FHA Programs

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

October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA to Modify CHUMS, Develop New System

The FHA has announced plans to modify the Computerized Homes Underwriting Management System (CHUMS) while work continues on a new, improved replacement system. CHUMS provides support for automated processing, analysis and screening of appraisal documents. Specifically, it is used on first-time homebuyer loan applications, Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, Section 203(k) property rehabilitation loans, VA-certified FHA loans and other FHA-approved programs. The system is also used to assist in evaluations of borrowers’ mortgage credit and as a complement to FHA’s credit assessment tool, TOTAL Scorecard. A new Loan Application Management System (LAMS) is in development to replace CHUMS completely in about five years. In its initial release, LAMS will enable the Department of Housing and Urban Development to start collecting and incorporating ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

State FHA Originations Up, Golden State Leads

Total originations of FHA forward and home-equity conversion mortgages across the U.S. and in the territories increased from the first to the second quarter, with California accounting for the lion’s share of all FHA loans produced by state. Production of FHA-insured forwards, including jumbo loans, and HECM loans during the first half of 2014 totaled $68.3 billion, a whopping 49.0 percent drop from volume reported over the same period last year. On the other hand, total originations in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands rose 11.5 percent quarter-over-quarter. Originations totaled $36.1 billion in the second quarter. Forward mortgages accounted for $61.1 billion of new FHA-insured loans originated during the first six months while HECMs comprised $7.2 billion of loans produced over ... [ 1 Chart ]


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Notifying Lenders of Possible MRB Action

The FHA warned it would soon be sending notices to lenders who are overdue in completing their annual recertification packages, a rule violation that could land them before the Mortgagee Review Board for disciplinary action. Lenders who were unable to submit their recertification packages containing the required financial reports, annual recertification statements and the renewal fee payment will be receiving notices of deficiency from the FHA. FHA extended the filing deadline to June 27, 30 days after the deployment of the new Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP) system used in the lender recertification process. Traditionally, lenders were required to access both FHA Connection and Lender Assessment Sub-System (LASS) to complete the annual recertification process. LEAP will now enable lenders to complete all ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HUD to Let Property-Flipping Waiver Lapse

Buyers, sellers and real estate agents have until the end of 2014 to take advantage of the property-flipping waiver that the FHA had put in place in 2010 to increase the availability of affordable homes for first-time homebuyers and other purchasers. After Dec. 31, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will let the waiver lapse subjecting investors again to property-flipping prohibitions. Lenders say the waiver program worked well in underserved and hard-hit areas but HUD believes the program’s initial objectives have been attained and that prudence and vigilance are again called for to prevent abuses and potential losses. As a rule, the FHA prohibits “property flipping” in which a recently acquired property undergoes a minor makeover, is appraised with an artificially high value and is resold for a considerable profit. Most property flipping occurs within a matter of days, which prompted HUD to ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

VA, Rural Housing Guarantees Surge in 2014

While the FHA’s share of the primary insurance market has dropped significantly since premiums were hiked in early 2013, the VA program and the rural housing loan program run by the Department of Agriculture are going strong, according to agency officials. During a panel discussion at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention this week, VA and Rural Development executives said that both agencies have been quietly building mortgage market share. Jeffrey London, deputy director of the VA’s loan guaranty service, reported that purchase-mortgage VA loan originations were up 11 percent in fiscal 2014, with 40 percent of the business being first-time homebuyers. Of that group, 80 percent took no-downpayment VA loans, the biggest selling point in the program, along with its relatively low costs. In earlier remarks, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro revealed that ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Silent on MIP, Will Review Pricing Further

A top-ranking housing official soon to become acting FHA commissioner assured lenders that the agency is reviewing the pricing of its mortgage insurance, but made no promises during the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association held this week in Las Vegas. Biniam Gebre, now the deputy assistant secretary for housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the agency “has been reviewing our premium levels on a regular basis.” He added, “I’m sure we will come back to it over the next couple months and next year.” The pricing of FHA mortgage insurance premiums “is a very important question,” Gebre said. Many in the mortgage industry have been focused on the availability of credit, but the affordability of credit is important as well, he added. “We believe we reached a tipping point when we raised premiums in response to ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Raises Net Worth, Liquidity Tests

Ginnie Mae this week provided new details to the long-anticipated plan for increased issuer net worth and liquidity and a new performance scoring method for issuer activity – changes that could adversely affect small issuers and portfolio servicers. In remarks at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer said the changes are part of a larger effort to ensure the continuing flexibility and availability of the agency’s mortgage-backed securities program to as many entities as possible. New types of issuers and counterparties have entered the agency-backed MBS market in the wake of the financial crisis, which called for adjustments and tailored approaches to the evolving housing finance market, Tozer noted. Tozer said both policy changes and staff expertise will ensure the success of ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Updates Issuer Eligibility; Fannie and Freddie Continue With Do-It-Yourself Reform

