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

September 30, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Mae Improperly Allowed Uninsured Loans to Remain in MBS Pools for a Year or More, Says IG

Ginnie Mae has allowed hundreds of uninsured single-family loans to remain in its MBS pools for a year or longer because it does not have a process for lenders to remove such loans, according to an audit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general. The audit report said Ginnie allowed at least 345 uninsured single-family loans worth approximately $50 million to remain in its pools for more than one year. The IG reviewed a statistical sample of 85 of 363 pooled loans that had no insurance endorsement date and found 83 of them were uninsured more than one year after they were issued. Ginnie requires...

September 30, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Issuers Say Strong Oversight Plan is Key to Successful Subservicing, Avoiding Liability

Ginnie Mae issuers that use subservicers need to have a proper subservicing oversight plan that encompasses all aspects of their Ginnie servicing portfolio to avoid servicing mishaps and liability. Participants in a recent Ginnie Mae summit in Washington, DC, pooled their collective experiences with subservicers to come up with a general oversight plan touching on every servicing function. These functions include escrow, collections, customer service, notifications, loss mitigation, loan modification, payoff, claims and maintenance. The decision to use a subservicer is...

September 30, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

A Year After TRID, the ‘Scratch & Dent’ Market For Such Loans Isn’t Going Away. But It is Slowing

The scratch-and-dent market for residential loans that have TRID-related errors is still alive and (mostly) well, even though originators have had almost a year to adjust to the new disclosure regime introduced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “This market will never be exhausted,” said Jeff Bode, chairman and CEO of Mid America Mortgage, Addison, TX, one of the most active buyers of mortgages that have errors related to consumer disclosures tied to the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Of course, it’s...

September 29, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA Seeks Comment on Condominium Approval Process, Groups Laud Return of Spot Loans, Longer Certification

The FHA has issued long-anticipated rules for approving condominium developments, including the reinstatement of spot approvals and mandatory recertification of condo approvals every three years rather than the current two-year requirement. The rules are designed to make it easier for condo projects to qualify for FHA financing and for borrowers to purchase affordable single-family units with a low 3.5 percent downpayment. The comment period ends on Nov. 28, 2016. The Department of Housing and Urban Development eliminated...

September 29, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

The State of Mortgage Servicing Sales: ‘It’s Hand- To-Hand Combat’ on Some Deals, Analyst Says

In general, it hasn’t been a pretty picture this year when it comes to the sale of “bulk” mortgage servicing rights, especially Ginnie Mae receivables. According to figures compiled by affiliate publication Inside Mortgage Trends, bulk MSR transfers (one barometer of sales) increased 20.6 percent in the second quarter compared to the first with roughly $42.9 billion of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie product changing hands. The third quarter is expected...

September 29, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

To Ease Investor Concerns, VA Mulling Policy Change To Resolve QM-Related Issues in the IRRRL Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs is drafting a new policy to address ongoing confusion about its Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan program and ease investor anxiety. The uncertainty among VA lenders stems from the treatment of IRRRLs under the VA’s interim final rule defining what constitutes a “qualified mortgage.” That rule took...

September 29, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

‘Agency Jumbo’ Sector Spurts Ahead of Non-Agency Jumbo Production, Slight Loan Limit Hike Likely

During the second quarter, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Veterans Affairs home loan guaranty program all saw significant increases in production of “agency jumbo” loans – mortgages with loan amounts exceeding the baseline $417,00 agency loan limit. A new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis reveals that the agencies’ combined jumbo production, including FHA activity, rose 53.3 percent to $36.2 billion during the second quarter. That represented the highest quarterly total since “emergency” high-cost loan limits were established in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The FHA had...[Includes three data tables]

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

PACE Guidance Not Reassuring, Too Many Uncertainties, Pitfalls

New FHA guidance for dealing with mortgages with a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) obligation went into effect last week but uncertainty lingers and its full impact remains to be seen, according to an industry attorney. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidance specifically allowing properties encumbered by a PACE lien to be eligible for FHA mortgage financing for both purchase and refinance loans. The department of Veterans Affairs has issued similar guidance. According to Erika Sonstroem, an attorney with the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, the PACE industry is touting the guidance in its pitches to lenders as posing no risk to mortgage investors. PACE is a program that lends money to homeowners for home-energy savings projects. It is treated much like a tax lien on a property and is included in the ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Clarifying Guidance for Manufactured, Mobile Properties

