FHA, VA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHA, VA.

March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MI Companies Push for Change to QM Points- And-Fees Calculation, Aligning GSE and FHA Standards

Congress should pass legislation setting uniform standards for qualified mortgages, according to the U.S. Mortgage Insurers trade group. USMI raised particular concerns about differences in the points-and-fees calculation for FHA mortgages compared with the standard for mortgages delivered to the government-sponsored enterprises. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established standards for QMs. Certain federal regulators, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, were allowed to implement QM standards that differed from the CFPB standards. USMI noted...


March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

VA Considering Stronger Measures to Stop Early Solicitation of VA Purchase Loans for Refinancing

The Department of Veterans Affairs is considering possible solutions, including new regulation or policy changes, to address the ongoing problem of aggressive refinancing of VA purchase loans. Certain lenders and mortgage brokers apparently are still soliciting VA purchase loans for streamline refinancing despite Ginnie Mae’s effort to stop the practice and help mortgage-securities investors get full return on their investments. Ginnie Mae issued...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Launches National Listening Tour in Detroit. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson began a national listening tour March 15 at Benjamin Carson High School in Detroit. Carson’s three-day visit to his hometown gives him an opportunity to hear directly from HUD field personnel and stakeholders who rely upon and support public housing. This week, President Trump released his proposed preliminary FY 2018 budget, which showed among other things a drastic $6.2 billion reduction in funding for public housing assistance and affordable housing. HUD did not release an itinerary of Carson’s listening tour. IG Seeks Changes to Ginnie Mae’s Management Hierarchy, Staffing. Ginnie Mae’s outdated organizational structure and staff levels have made it difficult for the agency to properly monitor and mitigate the risk posed by the increasing number of nonbanks participating in ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Utah FHA Lender Pays $4.25 M to DOJ, HUD to Resolve Fraud Claims

Security National Mortgage Co. of Salt Lake City has paid $4.25 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to settle allegations of failing to comply with FHA loan requirements. Security National, a retail lender, has been an FHA-approved direct endorsement lender since October 1993, the year it was founded. The settlement resolves a joint civil investigation by the HUD Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey into Security National’s FHA origination and underwriting practices in connection with 100 FHA-insured loans. As part of the settlement, the lender “agreed it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination and underwriting of the loans.” The HUD OIG provided no details about the investigation. The OIG said the loans that were certified as compliant would not have been insured had ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Originations Down in 2016, December Spike Slowed Descent

Production of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans was down in 2016 with an estimated $14.9 billion originated last year, compared to $16.0 billion the previous year. Year-over-year, total HECM volume fell 6.4 percent. Purchase loans accounted for 85.9 percent of FHA-insured reverse mortgages produced over the 12-month period. Originations, however, rose by 8.0 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter due to a spike in HECM lending in December. Purchase HECMs with an adjustable rate appeared to be the product of choice among HECM borrowers in 2016. American Advisors Group continued to dominate the market, closing 2016 with $2.1 billion in HECM originations for a 14.0 percent market share. One Reverse Mortgage was the second top HECM producer of the year with $855 million, while Reverse Mortgage Funding was in third place with $649.8 million. Liberty Home Equity Solutions hung on ... [ 1 chart ]


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Georgia Appeals Court Finds for Wells Fargo in Provisional Win

A Georgia appellate court recently handed Wells Fargo Bank a provisional win in a lawsuit in which a VA borrower alleged breach of contract and wrongful foreclosure. In Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., d/b/a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage v. LaTouche, the court ruled that Wells did not breach its duty to the borrower to comply with VA foreclosure regulations. The court concluded that the trial court had erred in denying Wells Fargo’s motion for summary judgment as to the defendant’s claims for wrongful foreclosure that hinged upon the same VA regulations. The reversal stemmed from Wells Fargo’s request for an interlocutory review of the trial court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment on defendant Michael LaTouche’s claims for breach of contract, wrongful foreclosure and “surprise. An interlocutory review is undertaken when a question of law must be answered by an appellate court before ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Quicken Loans Notches First Win After Court Narrows Scope of Case

