FHA, VA

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

August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Homeowners Allege Discrimination In Distressed-Loan Sales Program

African-American homeowners in New York City are seeking certification of a class action alleging that the government’s distressed-loan sale program discriminates against black homeowners. The suit alleges that black FHA homeowners in default are disproportionately affected by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s note sale program and the subsequent “predatory” mortgage servicing. HUD Secretary Julian Castro, FHA Commissioner Ed Golding, Caliber Home Loans and U.S. Bank Trust were named defendants in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The defendants’ business practices allegedly violated the plaintiffs’ due-process rights as well as the Fair Housing Act. Under the note sale program, delinquent FHA mortgages are pooled and auctioned off to the highest bidder. According to the plaintiffs, the bidders are usually private-equity firms or ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Agency Updates Single-Family Property Disposition Regulations

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a final rule aimed at improving its single-family property disposition program and minimizing losses to the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The rule consolidates and reorganizes agency regulations pertaining to asset disposition to better reflect industry standards and enable HUD to get the greatest value for its real estate-owned properties. The goal of the asset disposition program is to shrink HUD’s REO inventory and at the same time reduce MMIF losses. The final rule mostly mirrors the proposed rule HUD published for comment in October last year. The department said it has made no substantive changes to the proposed draft. The codified changes include limiting the provision of settlement-cost assistance to owner-occupants. The final rule eliminates HUD’s obligation to pay the broker’s sales commission and clarifies that settlement-cost assistance is only available to owner-occupant purchasers and not investor purchasers. In addition, the ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Wait Time for Evaluating, Deploying Home-Retention Options Reduced

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


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD-IG Hammers Title II Lender for Poor Implementation of FHA HAMP

An FHA Title II lender in Atlanta is in trouble with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general for not implementing FHA’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in accordance with HUD’s requirements. As a result, HUD paid more than $1.1 million for 138 loans that were not eligible for modification under the FHA-HAMP. The lender, Georgia Housing and Finance Authority, could be facing $1.42 million in indemnifications and reimbursements because of its actions. The state housing finance agency provides low- and moderate-income people safe and affordable rental housing, and acquires and maintains housing for homeownership. Proceeds from the sale of mortgage revenue bonds, as well as federal and state allocations, fund its housing programs. GHFA also uses bond proceeds to purchase mortgages, which are serviced by mortgage affiliate. The cash flow from the ..


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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

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


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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

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


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Urged to Pursue $21.5 Million In Uncollected Partial Claims

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


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lenders Need to Seek Legal Advice Before Using FHA’s DPA Programs

The Mortgage Bankers Association strongly urged the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the FHA to issue authoritative guidelines for lenders participating in state and local housing finance programs that rely on premium pricing to fund downpayment assistance. In a recent letter to members, the MBA recommended that FHA lenders “tread carefully” and seek legal advice until HUD provides more definitive guidance on downpayment assistance and premium pricing. Lenders should consider carefully whether and when to participate in DPA programs from housing finance agencies that rely on premium-pricing mechanisms, the letter said. The MBA said it would continue to press HUD for clarification on this contentious issue. The FHA and HUD’s inspector general are currently at odds over permissible sources of single-family downpayment assistance offered through housing finance agencies. Although the ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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

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


August 25, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FCC Declines to Exclude Servicer Calls to Delinquent Borrowers from TCPA’s ‘Prior Consent’ Requirement

The Federal Communications Commission has refused an industry request to exempt mortgage servicing calls from prohibitions against the use of “robocalls,” or automated dialing and calling systems, to contact delinquent borrowers on their cell phones. In a long-awaited final rule limiting the way servicers can collect on student loans, mortgages and other debts owed to the federal government, the FCC said it would not make a decision on whether the statutory exemption from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s “prior express consent” requirements applies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans or their servicers. The TCPA and FCC regulations require...


