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

July 3, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS & ABS Issuance Jumped Higher in 2Q15 As Agency Single-Family Market Heated Up

Residential MBS production continued to gain speed in the second quarter of 2015 while non-mortgage securitization remained strong, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS analysis. A total of $419.42 billion of single-family MBS and non-mortgage ABS were issued during the second quarter, an increase of 21.2 percent from the first three months of the year. It was the strongest new issuance total since the third quarter of 2013 and marked the fifth straight quarterly increase since the market hit a cyclical low at the beginning of last year. Most of the gain came from the agency MBS sector, which totaled $352.73 billion in new issuance, a gain of 29.7 percent from the first quarter. All three agencies posted hefty gains, with the biggest coming at Ginnie Mae, where new issuance jumped 46.7 percent to hit $120.36 billion. A lot of Ginnie’s growth is coming from an unusual surge of refinance activity, which accounted for ... [ charts]

June 26, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

GNMA to Modernize Management of Loan Docs that Serve as Pool Collateral. Ginnie Mae plans to reform its document custody policies to minimize agency risks. Michael Drayne, Ginnie’s senior vice president of issuer and portfolio management, said the changes will apply to documents for loans that serve as collateral for securitized pools of mortgages. Current policies will be reexamined to see whether they adequately reflect and mitigate actual risks. Existing technology will be reevaluated as well. Ginnie will also study how to integrate document-custody functions and information into the agency’s systems. In addition, Ginnie will look at whether information about the status of pool collateral should be managed at the loan level, not merely the pool level. Furthermore, the agency will reevaluate the need to reexamine its enforcement methods and whether they should be ...

June 26, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Handbook FAQs Hold No Surprises, But More Guidance Expected

The frequently-asked-questions guidance to using the FHA’s consolidated Single Family Policy Handbook is good to have though it shows just how complicated the FHA’s mortgage origination process is, according to lenders. In fact, the updated FHA handbook could still be confusing to borrowers simply because a lot more information is concentrated in one source, lenders said. According to the FHA, the more than 290 FAQs will enable lenders to make operation adjustments before the handbook goes into effect on Sept. 14, 2015. The FAQs are for information purposes only and do not apply to current FHA policies. They do not establish or modify policy contained in the handbook. The FAQs reiterate information in the handbook under headings such as Credit Underwriting, Closing and Insuring, FHA System Support and Consumer Information. Industry observers noted that the FAQs did not ...

June 26, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Provides New Appraisal Review Tool to Enhance Risk Management

The Department of Veterans Affairs is providing VA lenders with LoanSafe Appraisal Manager, a new automated tool for appraisal review. The LSAM is designed to help VA lenders do a quick assessment of appraisal risk for VA policy compliance violations, over/under valuations and appraisal quality issues. The automated appraisal tool does not provide an estimate of value or make decisions for lenders. It does not accept or reject appraisals or characterize them as good or bad. Currently, every VA appraisal report must be reviewed either by a VA-designated fee appraiser or by a staff appraisal reviewer before the agency issues a notice of value. A notice of value is the reasonable value of the property for loan purposes. A staff appraisal reviewer (SAR) ensures that all VA loan requirements are satisfied. The reviewer might find some inconsistencies during the review and ...

June 26, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Taxonomy Gives Lenders a Glimpse Of How FHA Will Handle Defects

Clearer FHA guidance on loan defects may help lenders avoid problems but they do not provide legal protection against costly government false-claim lawsuits, according to mortgage industry stakeholders. Long-anticipated rules issued recently by the FHA explain how the agency intends to categorize loan defects identified during an individual loan-level review of endorsed single-family mortgages. The loan-defect assessment methodology or “defect taxonomy” was first unveiled in September 2014 as part of the FHA’s Blueprint for Access, which outlined steps the agency is taking to expand lending to underserved and first-time homebuyers. Combined with the updated loan-certification language used by lenders to warrant compliance with FHA rules and the new Single Family Policy Handbook, FHA plans to use the taxonomy to create a stronger quality assurance program. With better quality ...

