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

December 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Detractors Question Carson’s Qualification as HUD Secretary, But Industry Thinks Effectiveness Depends on Key Appointees

President-elect Donald Trump this week officially nominated former Republican primary rival Dr. Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development – a move that elicited mixed responses from industry and government quarters. Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, eclipsed possible contenders for the HUD job, including Scott Brown, former U.S. senator from Massachusetts; Ed DeMarco, former acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency; Rick Lazio, former Republican congressman from New York; Blaine Leutkemeyer, another Republican lawmaker from Missouri; Brian Montgomery, former FHA commissioner and HUD assistant secretary; and Pamela Patenaude, president of the Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families. Carson’s nomination is...

December 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Jury Finds Allied Home Mortgage and CEO Liable for FCA, FIRREA Violations, Awards $93 Million in Damages

A Texas jury awarded the federal government $93 million in damages after finding entities under the Allied Home Mortgage brand liable for running an illegal net branching scheme and falsely certifying thousands of FHA loans, eventually causing huge losses for the FHA. The case was the first False Claims Act award related to FHA activity made by a jury. Although nearly all lenders have ended up settling FCA cases, Quicken Loans is still actively fighting FCA charges in a jury proceeding. The Department of Housing and Urban Development claims...

December 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Agency Jumbo Production Outpaced Traditional Jumbo Originations in 3Q16, Higher Conforming Limits Ahead

The one weak spot in the mortgage market during the third quarter was in traditional jumbo originations, a trend that was reinforced by a significant increase in production of agency mortgages in high-cost markets that exceeded $417,000. An estimated $101.0 billion of non-agency jumbo home loans were originated during the third quarter, down 1.9 percent from the previous quarter. At the same time, production of conforming-jumbo mortgages – loans greater than $417,000 that were securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae – jumped 27.7 percent from the second to the third quarter. Some of the disparity is...[Includes three data tables]

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

US Court Issues Injunction on DOL’s Overtime Pay Rule. A federal judge in Texas granted states’ motion to block the Department of Labor’s controversial overtime pay rule set to take effect on Dec. 1, 2016. In late breaking news, the Department of Justice said it will appeal the injunction. The decision handed down by Judge Amos Mazzant of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas would deprive approximately 4.2 million workers who stand to benefit from the rule. Twenty-one states, a coalition of business organizations and the Plano Chamber of Commerce challenged the rule in separate amici briefs, arguing they stand to lose money if the final rule takes effect. The final rule would require employers to pay a higher salary level for certain employees to be exempt from overtime. In addition, it would automatically update the minimum salary level every three years. In his decision, Mazzant determined that ...

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Fears Cycle of Restatements As IG Withholds Opinion Again

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has expressed concern about the inspector general’s decision to withhold its opinion on the results of FY 2016 audits of HUD and Ginnie Mae. In its audit report, the HUD inspector general said it has issued a disclaimer of opinion on HUD’s fiscal years 2016 and 2015 (restated) consolidated financial statements because of the agency’s failure to deliver both statements and their accompanying notes in a timely manner. In addition, there were several unresolved audit matters from past audits that prevented the IG from completing an examination of HUD’s and Ginnie Mae’s accounts and rendering an opinion. These unresolved matters related to a number of things, including the Office of General Counsel’s refusal to sign a management representation letter, HUD’s improper use of budgetary accounting methods, and the $4.2 billion in ...

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Eases FHA Outsourcing Rules, Clarifies Lenders’ Responsibilities

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has clarified requirements for FHA lenders before they can hire professional employer organizations to handle their human-resource (HR) functions. Generally, the HUD Single-Family Policy Handbook bars FHA lenders from outsourcing HR services such as payroll processing, payment of employment taxes, and/or the provision of employee benefits. However, HUD has decided to ease the rules in new guidance issued on Nov. 28. Based on an analysis of certain policies and potential risks, HUD now allows lenders to outsource their HR services if they retain full responsibility and legal liability for the actions of covered employees with respect to HUD regulations and requirements, particularly in the areas of compensation and use of contractors. Specifically, the lender must not compensate employees who perform underwriting, quality control, or ...

