FHA Programs

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

March 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Issuers Slow to Sign Up for IOPP; Ginnie Warns on Custodial Funds

Issuer registration for Ginnie Mae’s Issuer Performance Scorecard has been somewhat slower than expected, according to agency officials. The reason is unclear but only about 70 issuers so far have registered for Ginnie’s Issuer Operational Performance Profile (IOPP) tool since its launch on Feb. 17, 2015. Officials said they need to sign two-thirds more to get the IOPP system up to full speed. In a recent outreach call, officials urged those issuers who have not yet registered to contact their security officers for authority to access the Ginnie Mae Enterprise Portal (GMEP), the gateway to the IOPP system. Issuers must first be enrolled in GMEP before their security officer can grant them authority to access the IOPP system. The IOPP, also known as the Issuer Performance Scorecard, will rate each issuer’s operational performance and default management and compare them to ...

March 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Servicing Transfer Could Be in Spending Bill, Not in Reform Bill

The FHA’s request for authority to require specialized subservicing in certain circumstances could be included in an appropriations bill rather than in housing-related legislation, according to Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, ranking minority member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, HUD and other Related Agencies. Reed raised the possibility during a recent hearing on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s FY 2016 budget proposal. Among other things, the FHA has been seeking authority from Congress to require, in individual cases, inexperienced lender/servicers to transfer the function to a specialized servicer to better assist borrowers and reduce losses to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Allowing the FHA to require transfer of servicing will help more distressed homeowners stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure, said ...

March 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Advocates Say New HECM Rule is A Disaster for Surviving Spouses

Consumer advocates and attorneys are urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to delay the implementation of a new policy that purports to provide relief to surviving spouses of reverse-mortgage borrowers and to find solutions that are more effective. The group said the policy HUD announced in Mortgagee Letter 2015-03 on Jan. 29 is so restrictive that virtually all surviving non-borrowing spouses will get no relief. A letter to the agency, drafted by the National Consumer Law Center and signed by the Consumers Union, California Reinvestment Coalition, National Housing Law Project, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates and Institute on Aging denounced the new policy. They said most surviving spouses of deceased borrowers of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans will not be able to meet the policy’s stringent guidelines and will ...

March 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

RHS Seeks Comments on Proposed QM Rule, Simplified Refinancing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Housing Service has proposed to revise regulations for the single-family housing guaranteed loan program pertaining to qualified-mortgage (QM) requirements, refinancing, principal reduction and lender indemnification. The deadline for comments is May 4, 2015.The RHS is proposing to amend its regulations to indicate that a loan with an RHS guarantee is a qualified mortgage if it meets certain requirements set by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB published a QM rule, which became effective on Jan. 10, 2014. Among other things, the rule requires creditors to make a reasonable, good faith determination of a borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage loan. In addition, the rule establishes a safe harbor from liability for transactions that meet the QM requirements or, in certain cases, a rebuttable presumption of ...

March 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Reports Significant Progress In Distressed Loan Resolutions

Half of the loans in the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program have been resolved and a significant percentage of homeowners have avoided foreclosure, according to the latest DASP progress report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A review of the FHA single-family loan sale (SFLS) program found that, of the 48.6 percent that have been resolved, 43.5 percent have avoided foreclosure. The anticipated alternative for these borrowers – property conveyance, where their property becomes real estate-owned – would have led to foreclosure, the report said. Specifically, short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure were the disposition methods employed in foreclosure avoidance. In addition, 16.3 percent of resolved loans were re-performing as of Feb. 6, 2015. This reflects a 49.5 percent change in the re-performing rate reported in the ...