June 26, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Jumbo Originations Rise in 1Q, Purchase Loans Fuel Increase

FHA jumbo loan production rose nearly 36.9 percent in the first quarter, ending the period with $3.8 billion in new volume, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. Volume includes all FHA loans exceeding $417,000. It was also up significantly, 59.6 percent, from the same period a year ago. Purchase loans accounted for 52.8 percent of FHA jumbos originated during the first three months of 2015, and 93 percent were fixed-rate purchase and refinance loans. The top five FHA jumbo lenders – Quicken Loans, Wells Fargo Bank, Prospect Mortgage, Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp., and LoanDepot – reported increases on a quarter-to-quarter basis. Together, the elite group accounted for 13.0 percent of the FHA jumbo market. The largest quarter-to-quarter increases were mostly mid-level FHA jumbo lenders. For example, 12th-ranked Freedom Mortgage, a top player in the ... [ 1 chart ]

June 26, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Jumbo Securitization up in 1Q, 2 States Account for Over 55%

Ginnie Mae securitized $6.6 billion of VA jumbo loans in the first three months of 2015, up 15.9 percent from the prior quarter, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae data. Jumbo loans – single-family mortgages with loan amounts exceeding $417,000 – comprised 18.7 percent of total VA originations in the first quarter. VA jumbo originations outpaced FHA jumbo production, which totaled $2.8 billion in the first quarter, up 17.0 percent from the prior quarter, according to the Inside Mortgage Finance database. VA jumbos in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities issued in the first quarter included modified VA loans as well as those originated in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wells Fargo ranked first among securitizers of VA jumbos in the first quarter, with $1.3 billion in production. Second-ranked Freedom Mortgage conveyed $652.7 million in ... [ 1 chart ]

June 25, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fair Lending Expectations Are Shifting From Pricing Toward Greater Access, Experts Say

A number of recent headline-generating fair lending settlements may have focused largely on issues of pricing disparities, but there has been a sea change among policymakers these days moving in the direction of greater access to mortgage credit, some industry experts say. During an Inside Mortgage Finance webinar this week, Jeffrey Naimon, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the BuckleySandler law firm, said the industry is seeing a pendulum swing from the focal point of concern being loan pricing to loan access. “Especially during the time when subprime loans were available, there was a lot of concern that minority borrowers were being steered into higher-cost subprime loans,” he told attendees. “The adoption of the loan originator compensation rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau affected...

June 25, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lenders Laud FHA’s Updated Guidance for Loan Defects, MBA Says More Industry Input Needed to Improve Rules

Lenders are generally supportive of the FHA’s recently issued guidance explaining how the agency intends to categorize loan defects found in FHA single-family mortgages. At the same time, some observers find the guidance disappointing because it offers no protection for lenders against costly false claims lawsuits. The loan-defect assessment methodology or “defect taxonomy” was first unveiled in September 2014 as part of the Blueprint for Access that FHA hopes will expand access to credit by underserved consumers and first-time homebuyers. In particular, the new taxonomy will complement the updated loan-certification language used by direct-endorsement lenders to warrant compliance with FHA rules and the new Single Family Policy Handbook to create a stronger quality assurance program, according to Edward Golding, principal deputy assistant secretary for housing. The taxonomy has...

June 18, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Share of Home-Purchase Financing Increasing as Purchases by Investors Decline

Lenders are accounting for an increasing share of home purchase financing as investors decrease their largely cash buying. Purchases by first-time homebuyers are rising, helped by FHA financing. “First-time homebuyers rarely buy homes with cash and with their increasing participation in the housing market, we expectedly see the proportion of cash-financed transactions falling,” said Tom Popik, research director of Campbell Surveys. The non-cash share of financing for home purchases increased...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA to Propose New Condo Policy To Ensure Compliance with HERA

The FHA plans to issue a proposed rule in the fall that would allow it to insure single-family condominium units in multifamily projects, according to the agency’s regulatory agenda for the second half of 2015. The proposed rule would cover condo units that are attached, detached, semi-detached or manufactured. It would apply as well to undivided interests in the common areas and facilities that serve the project. The proposed change would clarify and ensure lender compliance with the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. HERA moved FHA’s authority to insure single-family condominiums from Section 234 to Section 203 of the National Housing Act. However, because Section 203 does not provide the same authority for FHA, rulemaking became necessary. HERA also granted FHA the authority to issue administrative notices to convey condominium policy guidance until a ...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Lenders Seek Clarity on Reverse Mortgage Advertisements

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association is seeking guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on how to design reverse mortgage advertisements without triggering regulatory scrutiny. Peter Bell, NRMLA president and chief executive, said he had sent a Freedom of Information Act request seeking access to the particular ads that the CFPB sought comment on in a recent study on reverse mortgage advertisements. The study found that consumers who viewed the ads were left with misimpressions about reverse mortgages. For example, consumers were confused about reverse mortgages being loans. Some thought that home-equity conversion mortgages are a “government benefit” or that they could ensure that homeowners could stay in their homes for the rest of their lives. Others complained of difficulty reading the fine print and that ...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Production Rises in 1Q15, HMBS Issuance Going Strong