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Jury Finds Allied Home Mortgage Entities Guilty, Awards $93M to US

A federal jury awarded more than $93 million in damages to the federal government after finding Allied Home Mortgage entities liable for civil mortgage fraud against the FHA. A unanimous jury found Allied Home Mortgage Capital and Allied Home Mortgage Corp., as well as the company’s president and chief executive, Jim C. Hodge. guilty of mortgage fraud. The jury awarded the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice a total of $93 million in damages, including $7.4 million against Hodge. The Allied entities allegedly violated the federal False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) in connection with “a decade of fraudulent misconduct” related to FHA lending. The FCA provides for treble damages and imposes a penalty of $5,500 to $11,000 for each violation. Separately, FIRREA imposes a ...

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Groups Favoring One-Unit Approval, Differ on Owner-Occupancy Rate

Stakeholders voiced support for an FHA proposal to revive the agency’s single-unit approval policy for condominium financing but differed on owner-occupancy requirements. Both items are part of a proposed rule which would give the FHA more wiggle room in formulating its condo rules. The proposed rule’s 60-day comment period ended on Nov. 28. Among other things, the FHA is proposing to reinstate “spot approval” financing on individual units in condo projects that are not currently approved for FHA insurance. The Department of Housing and Urban Development terminated single-unit approvals a few years ago in favor of mandatory condo-project approval. Ultimately, the current approval process proved to be more cumbersome, resulting in many condo projects opting out of FHA. Under the proposed rule, single-unit approvals are limited to a maximum of 20 percent of the units in the ...

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CFPB Issues New Exam Procedures For Reverse Mortgage Servicing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ditched the antiquated method for assessing servicer compliance with reverse mortgage-servicing rules in favor of new examination procedures. Depending on the scope, each reverse mortgage-servicing exam will include one or more of eight modules covering various facets of reverse mortgage servicing. There are two kinds of reverse mortgages. The FHA, under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, insures most reverse mortgages. As with other FHA mortgage products, it has a maximum loan amount. Some lenders also offer proprietary (non-HECM) reverse mortgages, which are designed generally for borrowers with higher home values and more equity, the CFPB noted. Proprietary reverse mortgages are not federally insured. However, companies that offer them copy the consumer protections found in the HECM program, including ...

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Raises Loan Limits for HECMs, Forwards; VA Follows Freddie Mac

The FHA this week announced higher “floor” and “ceiling” loan limits for forward and reverse mortgages for 2017, pushing loan limits upward in certain metropolitan statistical areas by as much as $162,500. The loan-limit changes will take effect on Jan. 1, spurred by rising median home prices. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index for September reported that home prices increased 5.5 percent year-over-year, driven by a tight supply of homes for sale, especially in the West. Each year, FHA recalculates its loan limits based on 115 percent of the median house price in the area. For counties located in MSAs, the loan limit is calculated based on the highest-cost county within the MSA. Under the 2017 changes, FHA will raise its nationwide “floor,” or low-cost area mortgage limits, for one-unit properties to $275,665 from $271,050, a difference of $4,615. In high-cost areas, the loan-limit ceiling for a ... [ 2 charts ]

December 2, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA, VA Deliveries to Ginnie Mae Increase During First Nine Months

Total FHA and VA originations increased during the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, although VA was more active, posting a double-digit production increase, according to an analysis of Ginnie Mae data. Lenders delivered $201.0 billion of FHA loans to Ginnie single-family mortgage pools over the last three quarters, up 4.8 percent from the previous year. Approximately 65.4 percent and 29.3 percent of FHA loans securitized were purchase loans and refinances, respectively. The remainder was loan modifications. VA originations totaled $143.2 billion over the same period, up 22.3 percent from last year. Refinances accounted for 51.9 percent of volume and purchase loans comprised 47.0 percent. The share of FHA loans in agency mortgage-backed securities for the nine-month period was 19.5 percent and 13.9 percent for VA. FHA loans accounted for ...

December 2, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Despite Restrictions, PACE Securitizations Are Picking Up, Market Outlook for 2017 Optimistic

Securitization of residential and commercial loans with Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments has been growing over the last few years despite having only a few market players, prompting analysts to predict continued growth for the PACE securities market. Residential PACE financing has increased to $2.9 billion with 130,000 home upgrades since 2010, according to second quarter 2016 data from industry group PACE Nation. Commercial PACE financing, meanwhile, has grown to $304 million with 820 commercial projects over the same period. Three programs accounted...