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae have been around for decades and they dominate the residential MBS market, but the agencies are not standing still. Pushed by their federal conservator, Fannie and Freddie are rebuilding their securitization infrastructure and trying to reinvent how they do business with mortgage sellers. At the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association this week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced an agreement in principle on changes to the representations-and-warranties framework used by the government-sponsored enterprises. Ginnie officials disclosed new issuer eligibility standards and performance evaluations. “GSE reform does not mean...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA to Extend Short Refi Program. The FHA has announced its intent to extend its Short Refinance Program for borrowers in negative equity positions. A mortgagee letter will be issued soon to announce the extension. Feedback Period extended for Draft Servicing Section of Proposed Single Family Handbook. The FHA is extending the comment period for the draft servicing section of the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook through Nov. 14, 2014 to allow stakeholders additional time to study and comment on the proposed section. The original deadline date was Oct. 17. CFPB Updates Reverse Mortgage Guide. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently updated its reverse mortgage guide on its website to account for recent changes made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. The updated guide highlights new limits to ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae MBS Issuance Increases in 3Q14

Ginnie Mae issuance for the first nine months of 2014 totaled $207.5 billion as government-backed purchase-mortgage activity picked up in the third quarter, according to an analysis of agency data. New issuances rose 19.8 percent from the second quarter. FHA loans accounted for $116.9 billion of new Ginnie Mae issuances while VA and the Rural Housing Development funneled $75.9 billion and $14.2 billion, respectively, of new loans into Ginnie Mae pools. Mortgage securities backed by home-equity conversion mortgages are not included. Purchase mortgages totaling $140.6 billion comprised the bulk of new issuances over the nine-month period while the share of refinances totaled $49.8 billion. Modified loans accounted for $17.1 billion. Most of the FHA and VA loans originated during the first nine months came through the ... [ 2 charts ]


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Millennial Agenda Underscores FHA’s ‘Blueprint’

President Obama this week released his agenda for creating economic opportunity for millennials, including greater access to mortgage credit through FHA. While the economy has recovered and there has been some improvement in the housing market, millennials are on a much slower pace toward homeownership than previous generations, the president said. Many are in rental housing, ready to become homeowners but are locked out by the tough, restrictive lending environment, he added. Millennials – identified as those born between 1982 and 2004, also known as Generation Y – are finding it harder to purchase homes because of lender overlays, high mortgage insurance premiums and high downpayment requirements. It also has been difficult for anyone with a credit score below 680 to obtain a purchase-mortgage loan. In his agenda, Obama expressed concern over the ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Details Improvements to LEAP 3.0 System

Like all new automated systems, FHA’s Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP 3.0) was not without technical glitches when the agency rolled it out back in May. Users immediately reported difficulties in certain functions, such as adding new branches, making changes to existing branches and changing cash flow accounts. The FHA ever since has been working to iron out the kinks to allow lenders to submit their annual recertification packages with ease. So far, certain fixes have been implemented allowing lenders to add, edit and delete branch and regional managers, delete attachments uploaded to LEAP and properly update cash flow accounts in the database. The FHA also changed the way lenders edit their principal affiliations in LEAP. In addition, newly approved lenders now have access to the new system. Furthermore, the FHA expanded to 250 the maximum allowable characters lenders may use when ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

New Regulations Cause HECM Volume to Drop

FHA reverse mortgage volume fell in the second quarter as well as during the first six months of 2014 as regulatory changes reduced profitability and increased the cost of originating the government-backed product, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Home equity conversion mortgage volume declined 19.9 percent quarter-over-quarter and dropped 9.0 percent during the first half of the year compared to the same period last year. HECM lenders reported $7.2 billion in total originations in the first half, with purchase loans accounting for 93.6 percent. Fixed-rate HECMs comprised only 22.2 percent of total volume as most borrowers turned to adjustable-rate HECMs for their reverse-mortgage needs. The top five HECM lenders – American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, One Reverse Mortgage, Liberty Home Equity Solutions and Proficio Mortgage Ventures – accounted for ... [1 chart ]


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

OIG Calls for HUD Action Versus Errant Lenders

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General has recommended that HUD require an approved FHA lender to reimburse the FHA $1.6 million for improper claims on 11 preforeclosure sales, including lender and borrower incentives. An IG audit of EverBank of Jacksonville, FL, attributed FHA’s losses to the bank’s failure to determine whether or not defaulted borrowers qualified for the agency’s preforeclosure sale program. The IG looked into the bank’s short sale activities because it had the highest preforeclosure sale claims in Florida. More than 50 percent of EverBank’s FHA claims were from short sales, with more than $12.9 million paid from 2011 through 2013, the audit found. In response, EverBank questioned the accuracy of the IG report. The bank maintained that certain allegations do not constitute violations of ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HUD-OIG Reports $582M in Recoveries for MMIF