Total originations of reverse mortgages with FHA insurance increased in the first three months of 2015, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of agency data. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage production, overall, rose 3.0 percent to $3.9 billion from the fourth quarter of 2014 and was down 2.0 percent on a year-over-year basis. HECM purchase loans far outpaced refinances, which accounted for only 14.5 percent of total HECM volume in the first quarter. Lenders reported a total of $2.3 billion in initial HECM principal amount at loan origination. Meanwhile, there is continued investor interest in HECM mortgage-backed securities (HMBS), according to Ginnie Mae. The unpaid principal balance of HMBS climbed to $48.9 billion in FY 2014 and the number of participations (the funded portions of HECM loans that have been securitized) has increased to 6,585, 856. HMBS issuance was ... [1 chart]

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA’s Rule Calendar Shows Final Seller Concession Rule in June

The FHA is planning to propose a number of rules for the single-family mortgage insurance program through the second half of 2015 and is expecting to act soon on a long-anticipated rule on seller concessions. In its semiannual regulatory agenda, the FHA appears poised to take final action this month on a five-year-old proposed rule seeking to lower FHA seller concessions or contributions toward a buyer’s closing cost. The proposed rule is one of three FHA initiatives to help restore the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which was severely depleted during the housing crisis. Similar to what was proposed in the President’s FY 2012 budget, the proposed rule would limit concessions to 3 percent or $6,000, whichever is greater. The proposal would limit acceptable use of concessions to borrower closing costs, prepaid items, discount points, FHA upfront insurance premium and ...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA to Propose New Requirements For Appraisers, Finalize QM Rule

The Department of Veterans Affairs expects to issue a final rule establishing ability-to-repay (ATR) standards and defining a “qualified mortgage” in October, according to the agency’s regulatory agenda for the second half of 2015. Proposed in May 2014, the rule would implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, which, among other things, would require the VA to define the types of loans that are QMs under the new ATR provisions of the Truth in Lending Act. VA loans that are designated as QM would have either safe-harbor protections or the presumption that the borrower is able to repay the mortgage loan, in accordance with the new ATR provisions. The final rule would not change VA’s regulations or policies regarding mortgage originations, except when lenders want to originate QMs, the VA said. A VA spokesman clarified that action dates on any particular rulemaking are not ...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Consumer Awareness, Education Fuel Growth in VA Originations

Consumer education is the key to VA’s growing origination volume, according to a top executive of a VA-certified lender. “It has to do more with increased awareness of VA loans and their benefit to veterans,” said Jonathan Schrum, vice president at Commerce Home Mortgage, a VA lender in Huntington Beach, CA. Awareness comes with education, and one can go to any network or cable channel or print publication and see advertisements for loans with a VA guaranty, said Schrum. “There are many veterans and service members out there who don’t know what loan programs are available to them and what they can do,” he observed. “So I think it’s word of mouth, talking about it ourselves and getting the word out there about VA loans as much as we can.” The VA loan is such a specific product that a borrower needs to know what it is – the funding, fees, percentages for disabled vets – they need to ...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

First Tennessee’s FCA Settlement, Another Notch on FHA/DOJ Belt

First Tennessee Bank’s agreement with federal agencies to pay $212.5 million to resolve allegations of violation of the False Claims Act is the latest proof of the government’s unrelenting pursuit of FHA lenders over underwriting and quality control issues. The settlement once again demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to combat FHA fraud using the FCA to recover taxpayer losses, according to an analysis by Boston law firm Greene LLP. “[The Department of Housing and Urban Development] made a point of saying that this behavior is exactly what led to the financial crisis and housing market downturn,” Greene’s compliance attorneys said. HUD and the Department of Justice have vowed to continue to pursue and hold accountable lenders who put profits ahead of their customers and legal obligations, the attorneys added. According to the DOJ, First Tennessee, a regional bank, admitted ...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Leads FHA, Private MIs in Refis, PMIs Over Agencies in Purchases

The VA maintained a sizeable lead in first-lien mortgage refinancing over FHA and private mortgage insurers in the first quarter of 2015 but yielded to both in purchase originations during the same period. According to the Inside Mortgage Finance database, mortgage lenders originated approximately $221.0 billion of refi loans in the first quarter, a 51.4 percent increase from a revised fourth-quarter production estimate of $146.0 billion. Of first-quarter mortgages securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, refi loans comprised 61.4 percent, up sharply from 37.6 percent for all of 2014. VA streamline refis accounted for $20.4 billion while FHA refis made up $12.2 billion of refis pooled in agency mortgage-backed securities. FHA’s refi production jumped 57.8 percent in the first quarter. On the other hand, refi loans with private MI accounted for $14.2 billion produced during the ...