December 1, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Limit Slightly For GSE Loans, Actual Impact is Debatable

The Federal Housing Finance Agency raised the maximum conforming loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages in 2017 for the first time in a decade, but the impact on loan originations is questionable. Meanwhile, the FHA has not yet announced its 2017 loan limits. The baseline loan limit will go up for the first time since 2006, rising from $417,000 to $424,100. And the maximum high-cost loan limit for one-unit properties is climbing to $636,150, an increase of $10,650. The FHFA said that loan limits for the two government-sponsored enterprises will increase in all but 87 counties. An Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data indicates...

November 23, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Owner-Occupancy Threshold for Condos Too High

The FHA can be more flexible in insuring condominiums without increasing risk to the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, according to a new analysis from the Urban Institute. The FHA proposed a rule in September that would give it more flexibility in formulating its condo rules. Specifically, FHA proposed to establish a permissible, minimum owner-occupancy range of 25 to 75 percent, while keeping the option of setting a minimum threshold within that range as ...

November 23, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Bank Repurchases Up Again in Third Quarter

Bank mortgage repurchase activity rose again in the third quarter of 2016, although most of the increase is tied to Bank of America clearing up old buyback issues. Commercial banks and savings institutions reported $884.4 million in single-family mortgage repurchases and indemnifications during the third quarter. That was up 10.0 percent from the previous period and marked the third consecutive quarterly increase in repurchase activity ... [Includes one data chart]

November 23, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump’s Business Background Could Help Resolve Problems With Credit Availability, Housing Supply

President-elect Donald Trump’s business background could help address two of the biggest challenges confronting the housing finance industry today: limited credit availability and a shortage in the supply of the housing stock, according to Laurie Goodman, director of the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center. “Mortgage credit availability is an issue we have repeatedly written about,” said Goodman in a recent online blog post. Some of her previous research has shown that “the market is taking less than half the credit risk it was taking during 2001, a period of reasonable credit standards,” she noted. And other HFPC research has shown...

November 23, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

DC Court Orders Transfer of DOJ’s FCA Lawsuit Against Quicken Loans to Federal Court in Detroit

A federal district court judge in Washington, DC, ordered the transfer of a False Claims Act complaint filed by the Department of Justice against Quicken Loans alleging violation of FHA rules to the nonbank lender’s home court. Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the DOJ’s arguments to keep the case in the nation’s capital and instead granted Quicken’s motion to transfer it to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in downtown Detroit. Among other things, the government accused...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Overall Delinquency Rate Improves For FHA, VA Loans in Third Quarter

FHA and VA loan performance improved in the third quarter of 2016 as the delinquency rate on government-backed loans declined on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest mortgage delinquency survey. The FHA delinquency rate fell by 16 basis points to 8.30 percent, its lowest level since 4Q97, with all categories – 30-days, 60-days and 90 days + past due – reflecting the decline. Over the quarter, the delinquency rate of FHA loans with payments 30 days past due dropped 4 bps from the previous quarter. Insured loans that were 60 days behind on their payments saw a 6 bps drop in their delinquency rate, while that for seriously delinquent loans fell 9 bps during the period. FHA mortgages showed some declines in performance on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Approximately 8.70 percent of outstanding FHA loans were past due as of the end of the third quarter, up 25 bps from the ...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GAO to FHA, RHS: Consider Rolling Overlapping Programs into One

A new report from the Government Accountability Office urged the FHA and the Rural Housing Service to consider consolidating both their similar, often overlapping single-family home loan guarantee programs. Both FHA and RHS, an agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, help borrowers finance homes by providing guarantees on their single-family mortgage loans. The latest GAO report expands on the analysis in a 2012 report, which found overlaps in the loan products offered by the two agencies, borrower income levels, and geographic areas served by the FHA single-family mortgage insurance program and the RHS’ Single-Family Housing Loan Guarantee Program. The report compared single-family home purchase loans backed by FHA and RHS in fiscal years 2010-2014. Auditors found significant overlap and some differences in the borrowers the agencies serve. According to the ...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Moves to Electronic Submission Of Condo Project-Approval Request

