FHA, VA

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

September 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Former Commissioners Favor Creating an Independent FHA to Resolve Funding Issues, Be More Decisive

Current and former commissioners of the FHA this week said the venerable program could carry out its mission more effectively if it was an independent, self-funded government enterprise. During this week’s Housing Summit hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the five FHA commissioners – incumbent Carol Galante and alumni Brian Montgomery, Nicolas Retsinas, David Stevens and John Weicher – concurred that working with Congress, particularly on budget issues, has made it more difficult for the agency to operate safely and soundly. “We’re...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

$835 Million Ginnie Mae Servicing Portfolio Hits Market. Mountain Servicing Group (MSG), a residential mortgage servicing rights transaction and valuation advisor, has announced an $835 million Ginnie Mae bulk-servicing offering. The company is the exclusive advisor to the seller, described only as “one of the premier mortgage bankers in the country.” The portfolio includes 99.7 percent fixed-rate and 100 percent first-lien, government-backed loans, with a weighted average original FICO of 691. Its weighted origination loan-to-value ratio is 94 percent, and its weighted average interest rate is 4.0 percent. The average loan size is $205,309. Top states for the portfolio are California (23.9 percent), New York (9.6 percent), Florida (4.7 percent), and Pennsylvania (4.5 percent). “It’s an exceptionally clean GNMA portfolio, with very low coupon and low delinquencies,” said Robert Wellerstein, managing director at MSG. “We expect this package to ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA FRM Lending Propels Overall Volume in 2Q

FHA single-family loan production picked up in the second quarter thanks to a surge in fixed-rate mortgage lending, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. A 15.2 percent increase in FHA fixed-rate volume helped propel overall FHA originations in the second quarter, which rose 16.0 percent from the first quarter. Adjustable-rate lending also was up 32.3 percent over the same period. FHA purchase originations increased 20.6 percent, while FHA-insured refinances rose by only 4.3 percent. On the other hand, conforming-to-FHA refinances were down 4.5 percent from the first quarter. FHA baseline lending (below $417,000) saw volume rise 17.6 percent, while FHA-jumbo loan amounts up to the statutory high-cost loan limit increased by 6.2 percent. On the other hand, the volume of jumbos exceeding ... [1 chart]


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Jumbo Production Slips Further in 2Q14

The first-quarter decline in FHA jumbo production spilled over into the second quarter as volume dropped another 21.7 percent, ending the first half of the year with $4.7 billion in new government-insured jumbo loans, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency snapshot data. On a year-over-year basis, volume fell 56.7 percent over the six-month period compared to the same period last year. Jumbo loans make up a tiny percentage of FHA’s overall portfolio. The FHA has been weaning itself away from jumbos after Republican members of Congress accused the agency of straying from its mission by subsidizing purchases of million-dollar houses. A statutory readjustment this year brought the FHA loan limit in high-cost areas down to $625,500, the same level as the high-cost loan limits for conforming mortgages in high-cost areas. The baseline loan limits for both conforming and FHA loans in 2014 ... [1 chart]


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Investors Lining Up for Sixth Distressed Note Sale

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is now qualifying investors for its sixth auction of non-performing loans (NPLs) amid nationwide protests calling for reform of HUD’s distressed note sale program. Single-Family Loan Sale SFLS 2014-2 includes 15,232 single-family, non-performing mortgages with a total unpaid principal of $2.3 billion. The sale consists of 10 loan pools ranging from $97 million to $825 million with collateral dispersed across the country, according to loan sale advisor DebtX. It is scheduled to bid on Sept. 30. On June 11, HUD sold a $4.8 billion portfolio of NPLs, the first of a two-part sale. The national offering consisted of approximately 23,200 loans divided into 16 pools ranging from $93 million to $1 billion. The loans are backed by properties across the ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lending Back on Track with <680 Score

The average FHA credit score in the second quarter of 2014 continued to decline from the record highs of 2011, but remains well above the levels preceding the mortgage and credit crisis, according to FHA’s latest report to Congress on the state of the agency’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The FHA’s second-quarter average credit score of 680 was 3 points below the previous quarter’s score and 13 points below the score during the same period last year. The report’s data suggest that FHA has accomplished its goal of shifting its market share to the 620-679 credit score bucket consistent with its target market while ceding its share of loans with scores exceeding 720 to the private MI sector. The last time borrowers’ average credit score hit 680 was in the second quarter of 2009. FHA officials said they are working to have 75 percent of the FHA lending in the ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