June 12, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Total Originations Up in 1Q15, Growth Attributed to Awareness

Consumer education and community outreach by lenders have kept VA originations on an upward trend in the first quarter of 2015, according to Inside FHA/VA lenders ended the first quarter with $36.5 billion in total originations, a 5.8 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2014 and up a whopping 86.0 percent from the same period last year. Purchase loans comprised 61.5 percent of VA loans produced during the quarter while streamlined refinance loans accounted for the rest. Seventeen lenders, including two of the top five VA producers, focused a significant portion of their first-quarter activities on refinancing. The rest either led with their purchase business or had a balanced mixof purchase and refi loans. Top-ranked Freedom Mortgage’s total originations were 90.5 percent refis, which officials attributed to lower interest rates and a robust team of ... [1 chart].

June 12, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Prepayment Risk on MBS Appears to Be Declining with Higher Interest Rates, Burnout from FHA Premium Cut

A large decline in interest rates in the past year created millions of refinance opportunities for lenders, according to industry analysts. However, prepayment risk on MBS backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae appears to be decreasing as interest rates increase. As of the end of April, 7.0 million borrowers were likely to both qualify for and benefit from refinancing, according to Black Knight Financial Services. That was up from 4.5 million potential refi borrowers a year ago as interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined by 70 basis points in that time, according to Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. “This is...[Includes one data table]

June 5, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Issuance Falters in May as Refinance Spigot Tightens; Ginnie Market Share Spikes Higher

Gross new issuance of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae single-family MBS declined by 6.3 percent from April to May, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS ranking and analysis. The agencies produced $113.46 billion of new single-family MBS last month. Though down from April, it was still significantly higher than at any time in 2014, when production averaged just $77.46 billion per month. The key to the drop-off in May was...[Includes two data tables]

June 4, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Harvard Researchers See Nonbank Mortgage Companies As Crucial; Push Back on Bank-Like Regulatory Standards

“Without nonbanks, today’s sluggish mortgage market would be much less vibrant,” according to research released this week by two researchers associated with Harvard University. Their working paper stresses that implementing bank-like standards for nonbanks isn’t the best strategy to mitigate risks in the housing finance system. The paper was authored by Marshall Lux, a senior fellow of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, which is part of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; along with Robert Greene, a research assistant at the same center. They called...

June 4, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

DC Judge Agrees to Stay Government Countersuit Against Quicken Pending Detroit Court’s Decision on Its Lawsuit

A federal district court judge in Washington, DC, has granted Quicken Loan’s motion to stay a government lawsuit until another federal judge in Detroit decides whether to proceed with Quicken’s preemptive lawsuit against the government. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton in Washington would give Quicken the opportunity to shine light on FHA compliance issues, loan sampling and the Department of Justice’s use of the False Claims Act to prosecute FHA lenders. Such enforcement actions have resulted in more than $4.5 billion in settlements with FHA lenders. In April, Quicken sued...

June 4, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HUD Proposes a Deadline on Claims Submission to Ease Congestion in FHA Pipeline, Strain on Resources

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is working on a new proposed rule to ease the backlog in FHA insurance claims filings as well as to revise the department’s “curtailment of interest” policy to relieve the burden on mortgagees. The FHA expects to finalize the proposed rule in August this year, according to HUD’s new regulatory agenda, although the agency rarely comes even close to its projected rulemaking timelines. Specifically, the proposed rule would establish...