VA lenders must now submit their condominium approval requests electronically to the VA Home Loan Program to enable the agency to lower condo-approval costs and speed up the process. The process of shifting from paper to electronic submission of VA condo-approval documents began on Nov. 3. Lenders and other program participants are required to upload their condo association documents into WebLGY in PDF format. A condo record must exist in WebLGY in order to upload the required paperwork. Directions on how to search condo records and create a new record may be found in the Quick Reference Document. Users can access the site via a link in Section 6 of VA Circular 26-16-35. When creating a new record, documents within the file or that uploaded individually must be stacked and labeled in the ...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Study Debunks HUD IG’s Claim that HFA DPAs Put FHA Fund at Risk

State housing finance agencies’ downpayment assistance poses minimal risk to the FHA, and the scope of the problem is nowhere near the size suggested by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general, according to a new study by the Urban Institute. The study’s conclusion would appear to bolster HUD’s defense of permissible downpayment assistance in a disagreement with the agency’s inspector general. The dispute arose from an IG audit of NOVA Financial & Investment Corp., an originator of FHA-insured mortgages with downpayment assistance provided by state housing finance agencies (HFAs). In a July 2015 report on NOVA’s audit, the IG alleged that some HFAs were allowing downpayment assistance that was being paid for through higher mortgage rates, in violation of FHA requirements for downpayment assistance. It also put FHA’s mortgage insurance fund at ...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CFPB Study Finds Aggressive Refi Lenders to be Vets’ #1 Complaint

Aggressive refinance solicitation can be a double-edged sword for lenders: It could either result in increased VA refi business or, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found out, consumer complaints. Since the CFPB began taking mortgage-related complaints in 2012, it has received more than 12,500 complaints from servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Of those complaints, 1,800 were related to VA refinancing. The VA offers two types of refinancing options to eligible borrowers – the VA cash-out refinance and the VA streamline refi, or Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL). In a cash-out refi, the veteran homeowner can refinance a VA or non-VA loan into a lower-rate VA loan and take cash out of home equity to pay off a debt, finance an educational pursuit or pay for a home improvement. The VA will guaranty up to the full value of the home. On the other hand, an IRRRL can only refinance a ...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

U.S. Court Orders Quicken’s FHA Case Moved to MI District Court

The Department of Justice lost its bid to have an FHA lawsuit against Quicken Loans heard in the nation’s capital after a federal judge this week ordered the case transferred to federal district court in Michigan. Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia agreed with Quicken that the proper forum for adjudicating the government’s False Claims Act case is the Eastern District Court in downtown Detroit. While the court agreed that the case has national implications, it also noted the “strong local interest in this matter in the Eastern District of Michigan,” where “Quicken Loans underwrote the FHA loans at issue, endorsed those loans, and certified its compliance as to those loans.” While certain factors weighed against the transfer, the alleged unlawful activity occurred in or near Detroit, where the lender is headquartered and most of its employees are located. The case, U.S. v. Quicken Loans, ...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MMI Fund Continues Upward Arc, MIP Reduction Remains Uncertain

The FY 2016 Actuarial Review showed a stronger FHA mortgage insurance fund, thanks to a surging forward loan portfolio, but the prospect of a price adjustment remains unlikely. Review results were a mixture of good news and bad news. The good news is the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund’s economic net worth grew by $3.8 billion to $27.6 billion – $4.2 billion short of what last year’s actuarial report projected. The capital ratio rose to 2.32 percent, exceeding the 2.0 percent minimum established by Congress to cover future losses. Observers said the increases demonstrate steady but modest growth in the fund. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s top officials credited the fund’s growth to a stronger forward-mortgage portfolio, which increased by $18 billion to $35.3 billion – $10.1 billion above projections – with a capital ratio of 3.28 percent. The report attributed the increase to a ...

November 18, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Vibrant Purchase Market Fuels FHA, VA Originations in 3Q16

A strong purchase market helped push FHA and VA originations in the third quarter of 2016, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. FHA forward originations increased by 17.4 percent from the second quarter for a total of $72.3 billion. That brought total FHA-insured loans originated over the first nine months to $187.3 billion, up 3.9 percent from the same period last year. Purchase mortgages comprised 70.0 percent of FHA’s total origination over the last three quarters. Quicken Loans reported only a 3.3 percent increase in FHA originations in the third quarter but still managed to retain its top ranking with $10.8 billion in FHA originations in the first nine months of 2016. Freedom Mortgage worked extra hard, ending the nine-month period with $5.0 billion on the strength of refinances. Third-quarter originations were up 69.6 percent from the prior quarter, and up 51.4 percent for the ... [ 4 charts ]

