FHA, VA

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

October 31, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Enterprise Endnotes

FHFA’s Watt Promises a CEO for the CSP by Year-end. After a year of searching for a chief executive to lead Common Securitization Solutions, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is getting closer to picking a candidate for the job. Speaking at the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Las Vegas last week, FHFA Director Mel Watt promised the industry that a CEO would be named by Dec. 31. The FHFA’s search firm is Spencer Stuart.


October 30, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Loan Origination Volume Up Again in 3Q14 But Trends Vary Widely Among Top Lenders

2014 is going to go down as the worst year in new mortgage origination volume since the turn of the century, but it’s clearly not as bad as many have feared. Mortgage lenders produced an estimated $335 billion in new single-family loans during the third quarter, a solid 9.8 percent increase from the previous period, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Significantly, the first and second quarters of this year were...[Includes two data charts]


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA to Host First Briefing Session on the First Installment of the Single Family Policy Handbook. The FHA will have a webinar on Nov. 6, 2014, from 2 p.m.-3 p.m., for stakeholders in connection with the first completed section of the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, the Origination through Post-Closing/Endorsement for Title II Forward Mortgages (Origination through Post-Closing). The new handbook is designed to make it easier for stakeholders to do business with the FHA and support greater access to mortgage credit for qualified borrowers. Once fully completed, the handbook will contain all FHA origination and underwriting policies that lenders use in making FHA-insured loans. The FHA published the first section of the handbook on Sept. 30, which becomes effective for FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 15, 2015. The agency urged lenders to ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA to Modify CHUMS, Develop New System

The FHA has announced plans to modify the Computerized Homes Underwriting Management System (CHUMS) while work continues on a new, improved replacement system. CHUMS provides support for automated processing, analysis and screening of appraisal documents. Specifically, it is used on first-time homebuyer loan applications, Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, Section 203(k) property rehabilitation loans, VA-certified FHA loans and other FHA-approved programs. The system is also used to assist in evaluations of borrowers’ mortgage credit and as a complement to FHA’s credit assessment tool, TOTAL Scorecard. A new Loan Application Management System (LAMS) is in development to replace CHUMS completely in about five years. In its initial release, LAMS will enable the Department of Housing and Urban Development to start collecting and incorporating ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

State FHA Originations Up, Golden State Leads

Total originations of FHA forward and home-equity conversion mortgages across the U.S. and in the territories increased from the first to the second quarter, with California accounting for the lion’s share of all FHA loans produced by state. Production of FHA-insured forwards, including jumbo loans, and HECM loans during the first half of 2014 totaled $68.3 billion, a whopping 49.0 percent drop from volume reported over the same period last year. On the other hand, total originations in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands rose 11.5 percent quarter-over-quarter. Originations totaled $36.1 billion in the second quarter. Forward mortgages accounted for $61.1 billion of new FHA-insured loans originated during the first six months while HECMs comprised $7.2 billion of loans produced over ... [ 1 Chart ]


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HUD to Let Property-Flipping Waiver Lapse

Buyers, sellers and real estate agents have until the end of 2014 to take advantage of the property-flipping waiver that the FHA had put in place in 2010 to increase the availability of affordable homes for first-time homebuyers and other purchasers. After Dec. 31, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will let the waiver lapse subjecting investors again to property-flipping prohibitions. Lenders say the waiver program worked well in underserved and hard-hit areas but HUD believes the program’s initial objectives have been attained and that prudence and vigilance are again called for to prevent abuses and potential losses. As a rule, the FHA prohibits “property flipping” in which a recently acquired property undergoes a minor makeover, is appraised with an artificially high value and is resold for a considerable profit. Most property flipping occurs within a matter of days, which prompted HUD to ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

VA, Rural Housing Guarantees Surge in 2014

While the FHA’s share of the primary insurance market has dropped significantly since premiums were hiked in early 2013, the VA program and the rural housing loan program run by the Department of Agriculture are going strong, according to agency officials. During a panel discussion at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention this week, VA and Rural Development executives said that both agencies have been quietly building mortgage market share. Jeffrey London, deputy director of the VA’s loan guaranty service, reported that purchase-mortgage VA loan originations were up 11 percent in fiscal 2014, with 40 percent of the business being first-time homebuyers. Of that group, 80 percent took no-downpayment VA loans, the biggest selling point in the program, along with its relatively low costs. In earlier remarks, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro revealed that ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Silent on MIP, Will Review Pricing Further