VA Home Loan Guaranty has issued clarification regarding title requirements for manufactured or mobile homes conveyed to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Effective immediately, VA is requiring proof of noteholders’ compliance with the agency’s requirements for guaranteed mobile-home financing. Foreclosure title packages that do not include the required documents will be rejected, the agency warned. Under federal law, a manufactured home must be permanently affixed and classified as real property in the state where it is located. VA will not guarantee financing if the property does not meet the criteria. To ensure that a guaranty claim is fully payable and that the holder has the option to convey the manufactured home to VA, servicers must ensure that home loans with a VA guarantee meet federal requirements. Under the clarified VA guidelines, servicers may submit the ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Shares Pointers to Help Avoid Delays in Processing COE Requests

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made recommendations to VA lenders and borrowers calling in with questions and problems at VA regional centers to avoid long wait times and have their concerns resolved as quickly as possible. In a recent memo to lenders, the VA Loan Guaranty Service is reporting that many of its regional loan centers (RLC) are being swamped with calls due to record increases in VA originations in recent months. While this suggests that more veterans are using their housing loan benefit than ever before, the large volume of calls to VA has caused long hold times for callers and delayed processing of borrower certificates of eligibility (COE). To cut down on the waiting time, the VA urged lenders and borrowers to consider several things before making the call. First, do not call to check on the status of a COE request if there is no urgent need, like an ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Poised to Collect Huge FCA Settlement Funds from Lenders

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is set to receive more than $140 million in settlements with three individual lenders in connection with defective loans they originated with FHA insurance. Freedom Mortgage Corp., M&T Bank, and Land Home Financial Services all reached separate agreements this year with the Department of Justice on behalf of the HUD Inspector General to resolve the allegations. On April 15, Freedom agreed to pay $113 million, in response to charges that “it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination, underwriting, property appraisal and quality of certain single-family mortgages insured by FHA.” The disputed forward loans were insured by FHA between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2011, which resulted in claims submitted to HUD on or before June 15, 2015. HUD incurred substantial losses when it paid claims on the ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Liquidity, Net Worth Issues Persist But Nothing Ginnie Can’t Manage

Ginnie Mae continues to wrestle with issuers lacking liquidity and net worth although the number of such cases has gone down significantly, thanks to tight oversight, according to the agency’s top counterparty risk officer. Briefing participants at this year’s Ginnie Mae summit in Washington, DC, Zack Skochko, director of counterparty risk, reported that some issuers are still struggling to comply with Ginnie Mae’s liquidity and net worth requirements.A number of small issuers failed their liquidity and net worth audits this year by not maintaining the minimum $1 million cash or 10 basis points of outstanding Ginnie securities required to participate in the agency’s mortgage-backed securities program. Ginnie Mae also requires issuers to meet a minimum net worth of $2.5 million plus 35 bps of the issuer’s total effective single-family obligations The requirements were designed to ensure that the ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Originations Stayed Strong in 2Q16 as Volume Rose 30 Percent

VA lenders recorded a strong first half for 2016, thanks to a substantial boost in production in the second quarter, agency data show. VA guarantees on purchase and refinance mortgages totaled $83.5 billion for the first six months, as lenders made a strong second-quarter push that brought production up by 29.9 percent. Streamlined refinancing, also known as Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs), comprised a hefty portion of total VA originations – 21.7 percent. VA has been particularly strong in the refinance segment over the last six months, racking up $44.3 billion in total refi volume, far exceeding FHA’s $36.4 billion and private mortgage insurers’ $21.6 billion. (see IFHA/VA Lending, 8/9/16.) Overall, FHA remained the top mortgage insurer in the government-backed lending market with $123.0 billion, compared to VA’s $84.8 billion. Loans with primate MI totaled $102.7 billion ... [ 1 chart ]

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Streamline Refi Segment Causing Problems for VA, Ginnie Investors

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a change to its existing streamline refinancing policy to address a problem that is giving VA and Ginnie Mae the fits. Under the VA’s qualified-mortgage rule, a VA borrower must wait six months and show six months’ worth of mortgage payments before they can refinance into an IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan) and take advantage of the lower rate. However, it seems not all VA lenders are adhering to the rule and that a good number are refinancing veterans into IRRRLs even before the mandatory seasoning period ends for fear interest rates might rise and the borrower might not benefit from the lower rate. “I’ve redone the numbers in 20 different directions on how much a borrower would save if they had to wait two more months and the rate went up a quarter of a point because they lost those two months ...