A favorable court ruling on the statute of limitations for filing claims under the False Claims Act gave Quicken Loans its first win in a closely watched government case involving allegedly fraudulent FHA loans. Judge Mark Goldsmith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed portions of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Quicken in a March 9 decision, narrowing the lender’s potential liability for FHA losses. The losses were blamed on sloppy underwriting, fraudulent certification and loan performance. The DOJ said the FHA would not have knowingly insured the loans had it known they were defective. The DOJ and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general began an investigation of Quicken’s FHA lending activities in April 2012. The investigation encompassed some 246,000 FHA loans, which Quicken originated from ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Correspondent Channel Lost Some Share of Gov’t Market in 2016

Correspondent mortgage originators account for an unusually large share of FHA and VA lending, but the channel lost some market share in 2016, according to a new analysis by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Correspondent production accounted for 53.2 percent of the $275.14 billion of government-insured mortgages originated by a diverse group of lenders that included the top players in the market. That was a significantly bigger correspondent share than was seen in the conventional-conforming market (42.6 percent) or the jumbo space (16.2 percent). However, the 2016 figure was down from a 57.8 percent correspondent share of FHA/VA lending back in 2015, the first year for which data are available. Correspondent originations of government-insured lending by the group were up 31.1 percent from 2015, but their total FHA/VA lending jumped 42.3 percent. The retail share rose ... [ 1 chart ]


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Serial Rapid Refinancing Continues As VA, MBA Explore Potential Cures

Solicitation of VA purchase loans for streamline refinancing within weeks of closing is apparently continuing despite Ginnie Mae’s efforts to stop the harmful practice. The Mortgage Bankers Association has expressed concern that guidance on pooling eligibility for streamlined refinance loans, which Ginnie issued in October last year, was far less effective than expected. Although the aggressive refinancing trend has slowed due to Ginnie’s action, there are still “pockets of that activity” being reported, said Pete Mills, MBA senior vice president. Refinancing a veteran’s purchase mortgage less than six months after its origination is not in the vet’s best interest because it strips equity from the house and results in higher financing costs, said Mills. While the rapid refi trend involves only a small number of loans in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities pools, investors do not get the full benefit of their investment because of early prepayment. Mills said there are a handful of lenders and brokers that ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

HUD IG Calls for Changes in GNMA’s Structure, Monitoring to Reduce Risk Posed by Nonbanks

Ginnie Mae’s outdated organizational structure and staff levels have made it difficult for the agency to properly monitor and mitigate the risk posed by the increasing number of nonbanks participating in its MBS programs, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general. In a recent briefing paper, HUD Inspector General David Montoya highlighted challenges Ginnie faces in monitoring nonbanks, adding that HUD is currently being audited by the IG to gauge its capacity to track and supervise nonbanks, said Montoya. Ginnie acknowledged...


March 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Detroit Court Ruling in Government’s FHA-Related Case Against Quicken Loans Narrows Lender’s Potential Liability

A recent decision by a federal judge in Detroit dismissing portions of the Department of Justice’s FHA-related claims against Quicken Loans will shrink the lender’s liability under the False Claims Act, according to a legal expert. In a decision rendered March 9 on the closely watched case, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith narrowed the scope and timeframe for which the DOJ can pursue any recovery or settlement against Quicken Loans for FHA losses allegedly due to faulty underwriting and loan default performance. It is the first major decision since the DOJ’s suit was transferred from federal court in Washington, DC, to federal court in Detroit last year. The DOJ and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General began...


March 10, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Older Homeowners Not Tapping Home Equity

Homeowners over the age of 65 rarely use their mortgages to access their home equity, according to a new study by the Urban Institute and Fannie Mae. Even as a large number of seniors reported concerns about finances during retirement, Fannie noted that just 6 percent of older adult homeowners are interested in tapping their home equity. Relatively few seniors use FHA reverse mortgages, closed-end seconds, home-equity lines of credit and cash-out refinances to tap built-up home equity. One reason seniors hesitate...


March 10, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Correspondent Big Winner in Some Segments

The correspondent lending channel was the big winner last year in terms of increased production and market share – at least in the conventional-conforming and jumbo sectors, according to a new analysis by Inside Mortgage Trends. Competition among the three main production channels evened out in the government-insured market. Correspondent production of conventional-conforming mortgages increased...