August 18, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

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

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


August 18, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

All Cylinders Firing in 2Q16 as Surging Purchase-Mortgage Market Boosts Volume Across the Board

The boom in mortgage originations during the second quarter of 2016 pushed volume higher in all the major product categories, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. The conventional-conforming sector saw the biggest increase in originations, a 36.0 percent jump from the first three months of the year. Lenders produced an estimated $272.0 billion of conventional-conforming mortgages, which represented ... [Includes two data charts]


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Interest Rate for VA Streamline Modifications. Servicers initiating a trial payment plan (TPP) for a VA streamline loan modification may seek pre-approval from the Department of Veterans Affairs to complete the modification with an interest based on the approval date of the TPP instead of the interest rate at the time the modification was approved. All pre-approval requests must be submitted prior to the TPP agreement or loan modification ... [Includes three briefs]


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Subordination to Loans with PACE Liens Yields Mixed Result for MBS

The FHA’s and VA’s acceptance of residential properties with existing senior PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) liens is credit positive for asset-backed securities backed by PACE assessments and could have a mixed effect on some residential mortgage-backed securities, according to a new analysis by Moody’s Investors Services. The move is expected to expand the availability of mortgage financing for purchasers of homes with PACE obligations as well as ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Flint Lenders Must Verify Quality of Water Source for FHA Properties

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general has urged the agency to direct FHA lenders to show documented proof that properties in Flint, MI, had a safe and potable water source at the time their FHA loans were closed and endorsed, or face indemnification. The HUD IG, in a report, said it audited the department’s oversight of FHA-insured loans in Flint in the wake of news reports of high levels of lead contamination in the city’s public water system ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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

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


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

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

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


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ, HUD-IG Investigating Alabama Bank’s FHA Lending, Underwriting

Regions Financial Corp., a $125 billion Alabama bank, has reached a preliminary settlement with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to resolve an investigation into the bank’s FHA lending practices. The reason for the investigation was not disclosed in the bank’s 10-Q filing, although Regions acknowledged that DOJ and the HUD inspector general are focusing on its FHA loan origination procedures, underwriting and ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Implements Modified Lender Certifications to Ease Liability Fear

Revised forms lenders must file when submitting a mortgage loan for FHA insurance became mandatory on Aug. 1, raising hope for more lender participation in the FHA single-family mortgage insurance program without fear of liability. The improved form, HUD/VA Addendum to the Universal Residential Loan Application (Form 92900-A), eliminates the requirement that lenders certify to their compliance with all FHA requirements. The FHA first proposed changes to ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lapses in Communicating Loss Mit Options Result in HUD Violations

An FHA servicer’s failure to communicate in a timely manner with delinquent borrowers for potential loss mitigation options exposed troubled homeowners to the risk of losing their home, according to results of an audit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general. The delay also may have resulted in a violation of federal and state bankruptcy laws, the inspector general’s report noted. The audit looked into Selene Finance’s servicing of FHA loans and ...


August 12, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD IG Takes Up Premium Pricing Concerns with House Panel

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general has taken its dispute with HUD over downpayment assistance to Congress, accusing FHA of steering borrowers to DPA programs with an illegal funding scheme. In a recent letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, HUD Inspector General David Montoya said premium pricing uncovered during an audit of an Arizona-based FHA lender violates federal law regarding ...


August 11, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Insurance Came Roaring Into Spring, Setting New Business Record in Booming Market

Lenders originated home loans that included primary mortgage insurance at a hectic pace during the second quarter of 2016, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. A whopping $196.23 billion of new mortgage originations carried private MI during the second quarter, including significant increases in both private MI and government-insured mortgage insurance. That was up 34.1 percent from the first three months of 2016, and represented the biggest quarterly total on record. Private MI posted...[Includes three data tables]


August 5, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Plenty of Demand for New Nonprime Mortgages in Secondary Market, MBS Helping to Reduce Rates

There’s more than $50.0 billion in capital ready to acquire new nonprime home loans, including non-qualified mortgages, according to Dan Perl, chairman and CEO of Citadel Servicing, a nonprime lender. “Liquidity is abundant,” he said last week at the California Mortgage Bankers Association’s Western Secondary Market Conference in San Francisco. “There is a ready market for this and I couldn’t say that two years ago.” William Pendleton, a senior vice president of portfolio lending at Caliber Home Loans, said...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

USMI Names MGIC Chief as Chairman. U.S. Mortgage Insurance has tapped Patrick Sinks, chief executive of MGIC Investment Corp., to be the trade group’s new chairman. Sinks succeeds USMI Chairman Rohit Gupta, president and CEO of Genworth Mortgage Insurance. Sinks served previously as USMI’s vice chairman. Bradley Shuster, chairman/chief executive for NMI Holdings, will take overNew Reverse-Mortgage Product. California Mortgage Advisors has expanded its reverse-mortgage menu, with the addition of a non-FHA reverse mortgage option of up to $6 million for select clients. With the new product, CMA joins a handful of private reverse-mortgage lenders that will consider properties valued up to $6 million. Last year, American Advisors Group, the largest Home Equity Conversion Mortgage lender, announced its AAG Advantage lending program, which features the ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Improves EAD Portal to Make Working with Appraisals Easier

