FHA Programs

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

April 18, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Eminent Domain Proponent Mortgage Resolution Partners Has Lost Two Top Officers; Is it Toast?

Two of the top officers have left Mortgage Resolution Partners, the company that rattled Wall Street by trying to convince hard-pressed local governments to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages. The latest to depart is John Vlahoplus, who held the title of chief strategy officer. Vlahoplus, who could not be reached for comment, has taken a position with Credit Suisse. The other, more crippling departure is that of Graham Williams, CEO of the San Francisco-based private equity firm. He told Inside MBS & ABS that he officially cut ties with the company at the end of March. Steven Gluckstern, who serves as chairman of MRP, took on the title of acting CEO. At press time, he could not be reached for comment. Under the MRP scheme, local governments would offer...

April 17, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Both Purchase-Mortgage and Refinance Volume Down Sharply in Agency Activity

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae saw much lower business volume in both purchase-money mortgages and refinance loans during the first quarter of 2014, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. The agencies securitized a total of $95.9 billion of purchase mortgages during the first three months of the year, down 28.8 percent from the previous quarter. That was a steeper decline than in refinance volume, which slid 24.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013. Compared to a year ago, the purchase market continued...[Includes three data charts]

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Filing Deadline for Recertification Extended to June 9

The FHA has extended the filing deadline for lender recertification to June 9, 2014, to match the agency’s timeline for switching to the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP). LEAP is a new system that will serve as a one-stop shop for all lender approval and recertifications. It replaces the current “Lender Approval” and “Cash Flow” web pages in FHA Connection as well as the current system lenders use to submit financial information as part of recertification. LEAP is scheduled to be fully operation this month, although consolidation of Title I and II lender identification numbers has already taken place on March 31. Last year, the FHA issued guidance extending the filing deadline for all lenders with a December 2013 fiscal year end. Although the guidance recommended that lenders be prepared to complete their recertification no later than May 31, it also stated that ...

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

April 30: Last Day to Submit Master Agreement

Ginnie Mae will provide a one-month grace period to April 30, 2014, for issuers to complete the submission of their master agreement to the Master Agreement Management System (MAMS) within the agency’s enterprise portal. The deadline for submission is March 31, 2014. The master agreements must first be accepted by the MAMS before an issuer may request or receive a “Transfer of Issuer Responsibility.” Failure to comply with this requirement could adversely affect the issuer’s ability to obtain commitment authority and to issue new pools or receive pool transfers. Although many issuers have resubmitted their master agreements, some found it difficult to complete the process within the required timeframe, according to Ginnie Mae. Providing a one-month grace period would help issuers to complete their resubmission. Issuers that still experience ...

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Deficient Files, No. 1 Cause of ‘Unacceptable’ Grade

Deficient file documentation is the leading cause of initial “unacceptable” ratings in the FHA’s most recent post-endorsement technical review (PETR) of targeted single-family FHA loans. Published in the March 2014 issue of Lender Insight, review results showed that 50 percent of the 5,504 FHA loans selected for review in the fourth quarter of 2013 had missing or flawed documentation. Of that percentage, 65 percent of loans were rated “unacceptable.” Loans are selected for post-endorsement review based on a risk-targeting methodology and do not reflect the overall FHA portfolio. An “unacceptable” rating indicates that the loan endorsement file had a material defect at the time the loan was endorsed for FHA insurance. Such ratings are upgraded subsequently if the lender provides mitigating documentation. Unacceptable ratings are due to errors or flaws in ...