March 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Large Coastal States Account for Bulk of FHA/VA Securitizations

Security issuances backed by FHA and VA loans totaled $267.6 billion in 2014, with several large states accounting for a significant share of FHA/VA originations. An estimated $158.1 billion of FHA-insured loans, including modified loans, were securitized last year, with purchase home loans comprising most of the transactions. Approximately $30.0 billion of FHA refinance loans were securitized as well. The FHA MBS had an average loan-to-value ratio of 92.3 percent and a debt-to-income ratio of 40.1 percent. The average FICO score was 672.3, which was indicative of first-time homebuyers and borrowers with slightly tainted credit. First-ranked California, Texas (#2) and Florida (#3) combined for a total of $48.0 billion, which represented 30.3 percent of FHA loans in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities in 2014. Fourth-ranked New York reported a total of $6.7 billion while ... [ 2 charts]

March 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Originations Increase in 4Q14, 2014 a Record Year for Purchases

Production of mortgages with a VA guaranty grew a hefty 17.9 percent in the fourth quarter, providing an emphatic ending to a record year of VA purchase-loan originations, according to Inside FHA/VA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Total VA volume for the entire year was $112.0 billion in purchase and refinance loans. VA streamlined refinancings accounted for 22.4 percent of overall VA originations for 2014. Production for the full year, however, was down 13.8 percent compared to the same period in 2013. Lenders attributed the increased VA market share to the younger generation of soldiers and sailors engaged in foreign wars as well as veterans returning from the war front. Last year, 18 percent of VA loans were made to active-duty service members and 82 percent were loans to veterans, said Mike Frueh, director of the VA Home Loan guaranty program. “There is a lot more ... [1 chart]

March 12, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage M&A Begins to Slow as Ratio Of Buyers to Sellers Begins to Even Out

The days of it being a seller’s market for mortgage banking franchises appears to be over, with current owners are increasingly unwilling to part with their companies at reduced prices. As one merger-and-acquisitions specialist put it, “It’s just hard getting deals done these days.” It looks like a case of supply and demand – and, of course, cash. At the very least, sellers want to receive book value for their companies plus some type of “earn-out” that could last up to 10 years. According to interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Finance over the past week, the ratio of buyers to sellers has...

March 6, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Endorsements Up in 4Q, Down from ‘13

Endorsements of FHA-insured reverse mortgages jumped 31.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the previous quarter with purchase HECMs accounting for more than 22 percent of the total. On the other hand, endorsements were down 9.1 percent year-over-year because of new restrictive HECM rules that were implemented last year. Endorsements totaled $13.9 billion for the year. All top five HECM lenders posted sequential gains. Leader American Advisors Group had a 12-month total of $2.0 billion, representing 14.7 percent of the market. Second-ranked Reverse Mortgage Solutions closed out the year with $1.0 billion in total endorsements and a 7.4 percent market share. One Reverse Mortgage, Liberty Home Equity Solutions and Proficio Mortgage Ventures comprised ... [1 chart}

March 6, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Guidance for Surviving Spouses Falls Short

Although the new rules for surviving spouses of borrowers with FHA-insured reverse mortgages address many of the issues raised by non-borrowing spouses, some questions remain unanswered, according to legal experts. The guidance in Mortgagee Letter 2015-03 provides insufficient answers to the issues it was meant to address, said Robert Couch, a partner with the Birmingham, AL, law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings and former general counsel at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Servicers should take note of those issues and seek further clarification, he said. Issued on Jan. 29, the guidance provides a way for lenders to proceed after a borrower with a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loan dies and is survived by a non-borrowing spouse. It allows a lender to assign to HUD HECMs that are in default due to the death of the borrower, as long as certain ...

March 6, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA 4Q Past-Due Rate Up; Premium Cut a Boon

The FHA bucked a decreasing delinquency-rate trend for all other types of loan by posting an increase in past-due loans during the last three months of 2014, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest national delinquency survey. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the overall delinquency rate fell 17 bps for all loan types to 5.68 percent, MBA data showed. Data compiled by the Inside Mortgage Finance Large Servicer Delinquency Index also showed a sizeable decline of 32.7 basis points in the fourth quarter from the prior quarter. The 24 servicers covered by the index had a delinquency rate of 6.34 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 7.59 percent in the same period the prior year. The IMF data are not seasonally adjusted. In contrast, the FHA delinquency rate rose to 9.73 percent in the fourth quarter, up 4 bps from the previous quarter, according to the MBA. On the other hand, loans with a ...