FHA has announced updates to the Electronic Appraisal Delivery (EAD) portal and FHA Connection (FHAC) to make it easier for entities to view and work with appraisal reports. The latest improvement would ensure that EAD portal users, lenders/underwriters in particular, are approving appraisal reports for the FHA case number assigned to them. The FHA also released guidance regarding case transfers in relation to appraisal reports in the EAD portal and FHA Connection. If, prior to case transfer, the original mortgagee uploaded an appraisal, the new mortgagee to whom the case was transferred will be unable to view the appraisal in EAD. Hence, the new mortgagee must obtain a copy of the appraisal from the original mortgagee and submit it through the EAD portal. The original mortgagee must first transfer the case number to the new mortgagee in FHAC. Once the case transfer is complete, the ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Fannie Mae Allows Use of HUD Housing Counselors for 97 LTVs

Fannie Mae has announced new enhancements to its 97 percent loan-to-value mortgage product, including acceptance of FHA-approved housing counseling, to help attract more borrowers.The improvements would expand access to HomeReady, which allows borrowers to pay as little as 3 percent down on a home purchase. The 3 percent may include income from non-borrower household members. Fannie said it would accept one-on-one, pre-purchase counseling from providers that have been approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for FHA borrowers. The goal is to help conventional borrowers meet HomeReady’s homeownership education requirements. Later this year, Fannie will offer lenders a $500 credit to encourage borrowers to take advantage of the housing counseling option to help sustain long-term homeownership. In addition, Fannie simplified income-eligibility requirements for ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Further Clarifies Guidance on TRID, Other Policy Handbook Items

We pick up where we left off last issue with the Department of Veterans Affairs attempting to clarify certain guidance in the VA Lender Handbook. ? If the TRID (Truth in Lending/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosures) closing disclosures change after the veteran signs [the form], should the lender require the veteran to sign it again? VA: The short answer is yes. The lender is required to provide the TRID closing disclosure no later than three business days before consummation. The lender is required to provide a corrected closing disclosure to the borrower three days before consummation or closing in certain instances, and at or before consummation if other types of changes occur, such as adjustment of costs or credits. Therefore, any changes made that require an amended disclosure must have the borrower’s signature. ? Is the Amendatory Clause mandatory for all ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Source of Funds: Top Reason for High Unacceptable Findings in 1Q

Unverified funds and undocumented deposits are the leading causes of high initial unacceptable findings in a post-endorsement review of a sampling of FHA-insured loans, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Source-of-fund issues were found in 9.8 percent of FHA loans in the first quarter of 2016, up from 9.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. The percentage of loans with such problems fell to 2.0 percent after going through loss mitigation. Specifically, auditors either found undocumented large deposits or deposits that are from unacceptable sources. In addition, auditors found loans in which borrower funds fell short of the minimum investment requirement or actual funds to close an FHA loan. Inadequate borrower funds or reserves were also found in certain loans that were run through the TOTAL Scorecard, invalidating them for FHA approval. The ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD to Look into IG Allegations of Illegal Practices in DPA Programs

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will look into certain downpayment-assistance practices that the department’s inspector general alleged are improper or unlawful. In a recent note to FHA lenders, FHA Commissioner Ed Golding said HUD would look into any inappropriate practices, including the extent to which government-sponsored downpayment-assistance programs disclose loan terms to borrowers. In addition, HUD will investigate IG allegations of inappropriate fees or costs being charged to borrowers, as well as reports of steering and coercion of borrowers, said Golding. In the note, Golding reiterated HUD’s support for government-backed DPA programs that enable families to access credit for purchasing homes. The note also carried a statement from HUD Deputy Secretary Nina Coloretti, which reiterated the department’s support for government-backed DPA programs. Coloretti also clarified a memorandum on DPA issued by Golding back in May, which, she said, “may have been misinterpreted by some to endorse otherwise unlawful practices.” She said HUD does not endorse such practices.