A top-ranking housing official soon to become acting FHA commissioner assured lenders that the agency is reviewing the pricing of its mortgage insurance, but made no promises during the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association held this week in Las Vegas. Biniam Gebre, now the deputy assistant secretary for housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the agency “has been reviewing our premium levels on a regular basis.” He added, “I’m sure we will come back to it over the next couple months and next year.” The pricing of FHA mortgage insurance premiums “is a very important question,” Gebre said. Many in the mortgage industry have been focused on the availability of credit, but the affordability of credit is important as well, he added. “We believe we reached a tipping point when we raised premiums in response to ...


October 24, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Raises Net Worth, Liquidity Tests

Ginnie Mae this week provided new details to the long-anticipated plan for increased issuer net worth and liquidity and a new performance scoring method for issuer activity – changes that could adversely affect small issuers and portfolio servicers. In remarks at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer said the changes are part of a larger effort to ensure the continuing flexibility and availability of the agency’s mortgage-backed securities program to as many entities as possible. New types of issuers and counterparties have entered the agency-backed MBS market in the wake of the financial crisis, which called for adjustments and tailored approaches to the evolving housing finance market, Tozer noted. Tozer said both policy changes and staff expertise will ensure the success of ...


October 23, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA to Revisit Mortgage Insurance Premiums While Auditors Assess MMIF’s Improving Condition

The FHA has been reviewing the insurance premiums it charges and will do so again later this year as well as in 2015, said a top agency official, but whether this will lead to a reduction is unclear. Speaking at the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Las Vegas this week, FHA Deputy Commissioner Biniam Gebre said the agency is “not done” with the premium issue and may revisit it in the next couple of months or perhaps next year. Gebre will temporarily replace FHA Commissioner Carol Galante, who is scheduled to leave the agency at the end of the week to join the faculty at the University of California in Berkeley. Galante headed...


October 23, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA Share of Home-Purchase Financing Falls to Five-Year Low, Borrowers Shift to GSEs and VA

High fees on FHA mortgages have helped push FHA’s market of financing for home purchases to the lowest level since the financial crisis, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. FHA mortgages were used to finance 18.2 percent of home purchases in September, based on a three-month moving average. That was down from a 21.9 percent share in September 2013 and 36.6 percent in May 2010, the highest level for FHA financing in the five-year history of HousingPulse. From 2008 through 2013, the Department of Housing and Urban Development increased...


October 23, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Expanding Access to Credit May Grease Underperforming Home-Purchase Market

The mortgage credit box contracted quickly as the housing market slid toward disaster in 2007, but it’s proving to be much more difficult to stretch it back to what used to be considered normal. The subtitle to this week’s annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association could well have been “access to credit,” an idea that clearly dominated the conversation. Despite the recent unexpected drop in mortgage interest rates, most observers expect origination volume in 2015 to track closely to this year’s sluggish level and part of the problem is relatively weak home-purchase lending. Industry people are...


October 16, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Small Mortgage Lenders Renew Call for Lower FHA Premiums, in Anticipation of Healthier Insurance Fund

A group of small and mid-sized lenders this week renewed their request to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to cut FHA’s annual premiums to improve borrower access to credit, a change that likely depends on the annual audit of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Sources expect the next annual audit report to show further improvement in the health of the MMI Fund, which had a negative economic value of $1.3 billion in September 2013, the end of the government’s 2013 fiscal year. Beyond getting back into the black, the MMIF still must reach a 2.0 percent statutory capital reserve requirement, which the last audit predicted would occur next year. The fiscal 2014 audit report is expected...


October 16, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Layoffs Hit ‘Specialty Servicers’ Wingspan And RCS: Has This Niche Market Peaked?

