deficient mortgage underwriting and exposing the FHA insurance fund to increased risk of loss and fraud. A Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general’s audit of Sun West Mortgage Co. of Cerritos, CA, also alleged unauthorized use of foreign staff in another country to “pre-underwrite” FHA loans. The audit was triggered by a complaint the IG Office received in November last year alleging that Sun West, an approved FHA lender since 1980, was not underwriting FHA loans properly. In addition, the complaint alleged that Sun West was having the loans pre-underwritten by a company in another country, in violation of HUD rules. Neither the company nor the country was identified in the audit report. The complaint further alleged that employees at Sun West shared user identification numbers for ...


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USDA Securitization Rose in 2Q16, Rural Purchase Loans Dominate

Issuers delivered $8.1 billion of rural mortgage loans with a U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantee into Ginnie Mae pools during the first six months of 2016, according to an analysis of Ginnie data. Securitized USDA mortgages accounted for 1.3 percent percent of total MBS issued by Ginnie Mae during the period and comprised 2.5 percent of total loans originated during the six-month period. USDA-backed loan deliveries to Ginnie Mae in the second quarter rose 9.8 percent from the previous period. Year-over-year, issuance of MBS backed by rural loans fell 3.8 percent. USDA-backed mortgages require no downpayment. Over the first six months, the average credit score for rural borrowers was 688.1 and the average debt-to-income ratio was 34.9 percent. An estimated 93.2 percent of USDA loans originated during the period were purchase mortgages, 1.0 percent were refinances and the ... [ 2 charts ]


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA/VA: Financing of Choice for Purchase Borrowers in 13 States

Homebuyers in two housing markets encompassing 13 states relied more on FHA and VA than other types financing, according to a new industry study of new single-family homes started in 2015. A study by the National Association of Home Builders found, among other things, that government-backed purchase lending and other forms of non-conventional mortgage financing remained elevated in 2015. For example, homebuyers in the South Atlantic and West South Central regions favored FHA and VA loans over other types of home-purchase financing. States in the South Atlantic region include Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Washington, DC, is also in this region. West South Central states are comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Together, the two regions accounted for more than 26 percent and 21 percent of the ...


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae MBS Issuance Up in August as Upward Trend Continues

Ginnie Mae issued $46.5 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities in August, up slightly from July, according to an analysis of Ginnie data. Single-family MBS monthly issuance in August was the highest monthly volume so far this year. Total issuance also was up 12.3 percent from the same month last year., Strong purchase and refinance originations in the second quarter helped push production in the third quarter. Although purchase loans with private mortgage insurance outpaced gains in FHA and VA loans in the second quarter, deliveries to Ginnie so far appear to indicate a strong third quarter. Meanwhile, VA volume has been fueled largely by refinance activity over the past few years and does not appear to be letting up. PennyMac and Freedom Mortgage battled for first place with $4.35 billion and $4.34 billion, respectively, in MBS issuance in August. Despite cutting back on its ... [1 chart]


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Note Rate Lower than FHA, Private MIs; VA Refis Dominate

VA refinance mortgages accounted for the biggest share of total insured refis during the first six months of 2016, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency refi data. On a monthly basis, VA refi totals exceeded refis with FHA and private mortgage insurance, peaking at $9.3 billion (58.1 percent of total VA originations) in April. Over the six-month period, the refi share of VA loans securitized by Ginnie Mae averaged 52.3 percent, compared to 29.6 percent for FHA and 21.0 percent for private MI loans securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In terms of total volume, however, FHA held a commanding lead, $123.0 billion, over private MIs ($102.7 billion) and VA ($84.8 billion). Interestingly, the average interest rate on VA refi loans, 3.6 percent, over the six-month period was lower than FHA’s and private MIs’ note rates of 3.9 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. There is no clear ... [1 chart]


September 9, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

New Fannie, Freddie Refi Programs Will be ‘Credit Positive’ to GSE Risk-Sharing Deals, Moody’s Says

The new streamlined refinance programs for high loan-to-value loans to be rolled out by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac next year are good news for market participants in their risk-sharing deals because they cut the risk of borrower default and the associated risk of investor loss, according to a recent report by analysts at Moody’s Investors Service. The programs are designed to provide much needed liquidity to borrowers with high LTV ratios who are current on their mortgage but can’t qualify for a more traditional refi. “The new programs are...


September 9, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Issuance Up Again in August, Mostly From Steady Increase in Flow of Refinance Loans

Issuance of single-family agency MBS rose 6.9 percent from July to August, according to a new ranking and analysis by Inside MBS & ABS. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued a combined $138.25 billion of single-family MBS last month, their strongest aggregate monthly output since July 2013. Agency production volume has risen for six straight months since bottoming out in February of this year. Although the purchase-mortgage market has gotten most of the attention in recent months, it was...[Includes two data tables]


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Wait Time for Evaluating, Deploying Home-Retention Options Reduced

The FHA has announced new streamlined procedures to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. The agency is revising loss-mitigation procedures servicers use when evaluating and choosing the best home-retention options for delinquent borrowers by reducing waiting time for results. The new streamlined procedures are designed to enhance servicers’ ability to evaluate foreclosure-avoidance alternatives, especially for the FHA-Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP). Specifically, FHA will require servicers to convert successful three-month trial modifications into permanent modifications within 60 days instead of the average four to six months. Borrowers who have three missed mortgage payments would be able to opt for a partial claim to bring their arrearages current versus the previous four-month minimum. In addition, the FHA will eliminate the ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Groups Ask FHA, VA to Set Aside PACE Guide, Allow Comment Period