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Volume by State Drops, State HECMs Rise

Overall FHA production fell significantly in all 50 states in 2013 apparently due to mortgage insurance premium increases and policy changes that made it difficult for even qualified borrowers to obtain an FHA-insured single-family loan. FHA volume by state dropped 27.5 percent in the fourth quarter to $35.8 billion, from $49.4 billion in the previous quarter, with all states showing varying percentages of decline during the period. Year over year, production by state declined by 9.2 percent, data showed. Total FHA originations were $211.3 billion for 2013, with the first quarter ending strongly with $63.7 billion. Production, however, lost steam over the next three quarters. Among the top five FHA states, Virginia suffered the largest quarterly drop, 35.2 percent, in FHA volume. California was the top FHA producer state with $35.2 billion for a ... [2 charts]

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

BofA, Nutter Agree to Resolve HECM Violations

Bank of America and James Nutter & Co. have agreed to indemnify the Department of Housing and Urban Development to resolve allegations that they failed to perform due diligence in underwriting Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans. An audit of the HECM program by the HUD Office of Inspector General found that the financial institutions allowed 33 HECM borrowers to take out more than one loan, a violation of program requirements. The program requires borrowers to reside in the mortgaged residence as their principal residence. In addition, borrowers may not have more than one principal residence at the same time. In BofA’s case, one borrower obtained two HECM loans on properties she owned in Massachusetts and Florida, both of which she identified as her principal residence. The HUD OIG said there was sufficient information to alert BofA and the underwriter that ...

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Industry Calls for Transparent Loan-Limit Process

The Mortgage Bankers Association is urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide a transparent process by which interested parties could request a recalculation of the FHA loan limits and present supporting evidence. By statute, maximums for FHA loan limits in high-cost areas were reduced to $625,500 from $729,750 at the beginning of the year for one-unit residential properties, the same maximum loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for similar properties in high-cost areas. The MBA said HUD made further reductions in FHA FY 2014 loan limits in approximately 300 counties and county equivalents across the country, with many experiencing significant reductions. The trade group believes these changes were not required by statute. To the extent that the loan-limit reductions in those areas were discretionary, the MBA strongly urged HUD to moderate its ...

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Rejects Industry Plea to Lower MIPs

FHA Commissioner Carol Galante quashed any industry hope of seeing mortgage insurance premiums lowered at this time, saying that while the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund has shown some improvement, full recovery is still far off. In remarks during the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Advocacy Conference this week, Galante also defended a provision in the president’s FY 2015 budget proposal seeking statutory authority for the FHA to collect an administrative fee from lenders to help fund quality control improvements. Both issues are high up on the MBA’s lobbying priorities as members gathered in Washington, DC, this week to meet with lawmakers and their staff to discuss FHA and other key industry concerns. Galante said the Department of Housing and Urban Development is currently focused on strengthening the MMI Fund and expanding access to credit for all qualified borrowers. The FHA raised pricing five times from ...

April 10, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Issuance of Securities Tied to MSRs Expected to Increase as Nonbank Mortgage Servicers Grow

At the end of February, Ocwen Financial issued a $123.6 million security backed by mortgage-servicing rights on agency mortgages, the first of its kind. The security was attractive to investors as well as to nonbanks, with more transactions expected, according to the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Council. The transaction has a 14-year debt obligation and was secured by Ocwen-owned MSRs on mortgages with an unpaid principal balance of approximately $11.8 billion. Investors in Ocwen Asset Servicing Income Series 2014-1 receive a monthly payment of 21 basis points of the unpaid principal balance of the reference pool in the form of an interest-only strip, along with certain other payments. In a new analysis, the HFPC’s Laurie Goodman and Pamela Lee said...

April 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Indicators Point to Historically Weak Origination Market in Early 2014, Potential Culling of Herd

Early indicators suggest that mortgage originations slumped by about 23 percent in the first quarter of 2014, a harbinger of tough times to come for companies that are running on fumes. According to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of loan-level data in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac first-quarter securitizations, primary market originations for the first three months of the year totaled about $235 billion. Unless the pace picks up, 2014 could fail to reach $1 trillion for the first time since 1998. Lender surveys, which are the major factor in Inside Mortgage Finance originations estimates, are underway. Weak origination volume is...