MMIF in Negative Cash Flow in 2Q14, Says Report

The FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund account balances fell by $0.5 billion during the second quarter of 2014 to $45.3 billion due to higher claim payments and property expenses. Observers, nonetheless, remain optimistic the fund will return to full stability in 2015 with no further change in the mortgage insurance premium charged to borrowers. The MMIF’s total balances peaked at $48.4 billion in the third quarter of 2013 and then slipped gradually over the last three quarters, according to data in the FHA’s latest report to Congress regarding the financial health of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. Total revenues from premium collections, property sale, and note sale proceeds were $4.3 billion, while $5.1 billion was paid to cover claims and property expenses in the second quarter. This resulted in a negative$821 million cash flow in the quarter, the smallest outflow since ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Obama to Seek Solutions to Credit Access

Obama will meet with top banking executives and industry trade groups on Sept. 17 to explore potential solutions to lender overlays and other problems that hinder first-time homebuyers and other qualified borrowers from obtaining an FHA or conventional mortgage. The meeting is expected to touch on key lender issues, including credit overlays, government enforcement actions, regulatory burden and risk-based versus FHA pricing. Lenders say they are willing to originate single-family mortgages to qualified borrowers and first-time homebuyers but they feel the post-crisis environment has turned hostile against them. Repurchases and indemnifications have dampened their willingness to lend to moderate- and lower-income borrowers, they admit. Regardless of policy changes designed to increase lending in the lower credit score range (620 to 679), FHA enforcement actions to ...


September 11, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Nonbank Mortgage Company Capital Requirements Should Focus on Lending, Securitization, KBRA Says

Federal regulators should craft capital requirements for nonbank mortgage companies that emphasize areas of risk that demand adequate capital and profitability, such as lending and mortgage securitization, instead of areas that are more connected with operational efficiency and compliance, such as loan servicing, according to the Kroll Bond Rating Agency. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is trying to determine how much capital a nonbank mortgage company involved in lending, securitization and/or servicing needs in order to minimize the potential risk to the government-sponsored enterprises, while Ginnie Mae is researching the risk posed by nonbank issuers. “How much capital does a nonbank seller/servicer need...


September 11, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Jumbo Originations Gain Ground in Second Quarter, But ‘Conforming-Jumbo’ Production Lags a Bit

Non-agency jumbo mortgage originations accounted for a historically high 19.4 percent of new lending during the first half of 2014, and the sector is steadily gaining ground, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis of big-ticket mortgage activity. During the second quarter of 2014, lenders originated an estimated $59.0 billion of mortgage loans that were too big to be financed through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the FHA. That was up 34.1 percent from the first quarter, a noticeably bigger increase than the 25.5 percent jump in total mortgage originations for the period. Compared to last year, jumbo lending was...[Includes three data charts]


September 4, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA Eliminates Post-Payment Interest Rate Charges, Revises ARM ‘Look-Back’ Period and Disclosures

The FHA will no longer allow lenders to charge interest payments previously owed beyond the date the FHA mortgage was paid in full – a policy change that could help borrowers save some money. Currently, lenders can charge interest on FHA loans through the end of the month when they are paid off. The new rule is effective for loans paid off on or after Jan. 21, 2015. The policy change responds...


September 4, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Conventional Market Grew Slightly Faster in 2Q14 Mortgage Origination Surge; Refinancing Sinks

Production of conventional mortgages – those eligible for sale to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as jumbo loans – grew at a faster rate than the government-insured market during the second quarter of 2014, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. Origination of conventional-conforming mortgages increased by 24.4 percent from the first quarter, climbing to an estimated $153.0 billion. While that continued to account for the biggest chunk of new business – 52.1 percent – the biggest proportional increase in new lending came in the jumbo mortgage sector, where new originations jumped 34.1 percent during the second quarter. Production of government-insured mortgages, including FHA, VA and rural housing loans, increased...[Includes two data charts]