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General has announced a total of $581.8 million in recoveries in September to strengthen and stabilize the ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The recovered amounts are part of larger settlements between the federal government, U.S. Bank and Bank of America to resolve allegations of false claims and mortgage fraud in relation to FHA-insured mortgages. Both banks were investigated separately by the HUD-OIG, Department of Justice and U.S. attorneys’ offices in Michigan, Ohio and New York in connection with their lending and underwriting practices and quality-control programs for FHA-insured loans. On June 30, U.S. Bank entered into a settlement agreement to pay $200 million, of which nearly $144.2 million went to the MMI Fund. The bank admitted to poor underwriting, flawed quality control and ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Loan Reviews Continue to Find Defects

Missing or incorrect files was the most common defect found in 49 percent of the loans, of which 29 percent were deemed initially unacceptable. Flawed credit or underwriting came in second at 26 percent, of which 67 percent were rated unacceptable. Program eligibility and operational deficiencies each had a 9 percent share while defective appraisals were common in 7 percent of all reviewed loans. Properly mitigated, the percentage of initially unacceptable loans usually drops to about 7 percent. The FHA tends to blames lenders for the defects but the bottom line is mistakes cut both ways, according to compliance experts. “Lenders make mistakes that can easily be corrected,” said one compliance consultant. “FHA also can be guilty of causing a mistake.” For example, poor communication and lack of clarity caused lenders to check a yes/no box to confirm whether or not they ...


October 9, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Underwriting Standards Have Eased Some In Recent Years, But Still Stiff Compared to the Boom

Mortgage underwriting standards are relaxing somewhat, according to a new analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance, particularly as production has shifted from a focus on refinances to purchase mortgages. However, underwriting standards are much more stringent than they were before the financial crisis, with few options available for nonprime borrowers. The average credit score on purchase mortgages included...


October 9, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MI Volume Rides Summer Surge in GSE Business, Penetrates Deeper in Purchase Market

Mortgage lenders delivered $47.82 billion of single-family home loans with private mortgage insurance coverage to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the third quarter of 2014, according to a new ranking and analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance. That was up 29.9 percent from the second quarter of this year as the private MIs piggybacked on the surge in purchase-money mortgages securitized by the two government-sponsored enterprises. Private MI coverage was provided on 39.2 percent of purchase loans sold to the GSEs during the third quarter, and the industry has seen its penetration rate of the sector climb steadily. Back in the first quarter of 2013, only 31.3 percent of Fannie/Freddie purchase mortgages had...[Includes two data charts]


October 2, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSE Business Volume Up Sharply in 3Q14, Refinance Rebounds After Long Decline

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitized a total of $183.17 billion of single-family mortgages during the third quarter of 2014, continuing the improving momentum during the previous period, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. Combined mortgage-backed securities issuance for the two government-sponsored enterprises rose 29.1 percent from the second quarter, marking the second straight increase from the record-low levels set during the first three months of 2014. On a year-to-date basis, GSE volume was down 53.6 percent from the first nine months of 2013. Although purchase mortgages continued to provide most of the ammunition for Fannie/Freddie business, the GSEs securitized...[Includes three data charts]


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Originations Trend Up in July, Data Show

FHA total originations rose 9.9 percent month-over-month in July as purchase mortgage activity continued to rise, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Lenders produced a combined $13.01 billion in new FHA-insured mortgages, up from $11.85 billion in June. Purchase mortgages accounted for 81.9 percent of total FHA production during July, the latest month for which FHA originations data were available. The July increase reflects an upward monthly trend in FHA lending that began in March, when FHA originations totaled $8.74 billion. Production then climbed steadily to $10.36 billion in April, $10.61 billion in May and $11.85 billion in June. Originations jumped 16.0 percent from the first to the second quarter. A recent analysis by affiliated publication Inside Mortgage Finance found that most of Ginnie Mae’s purchase activities (FHA, VA and rural housing loans) in the ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Announces $336 Million Recovery for MMIF