September 22, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Freddie’s New Mortgage Pilot Loosens Requirements Based on Demographic Trends of Diverse Communities

Freddie Mac is partnering with two lenders for a mortgage pilot program that will consider a wider range of underwriting criteria, including income from seasonal work, to help promote homeownership in diverse communities. The pilot, based on certain borrower characteristics, was launched with New American Funding, headquartered in Dallas, and Las Vegas-based Alterra Home Loans. It was announced this week during the national convention of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals. The NAHREP said the narrow definitions of creditworthiness make it especially difficult for minority and first-time borrowers to qualify for and obtain a mortgage. The two nonbank lenders, which specialize in serving the Hispanic community and low-income borrowers, will build...

September 22, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Closings of Purchase Mortgages Increasingly Delayed As Strong Volume Mixes with Shortage of Appraisers

An increasing share of purchase mortgages have missed their scheduled closing dates in recent months, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. Many of the delays are tied to a shortage of appraisers as home sale activity increased during the spring and summer. Just before the start of the spring home-buying season, the on-time share of closings was at high levels for mortgage-financed purchases. Some 76.6 percent of purchases in April with a low downpayment mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac closed on time, based on a three-month moving average. The on-time closing share has declined...

September 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HFSC Passes Dodd-Frank Replacement, Bill Would Foster Portfolio Lending, Make Mortgage Changes

The House Financial Services Committee this week marked up, mostly on party lines, a comprehensive alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act that would, among other things, create a legal safe harbor for mortgage loans that are originated by a lender and then held in portfolio on its balance sheet. Democrats unanimously opposed the bill and refused to offer a single amendment, continually railing against Wells Fargo and accusing the Republicans of wanting to take the nation “back to the regulatory Stone Age.” The bill passed...

September 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Correspondents Most Active in Conventional-Conforming Space, Brokers Gained Ground in Government Lending

Retail lending through brick-and-mortar branches and consumer-direct programs was the biggest production channel in conventional mortgage lending but had a somewhat smaller share in government-insured lending, according to an exclusive analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance. Retail production played a dominant role in the jumbo market, where it accounted for 79.3 percent of originations over the 18-month period ending in June 2016. Correspondent production played a meaningful role, accounting for 16.1 percent of jumbo originations, but brokers (4.6 percent) had a relatively thin share of the jumbo market. Brokers’ strength was...[Includes one data table]

September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Tennessee Lender Agrees to $70 million Settlement to Resolve Alleged FHA Violations. Franklin American Mortgage of Franklin, TN, has agreed to pay the federal government $70 million to resolve allegations of failing to comply with FHA requirements. Specifically, the direct endorsement lender allegedly engaged in improper underwriting of FHA loans between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2012, which later resulted in submission of claims and substantial losses to the FHA insurance fund. Franklin entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General. As part of the settlement, Franklin acknowledged “it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination, underwriting, and quality control of certain single-family residential mortgage loans insured by FHA.” The settlement was neither an admission of ...

September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Seeks Comment on Proposed Update of 203(k) Consultant Fees

The FHA is seeking comment on proposals for revising the schedule of fees an agency-approved consultant may charge on a Section 203(k) property repair and rehabilitation mortgage. The agency wants public comment on whether fees charged by FHA 203(k) consultants should be based on the total cost of repairs, as they are currently, or on other metrics. Consultants charge varying fees on a standard 203(k) mortgage and a limited 203(k) mortgage. The standard FHA repair/rehab mortgage is designed for remodeling, rehabilitation and repairs that involve structural or more complex work that will cost more than $5,000. The limited 203(k) home loan is only for minor remodeling and non-structural repairs. An FHA-approved consultant is required for all standard 203(k) mortgages but not necessarily for a limited 203(k) home loan. FHA-approved 203(k) consultants who are placed on ...

September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

IG Audit Finds Weak Spots in HUD Mortgage Data, Claims Systems

An internal compliance audit has uncovered weaknesses in the FHA’s information systems that could expose the agency to hacking. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General recently issued an audit report indicating that FHA’s Single Family Insurance System (SFIS) and Single Family Insurance Claims Subsystem could be in danger of security breaches. However, the report withheld details of the audit, saying the findings were not for public disclosure. The report explained that the audit was part of the internal-control assessments required for the FY 2015 financial statement audit under the Chief Financial Officer’s Act of 1996. The audit’s objective was to provide an assessment of SFIS control compliance with HUD’s information-technology policies and federal IT system security and financial management requirements. The SFIS contains information on FHA borrowers, including ...