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

Revised HUD/VA Addendum to the Uniform Residential Loan Application. On July 30, the FHA has posted on its HUDCLIPS website a revised Addendum to the Uniform Residential Loan Application (Form HUD-92900-A/VA Form 26-1802). This form is used for both FHA and VA mortgage originations.The Department of Veterans Affairs has updated its form to clarify what constitutes a valid marriage for the purpose of obtaining VA benefits. Although the changes to the form do not apply to FHA-insured mortgages specifically, lenders should begin using the revised form for new FHA mortgage originations as soon as possible, the FHA recommended. Processing Request for Execution of VA Quitclaim Deeds. The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance (Circular 26-14-19) for handling of requests for execution of quitclaim deeds. A quitclaim deed is a legal document that is used to transfer a person’s rights to real estate to ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

State Legislatures Pass Reverse Mortgage Bills

Two states have passed legislation placing varying spins on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s counseling requirements for lenders and borrowers of FHA-insured reverse mortgages. In California, the state Senate unanimously approved AB 1700, which would mandate a seven-day “cooling off” period between the time a borrower receives counseling and when an application is taken. AB 1700 passed the CA Assembly by a vote of 73 to 1. In addition, the bill would require a lender to provide a worksheet guide that addresses certain issues the borrower should consider and discuss with the counselor, such as income and ability to repay as well as taxes and insurance. The counselor and the borrower are both required under the bill to sign the worksheet guide before any reverse mortgage application is taken. No schedule has been set for ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FASB Updates TDR Guidance for FHA, VA Loans

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has updated its guidance on troubled debt restructurings (TDRs) to provide lenders some uniformity in accounting for government-backed mortgages upon foreclosure. The changes to FASB’s rule, “Receivables – Troubled Debt Restructurings by Creditors,” affect FHA and VA lenders and would take effect for public entities with reporting periods after Dec. 15, 2014. All other entities will have to comply after Dec. 15, 2015. “In addition to accounting consistency, the updated rule provides greater certainty as to the amount that can be expected to recover through the government guarantees,” the board said. The changes became necessary because the accounting varied among lenders, resulting in diverse practices, according to the Emerging Issues Task Force, which promulgates implementation guidance within the ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

U.S. Court Upholds HUD Suspension of Lender

A decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend a Texas mortgage firm and its top executive was not “arbitrary and capricious” and did not violate due process, according to a recent Houston district court ruling. The court granted HUD’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. In Allied Home Mortgage Corp. v. Donovan, (No. H-11-3864, 2014 WL 3843561, S.D. Tex. Aug. 5, 2014), a U.S. Attorney’s Office sued Allied Home Mortgage Corp. and its chief executive officer, James Hodge, in Manhattan federal district court for allegedly lying about its compliance with FHA requirements. Specifically, the former Houston-based mortgage net branch operator (currently doing business as Allquest Home Mortgage Corp.) allegedly violated the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, recovery and Enforcement Act by ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Over $65B in FHA Loans Securitized in 1H14

An estimated $65.5 billion of FHA-insured mortgages, excluding reverse and modified loans, were included in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities issued during the first six months of 2014, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency securitization data. Ginnie Mae FHA MBS issued during the first half of the year nearly matches the total number of new FHA loans originated over the same period (see related chart, p. 4-5). FHA purchase home mortgages served as collateral on 76.3 percent of Ginnie Mae MBS issued over the six-month period, while loans to first-time homebuyers accounted for 63.0 percent of Ginnie MBS issued during the period. The FHA loans in Ginnie pools over the last two quarters showed an average FICO score of 681, a loan-to-value ratio of 92.5 percent and an average loan amount of $169,093. Except for fifth-ranked Freedom Mortgage, the rest of the top five ... [1 chart]


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lending to Low FICO Borrowers Increases

FHA lenders have been lending more aggressively to borrowers with FICO scores below 679 than to more affluent borrowers, according to recent research by an independent housing and consulting firm. Using data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and interviews with mortgage industry executives, researchers at John Burns Real Estate Consulting found that homebuyers with less-than-stellar credit are finding it easier to buy a home below the FHA loan limit. In contrast, the study also found that automated underwriting prevents many highly qualified borrowers from obtaining a home loan because their “income situation does not fit squarely in the credit box.” This segment includes affluent retirees, self-employed, or commissioned salespeople. “In the aftermath of the housing crisis, the reality is that we are lending aggressively to the poor and conservatively to the rich,” said Lisa Marquis Jackson, senior vice president at John Burns. The study’s findings challenge ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Volume Drops in First Half of 2014