Thanks to rapidly improving delinquency rates and real estate values, the bloom appears to be off the rose for specialty servicers that built their business on processing delinquent and high-touch mortgages that are guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA. Over the past month, layoffs have plagued both Wingspan Portfolio Services, Dallas, and Residential Credit Solutions of Fort Worth, TX. Moreover, industry officials who work in the servicing sector believe...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA to Extend Short Refi Program. The FHA has announced its intent to extend its Short Refinance Program for borrowers in negative equity positions. A mortgagee letter will be issued soon to announce the extension. Feedback Period extended for Draft Servicing Section of Proposed Single Family Handbook. The FHA is extending the comment period for the draft servicing section of the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook through Nov. 14, 2014 to allow stakeholders additional time to study and comment on the proposed section. The original deadline date was Oct. 17. CFPB Updates Reverse Mortgage Guide. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently updated its reverse mortgage guide on its website to account for recent changes made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. The updated guide highlights new limits to ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae MBS Issuance Increases in 3Q14

Ginnie Mae issuance for the first nine months of 2014 totaled $207.5 billion as government-backed purchase-mortgage activity picked up in the third quarter, according to an analysis of agency data. New issuances rose 19.8 percent from the second quarter. FHA loans accounted for $116.9 billion of new Ginnie Mae issuances while VA and the Rural Housing Development funneled $75.9 billion and $14.2 billion, respectively, of new loans into Ginnie Mae pools. Mortgage securities backed by home-equity conversion mortgages are not included. Purchase mortgages totaling $140.6 billion comprised the bulk of new issuances over the nine-month period while the share of refinances totaled $49.8 billion. Modified loans accounted for $17.1 billion. Most of the FHA and VA loans originated during the first nine months came through the ... [ 2 charts ]


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Millennial Agenda Underscores FHA’s ‘Blueprint’

President Obama this week released his agenda for creating economic opportunity for millennials, including greater access to mortgage credit through FHA. While the economy has recovered and there has been some improvement in the housing market, millennials are on a much slower pace toward homeownership than previous generations, the president said. Many are in rental housing, ready to become homeowners but are locked out by the tough, restrictive lending environment, he added. Millennials – identified as those born between 1982 and 2004, also known as Generation Y – are finding it harder to purchase homes because of lender overlays, high mortgage insurance premiums and high downpayment requirements. It also has been difficult for anyone with a credit score below 680 to obtain a purchase-mortgage loan. In his agenda, Obama expressed concern over the ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Details Improvements to LEAP 3.0 System

Like all new automated systems, FHA’s Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP 3.0) was not without technical glitches when the agency rolled it out back in May. Users immediately reported difficulties in certain functions, such as adding new branches, making changes to existing branches and changing cash flow accounts. The FHA ever since has been working to iron out the kinks to allow lenders to submit their annual recertification packages with ease. So far, certain fixes have been implemented allowing lenders to add, edit and delete branch and regional managers, delete attachments uploaded to LEAP and properly update cash flow accounts in the database. The FHA also changed the way lenders edit their principal affiliations in LEAP. In addition, newly approved lenders now have access to the new system. Furthermore, the FHA expanded to 250 the maximum allowable characters lenders may use when ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HECM Borrowers Found Violating Residency Rule

An internal audit found as many as 136 borrowers not living in the properties for which they have obtained FHA-insured reverse mortgages because they were also receiving federal housing assistance under a different address. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General discovered the anomaly during a follow-up review of HUD’s oversight of the home-equity conversion mortgage program to ensure HECM borrowers comply with residency requirements. A previous audit had red-flagged potential residency violations. In the latest review, auditors analyzed HUD’s data warehouse for single-family mortgages and its public housing information system from April 2011 through March 2014 and identified 159 potential violators of the residency rule. Of those potential violators, 136 were found to be not occupying the properties associated with their HECM loans but, instead, ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

New Regulations Cause HECM Volume to Drop

FHA reverse mortgage volume fell in the second quarter as well as during the first six months of 2014 as regulatory changes reduced profitability and increased the cost of originating the government-backed product, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Home equity conversion mortgage volume declined 19.9 percent quarter-over-quarter and dropped 9.0 percent during the first half of the year compared to the same period last year. HECM lenders reported $7.2 billion in total originations in the first half, with purchase loans accounting for 93.6 percent. Fixed-rate HECMs comprised only 22.2 percent of total volume as most borrowers turned to adjustable-rate HECMs for their reverse-mortgage needs. The top five HECM lenders – American Advisors Group, Reverse Mortgage Solutions, One Reverse Mortgage, Liberty Home Equity Solutions and Proficio Mortgage Ventures – accounted for ... [1 chart ]


