Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to HUD.

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

VA Special Relief Following Hurricane Matthew. VA encourages holders of guaranteed loans to extend forbearance to borrowers in areas that were ravaged by Hurricane Matthew. Careful counseling with borrowers is recommended to help determine whether their difficulties are related to the hurricane or to some other cause that needs to be addressed. Lenders may reapply prepayments to cure or prevent a loan default, or modify the terms of an existing guaranteed loan without the prior approval of VA, provided certain regulatory conditions are met. In addition, VA has requested lienholders institute a 90-day freeze on all new foreclosures on loans affected by Hurricane Matthew. Lienholders must review all foreclosure referrals to ensure that servicers are justified in delaying foreclosure action. Further, the VA asked servicers to waive late charges and to suspend credit bureau reporting on ...

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Spells Out Requirements for Obtaining Key Eligibility Doc

One of the key documents VA lenders require veteran borrowers to submit is the certificate of eligibility (COE). A VA loan application will not move forward without a COE, a requirement for any active-duty servicemember or veteran seeking to take advantage of the VA’s home-loan guaranty program. The COE verifies to the lender a loan applicant’s eligibility for a VA loan. The evidence a lender might require depends on the nature of the applicant’s eligibility. Veterans and current or former National Guardsmen or reservists who have been called to active duty must submit DD Form 214. The form would show the character of service and the reason for separation from the service. Active-duty servicemembers must submit a current statement of service signed by a superior, the unit commander or the adjutant, higher headquarters or the personnel office. The statement must contain the ...

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

SCRA ‘Bug’ Spit Out False Reports On Soldiers’ Active-Duty Status

A glitch in the federal government’s Servicemembers Civil Relief Act website that had been churning out false verifications of soldiers’ active-duty status has been fixed, the Defense Manpower Data Center of the Department of Defense has announced. The bug responsible for the false negative results was removed after rendering the website inoperable for several days. The DMDC is urging active servicemembers to re-run their SCRA certificate requests if they have reason to doubt any negative results returned by the website. The DMDC shut down the website temporarily on Oct. 4 making it impossible for mortgage lenders to verify their or their vendor-partners’ compliance with the SCRA. The statute provides certain protections from civil actions against servicemembers who are called to active duty. It restricts or limits actions against active-duty military personnel in areas such as mortgages, rental and lease agreements, credit-card interest rates, tax liability, lawsuits and other debt obligations. The SCRA certificate provides information only for the purpose of verifying an individual’s active-duty status for a given time period to ...

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD-IG Bares Additional Penalties, Settlements, Actions Against Firms

The Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general, over the last several weeks, has reported a series of final civil actions that resulted in an enforcement action or monetary settlement between an FHA lender and the federal government. On Oct. 6, the IG announced the results of an audit of TXL Mortgage Corp., a direct endorsement lender, in Houston. The audit found TXL in violation of HUD requirements and that it had no acceptable quality-control plan in place. Specifically, 16 of the 20 sample loans the IG reviewed did not comply with HUD standards. Of the 16 loans, eight had significant underwriting defects and failed to qualify for FHA mortgage insurance. Two loans qualified but were over-insured, according to the report. As a result, TXL exposed HUD to more than $713,000 in unnecessary insurance risk and caused the department to incur more than ...

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

New VA Lender Looks to Make an Impression in a Familiar Market

Norwich Commercial Group has launched a new division, Military Direct Mortgage, to focus exclusively on VA direct-to-consumer lending. Based in Avon, CT, just down the road from its parent company, Military Direct opened for business in August this year and the timing could not have been better. In September, issuance of securities backed by VA loans totaled $22.3 billion, up from $18.1 billion in August, according to Ginnie Mae data. VA loan originations saw a 17.4 percent increase in the third quarter from the previous quarter, and were up 22.3 percent over the nine-month period compared to last year. VA purchase-mortgage volume for September totaled $9.9 billion, up after a slight drop in August. Purchase-mortgage activity also improved by 26.1 percent in the third quarter, and by 16.5 percent year-over-year. VA refinance volume featured a huge 34.0 percent increase in ...

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Urges IG to Reconsider Cost of Delayed Conveyance, Foreclosure

The Department of Housing and Urban Development called on its inspector general to reassess estimated financial losses to the FHA insurance fund, which an IG audit attributed to lengthy delays of servicer foreclosures and property conveyances. A recent audit report by the HUD inspector general alleges that HUD paid approximately $2.23 billion in claims for an estimated 239,000 properties that missed foreclosure and conveyance deadlines. According to the IG report, HUD paid an estimated $141.9 million for servicers’ claims for “unreasonable and unnecessary” debenture interest on the distressed loans, as well as $2.09 billion in servicer claims for holding the properties past their foreclosure and conveyance deadlines. While it was necessary for servicers to pay for property-preservation costs, HUD should not have paid for holding costs, the ...