June 4, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Refinancing Dominated First-Quarter Originations, But Purchase Market Has Started Coming Back

Refinance lending fueled the growth in mortgage originations during the first quarter of 2015, although new data suggest that the purchase-mortgage sector is taking hold. Mortgage lenders originated an estimated $221.0 billion of refi loans during the first quarter, an increase of 51.4 percent from a revised fourth-quarter production estimate of $146.0 billion. Inside Mortgage Finance refi and purchase-mortgage estimates for all four quarters of 2014 were revised to reflect just first-lien mortgage originations. Refi loans accounted...[Includes three data tables]

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA Releases Planned System Enhancements for SF Policy Handbook. The FHA is providing an overview of the FHA Connection (FHAC) system enhancements to help lenders get ready before the Single-Family Policy Handbook’s Sept. 14, 2015, effective date. The system enhancements primarily affect three screens in the FHAC case assignments, appraisal logging and insurance application. In the coming weeks, FHA plans to provide technical details for entities using direct interface with FHAC. FHA Announces Availability of Recorded Training Modules for SF Policy Handbook. FHA-approved mortgagees may now use new-recorded training modules to guide them through the ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Genworth CEO: FHA Price Cut No Impact on Private MIs, So Far

Genworth U.S. Mortgage Insurance said the FHA mortgage insurance premium reduction earlier this year has not had much of an impact on private MI business so far in terms of creating more competition. “I would say competition with FHA is about the same,” said Rohit Gupta, president and CEO of Genworth. “We have seen the FHA price reduction actually having more impact on FHA streamline refis. Borrowers who have gotten into FHA loans three years ago are refinancing into another FHA loan just to reduce their annual payment.” In January, the FHA pared its annual MIP from 1.35 percent down to 0.85 percent to win over first-time homebuyers and other qualified borrowers. While Gupta emphasized that on the purchase side there hasn’t been that big of an impact yet, he said “we might have seen a little bit of an impact in the first quarter but nothing significant yet.” He added there are a lot more ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Cautiously Embraces New Entrants Despite Lingering Doubts

New entrants in the Ginnie Mae issuer community expand access to credit at lower cost, deepen the market for Ginnie mortgage servicing rights and help address the agency’s “too-big-to-fail” issue, said the agency’s top executive. “Our top concern is that issuers have the operational and financial strength to meet issuer/servicer obligations,” Tozer said during the recent secondary market conference sponsored by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The flood of new nonbank issuers into the program has been well documented. While they have diluted the heavy concentration of business in the hands of a few megabanks, many have complex financial structures that are less tested in the marketplace, he said. The pipeline of issuer applicants has dropped dramatically, the Ginnie executive reported. To get approved, an applicant has to show where the cash will come from to ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Loan Servicers Told to Use Only VRM Quotes to Avoid Confusion

VA loan servicers are now required to request a redemption quote from the agency’s property management contractor, Vendor Resource Management (VRM), to avoid any confusion in the future about such quotes. In recently issued guidance, the VA established standard procedures for redeeming VA property, after foreclosure, in states that allow “statutory redemption.” Statutory redemption refers to a borrower’s right to regain ownership of his or her home that has been foreclosed. Statutory redemption laws allow the borrower a limited amount of time to redeem their property if they are able to buy it back at the price for which it was sold at foreclosure. The redemption window varies by state and ranges from 30 days to 2 years. At the time of redemption, the entire underlying mortgage debt plus interest, foreclosure fees and other costs are due. In most cases, the servicer has ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GAO Suggests Merger of FHA, RHS To Eliminate Overlaps, Cut Costs

Congress is considering streamlining the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s single- and multifamily housing programs as lawmakers expressed concern about reports of inefficiency, inflexible underwriting and weak risk management. In an oversight hearing conducted recently by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, lawmakers also considered a suggestion to merge the USDA’s Rural Housing Service and FHA single-family mortgage insurance programs because of overlapping functions and certain similarities in their borrower profiles. “The process of dealing with RHS is a nightmare,” said Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), vice chairman of the committee. “It is 2015 but we have a housing program that operates like it is 1975.” Complaints against the RHS include little or no accountability across government programs, significant lack of ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies Treatment of Same- Sex Home-Loan Applications

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a policy clarifying that VA lenders must treat veterans in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages equally and fairly when processing and underwriting their home-loan applications. The policy is effective immediately. Under the new policy announced on May 19, the VA will process all claims and applications involving same-sex marriages in the same manner as claims and applications based on opposite-sex marriages, “without any additional scrutiny or development.” Language on VA forms, web pages and other VA communication materials will be revised to ensure that all veterans, VA program administrators and personnel are aware of the equal-treatment policy. The new instructions require VA lenders to accept a claimant’s or an applicant’s assertion of ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA to Scrutinize Closing Delays, Explore Ways to Shorten Wait Times