March 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HFSC’s Budget Views Lay Groundwork for Carson’s HUD Agenda as Secretary Prepares for ‘Listening’ Tour

Secretary Ben Carson may not yet have a clear agenda and a set of priorities for the Department of Housing and Urban Development over the next four years, but the House Financial Services Committee appears to have identified changes that Republican lawmakers want to see at the agency. A HUD spokesman said Carson will embark next week on a nationwide “listening” tour of certain communities and HUD field offices to learn more about the agency he leads, FHA programs and the mortgage insurance fund he oversees. On March 2, Vice President Mike Pence swore...


March 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Agencies Nipped More Jumbo Share in 2016, Heavy VA Refinance Activity Played a Role

The jumbo mortgage market generally kept pace with the robust growth in first-lien originations last year, but the agency component clearly did better than the non-agency side, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. An estimated $534.57 billion of single-family mortgages with loan balances exceeding $417,000 were produced last year, an increase of 20.0 percent from 2015. That was in line with the 19.0 percent growth in total first-lien production in 2016. But the agency jumbo market – loans in high-cost markets eligible for securitization by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae – was...[Includes three data tables]


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Public Disclosure of Misconduct May Bar Specific Claims of Fraud

Relators in a False Claims Act lawsuit must allege misconduct that has not already been publicly disclosed or risk dismissal of their qui tam claims, according to the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit. In U.S. ex rel. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. v. U.S. Bank, the court ruled that whistleblowers cannot raise “substantially the same allegations or transactions” that have been previously alleged in an action or claim and publicly disclosed. The qui tam plaintiff must be the original source of the allegations, the court said. Only certain disclosures trigger the prohibition, the court noted. They include disclosures “in a federal criminal, civil or administrative hearing in which the government or its agent is a party,” or in a Government Accountability Office or other federal report, hearing, audit or investigation, or from the news media. n this case, the relator/plaintiff alleged that U.S. Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings ...


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Primes Lenders for LRS, Defect Taxonomy; System to Go Live in 2Q

The FHA is nearing full implementation of a new loan review system (LRS) for managing FHA’s Title II single-family quality-control processes. No specific implementation date has been set but it could be sometime in the second quarter, the agency said. The LRS builds on FHA’s efforts to align the documentation of loan-review results. In addition, it incorporates the Single-Family Housing Loan Quality Assessment Methodology or defect taxonomy. The FHA said the new system would not be used to manage any aspect of the agency’s standard loan origination or endorsement processes. Rather, it would be used to review of test cases submitted by lenders seeking unconditional direct-endorsement authority. It would be used as well for various post-endorsement reviews of forward single-family loans. After the ...


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Confirms Carson as HUD Chief by Nearly Party-Line Vote

Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson plans to hit the ground running with a nationwide listening tour to learn more about the agency he will lead and the FHA programs he will oversee. This week, Carson, a neurosurgeon, was sworn in as the 17th secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development after the U.S. Senate voted 58 to 41 to confirm his nomination. A handful of Democrats, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, OH, ranking minority member on the Senate Banking Committee, joined Republicans in support of Carson in spite of his inexperience in housing policy and in running a federal agency. In a statement following Carson’s committee confirmation Jan. 24, Brown said he would have not picked the nominee to lead HUD because of his lack of experience and controversial public statements. Brown said he decided to give Carson a ...


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Issuance Tumbles in 1Q17 Following 2016’s Stellar Volume

Ginnie Mae production fell substantially in February from January as the government-insured lending market continued to lose steam in the first quarter of 2017. Ginnie mortgage-backed securities issuance fell 24.0 percent from January as fewer purchase and refinance loans were pooled for securitization, bringing February’s total issuance to just $32.2 billion. Year-over-year Ginnie MBS issuance, on the other hand, increased by 6.2 percent. The government-insured market set an all-time record of $545.0 billion in originations during 2016, a whopping 31.0 percent jump from the previous year. That total eclipsed previous records for originations of FHA, VA and rural housing loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to data compiled by affiliate Inside Mortgage Finance. In addition, government-insured lending accounted for a record ... [ 3 charts ]


March 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Participants Push to Include Servicing Reforms in Broader Housing Reform Efforts

As policymakers work toward housing finance reform, industry participants are forming plans to ensure that servicing issues are addressed. The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center recently launched the Mortgage Servicing Collaborative, which will provide data on servicing issues and analyze possible solutions. “We are...