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Nonbanks Took Over GNMA Servicing Market in 3Q16

Nonbanks crossed a threshold in the third quarter of 2016, posting a hefty 6.3 percent increase in their combined Ginnie Mae servicing portfolio, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis. Nonbanks serviced $826.6 billion of Ginnie single-family mortgage-backed securities as of the end of September. That represented 51.3 percent of the total Ginnie market. The nonbank servicing total includes a small amount of Ginnie servicing held by state housing finance agencies, roughly 1.0 percent of the entire market. But it doesn’t include the significant amount of Ginnie servicing that nonbanks do as subservicers for both depository and nonbank clients. Interestingly, the biggest gain for nonbanks in percentage terms came in servicing VA loans, which rose 8.1 percent from the second quarter to $252.1 billion, or 51.0 percent of the market. The VA sector is one business from ... [4 charts ]

October 20, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HUD’s Internal Watchdog Calls for Changes After an Audit Found $2.23 Billion in Paid Claims for Untimely Conveyances

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general urged the agency to revise regulations to avoid the possibility of another multi-billion dollar hit to the FHA insurance fund due to servicers missing their foreclosure or conveyance deadlines. According to a recent IG audit report, HUD paid approximately $2.23 billion in claims for an estimated 239,000 properties that missed foreclosure and conveyance deadlines. In particular, HUD paid an estimated $141.9 million for servicers’ claims for “unreasonable and unnecessary” debenture interest as well as $2.09 billion in servicer claims for holding costs incurred after the deadlines for foreclosure or conveyance had lapsed, the report said. Because of these exorbitant claims payments, the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund became...

October 13, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Where Will the MMIF Audit’s Roulette Ball Land? Current Data Point to Measurable Improvement in Fiscal 2016

Recent data on the state of the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and program financials suggest that the annual audit will show solid improvement in the government’s 2016 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. But there are some huge variables that could have a major impact on the final results that won’t be known until the annual audit is released late next month. The MMIF ended...

October 13, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Traditional Interpretation of RESPA Sec. 8 Gets a Boost as Court Sides With PHH in CFPB Dispute

The traditional interpretation of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act that the mortgage industry has relied on for decades was vindicated this week when a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with most of the arguments advanced by PHH Mortgage in its dispute with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The crux of the dispute has been the bureau’s assertion that PHH violated RESPA by steering business to private mortgage insurers that purchased reinsurance from a captive insurer owned by PHH. Most large lenders and all private MIs engaged in these arrangements prior to the housing market collapse. Early on in the case, an administrative judge agreed...

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Ginnie Mae FY 2016 Highlights. “So far, we’ve pretty much broken every record,” said a Ginnie Mae spokesperson. Total mortgage-backed securities issuance for FY 2016 was $490.3 billion, “an all-time high by a pretty wide margin,” according to the spokesperson. September MBS issuance was also at an all-time high: $54.8 billion. Ginnie Mae commitment authority for the fiscal year was $430.2 billion. Approximately 2.3 million mortgage loans worth $462 billion underlay Ginnie’s single-family MBS pools in FY 2016. Of this total, $278 billion (1.4 million loans) were purchase mortgages, and $184 billion (0.9 million loans) were refinances or modified loans. Of the purchase dollar volume, first-time homebuyers accounted for $200 billion (1.1 million loans). Of the $462 billion single-family MBS pools, FHA accounted for 57.1 percent ($264 billion), VA, 38.8 percent ($179 billion), and rural housing loans, 3.9 percent ($18 billion). New California Law Protects Spouses of HECM Borrowers from ‘Widow Foreclosure.’ On Sept. 29, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown, D, signed Senate Bill 1150 into law to protect widows, widowers and other heirs of mortgage borrowers from unnecessary foreclosures.

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Adopts Final Rule Increasing Agency Fines for Loan Fraud

The Department of Veterans Affairs adopted without change its interim final rule increasing the maximum amount of civil fines it can assess on lenders and other offenders for violations of agency loan-guaranty rules and regulations. Under the interim final rule VA issued for comment back in June, maximum civil monetary penalties would increase from $10,000 to $21,563 for false loan-guaranty certifications. Civil fines for fraudulent claims or statements in any VA program would increase from $5,500 to $10,781. The VA published the interim final rule on June 22, 2016, to implement the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 and to improve the effectiveness of civil fines and maintain their deterrent effect. The new penalty amounts became ...