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

OIG Calls for HUD Action Versus Errant Lenders

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General has recommended that HUD require an approved FHA lender to reimburse the FHA $1.6 million for improper claims on 11 preforeclosure sales, including lender and borrower incentives. An IG audit of EverBank of Jacksonville, FL, attributed FHA’s losses to the bank’s failure to determine whether or not defaulted borrowers qualified for the agency’s preforeclosure sale program. The IG looked into the bank’s short sale activities because it had the highest preforeclosure sale claims in Florida. More than 50 percent of EverBank’s FHA claims were from short sales, with more than $12.9 million paid from 2011 through 2013, the audit found. In response, EverBank questioned the accuracy of the IG report. The bank maintained that certain allegations do not constitute violations of ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HUD-OIG Reports $582M in Recoveries for MMIF

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General has announced a total of $581.8 million in recoveries in September to strengthen and stabilize the ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The recovered amounts are part of larger settlements between the federal government, U.S. Bank and Bank of America to resolve allegations of false claims and mortgage fraud in relation to FHA-insured mortgages. Both banks were investigated separately by the HUD-OIG, Department of Justice and U.S. attorneys’ offices in Michigan, Ohio and New York in connection with their lending and underwriting practices and quality-control programs for FHA-insured loans. On June 30, U.S. Bank entered into a settlement agreement to pay $200 million, of which nearly $144.2 million went to the MMI Fund. The bank admitted to poor underwriting, flawed quality control and ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Loan Reviews Continue to Find Defects

Missing or incorrect files was the most common defect found in 49 percent of the loans, of which 29 percent were deemed initially unacceptable. Flawed credit or underwriting came in second at 26 percent, of which 67 percent were rated unacceptable. Program eligibility and operational deficiencies each had a 9 percent share while defective appraisals were common in 7 percent of all reviewed loans. Properly mitigated, the percentage of initially unacceptable loans usually drops to about 7 percent. The FHA tends to blames lenders for the defects but the bottom line is mistakes cut both ways, according to compliance experts. “Lenders make mistakes that can easily be corrected,” said one compliance consultant. “FHA also can be guilty of causing a mistake.” For example, poor communication and lack of clarity caused lenders to check a yes/no box to confirm whether or not they ...


October 10, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Now a Year Old and Counting, GSE JV Common Securitization Solutions Still Doesn’t Have a CEO

After a year of searching for a chief executive to head Common Securitization Solutions LLC, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is still looking. But that doesn’t mean the agency has given up. “The search continues,” said a government official close to the matter. “We even have a search firm.” Although the FHFA is keeping a tight lid on information regarding CSS, it’s...


October 9, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Underwriting Standards Have Eased Some In Recent Years, But Still Stiff Compared to the Boom

Mortgage underwriting standards are relaxing somewhat, according to a new analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance, particularly as production has shifted from a focus on refinances to purchase mortgages. However, underwriting standards are much more stringent than they were before the financial crisis, with few options available for nonprime borrowers. The average credit score on purchase mortgages included...


October 9, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MI Volume Rides Summer Surge in GSE Business, Penetrates Deeper in Purchase Market

Mortgage lenders delivered $47.82 billion of single-family home loans with private mortgage insurance coverage to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the third quarter of 2014, according to a new ranking and analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance. That was up 29.9 percent from the second quarter of this year as the private MIs piggybacked on the surge in purchase-money mortgages securitized by the two government-sponsored enterprises. Private MI coverage was provided on 39.2 percent of purchase loans sold to the GSEs during the third quarter, and the industry has seen its penetration rate of the sector climb steadily. Back in the first quarter of 2013, only 31.3 percent of Fannie/Freddie purchase mortgages had...[Includes two data charts]


October 3, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Mae Unveils Changes, Updates to Pool-, Loan- Level Disclosures, Enhancements to MBS, HMBS

Ginnie Mae this week updated investors on recent changes to loan-level disclosures for existing, active single-family MBS as well as future enhancements. Agency officials said investors will be getting additional loan-level and pool-level disclosures over the next couple of months. For example, Ginnie will soon start a record of pool transfer activity, which would include immediate transfers as well as regular transfers of MBS pools. The new pool transfer record will be...


October 3, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Industry Expresses Caution on G-Fee Proposal; More Needed to Revive Non-Agency Participation

Industry experts vary on the question of whether Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should change their MBS guaranty pricing, but most agree that the Federal Housing Finance Agency should proceed cautiously and deliberately. At the same time, most industry comment letters on the subject agree that more needs to be done to revive the non-agency market. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association warned...