An estimated $336 million out of a $614 million settlement that JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay for not complying with FHA requirements will go towards stabilizing the agency’s ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. On Feb. 4, 2014, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York took over a whistleblower lawsuit and started an investigation of Chase on behalf of the government for alleged violations of the False Claims Act. The whistleblower or “relator” alleged that Chase, an approved FHA direct endorsement lender, had not followed FHA requirements when underwriting loans, causing the MMIF to incur significant losses when the borrowers defaulted on their loans. The U.S. Attorney filed suit against Chase based on the results of an audit conducted by HUD’s Inspector General that looked into the bank’s underwriting and refinancing of FHA loans. The lawsuit alleged that ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Downturn Avoided with $518M in New HMBS

Issuers of securities backed by Home Equity Conversion Mortgages created $518 million in new HMBS pools during August, the third largest monthly HMBS issuance this year and the latest month for which HMBS issuance data was available. August’s new issuance total was up slightly from July’s $507 million, according to New View Advisors, which advises financial services clients on capital markets, product development and investment strategies. Ninety-one pools were issued, consisting of 46 original issuance and 45 tail pools. Original HMBS pools are created when a pool of FHA-insured reverse mortgages is securitized for the first time. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools created from the uncertified portions of HECMs that have already had their original HMBS issuance. Tail issuances accounted for about $140 million. Beginning with FY 2014, HECM principal limits were ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Financed Minorities, LI Borrowers

Ginnie Mae securitized a relatively higher volume of loans for African-American borrowers than did Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, according to a new Inside FHA Lending analysis of recently released Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data covering 2013 mortgage originations. Nearly a quarter, 24.7 percent, of mortgages made to black borrowers last year had FHA, VA or rural housing loans financed through Ginnie Mae, loan-level HMDA data show. Fannie Mae (19.2 percent) and Freddie Mac (9.9 percent) also accounted for large shares of mortgages for black borrowers. However, blacks accounted for just 4.2 percent of mortgages with the race of the primary borrower identified in HMDA reports. Fannie actually had a bigger share of the Hispanic market (24.7 percent), but Ginnie accounted for a substantial 17.3 percent of mortgages made to Hispanic borrowers last year. All three agencies saw ... [1 chart]


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA’s QA Draft Addresses Enforcement Concerns

Obama administration officials and federal regulators met recently with mortgage industry representatives to discuss lender overlays and other obstacles preventing borrowers with slightly tainted credit and first-time homebuyers from obtaining a mortgage. Neither administration officials nor industry participants, however, spoke on or off the record about the things that were discussed during the Sept. 17 meeting at the White House. It was also unclear whether both sides have agreed on any solutions to the issues that lenders say are preventing them from lending. Sources, however, said one major issue is lenders’ uncertainty about their legal responsibilities and liabilities, which already have cost the industry billions of dollars in massive legacy settlements. Lenders have complained that even the slightest loan paperwork error could force them out of the ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae AE Discusses Other Issuer Pitfalls

Approved issuers must ensure that loans have the requisite federal insurance or guarantee before bundling them for securitization, cautioned Ginnie Mae. Loans that fail Ginnie’s “loan matching” review will be tagged as “uninsured” and will not be accepted for securitization, according to John Kozak, a Ginnie Mae account executive and a panelist at a conference sponsored by the agency this week. Ginnie Mae uses loan matching to screen for mortgages that may have been endorsed on paper but have not been actually insured or guaranteed by either the FHA, VA or the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Development. Every month, Ginnie Mae takes a certain lender’s entire mortgage portfolio and throws it up against the agency’s insured/guaranteed database in search for loan mismatches. To do this, the agency uses “two-string match” criteria, which consist of a ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA to Tighten Supervision of Issuers

Ginnie Mae has unveiled new plans for issuer standards as well as steps to boost liquidity in the mortgage servicing rights (MSR) market. Agency officials at a summit hosted by Ginnie Mae this week in Washington, DC, said both actions are designed to avoid issuer failures and to preserve residential mortgage servicing as an economically viable activity and MSRs as an attractive asset class. The officials said changes will be made to Ginnie’s mortgage-backed securities program to support the agency’s transformation from a pre-crisis bank-driven government MBS program to a post-crisis program where non-depositories and smaller financial institutions play a much bigger role. By the middle of next year, approximately a third of Ginnie MSRs will have changed hands over the previous four years, agency officials said. Many of the new owners of the servicing rights are ...


September 25, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HMDA Originations Fell 12 Percent in 2013, As Application Denial Rate Edged Higher

Mortgage lenders reported $1.762 trillion in new purchase-money and refinance originations during 2013 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of the data released by federal agencies this week. HMDA purchase and refinance originations were down 12.4 percent from 2012, with the biggest decline in refi activity, off 26.2 percent. Purchase-mortgage lending was up in both the government-insured market (up 1.3 percent) and conventional originations (up 32.5 percent). Even with the sharp downturn in business, refinance originations accounted...[Includes one data chart]


Poll

What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

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