November 17, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Delinquencies Increase Slightly in Third Quarter As Part of Seasonal Trend; Uptick in FHA Delinquencies

Mortgage performance declined somewhat in the third quarter of 2016 compared with the previous quarter, according to the Inside Mortgage Finance Large Servicer Delinquency Index. The increase in delinquencies and foreclosures was part of a seasonal trend seen in recent years. The large servicers reported a total delinquency/foreclosure rate of 5.08 percent as of the end of the third quarter, up 8.6 basis points from the previous quarter. The increase was driven by new delinquencies across various buckets – largely concentrated among FHA mortgages – while the foreclosure rate decreased slightly. Every year since 2011, the total delinquency/foreclosure rate has increased...

November 17, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA’s FY 2016 Forward Portfolio Boosts MMIF’s Value, Capital Reserve Ratio but No Indication of Pricing Change

The FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund may be healthy enough to support a cut in forward-mortgage premiums, but officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development aren’t yet willing to pull the trigger. HUD this week released its annual FHA audit showing strong improvement in the MMI Fund from the forward-mortgage side of the ledger. During a press briefing, Edward Golding, principal deputy assistant secretary for housing, said the strong audit results “do indicate there is room to return pricing to that which reflects the risks in the program.” He noted that the $245 billion in new FHA business in fiscal 2016 clearly added to the strength of the MMI Fund, “with indications we’re pricing above the risk of the program.” At the same time, Golding made...

November 17, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Government-Insured Lending Soared In 3Q16 While Jumbo Market Eased Up

Most of the lift in third-quarter mortgage originations came from the tail end of the refinance boom, especially in the agency market, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. The government-insured market saw a hefty 21.4 percent jump in mortgage originations from the second to the third quarter as the sector reached an estimated $159.0 billion and accounted for 27.4 percent of total first-lien production. It was the second consecutive record quarter for FHA, VA and Department of Agriculture rural-housing production. The conventional-conforming segment was not far behind...[Includes two data tables]

November 11, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Mae Expects New Pooling Requirements for Streamline Refis Will Ease Investor Prepay Concerns

Ginnie Mae’s decision to change the pooling requirements for streamline refinance loans should boost investor confidence and slow new production of GNMA IIs, Deutsche Bank analysts said. The change could be seen as mildly more restrictive than current pooling standards, particularly having more impact on VA loans, which unlike FHA, have no seasoning requirement to qualify for streamline refinancing, said Jeana Curro, bank research analyst. Under new guidance issued last month, in order to be pooled into standard Ginnie I or Ginnie II multi-issuer pools, streamline refi loans must show...

November 10, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Analysts Believe Further MIP Cuts Doubtful But Stronger MMI Fund May Convince Them Otherwise

The question of whether FHA should do another mortgage insurance premium reduction is pretty much on stakeholders’ minds as they anticipate the release of the annual actuarial review of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund next week. Analysts, however, are not ready to change their opinion that further MIP cuts are unlikely. Some analysts said they would reconsider their views if the upcoming report showed strong growth in the MMI Fund, while others believe FHA’s priorities today are different than they were in early 2015, when the agency cut the annual premium for forward mortgages to 0.85 percent. The FHA’s decision to lower the annual MIP was spurred...

November 10, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MIs Lose Some Market Share to Government Programs During 3Q16, Radian Keeps Top Ranking

The primary mortgage insurance market remained on track for its best year ever during the third quarter of 2016, as the government-insured sectors gained some ground on private MIs, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Mortgage lenders originated a record $220.46 billion of home loans with some form of primary MI during the third quarter, a 16.6 percent increase from the previous period. That brought year-to-date primary MI activity to $553.77 billion, just $92.40 billion less than the all-time annual record of $646.17 billion set in 2015. The government-insured market – mostly FHA and VA – was...[Includes three data tables]

November 10, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB, Dodd-Frank May Be in the Crosshairs of Trump Administration, GOP-Controlled Congress

Mortgage lenders and servicers could see a dramatic change in the regulatory environment following the election of Donald Trump as president with a GOP-controlled Congress. During a campaign of many and sometimes conflicting promises, Trump vowed to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, which would require Congressional action and, if carried out in its entirety, would abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Some observers think a more likely outcome is a restructuring of the CFPB itself and curbing of some regulatory and enforcement actions, perhaps with new leadership. Mortgage lending issues were...


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