April 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSE Purchases of Loans With Private MI Dropped Sharply in Early 2014, Biggest Drop in HARP Pace

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitized just $29.95 billion of single-family mortgages with private mortgage-insurance coverage during the first quarter of 2014, a 30.9 percent decline from the previous period, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. The steepness of the private MI downturn was in line with the 29.1 percent downturn in overall business at the two government-sponsored enterprises from the fourth quarter of 2013. And the flow of private MI loans in early 2014 was down 40.2 percent from the first quarter of last year, a less severe drop than the 63.7 swoon in the overall GSE market over that period. The biggest decline in MI-insured business was in underwater mortgages that were refinanced while keeping their existing coverage under the Home Affordable Refinance Program...[Includes two data charts]

April 3, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Mortgage Securitization Continues Freefall In Early 2014, Weakest Start Since 2000

New residential MBS issuance in the first three months of 2014 sank to the lowest quarterly volume since late in 2000, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS analysis. A total of $191.7 billion of residential MBS were issued in the first quarter of this year, down 25.5 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013. Compared to first quarter of 2013, new MBS issuance was down 59.2 percent. MBS production has been falling...[Includes two data charts]

April 3, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Keeps 2014 ‘Scorecard’ Under Wraps; Watt May Change What Agency Measures

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s annual “performance goal” scorecard for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has been issued to the two government-sponsored enterprises for comment and likely will be released by month’s end, according to industry officials briefed on the matter. But as for its contents going forward, that’s a different matter entirely. The 2013 version set forth...

April 3, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSEs Start 2014 With a Thud, New Business Volume Searches for New Post-Crash Lows

New single-family business volume at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continued to decline in early 2014, hitting the lowest quarterly total in 14 years during the first three months of the year, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. The two government-sponsored enterprises issued a total of $129.2 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities during the first quarter of 2014. That was down 29.1 percent from the already weak production of the fourth quarter and off 63.7 percent from the same period in 2013. The first-quarter 2014 total marked...[Includes two data charts]

March 28, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

Old Republic Cancels Recapitalization Plan for its Mortgage Guaranty Subsidiaries. Old Republic International Corp. has withdrawn plans to secure capital market funding for its beleaguered consumer credit indemnity and mortgage guaranty subsidiaries for lack of investor interest. Both business segments are housed within the Republic Financial Indemnity Group and have been in a run-off mode since 2008 and 2011, respectively. ORI Chairman/CEO Al Zucaro said holding company funds would be used to shore up the regulatory capital of the mortgage guaranty subsidiaries. The completion of the recapitalization plan hinged on regulatory approvals in North Carolina, Florida and Vermont, as well as from the government-sponsored enterprises and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. ORI said that with all the complications, it could not be certain of getting the necessary approvals. A primary investor concern is that new capital would be used to pay for RMIC’s legacy problems, and investors want their money to ...

March 28, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Wishing to Quit FHA Should Not Just Skip

A mortgagee that no longer wishes to participate in FHA programs must submit a letter requesting voluntary withdrawal of its FHA approval, signed by a senior executive of the company, according to guidance published in the March 2014 issue of FHA’s Lender Insight. Lenders may not simply let their FHA approval expire by failing to complete FHA’s required annual recertification process, the guidance warned. “Failing to recertify will result in a referral to the Mortgagee Review Board for administrative action,” it said. The board’s withdrawal of a lender’s FHA approval could have an adverse impact on the lender should it reapply for FHA approval in the future. A lender requesting voluntary withdrawal of FHA approval is subject to a review before the agency signs off on the request. The request would be denied if the lender has an MRB administrative action pending against it or if it is behind on its mortgage insurance premium payments. A lender whose FHA approval has been withdrawn may ...

March 28, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

MRB Sanctions 33 Lenders for Various Offenses

Thirty-three FHA lenders were sanctioned and 32 others lost their FHA approval between October and December 2013 because of actions taken by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mortgagee Review Board. The board also imposed $516,500 in civil money penalties and entered into one settlement agreement to bring an unidentified lender into compliance. During the three-month period, one lender entered into an indemnification agreement with the MRB over one FHA-insured single-family loan. FHA lenders were subject to MRB disciplinary actions for various reasons, including failing to establish and implement a servicing quality control plan and failing to perform loss mitigation as required by the agency. Actions were also taken against lenders for failing to conduct monthly reviews of delinquent loans to determine the type of loss mitigation needed, as well as for failing to repay HUD losses in connection with indemnification agreements. Noncompliance with HUD’s annual recertification requirements also resulted in ...