March 6, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Originations Down Slightly in January

FHA launched into the new year with a slight dip in forward mortgage loan originations in January from December with nonbanks leading the charge, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Lenders originated $11.8 billion in FHA-insured loans in January, a 0.7 percent decrease from December and down 3.5 percent from the prior year. FHA was charging a higher annual mortgage insurance premium of 1.35 percent for most of the month until a 50 basis point reduction, effective Jan. 26, lowered the MIP to 0.85 percent for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a five percent downpayment, and down to 0.80 percent for a similar FHA loan with more than five percent downpayment. The impact of the reduced MIP on February originations is still unclear, but most FHA lenders are expecting a boost in volume because many consumers ... [1 chart]

March 6, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MIP Cut Could Delay Buildup of MMI Reserves

The FHA’s recent decision to reduce its annual mortgage insurance premium by 50 basis points pushes back the agency’s timeline for attaining the 2 percent capital reserve requirement by 2016 and limits private mortgage insurance companies’ ability to serve borrowers with higher loan-to-value ratios, warned MI industry representatives. Testifying before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, Clifford Rossi, chief economist of Radian Group, said the FHA sought to justify the premium cut by saying it far exceeded the amounts necessary to cover new FHA-insured mortgages. “But this ignores the higher expected losses on earlier insured loans,” he said. Comparing lifetime premiums on current borrowers to their projected average lifetime losses is not a meaningful comparison for an insurance portfolio comprised of borrower risk profiles over book years subject to different economic scenarios, Rossi argued. Moreover, comparing premiums to average losses overlooks ...

March 6, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ, HUD-IG Continue Pursuit of Errant Lenders

The Department of Justice shows no sign of letting up in its pursuit of FHA lenders that originate improperly underwritten mortgages that later result in significant taxpayer losses. MetLife Home Loans, which is no longer in operation, became the newest addition to the government’s growing list of financial institutions that opted to settle allegations brought under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, in connection with the origination and servicing of FHA-insured mortgages. Under the agreement, MetLife will pay $123.5 million to resolve allegations that its predecessor it “[turned] a blind eye to mortgage loans that did not meet basic FHA underwriting standards,” and stuck the FHA and taxpayers with the bill when the loans defaulted. In June 2013, MetLife Bank merged into MetLife Home Loans, a mortgage finance company ...

March 6, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA to Restate Financial Statements

Ginnie Mae will restate its FY 2014 and FY 2013 financial statements after federal auditors withheld their opinion for lack of sufficient information because of accounting anomalies and poor servicing oversight. An audit report issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General said the issues in the FY 2014 financial statement arose from servicing problems associated with a defaulted issuer’s portfolio, which Ginnie Mae is currently managing. The portfolio once belonged to the now-defunct Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, a Florida-based loan originator and a top Ginnie Mae issuer.The FHA suspended TBW in August 2009 due to its failure to submit a mandatory annual report and to disclose certain transactions that suggested fraud. Soon after, Ginnie Mae terminated TBW as an issuer/servicer and seized the company’s $25 billion Ginnie MBS portfolio. According to the IG report, ...

March 6, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Bank of America Pushes Old Loans Through Freddie MBS Machine, Lifting Agency Issuance in February

Agency single-family MBS issuance rose 2.8 percent in February on the back of a huge increase in securitization of seasoned home loans at Freddie Mac, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS ranking and analysis of loan-level MBS data. Fannie Mae MBS issuance fell 3.2 percent from January to February, and Ginnie Mae production was down 12.8 percent. But Freddie Mac issuance jumped by $7.05 billion from January’s level, a gain of 30.8 percent in a month. Freddie securitized...[Includes two data charts]

March 5, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With Mortgage Performance Continuing to Improve, Servicers Shift Focus Away From Modifications

Mortgage delinquencies continue to decline, prompting servicers to focus on customer service and refinances as opposed to loan modifications. The Inside Mortgage Finance Large Servicer Delinquency Index declined by 32.7 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter. The 24 servicers tracked by the index had a delinquency rate of 6.34 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a rate of 7.59 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Inside Mortgage Finance data are not seasonally adjusted. Improvements in performance were seen...[Includes one data chart]