March 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

2016 Was a Big Year for Purchase-Mortgage Lending, But the Refinance Market Was Booming as Well

Purchase-mortgage originations in 2016 hit their highest level since before the housing market crash, including a solid uptick in first-time buyer activity, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Revised estimates show a total of $1.021 trillion of home-purchase mortgages were originated in 2016, a 10.5 percent increase from the previous year. It marked the biggest volume of purchase-money lending since 2006 even though the purchase share of new originations declined. That’s...[Includes five data tables]


February 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private Mortgage Insurers Raise Concerns About Differences in QM Standards for GSEs and FHA

The U.S. Mortgage Insurers trade group is seeking to eliminate differences in standards for qualified mortgages. USMI detailed its policy priorities for 2017 late last week. While the priorities largely rehash previous points of emphasis that could increase business for private mortgage insurance companies, USMI said it has particular concerns about how some QM standards vary on mortgages delivered to the government-sponsored enterprises compared with FHA mortgages. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established...


February 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Hensarling Says Delinquency Surge Justifies Suspension of FHA Premium Cut; Consultant Says Spike May be a Fluke

A spike in FHA delinquency rates in the fourth quarter of 2016 has prompted a top House Republican leader to laud the Trump administration for its decision to suspend a 25 basis point cut in FHA mortgage insurance premiums, though some say the increase might be a fluke. Last month, an analysis by Inside FHA/VA Lending, an affiliated newsletter, revealed that delinquency rates were up across the board for FHA loans backing Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities. The share of current FHA loans as of the end of the fourth quarter slipped from 94.2 percent to 93.2 percent, while the share of loans 90 days or more past due rose to 0.82 percent, the highest it’s been since June 2014. The figures are based on loan count and are not seasonally adjusted. The Mortgage Bankers Association two weeks ago reported...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Peppers Lenders with New Policy Guidance, Instructions

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance regarding various aspects of the VA Home Loan program. On Valentine’s Day, the VA sent out a reminder to VA lenders regarding the continued use of the current National Pest Management Association (NPMA) Department of Housing and Urban Development Forms NPMA-99-A and NPMA-99-B. Circular 26-17-07 has instructions for filling out both forms. HUD NPMA-99-A, Subterranean Termite Protection Builder’s Guaranty, is completed and certified by the builder. The licensed pest control company completes the HUD-NPMA-99-B. Also on the same day, the VA announced a new requirement for staff appraisal reviewers (SARs). In 2015, VA released guidance, that established a low-risk and a high-risk appraisal review process. This requires SARs to review the LoanSafe Appraisal Manager product during the issuance of the ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lender, Charity Hid Defaults from FHA to Manipulate Default Rate

Three federal agencies have announced a joint settlement agreement and consent order with a New York FHA lender and several of its top executives to resolve alleged violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act and the False Claims Act. The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced the $1.25 million settlement with Franklin First Financial, Ltd., its Chief Executive Officer Frederick Assini, Chief Operating Officer Christopher Berman, and Andrew Dauro, a manager of the company. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants made illegal payments on behalf of borrowers from February 2009 through March 2010 to keep default rates low so that Franklin First could keep its ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA-Related FCA Enforcement, Recoveries Increase in 2016

Claims relating to housing and mortgage fraud represented a huge chunk of the amount recovered by the federal government under the False Claims Act last year. An analysis by the WilmerHale law firm found that the Department of Justice continued to give high priority to FCA investigations and prosecutions in 2016, resulting in more than $4.76 billion in settlements and judgments, nearly $1 billion more than in 2015. The increase also reflected a continued focus on financial institutions and the mortgage lending industry, with approximately $1.6 billion in recoveries last year, the law firm said. The DOJ, working on referrals from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general, has used the FCA effectively as a tool in prosecuting FHA-related fraud cases against lenders. The DOJ ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

4Q16 Spike in FHA Delinquencies Justifies Trump’s Premium Action

The spike in FHA delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2016 justifies the Trump administration’s decision last month to suspend and review the outgoing administration’s lowering of FHA mortgage insurance premiums, said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX. Commenting on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s quarterly delinquency rate survey, Hensarling praised President Trump’s decision to set aside the 25-basis-point premium reduction, which Inside FHA/VA Lending reported first on Jan. 6, 2017. “Lowering premiums at this time was a big mistake,” said Hensarling. “The sudden increase in delinquencies makes it clear that President Trump was absolutely right to undo the previous administration’s irresponsible action.” Hensarling recalled that in 2013 “taxpayers had to spend $1.7 billion to bail out the FHA.” Going forward, the FHA must be fiscally sound, with a ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Republicans Invoke Cloture in Upcoming Carson Confirmation