The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking into reports that a high percentage of VA loans are not closing on time, creating a disincentive for veterans who might want a VA loan. According to Jeff London, deputy director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service, his staff is researching the most recent closing times “to understand the reasons behind the increase for the industry as a whole” as well as how lengthy closing times are affecting veterans. “We have invested significant effort in reducing closing times so that our industry partners will seek to offer VA loans,” he said. Results of a recent Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey indicate that the share of VA loans closing on time fell to 55 percent in March 2015 from 70 percent in April 2014. The data suggest that 45 percent of VA loans are still experiencing serious delay. In addition, the average closing time for a VA loan was ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Court Denies Relator Standing in Whistleblower Suit Against Bank

Whistleblowers that bring a False Claim Act claim against an FHA lender based on previous publicly disclosed information have no standing, according to a recent federal district court ruling. Judge Jack Zouhary of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio dismissed an FCA lawsuit against U.S. Bank because the whistleblower had neither direct nor independent knowledge of the bank’s alleged false claims – two basic requirements for standing in a whistleblower suit. The Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), an Ohio-based legal aid group, filed an FCA lawsuit against U.S. Bank for allegedly disregarding and violating FHA regulations. The group accused the bank of filing false claims and collecting payments without evaluating loss mitigation alternatives before foreclosing on properties. According to ABLE, it had consulted with “many people,” whose mortgage loans were ...

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Streamline Refis Power VA-Backed MBS, FHA Up in Most States

Security issuances backed by VA loans totaled $35.5 billion in the first quarter of 2015, with VA streamline refinance loans accounting for 57.7 percent, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae data. Approximately $20.5 billion in VA interest rate reduction refinancing loans were securitized during the first three months as borrowers took advantage of lower interest rates. “For the last three to four months, rates have been bottoming out again, and if rates are lower it makes sense to refinance,” said Jon Shrum, vice president of Commerce Home Mortgage, a VA-certified lender in Huntington Beach, CA. An estimated $14.5 billion in VA purchase mortgages also were securitized during period. VA loans comprised 13.1 percent of all loans in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities. California, Virginia, Texas, Florida and Washington, ... [2 charts]

May 29, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Proposes Clarification of DE Rules but Industry Seeks More

An FHA proposal aimed at clarifying loan-certification rules is a step in the right direction but it needs more work, according to industry observers. Lenders declined to comment on the proposed form changes but they all agree that the proposal does not go far enough. The revisions aim to make the language in Form 92900-A (HUD Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application) clearer for both borrower and lender. Applicants for an FHA or a VA loan sign the addendum to certify to the government that the information provided by the borrower on the mortgage loan application is correct. By signing the addendum, the borrower certifies that he or she will make payments on the home loan or become indebted to the federal government upon failure to repay the loan. For lenders, signing the form certifies that the loan application meets all of FHA’s insurance requirements. This is where lenders often ...

May 28, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HUD Offers Form Changes that May Help Lenders Avoid FCA Suits, But Stakeholders Say Proposals Need Work

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking comment on proposed changes to FHA’s loan certification document to make it less likely for direct-endorsement lenders to be sued for loan fraud over a technical glitch or an unintentional oversight. Language in Form 92900-A (HUD Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application), a loan-certification document signed by lenders, has been revised to reflect updated provisions in the new HUD Single Family Policy Handbook, a compendium of FHA policies and guidelines. The proposed changes would differentiate...

May 22, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Deephaven’s Nonprime Production a Mystery

Seven months ago, a fledgling nonprime lender called Deephaven Mortgage unveiled a $300 million investment in the firm by a global “alternative” hedge fund called Varde Partners, Minneapolis. But since then, not much has been heard about Deephaven. Then again, it might be said that the “new” nonprime industry is still trying to figure out how to operate in a world of tight regulation, non-QM lending and a securitization market that doesn’t want to touch its product. Matt Nichols, the former Goldman Sachs managing director who formed Deephaven two years ago, did not respond...

May 22, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Economists See Lending Surge in Fuzzy Outlook

Mortgage originations are already off to a better start in 2015, and industry economists are predicting, on average, a 15 percent increase from last year’s sluggish output. But uncertain prospects in the housing market point toward a decline in mortgage originations next year, according to forecasters at the secondary market conference sponsored this week by the Mortgage Bankers Association. 2015 should bring the strongest housing sales volume since 2007, said Leonard Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. Sales activity was decent over the winter, despite severe weather in many areas, but the market has yet to get back to normal. Freddie looks...[Includes one data table]


A lot has been written about the ‘Millennial Generation’ being key to the future of the housing/mortgage market, but how much of your mortgage workforce includes Millennials – those born roughly between the years 1980 to 1999?

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