October 3, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

HUD IG Audit Targets Ginnie Servicer Buyouts, But FHA Is Unwilling to Change Lender-Friendly Policy

A recent audit conducted by the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that servicers earned roughly $428 million over a 19-month period by securitizing modified FHA loans in Ginnie Mae MBS. The way the IG sees it, those profits should go to the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which has been below statutorily required levels for several years. At the very least, the IG wants FHA to reduce the $750 per loan incentive payment the agency provides servicers for loan modifications. “FHA does not have...[Includes one data chart]


October 2, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage-Lending Community Banks See Opportunity in Regulatory Minefield

The vast majority of community banks plan to continue to offer mortgages even though increased regulation is limiting business, according to a survey conducted by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau remain a primary concern, although many community banks already offer loans outside of the standards for qualified mortgages. “Banks continue to see opportunity in residential mortgage lending but have a mixed view of non-QM lending,” according to the report jointly compiled with the Federal Reserve. “Assessing the ability to repay and QM standards against current exposures, bankers generally identified a low level of nonconformance, suggesting the rules may generally be in line with bank practices while still requiring significant changes in operations.” Some 64 percent of the 884 community banks surveyed said...


October 2, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA Experts Doubt Whether Assessment of Underwriting Defects Can Be Simplified, Clear Guidance Remains to Be Seen

Achieving simplicity would be nearly impossible and getting clarity is something that remains to be seen in the FHA’s proposed draft for identifying underwriting defects, said compliance experts. The FHA has asked for industry feedback on a draft single-family loan quality assessment methodology, which is part of the agency’s Blueprint for Access strategy announced earlier this year to expand underserved borrowers’ access to mortgage credit. The proposed methodology is based...


October 2, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Disagrees With IG Call for Third-Party Reviews of Lender Compliance With Guidelines

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is not on board with its Inspector General’s recommendation that the agency direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to assess the cost and benefit of requiring lenders to get independent, third-party confirmation of their compliance with government-sponsored enterprise origination and servicing guidance. The IG audit noted that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as private MBS investors in the secondary mortgage market, already require annual, independent assurance of counterparty compliance. “The annual assertions and audits have helped...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Originations Trend Up in July, Data Show

FHA total originations rose 9.9 percent month-over-month in July as purchase mortgage activity continued to rise, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Lenders produced a combined $13.01 billion in new FHA-insured mortgages, up from $11.85 billion in June. Purchase mortgages accounted for 81.9 percent of total FHA production during July, the latest month for which FHA originations data were available. The July increase reflects an upward monthly trend in FHA lending that began in March, when FHA originations totaled $8.74 billion. Production then climbed steadily to $10.36 billion in April, $10.61 billion in May and $11.85 billion in June. Originations jumped 16.0 percent from the first to the second quarter. A recent analysis by affiliated publication Inside Mortgage Finance found that most of Ginnie Mae’s purchase activities (FHA, VA and rural housing loans) in the ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Announces $336 Million Recovery for MMIF

An estimated $336 million out of a $614 million settlement that JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay for not complying with FHA requirements will go towards stabilizing the agency’s ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. On Feb. 4, 2014, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York took over a whistleblower lawsuit and started an investigation of Chase on behalf of the government for alleged violations of the False Claims Act. The whistleblower or “relator” alleged that Chase, an approved FHA direct endorsement lender, had not followed FHA requirements when underwriting loans, causing the MMIF to incur significant losses when the borrowers defaulted on their loans. The U.S. Attorney filed suit against Chase based on the results of an audit conducted by HUD’s Inspector General that looked into the bank’s underwriting and refinancing of FHA loans. The lawsuit alleged that ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Downturn Avoided with $518M in New HMBS

Issuers of securities backed by Home Equity Conversion Mortgages created $518 million in new HMBS pools during August, the third largest monthly HMBS issuance this year and the latest month for which HMBS issuance data was available. August’s new issuance total was up slightly from July’s $507 million, according to New View Advisors, which advises financial services clients on capital markets, product development and investment strategies. Ninety-one pools were issued, consisting of 46 original issuance and 45 tail pools. Original HMBS pools are created when a pool of FHA-insured reverse mortgages is securitized for the first time. Tail HMBS issuances are HMBS pools created from the uncertified portions of HECMs that have already had their original HMBS issuance. Tail issuances accounted for about $140 million. Beginning with FY 2014, HECM principal limits were ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Financed Minorities, LI Borrowers