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CIT Group Adds $230 Million to Loss Reserves Due to HECM Losses

CIT Group this week revealed that it was shoring up loss reserves tied to a reverse mortgage servicing operation it absorbed as part of its acquisition of OneWest Bank and its parent holding company, IMB HoldCo., last August. The loss of $167 million in discontinued operations relates to Financial Freedom, a reverse mortgage servicing subsidiary of OneWest Bank, which CIT shut down in December last year. In an earlier filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CIT management identified a material weakness in Financial Freedom related to estimates of the interest-curtailment reserve in its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage portfolio. The flawed estimates apparently have resulted in a material misstatement of CIT’s consolidated financial statements. Due to a change in estimates, and taking into consideration an investigation being conducted by the ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Condo Bill Nears Enactment, Lenders More Eager for HUD Rule

Senate legislation that would make it easier to obtain FHA financing for condominium projects has been sent to the president for signature, though lenders seem to be more eager for long-anticipated condo reform guidelines from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Senate lawmakers unanimously approved H.R. 3700, the “Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act,” before Congress retired for the August recess. The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 427-0 back in February. Industry observers said the bill would essentially codify FHA condo-financing guidelines, which HUD recently drafted and are currently undergoing clearance at the Office of Management and Budget. Under H.R. 3700, the FHA would be required to establish and implement a recertification process that is substantially less burdensome than the ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA, VA Begin Insuring Mortgages On Properties with PACE Liens

The FHA and VA are expanding their guarantees to residential properties with superior PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) liens, but certain clarifications must be made before the market will really open up, according to legal experts. Under newly issued guidance, the FHA and the VA will begin insuring mortgages on qualified residential properties encumbered by PACE liens in support of a White House initiative to make clean energy and energy upgrades available to low- and moderate-income homeowners. PACE programs are available in 19 states and in the District of Columbia and have enabling legislation in 32 states, plus Washington, DC. Such programs provide financing for home improvements that enable homeowners to make energy and water use more efficient and less costly. The financing, however, is not like a traditional loan product. Homeowners repay the PACE financing through a ...


July 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Bursts over $1 Trillion in June As New Issuance Exceeds Runoff

Despite quickening refinance activity, the FHA single-family market soared over the $1 trillion mark in loans pooled in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities during the second quarter of 2016, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis. A record $1.001 trillion of FHA single-family loans made up the lion’s share of collateral backing Ginnie MBS as of the end of June. That was a 1.3 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 5.5 percent gain from the midway point in 2015. Steady growth in FHA loans helped push Ginnie single-family MBS to $1.576 trillion outstanding, topping Freddie Mac for second place in the agency market. The VA loan guaranty program was still the fastest-growing corner of the government-insured market, with total VA loans in Ginnie pools up 3.8 percent from March and 16.7 percent higher than a year ago. The actual amount of FHA and VA loans outstanding is somewhat ... [ 4 charts ]


July 28, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Is Fear of a Cut in FHA Premiums Holding Up AIG’s Plan to Spin Off United Guaranty?

In late January of this year, American International Group announced its intention to spin off 10 percent of its top-ranked mortgage insurance affiliate, United Guaranty Corp., but almost seven months later no deal has materialized. According to interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Finance this week, it’s been “radio silent” regarding the initial public offering, but all that could change next week when AIG releases its second quarter results. A spokesman for UGC declined to comment on the matter. Most of the observers believe...


July 28, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Lenders See Plenty of Demand for Originations, Having Trouble Determining Best Option for Servicing

The decline in interest rates after the Brexit vote in late June has boosted mortgage originations in recent weeks and caused problems for holders of mortgage servicing rights, according to industry participants at the California Mortgage Bankers Association’s Western Secondary Market Conference in San Francisco this week. Mike Duncan, a hedge manager at Compass Analytics, said 25 percent of his firm’s clients were over capacity at the end of May and 40 percent were over capacity by the end of June. He predicted that over-capacity rates could go even higher if interest rates stay low, increasing demand for refinances. Compass provides pricing, valuation and interest rate risk-management services. Rob Branthover, a managing director at Mortgage Industry Advisory Corp., added...


July 22, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Eleventh Circuit Opinion in GNMA-Related Case Shines Light on Two Important Securities Fraud Laws

Stakeholders in the MBS market should pay attention to a recent U.S. 11th Circuit opinion concerning a jury verdict in which the court focused on the similarities and differences between two kinds of securities fraud, suggested attorneys in their analysis of the case. Although the opinion in SEC v. Radius Capital Corp. is unpublished and not a binding precedent, it gives further clarity to two of the most important rules used by the Securities and Exchange Commission in targeting securities fraud, according to attorneys with the law firm Carlton Fields. The SEC sued...