Ben Carson is a step closer to being confirmed as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development after Republicans this week invoked cloture to block any attempt by Democrats to delay or prevent a Senate confirmation vote. Republicans filed their cloture motion and waived quorum call on Feb. 13, effectively ending further debate on Carson’s nomination. At least 16 senators must sign a cloture petition.]There has been no date set for Carson’s confirmation vote. The Trump administration has been slow to fill its Cabinet positions, partly due to Democrats’ stalling techniques. So far, only nine cabinet positions have been filled. There has been no Senate action scheduled since the Senate Banking Committee approved Carson confirmation by voice vote on Jan. 24, and nobody seems to have an explanation for the delay. While the committee vote was unanimous, Democrats continue to ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Debt Burdens Crept Slightly Higher In 2016 for FHA and VA Borrowers

FHA and VA borrowers took on slightly greater payment obligations in 2016 than they have in previous years, according to a new analysis and servicer ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. The average debt-to-income ratio for FHA loans securitized in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities last year was 40.4 percent, up about half a percentage point from 2015. The average VA DTI ratio nudged up slightly to 38.3 percent. Average credit scores in the FHA program drifted slightly lower, while climbing 1.9 points for VA loans. The differences in credit quality between the two programs remained substantial: the VA attracts borrowers with higher credit scores and lower DTI ratios who take on larger loans. Some 36.3 percent of VA loans backing Ginnie MBS issued last year had credit scores of 740 and up, while just 13.2 percent of FHA loans fell in that category. Meanwhile, 67.1 percent of FHA loans had ...


February 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

UI Report says Credit Access Tight, Harder to Obtain Mortgage Loan Today than Pre-Crisis

Despite some reports of credit access loosening, it’s harder to get a mortgage today than it was during the housing bubble, according to the Urban Institute. With borrowers being denied at a much higher rate than in the past, lower-credit mortgage applicants are dropping out of the housing market. As access to credit tightened after the financial crisis, many lower-credit applicants were discouraged from applying, the UI study noted. That led to a higher-credit applicant pool, which in turn led to a lower rejection rate. This caused...


February 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Delinquencies Increase on a Quarterly Basis At the End of 2016, Foreclosures Decline

Mortgage delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2016 hit their highest level of the year, erasing declines from the previous quarter, according to the Inside Mortgage Finance Large Servicer Delinquency Index. The foreclosure rate continued to decline, hitting levels last seen in 2007. Among the servicers tracked by the index, the total mortgage delinquency rate was 5.05 percent as of the end of the fourth quarter. The rate was at 5.54 percent at the end of 2015 and declined each quarter until the most recent period. Each delinquency bucket increased...[Includes one data table]


February 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

The Time is Right for a Boom in Servicing Sales. Another Month or Two of Slow Prepayments Could Spur Market

The secondary market for bulk agency mortgage servicing rights is beginning to pick up a decent head of steam, but one factor is holding it back from a full-throttle: worries about prepayment speeds. “We’ve had one month of low prepayment numbers,” said Mark Garland, president of MountainView Servicing Group, Denver. “A couple of more months would be better.” According to investment bankers who work the market, although rates have been on a steady climb since the November election – the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury is...


February 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MIs Expanded Market Share in 2016 Despite Fourth-Quarter Surge by VA Guaranty Program

Private mortgage insurers grew their share of the primary mortgage insurance market during 2016 even though they lost some ground during the second half of the year, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Private MIs wrote an estimated $270.30 billion of new mortgage insurance last year, a robust 23.1 percent increase from 2015. The main engine was a 24.2 percent increase in traditional, or flow, MI business, coupled with a jump in bulk primary coverage – though such activity totaled just $860.0 million in 2016. Private MIs covered...[Includes three data tables]


Poll

With the spring homebuying season in full swing, what percentage of your March 2017 application volume has been for “purchase” loans?

75% or higher
50% to 74%
30% to 49%
Under 30%

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