Ginnie Mae securitized a relatively higher volume of loans for African-American borrowers than did Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, according to a new Inside FHA Lending analysis of recently released Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data covering 2013 mortgage originations. Nearly a quarter, 24.7 percent, of mortgages made to black borrowers last year had FHA, VA or rural housing loans financed through Ginnie Mae, loan-level HMDA data show. Fannie Mae (19.2 percent) and Freddie Mac (9.9 percent) also accounted for large shares of mortgages for black borrowers. However, blacks accounted for just 4.2 percent of mortgages with the race of the primary borrower identified in HMDA reports. Fannie actually had a bigger share of the Hispanic market (24.7 percent), but Ginnie accounted for a substantial 17.3 percent of mortgages made to Hispanic borrowers last year. All three agencies saw ... [1 chart]


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA’s QA Draft Addresses Enforcement Concerns

Obama administration officials and federal regulators met recently with mortgage industry representatives to discuss lender overlays and other obstacles preventing borrowers with slightly tainted credit and first-time homebuyers from obtaining a mortgage. Neither administration officials nor industry participants, however, spoke on or off the record about the things that were discussed during the Sept. 17 meeting at the White House. It was also unclear whether both sides have agreed on any solutions to the issues that lenders say are preventing them from lending. Sources, however, said one major issue is lenders’ uncertainty about their legal responsibilities and liabilities, which already have cost the industry billions of dollars in massive legacy settlements. Lenders have complained that even the slightest loan paperwork error could force them out of the ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Ginnie Mae AE Discusses Other Issuer Pitfalls

Approved issuers must ensure that loans have the requisite federal insurance or guarantee before bundling them for securitization, cautioned Ginnie Mae. Loans that fail Ginnie’s “loan matching” review will be tagged as “uninsured” and will not be accepted for securitization, according to John Kozak, a Ginnie Mae account executive and a panelist at a conference sponsored by the agency this week. Ginnie Mae uses loan matching to screen for mortgages that may have been endorsed on paper but have not been actually insured or guaranteed by either the FHA, VA or the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Development. Every month, Ginnie Mae takes a certain lender’s entire mortgage portfolio and throws it up against the agency’s insured/guaranteed database in search for loan mismatches. To do this, the agency uses “two-string match” criteria, which consist of a ...


September 26, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA to Tighten Supervision of Issuers

Ginnie Mae has unveiled new plans for issuer standards as well as steps to boost liquidity in the mortgage servicing rights (MSR) market. Agency officials at a summit hosted by Ginnie Mae this week in Washington, DC, said both actions are designed to avoid issuer failures and to preserve residential mortgage servicing as an economically viable activity and MSRs as an attractive asset class. The officials said changes will be made to Ginnie’s mortgage-backed securities program to support the agency’s transformation from a pre-crisis bank-driven government MBS program to a post-crisis program where non-depositories and smaller financial institutions play a much bigger role. By the middle of next year, approximately a third of Ginnie MSRs will have changed hands over the previous four years, agency officials said. Many of the new owners of the servicing rights are ...


September 25, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Ginnie Mae Announces New Initiatives to Strengthen Liquidity, Assess New Issuers, Preserve Servicing Rights

Ginnie Mae this week unveiled a position paper outlining its views and new strategies for its mortgage-backed securities program with greater emphasis on liquidity and on the preservation of servicing rights both as an activity and as an asset class. During a conference it sponsored this week, Ginnie announced a number of initiatives that would help the agency adapt its complex financial and operational structures to a post-crisis secondary mortgage market in which non-depository and smaller institutions are playing a bigger role. Ginnie underscored...


September 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Brokers Originate Slightly Riskier Loans

Loans originated by mortgage brokers tended to have slightly lower credit scores and slightly higher debt-to-income ratios than production by retail lenders and correspondents. An Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae during the second quarter found that broker originations had an average credit score of 721.9 – compared to 728.5 for retail production and 723.4 for correspondent originations. The average DTI for ... [Includes one data chart]


Poll

What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

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