February 27, 2015 - Inside The GSEs

HARP Volume Continued To Taper Off in 2014

The flow of refinance mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased during the fourth quarter, but the two GSEs continued to see declining volume in the Home Affordable Refinance Program. According to figures from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie and Freddie securitized 432,376 refinance mortgages in the fourth quarter, up 11.1 percent from the previous period. Fannie had the bigger gain, 16.2 percent. But total HARP activity fell 15.3 percent from the third quarter, and for the year it was down 75.9 percent from 2013 levels. The biggest slowdown in HARP were mortgages with loan-to-value ratios exceeding 105 percent. Both GSEs are doing more non-HARP streamlined refi business than in the program set up in 2009 for underwater ... [with two exclusive charts] ...

February 26, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Even After Taking Its Foot Off the Gas, Wells Remains Dominant in Market Share, Sees Room for Growth

Only one lender accounted for more than 10 percent of the single-family mortgage volume completed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2014: Wells Fargo. The bank also dominates deliveries to Ginnie Mae and originations of jumbo mortgages. Wells had $180.89 billion in mortgage originations in 2014, accounting for 14.6 percent of total mortgage originations, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. The bank’s share of mortgage originations declined from 18.9 percent in 2013 as refinance activity slowed and nonbanks made efforts to compete for production and servicing. Officials at Wells said...

February 26, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Brokers See Slight Gain in Market Share During 4Q14; Retail Lost Some Ground in 2014

The wholesale-broker channel was the only mortgage production arena to see increased volume in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. Brokers originated an estimated $34 billion in new home loans during the final three months of 2014, a gain of 6.3 percent from the previous quarter. The wholesale-broker channel gradually recovered from a disastrous first quarter, when brokers saw their market share slide to just 9.0 percent. By the end of the year, it was up to 10.0 percent. The broker channel generated...[Includes four data charts]

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae Servicing Up Slightly in 4Q, 2014

Ginnie Mae servicing volume gained a mere percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2014 from the previous quarter, capping a productive year for servicers of government-backed mortgages, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Servicing volume rose by only 1.0 percent to $1.5 trillion during the last three months of 2014 from $1.4 trillion in unpaid principal balance in the first quarter, and increased 4.0 percent year over year. Four out of the top five Ginnie Mae servicers were banks, of which three experienced declines in their servicing portfolios on quarterly and year-over-year bases. The leader of the pack, Wells Fargo, closed out the year with $416.0 billion in Ginnie Mae servicing and capturing 27.8 percent of the market. Its servicing portfolio fell ... [ 1 chart ]

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA to Issue Final ‘Qualified Mortgage’ Rule in May

The Department of Veterans Affairs expects to have a finalized Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule by May to help clear up some issues that have arisen since the agency issued an interim final rule last spring. The VA issued the interim QM rule for comment on May 9, 2014, to define which VA loans will have QM status under the ability-to-repay (ATR) rule. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the ATR rule provided temporary QM status to loans eligible for FHA insurance and guaranties by the VA and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service. Eligible government-backed loans must be 30-year fixed-rate with no interest-only, negative amortization or balloon features. Total points and fees must not exceed 3 percent of the total loan amount for loans of $100,000 or more. Loans that meet the definition of a temporary VA-eligible QM are considered as in compliance with the ATR rule. They are designated as “safe harbor QMs,” provided they are not ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CFPB Takes Action Against Deceptive Advertising

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently sued a reverse mortgage lender and issued consent decrees against two other mortgage companies for misleading consumers with false advertising about FHA-insured mortgage products. The CFPB filed suit against All Financial Services (AFS), a Maryland-based reverse mortgage lender, in the federal district court in Baltimore alleging that the lender disseminated misleading ads for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans between November 2011 and December 2012. In addition, AFS allegedly failed to maintain copies of the ads as required by the CFPB under its reverse mortgage regulations. According to court filings, the CFPB alleges that the lender/broker mailed out ads using materials and language that seemed to indicate that it was a federal entity or an affiliate of a government entity. All AFS ads appeared as if they were ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lenders Urged to Study Changes in New Handbook