Major industry trade groups are asking FHA and VA to suspend proposed guidelines for energy-improvement loans and give stakeholders an opportunity to comment. In a joint letter, 11 trade groups warned that the proposed agency guidelines regarding Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans raises serious concerns that must be resolved before implementation of any PACE guidance. Prior to the issuance of the new guidelines, both FHA and VA prohibited the financing or refinancing if there was a lien other than the FHA-insured or VA-guaranteed mortgages. PACE programs are available in 19 states but most are in California. They provide financing for home improvements and clean-energy upgrades that would result in more efficient use of water and electricity, and ultimately savings for homeowners. The PACE obligation is repaid through a property-tax assessment, which takes a ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FCC Issues TCPA ‘Exemption’ Rule, Lawyers Baffled by Rule’s Language

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a baffling final rule restricting the way servicers can collect on or service student loans, mortgages and other debts owed to the federal government. Specifically, the rule implements a key provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 amending the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to exclude robocalls from the TCPA consent requirement if they are made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the federal government. The TCPA generally requires a caller to obtain “prior express consent” from the call recipient before making a telemarketing call or an auto-dial call to the recipient’s landline or cell phone. However, the mortgage industry raised concerns that TCPA’s consent requirement could create potential liability for important servicing calls that could help homeowners save their homes, which prompted Congress to pass the Budget Act amendment. Last month, the FCC specifically excluded the federal government from the TCPA’s consumer protections by ruling that the government is not a “person” subject to the TCPA. Here is where the FCC rule gets confusing. commission is authorized to adopt rules to “restrict or limit the number and duration” of any wireless calls to collect debt owed to the federal government.”


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Urged to Pursue $21.5 Million In Uncollected Partial Claims

A new audit report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general recommended that the agency continue its efforts to collect millions of dollars in partial claims that came due during fiscal year 2015. According to a HUD IG report, the department left uncollected approximately 1,361 partial claims, worth about $21.5 million. The IG discovered the oversight during an audit of HUD’s partial claim collections. The IG reviewed a statistical sample of 135 of 10,561 partial claims associated with FHA loans that terminated in FY 2015. “HUD had not collected 36 of the claims that should have been collected,” the report stated. “We used this result to project that a total of 1,361 partial claims were not collected.” The claims were never returned to the FHA mortgage insurance fund, as required by agency rules, to strengthen FHA solvency, the report said. A partial claim is a loss ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Purchase Lending Fires Up FHA in First Half, Refis Push VA Volume

FHA saw a modest rise in originations midway through 2016 compared to the same period last year, but VA did a lot better with a double-digit increase in loan production, according to an analysis of Ginnie Mae data. Lenders delivered $123.0 billion of FHA-insured loans to Ginnie pools during the first half of 2016, up 8.4 percent from the previous year. FHA’s midyear production was driven by a surge in purchase-mortgage lending in the second quarter, which also pushed volume higher for VA as well as conventional-conforming mortgages. Government-backed lending rose 32.3 percent from the first quarter to approximately $131.0 billion in second-quarter originations, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an affiliate publication of Inside FHA/VA Lending. It was the highest three-month total for government-insured lending on record, although private mortgage insurance did more business in the ... [2 charts]


August 26, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

FHFA Announces New Streamlined Refinance To Replace HARP in 2017, Allows Multiple Use

The Federal Housing Finance Agency revealed details this week on a new high loan-to-value streamlined refinance option for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages that will replace the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP was due to sunset at the end of this year, but the FHFA extended it until Sept. 30, 2017, with the new alternative beginning immediately after. The as-yet-unnamed option is...


August 18, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With Falling Market Share, Analysts Doubt if FHA Would Do Another MIP Cut; Factors Other than Share Influence Agency

Despite the FHA loss of market share to the private mortgage insurance business in the second quarter of 2016, stakeholders continue to believe that an FHA premium reduction is not likely to occur any time soon. Analysts with Keefe Bruyette & Woods said that, while investor concern about an FHA price cut remains elevated, the likelihood of a cut “is not very high” and the impact would be limited since the FHA is likely to cut rates only by about 30 basis points before hitting the ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Proposes HECM Claims Be Made at 98% of Max Amount

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking comment on a supplemental proposal, which would require an FHA lender to file a claim when a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loan reaches 98 percent of the maximum claim amount. The proposal stems from another proposed rule published by HUD last May that would codify previous revisions to the HECM program and make additional changes. The proposal would provide the lender an opportunity ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Funding-Fee Guidance For Loans to Vets, Reservists, NGs

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued new guidance to clarify the loan-fee structure for VA purchase and refinance mortgages, loan assumptions and manufactured home loans. The detailed funding fees are in effect for VA loans closed on or after Nov. 22, 2011, and before Sept. 30, 2024. For first-time use of the VA housing benefit, a VA loan with a downpayment of less than 5 percent would have a funding fee of 2.15 percent for veterans and 2.40 percent for reservists ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Home Loan Guaranty Volume Up 30% in 2Q16 on Refinance Boom

Mortgage lenders originated $48.26 billion of single-family mortgages with VA home loan guaranties during the second quarter of 2016, according to agency data provided this week to Inside FHA/VA Lending. Second-quarter volume was up 30.0 percent from the first three months of the year, with the biggest increase coming in streamlined refinancing. The VA said originations of interest rate reduction loans totaled $16.50 billion in the second quarter, up 51.6 percent ...


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