FHA loan volume continued to decline in the first half of 2014 despite continuing improvement in the quality of new originations and a high demand for purchase mortgage loans, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Overall, FHA production for the first six months of the year, excluding reverse mortgages, totaled $61.1 billion. While originations were up 16.0 percent in the second quarter, it was down a hefty 51.8 percent on a year-over-year basis. Purchase loans accounted for $47.3 billion of new FHA-insured loans made over the six-month period while an estimated $58.4 billion of loans had fixed interest rates. For FY 2014, volume was down 19.0 percent. “In FY 2013, approximately 702,000 FHA-insured loans were originated and this year we’re running at 560,000 loans, which is roughly 20 percent of last fiscal year’s total,” said an FHA analyst. “In the first quarter, approximately ... [1 chart]


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Bars Post-Payment Charge on Prepaid Loans

The FHA has issued two final rules enhancing consumer protections – one prohibiting lenders from charging additional interest on FHA-insured mortgages that are paid in full and another ensuring that borrowers of adjustable-rate mortgages receive earlier notice of rate changes. Both rules were published in the Aug. 26 Federal Register. The first rule eliminates the practice of charging the borrower a full-month’s interest even if the mortgage is prepaid in full before the end of the month. It adopted the proposed rule, which was issued for comment on March 13, 2014, without change. Effective Jan. 21, 2015, charging borrowers post-settlement interest, which is broadly defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a “prepayment penalty,” will be prohibited for all FHA single-family mortgage products and programs. In the rule’s preamble, HUD said it expects lenders to ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Unable to Use $200 Million Windfall

Roughly $1 billion in damages will flow through to the FHA and Ginnie Mae from Bank of America’s record $16.65 billion global mortgage-backed securities settlement with the Department of Justice. Although most of the DOJ’s case centered around faulty private-label MBS that BofA and its forbears (namely Countrywide and Merrill Lynch) underwrote during the housing boom, a small piece of the settlement is tied to servicing chores that the bank did for Ginnie Mae. And apparently, BofA didn’t do a very good job of servicing the underlying product. The bank took over as the subservicer on roughly $26.2 billion in mortgage servicing rights that once belonged to Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, a large nonbank based in Ocala, FL. When TBW went bust in the second half of 2009, BofA was given the subservicing contract. “BofA serviced the loans for us,” said Ginnie Mae president Ted Tozer. “And they did a ...


August 22, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

FASB Clarifies TDR Guidance for FHA, VA Loans

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has announced changes to the way it accounts for government-backed mortgage loans upon foreclosure. The change, which is being made through FASB’s rule, “Receivables – Troubled Debt Restructurings by Creditors,” is aimed at reducing diversity in the accounting treatment of FHA and VA loans that have been subject to foreclosure, according to FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force. The EITF ...


August 22, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Some Buyers Find It Easier Below FHA Limit

Homebuyers with less-than-stellar credit as well as those with low income are finding it easier to purchase a house with an FHA mortgage than affluent buyers, according to recent research by an independent housing research and consulting firm. Based on Department of Housing and Urban Development data and interviews with industry executives, researchers at John Burns Real Estate Consulting concluded that ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Reverse Mortgages Reportable Under HMDA

Reverse mortgages would be included in Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports under a proposed rule published recently by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The proposed rule would expand the definition of a “covered loan” under HMDA to include reverse mortgages and home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which include reverse mortgages structured as open-end HELOCs. Currently, HMDA regulations do not require reporting of HELOCs, although lenders may do so if they choose. Currently, financial institutions only have to report information on a closed-end reverse mortgage if the transaction involves a home purchase, home improvement or refinancing. Among other things, the CFPB has proposed to require that all reverse mortgages and HELOCs be identified by loan type to distinguish them from other categories of ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Private MIs, VA Overtake Faltering FHA Program

Weighed down by high premium costs and lender overlays, FHA lost more primary market share to private mortgage insurers and the Department of Veterans Affairs during the second quarter of 2014. Although June’s FHA endorsement numbers have not yet been released, the trend seen in April through May, along with Ginnie Mae securitization data, suggest that FHA business was up a modest 11.5 percent from the first quarter. But that increase provides no comfort to FHA, which saw its market share go down to 33.7 percent, a six-year low. From April to May, FHA forward endorsements rose by 2.4 percent to $10.61 billion. On a year-over-year basis, however, endorsements were down from $21.9 billion in May 2013, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. On the other hand, private MI companies reported a total of $44.19 billion of new insurance written (NIW) during the ... [2 charts]