September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CA Lender Exposed MMIF to Higher Risk, Ordered to Indemnify HUD

A California FHA lender could face monetary penalties totaling $242,828 for deficient mortgage underwriting and exposing the FHA insurance fund to increased risk of loss and fraud. A Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general’s audit of Sun West Mortgage Co. of Cerritos, CA, also alleged unauthorized use of foreign staff in another country to “pre-underwrite” FHA loans. The audit was triggered by a complaint the IG Office received in November last year alleging that Sun West, an approved FHA lender since 1980, was not underwriting FHA loans properly. In addition, the complaint alleged that Sun West was having the loans pre-underwritten by a company in another country, in violation of HUD rules. Neither the company nor the country was identified in the audit report. The complaint further alleged that employees at Sun West shared user identification numbers for ...

September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA/VA: Financing of Choice for Purchase Borrowers in 13 States

Homebuyers in two housing markets encompassing 13 states relied more on FHA and VA than other types financing, according to a new industry study of new single-family homes started in 2015. A study by the National Association of Home Builders found, among other things, that government-backed purchase lending and other forms of non-conventional mortgage financing remained elevated in 2015. For example, homebuyers in the South Atlantic and West South Central regions favored FHA and VA loans over other types of home-purchase financing. States in the South Atlantic region include Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. Washington, DC, is also in this region. West South Central states are comprised of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Together, the two regions accounted for more than 26 percent and 21 percent of the ...

September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Note Rate Lower than FHA, Private MIs; VA Refis Dominate

VA refinance mortgages accounted for the biggest share of total insured refis during the first six months of 2016, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency refi data. On a monthly basis, VA refi totals exceeded refis with FHA and private mortgage insurance, peaking at $9.3 billion (58.1 percent of total VA originations) in April. Over the six-month period, the refi share of VA loans securitized by Ginnie Mae averaged 52.3 percent, compared to 29.6 percent for FHA and 21.0 percent for private MI loans securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In terms of total volume, however, FHA held a commanding lead, $123.0 billion, over private MIs ($102.7 billion) and VA ($84.8 billion). Interestingly, the average interest rate on VA refi loans, 3.6 percent, over the six-month period was lower than FHA’s and private MIs’ note rates of 3.9 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. There is no clear ... [1 chart]

September 9, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Issuance of MBS Backed by New Nonprime Mortgages Flourishing as Lone Star Preps Its Second Deal

Lone Star Funds is preparing to issue a $216.97 million MBS backed by newly originated nonprime mortgages, according to presale reports published this week. The deal will help the market for new nonprime MBS outpace issuance of jumbo MBS, at least momentarily. Last month, Deephaven Mortgage issued a $154.33 million MBS backed by new nonprime mortgages and Angel Oak Capital Advisors issued a $132.65 million MBS, neither of which received credit ratings. Lone Star’s COLT 2016-2 is scheduled to close next week. Two jumbo MBS were issued...

September 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lenders Urged to Loosen Underwriting as Performance Of Post-Crisis Originations Remains Exceptional

The near-zero default rate seen on mortgages originated in recent years combined with lenders’ extensive underwriting processes provide “clear evidence” that lenders should loosen underwriting standards, according to Laurie Goodman, director of the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center. Wells Fargo originated more than 2.10 million conventional conforming mortgages between 2011 and the end of the first quarter of 2016. Only 4,082 of them became 60+ days past due in the first 24 months after origination, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Goodman said...

September 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Servicing Sales Begin to Accelerate but a Tough Year Overall. Still, 4Q16 Could Mark a Turnaround

After a difficult year so far, sales of mortgage servicing rights are beginning to pick up a head of steam this fall with the hope that the fourth quarter could turn out be a barn-burner. According to interviews conducted by Inside Mortgage Finance this week, servicing advisors for the most part are feeling mildly optimistic about the final three months of the year, although they all admit the obvious: an unexpected drop in rates could spoil the party. But that may not...

September 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Surge in Purchase-Mortgage Lending Fueled 2Q16 Production Boom, But Refi Market Also Strengthened

Originations of purchase-money mortgages jumped 44.3 percent from the first to the second quarter of 2016, without any sign of significant easing in underwriting standards. Mortgage lenders produced an estimated $267.0 billion of purchase loans during the second quarter, lifting year-to-date purchase originations to $452.0 billion, an 8.1 percent increase from the first half of last year. The refinance market still had...[Includes three data tables]

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...


After the November elections, how long will it take for a new Congress and White House to pass GSE reform legislation?

I’m confident a bill will be passed the first year.
2 to 3 years. GSE reform is complicated.
Sadly it won’t happen in a Clinton or Trump first term.
Not in my lifetime.

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