FHA lenders should spend the next couple of months familiarizing their staff with the requirements in the FHA’s new Single Family Housing Policy Handbook to ensure proper implementation of the changes on June 15, 2015, according to compliance experts. The impending changes in the Single Family Handbook are complex and significant. Lenders will need proper legal guidance to navigate and understand hundreds of pages of consolidated housing policies and guidance, as well as substantive changes to FHA requirements, said K&L Gates experts in a recent analysis. The handbook is a consolidated, authoritative source of single-family housing policy and is meant as a one-stop resource for FHA lenders. It gathers and streamlines all FHA requirements, which are currently spread throughout various handbooks, mortgagee letters and other documents, making it easier for lenders to ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Tech Issues Delay HECM Financial Analysis Rule

The FHA has delayed the effective date of new guidance that will require reverse mortgage lenders to perform a financial assessment of applicants for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. The FHA indicated that the change was necessary to allow vendors and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to align their respective software before the new system can be operational. Those familiar with the technology said delivering the required system enhancements should not take long. The FHA said a new effective date should be expected within 30 to 60 days of the original March 2 effective date. It will be announced in a new mortgagee letter, the agency added. The new guidance requires lenders to evaluate HECM borrowers’ willingness and capacity to meet their obligations and to comply with program requirements. “Financial assessment” means doing a much more ...

February 20, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Lending Up in 4Q, Year Over Year

VA loan volume continued to rise in the fourth quarter of 2014, driven by low interest rates and a strong demand for the lower downpayment loans, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae/VA data. The volume of VA loans securitized in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities rose 4.0 percent in the fourth quarter to $107.8 billion from the previous quarter, with more than half of the loans coming through the retail channel. Retailers accounted for $51.5 billion in VA loans securitized during the quarter while correspondents and brokers accounted for $44.4 billion and $11.9 billion, respectively. The overall average FICO score for VA loans was 707, with average loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios of 95.0 percent and 38.2 percent, respectively, during the quarter. Correspondents came up big with VA purchase loans, accounting for $31.7 billion of the $65.1 billion in total purchase loans produced during the fourth quarter. Retail loan officers accounted for $28.5 billion while brokers brought in ... [ 1 chart ]

February 19, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

VA Volume Increases Year Over Year in 4Q14; Agency’s Final ‘Qualified Mortgage’ Rule Expected in May

Production of loans with a Department of Veterans Affairs guaranty increased 44 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the same period a year ago, thanks to strong refinance activity during the holidays, according to an agency spokesman. John Bell, assistant director for loan policy and valuation with the VA Home Loan Guaranty Service, said VA streamline refinance activity rose 18 percent year over year as more veterans took advantage of lower interest rates and lower downpayment in the fourth quarter. He said the VA is still in the process of collating data, declining to give further details. Nonetheless, VA production in the fourth quarter was fueled...

February 19, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MIs Lose Some Ground to Government Programs in 2014, But End Year With Solid Gains

Private mortgage insurers ended 2014 in better financial shape and with a stronger market position than a year earler, although new business volume fell sharply in the fourth quarter, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. Private MIs reported $46.94 billion in new insurance written during the fourth quarter of 2014, a figure that could change slightly when National MI releases its earnings after Inside Mortgage Finance goes to press. Our estimate for the firm is based on volume trends reported by its competitors. While private MI business was down 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter, total mortgage originations fell...[Includes three data charts]

February 13, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

San Francisco Controller Likely Puts Kibosh on Use of Eminent Domain in City for Time Being

A push to seize a few thousand underwater mortgages in the San Francisco area by eminent domain has likely run into a dead end for now, after a report from the City and County of San Francisco Controller’s Office discouraged local officials from pursuing the idea any further. “Precluding any participation from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the use of eminent domain would seem to be an inviable option,” the document concluded. On Oct. 28, 2014, the Board of Supervisors issued...


With the recent dip in interest rates, how do you feel about loan volumes this year?

We see loan production ending 2015 flat compared to 2014.


We’re optimistic that our originations will rise by 10 to 20 percent year over year.


We’re really optimistic: We expect production to increase by 20 percent or better from last year.


We’re not so bullish. Originations for us may actually fall.


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