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

More Indemnification Demands Anticipated

The False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) not only have become strong enforcement tools in the fight against FHA mortgage fraud but also an efficient means of recovering taxpayer losses. Having used both federal statutes effectively to wrangle huge settlements from large banks, federal prosecutors now have their eyes set on mid-level banks, according to compliance experts during a recent webinar hosted by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications. “Because these FCA [and FIRREA] lawsuits have been a cash cow for the Department of Justice and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I think these agencies will target mid-level banks next,” said ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Chief Galante to Resign in the Fall

FHA Commissioner Carol Galante has announced plans to step down from her current post, leaving behind a Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund that appears well on its way to recovery and a slumping FHA business. Industry response to Galante’s Aug. 12 announcement was mixed. Some stakeholders applauded her toughness and resolve in steering FHA through hard times, while others criticized her for policies that made it more difficult and costly for first-time homebuyers to obtain an FHA-insured mortgage loan. Galante’s nearly three-and-a-half year stint as FHA commissioner was highlighted by her efforts to stabilize the FHA’s ailing Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, reduce losses and improve lender oversight. She achieved these goals by creating a comprehensive risk-management structure at FHA, revamping FHA pricing and credit policies, and ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Trade Groups Raise Issues Related to GNMA’s Plan to Shift to Single MBS, Agree on Some, Differ on Others

Though mortgage securitizers, issuers, lenders and servicers support a proposal to consolidate Ginnie Mae’s two MBS program into a single security, certain specific issues appeared to divide them. In a recent joint letter to Ginnie Mae, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association said many of their members agree on a number of the issues raised by the proposal, but in some cases disagree on the solutions. “It is clear that further discussion is warranted, and direct engagement with key stakeholders should be beneficial,” the trade groups suggested. Both industry groups were responding...


August 15, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Investors Want Overhaul of Non-Agency MBS Market, Issuers Willing to Make Some Changes

Potential investors in non-agency MBS are calling for significant changes to the market before they’re willing to resume investing in new non-agency MBS. Non-agency MBS issuers indicate that they are willing to make some changes to attract investors, while other adjustments will require action by federal regulators or Congress. In June, the Treasury Department requested comments on how to increase non-agency activity and decrease the agency MBS share of mortgage financing. The comment period closed late last week, with about 25 industry participants submitting feedback. John Gidman, president of the Association of Institutional Investors, said...


August 14, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Galante Departing FHA Amid Gripes About Premiums; IG Says HUD Missed Opportunities on Indemnifications

FHA Commissioner Carol Galante is slated to depart the agency in a few weeks, leaving in her wake a healthier Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, but her withdrawal comes amid gripes from some lenders that agency premiums are too high, hurting the first-time homebuyer market. Several industry officials give Galante high marks for not caving to industry pressure on reducing FHA premiums, and for trying to build bridges to originators at a time when the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Justice Department continue to target lenders for their “legacy” production. One consultant who represents FHA lenders said...


August 14, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MI Market Share Reached Post-Crash High In 2Q14; Industry Profitability Continues Climbing

Private mortgage insurance companies continued their roll during the second quarter of 2014, capturing a larger share of the primary MI market away from the faltering FHA program, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. Private MIs reported a total of $44.19 billion of new primary mortgage insurance written during the second quarter, a 38.0 percent jump in new business from the first three months of 2014. Private MIs accounted for 41.4 percent of total primary MI new business, the industry’s highest share of the market since the second quarter of 2008, when the housing market landslide was gaining speed. The Veterans Administration’s home loan guaranty program is also building...[Includes three data charts]


August 7, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA Indemnifications Still an Issue, But Lenders Do Have Options for Defense, Ex-HUD Official Reminds

As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buyback demands have tapered off, lenders continue to face aggressive government efforts to indemnify the FHA for losses, but they do have options available to them that can work in their favor. During a webinar sponsored last week by Inside Mortgage Finance, Amanda Raines, a partner with the BuckleySandler law firm in Washington, DC, emphasized that FHA indemnification demands have continued this year, with an aggressive use of the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. That has led...


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