July 22, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Lenders Quietly Introducing Low-Downpayment Programs to Help Cash-Strapped Buyers

Mortgages that allow buyers to make low downpayments are making a quiet comeback, according to a recent analysis from Deutsche Bank. But do they have the staying power? So far, seven lenders have partnered with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in special programs to offer loans requiring anywhere from no money down to 3 percent down. Although the government-sponsored enterprises cap their high loan-to-value product at 97 percent, some lenders step in and subsidize the extra funds needed to make up the difference. The GSEs began...


July 22, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Republican Platform 2016 Talks of Reduced Government Role, Ending Mandates

The Republican platform, released this week during the Republican National Convention, would scale back the government’s role in housing and make borrowers and lenders more responsible. But it offered a somewhat vague prescription for what to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “Our goal is to advance responsible homeownership while guarding against the abuses that led to the housing collapse,” the platform states. The GOP said housing reform should include clear underwriting standards and guidelines on predatory and acceptable lending practices – standards that are arguably at the core of the Dodd-Frank Act that’s roundly criticized by the party. Republicans blamed...


July 21, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA to Insure Certain Mortgages with PACE Liens; MBA, California Realtors Dissatisfied with Guidelines

The FHA this week clarified its policy on insuring mortgages with PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) senior tax liens to make it easier for borrowers to obtain FHA financing for such mortgages, but the mortgage and real estate industries continue to have concerns. The new guidelines address state programs where the PACE obligation is treated like a property tax with priority over an FHA lien. The program provides financing for home-energy improvements and water conservation, and is repaid through an assessment added to the property’s tax bill. The guidelines are designed...


July 21, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Senate Unanimously Approves FHA Condominium Bill, But Industry Interest is on HUD Condo Reform Guidelines

The U.S. Senate last week passed legislation easing FHA rules on condominium financing even as condo reform rules are undergoing clearance at the Office of Management and Budget. H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016, was approved by unanimous consent. The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 427-0 back in February. Industry observers say the bill would essentially codify long-anticipated guidelines the Department of Housing and Urban Development has drafted. Among other things, the bill requires...


July 21, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Realtors Say FHA Loans and GSE Low-Downpayment Programs Seen as Readily Available for Homebuyers

While some banks have reduced their FHA lending in recent years and alternatives from the government-sponsored enterprises are still gaining traction, homebuyers still have access to low-downpayment mortgage programs, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. “Most real estate agents say high loan-to-value ratio mortgages are readily available, especially for homebuyers with good credit,” said Tom Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys. The HousingPulse survey covering activity in June included...


July 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

CA Legislature Poised to Pass Protections for Widowed Homeowners. The California legislature is a step away from enacting legislation that would extend existing foreclosure protections in the state Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR) to widows, widowers and other heirs of deceased homeowners. The legislature passed the HBOR in 2012 to provide due process protections to homeowners and establish rules and procedures for communication between servicers and borrowers regarding options to avoid foreclosure. However, the bill’s protections did not extend to surviving spouses and successors-in-interest who may wish to continue paying the mortgage loan but could not assume the loan or afford the payment with the loss of the deceased homeowner’s income. Surviving family members may then seek a loan assumption or modification, only to be refused by the servicer because their names are not on the ...


July 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Discusses Steps in Challenging, Resolving Adverse Audit Findin

The Department of Veterans Affairs has spelled out steps for disputing and resolving audit findings with the agency. The VA Home Loan Guaranty program has a policy-resolution protocol in place to increase both consistency among the VA regional loan centers (RLC) and responsiveness to lender inquiries. In seeking to resolve an audit dispute with an RLC, the lender should first consult the VA Lender’s Handbook before contacting the VA. Lenders also are encouraged to check with colleagues who might be familiar with issues underlying the dispute. The lender should contact the RLC with jurisdiction for an official response to case-specific questions. When disputing an audit finding or a deficiency letter, the lender should contact the loan specialist who conducted the audit. If, after communicating with the loan specialist, the dispute remains unresolved, the lender should take its concern to ...