March 28, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HUD Proposes Change to FHA Prepayment Rules

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has published a proposal to eliminate the requirement that an FHA borrower be required to pay interest even after the loan is prepaid. Specifically, the proposed change would prohibit FHA lenders from charging post-payment interest, allowing them instead to charge interest only through the date the mortgage is paid. The proposed rule change is necessary to avoid FHA loans being prohibited under new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ability-to-repay rules and revised higher-cost loan regulations starting in January 2015. It effectively aligns FHA prepayment rules with the new CFPB rules. Comments on the proposal are due by May 12, 2014. The FHA currently allows lenders to charge interest for the full month if the borrower prepays on a date other than the installment due date. Regardless of whether the loan is FHA or non-FHA, there were complaints among borrowers that ...

March 28, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Carrington Sees Opportunity in Low-FICO Market

Lenders are cautiously expanding their guidelines on FHA lending by reducing its minimum credit score to below 580 to qualify borrowers. Carrington Mortgage Servicers this week joined a cadre of some 80 FHA lenders that have lowered their minimum FICO scores and eased their overlays to better focus on borrowers, particularly those below the 640 FICO range. The Santa Ana, CA-based lender is doing it not only for its FHA business but also for its VA and USDA loan programs. Carrington lowered its minimum FICO score to 550 for FHA loans, showing more aggressiveness than Wells Fargo, which moved its own FHA FICO floor to 600 from 640 at the beginning of February for purchase mortgages originated through its retail channel. The FHA currently requires a minimum credit score of 580 for most borrowers for 3.5 percent downpayment loans. Borrowers below 580 undergo more stringent manual underwriting and ...

March 28, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HECM Volume Falls Due to Policy Changes

Origination of FHA-insured reverse mortgages fell in the fourth quarter as borrowing costs increased and loan amounts shrank due to tighter agency rules for these loan products, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. The FHA reported $15.3 billion Home Equity Conversion Morgages originations for 2013, which was up 20.6 percent from $12.7 billion in 2012. Production, however, fell 12.6 percent quarter over quarter as policy changes designed to stabilize the ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and help ensure that HECM borrowers can sustain themselves for longer periods of time took effect on Sept. 30. The changes include limiting disbursements at loan closing, or during the initial 12 months after closing, to 60 percent of the initial principal limit. Borrowers who draw more than 60 percent will pay ... [1 chart]

March 20, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Servicers Exceeded Relief Targets

The total amount of principal reduction and refinancing provided by banks for consumer relief under the landmark $25 billion national servicing agreement far exceeded what was required in the agreement, according to final credit reports filed by settlement monitor Joseph Smith. Filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia this week, the reports confirmed that Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, CitiBank and Ally have met their consumer relief and restructuring obligations under the settlement. In total, the five companies provided...

March 14, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae to Begin Probe of Dormant Issuers

Ginnie Mae will begin scrutinizing issuers which, for reasons unknown, have not issued a single Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed security since obtaining their approval. Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer said he is assigning staff to investigate the underlying cause of issuer inactivity. “We’re starting that process now to find out what their plans and objectives are to try to get a better handle on what’s going on,” he explained. With the growth in new issuers, agency staff has focused on making sure that newcomers are transitioning smoothly and are up to speed on what is happening in the mortgage securities market. But there are those that have remained inexplicably dormant. Tozer admits that agency staff is spread quite thin and the agency has been hiring more account executives lately to monitor all program participants to ensure there are not more early failures. New issuers typically go through a ...


What do you think is the biggest hurdle to meeting the new QM standards in the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule?

A debt-to-income (DTI) cap of 43%.


A 3% cap on points and fees.


An interest rate cap of the average prime offered rate (APOR) plus 1.5%.


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