July 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Breaks Down, Explains NPS, Timely Payments, Handbook Issues

The Department of Veterans Affairs has clarified policies that have raised questions among VA lenders but were not addressed during the agency’s annual lender conference in San Diego, CA, back in May. ? What is the VA’s policy regarding a non-purchasing spouse’s (NPS) credit? VA: The NPS’s liabilities need to be considered but not its credit history. ? What is VA’s policy regarding a loss that an NPS reports on a joint tax return? If a joint tax return shows a business loss, then that loss will have to be deducted from the veteran’s income in both community and non-community property states. What is reported to the Internal Revenue Service must be used when applying for a federally guaranteed loan In a situation where a couple has been faced with business losses, the veteran and his or her spouse may want to consider both being on the loan in order to potentially qualify. ? The VA Pamphlet states: “Account balances reduced to ...


July 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Passes Legislation Easing Condo Recertification Process

The U.S. Senate this week passed legislation that includes reforms to current FHA restrictions on condominium financing, among other provisions. H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016, was approved without amendment by unanimous consent. The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 427-0 in February. The bill addresses problems facing buyers and sellers of condominiums. Specifically, the bill modifies the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance and public housing programs, FHA’s requirements for condo mortgage insurance and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s single-family housing guaranteed loan program. Among other things, the bill requires the FHA to make recertifications “substantially less burdensome,” while lowering the ownership-occupancy requirement from 50 percent to 35 percent. The current ...


July 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Is an FHA Premium Cut Imminent? Lost Revenue Could Be a Factor

With the improvement in loan performance, credit quality and serious delinquency rate, some mortgage industry observers think the FHA is poised for another premium reduction before the end of the year. It is a better time for the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, with fiscal year 2016 volume expected to exceed $220 billion, way more than the $170 billion the last independent actuarial report had predicted. Serious delinquency rates decreased in the first quarter to 5.31 percent, near the lowest level since 2008, according to FHA’s latest quarterly report to Congress. Rates for those vintages most affected by the recent economic recession (2006-2008) continue to decline. In addition, claims continue to be well below actuarial predictions – 32 percent less than predicted for the first quarter. Also, MMIF watchers are optimistic that the next actuarial report will show a higher capital cushion. According to the ...


July 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GOP Critics Blast DASP Changes, Claim Move is Politically Motivated

House Republicans this week accused the Department of Housing and Urban Development of giving preferential treatment to political favorites in changes to FHA distressed asset sales. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, denounced changes HUD Secretary Julian Castro made to the Distressed Asset Sale Program (DASP), saying the moves help liberal special interests at the expense of private investors. Hensarling said the changes would create “preferential bidding” for certain buyers and restrict investor options. HUD expanded DASP in 2012 as a conduit for selling nonperforming FHA loans to investors with the proviso they must first help borrowers save their homes from foreclosure and foreclose only if all loan-modification options have been exhausted. Distressed note sales also helped stabilize FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and have contributed more than ...


July 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae Production Up Sharply Across the Board in Second Quarter

Ginnie Mae issuers produced a hefty $125.42 billion of new single-family mortgage-backed securities during the second quarter of 2016, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of MBS data. The government-insured market continued to run hotter than the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sector. Ginnie MBS issuance – including FHA’s home-equity conversion mortgage program – was up 31.1 percent from the first quarter, while single-family MBS issuance by the two government-sponsored enterprises rose 26.2 percent over the same period. Excluding HECM, Ginnie issuance was up 31.5 percent in the second quarter. While FHA forward mortgages continued to be the biggest source of collateral, the VA program actually produced a bigger gain, 42.4 percent, from the first to the second quarter. VA production saw a major boost in refinance activity, up 58.4 ... [Includes four charts ]


July 15, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Trading Declined in June as Rates Tumbled. Is the ‘Mother of All’ Bond Market Corrections Around the Corner?

The average daily trading volume in agency MBS totaled $212.6 billion in June, a slight decline from the month prior, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Still, that’s a far cry better than the low established back in December of 2015 when the reading came in at $149.2 billion. June’s performance came...


Poll

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury fell to all-time low of 1.34% recently. How much better will originations be at your shop in the second half compared to 1H, if at all?

Better by 1% to 10%.

30%

Better by 11% to 25%.

39%

Off the charts better. Applications are great now.

22%

Worse than 1H, but not by much.

4%

A lot worse. But not sure on the damage.

4%

Housing Pulse