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Supports Adoption of Energy-Saving Standards for VA Properties

The Department of Veterans Affairs is urging VA lenders, borrowers and other participants in its loan guaranty program to adopt recommended standards, equipment and activities to reduce water and energy usage and to ease the impact of natural disasters. The VA has recommended wind-hazard standards, resilient building and retrofitting standards, a water- and energy-saving program, and property-and-energy conservation strategies to help VA borrowers protect their homes against storms, flooding, earthquakes and other calamities. VA made clear it allows, but does not require, any of the recommended standards, strategies or equipment. The programs are strictly voluntary, it said. The agency noted the increasing incidence of extreme weather events, earthquakes and flooding, which makes planning and building in the most resilient and economically feasible ways all the ...

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Initial Material Defect Rate Rises For the First Time in Nine Quarters

The initial material defect rate of FHA loans has increased to 50 percent in the third quarter of 2016 from the previous quarter, according to the latest FHA Lender Insight report on quality control. A good portion of the defective mortgage loans, however, has been mitigated during the post-endorsement technical review process, the report indicated. In the second quarter, the initial material defect rate had been flat, averaging 47.4 percent over the last eight quarters. The latest report show the top five mitigated findings, which reflect the number of initially unacceptable ratings and the number of findings mitigated for loans between April and June, 2016. Some 6,312 FHA loans comprised the sample, and they consisted of purchase loans (71.0 percent), streamline refinance (13.5 percent), rate and term refis (9.0 percent), and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (6.7 percent). In addition, ...

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Urged to Maintain Current FHA HECM Assignment Option

Industry groups are urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reconsider a supplemental proposal to require mortgagees to assign a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loan to the FHA once the loan balance reaches 98 percent of the maximum claim amount (MCA). The Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association said there are more disadvantages than benefits to the proposal. The supplemental proposal is an offshoot from a previous HUD proposed rule to codify significant changes made to the HECM program by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013 and all other revisions in between. Both groups recommended that HUD maintain its current assignment election options rather than adopt the proposed rule. Currently, mortgagees have an option, before the ...

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Return of FHA Spot Approval is a Shot in the Arm for Condo Market

Lenders are optimistic about a proposed rule that would reinstate FHA spot financing in unapproved condominium projects, saying this could be the spark that would jump-start the slow condo market.The proposed rules would clarify and modify certain FHA rules to kick-start condominium lending activity, and allow some flexibility in existing approval standards. Key proposals include the reinstatement of spot approvals in unapproved condominium developments and extending the effective recertification period for condo approvals to three years, rather than the current two-year requirement. Prior to 2009, spot approval allowed a buyer to use FHA financing to purchase a unit in an unapproved condo project, but the HUD approval process was expensive and time consuming. Consequently, few lenders were able to take advantage of the spot-approval program. The Department of ...

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

IG Audit Finds GNMA Left Hundreds Of Uninsured Loans in MBS Pools

Requiring an undercapitalized issuer to repurchase uninsured performing mortgages out of a mortgage-backed securities pool could increase risk to the federal government, warned Ginnie Mae. Responding to an adverse audit report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General, Ginnie said that while it generally accepts the IG’s recommendations, forcing an undercapitalized issuer to buy out performing loans and either hold them in portfolio or sell them at a substantial loss would put the government at greater risk. “This is something we need to be alert to in certain cases,” the agency said. According to the report, Ginnie improperly allowed more than $49 million of single-family mortgages with terminated insurance to remain in its MBS pools for more than one year without obtaining FHA coverage. The IG warned Ginnie could be on the ...

October 7, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae Crushed Single Family MBS Issuance Records in 3Q16

Ginnie Mae rode a surging purchase-mortgage market and heavy refinance activity to new production records during the third quarter of 2016. The agency issued a whopping $145.14 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities during the third quarter, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of MBS disclosures. That figure is based on pool-level disclosures that reveal exact principal balance amounts and it includes securities backed by FHA home-equity conversion mortgages. The data in the table below are based on truncated loan-level disclosures and do not include HECM activity. New Ginnie MBS issuance in the third quarter was up 15.7 percent from the previous quarter. Ginnie MBS production set three consecutive monthly records during the third quarter, culminating in a huge $52.46 billion month in September. Purchase-mortgage activity was the key driver, but the ... [ 4 charts ]

October 7, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Milken Institute Authors Suggest Housing Finance Reform via Agency Charter Amendments for GSEs, Ginnie and the FHFA

The Milken Institute suggests simply amending the charters of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and the Federal Housing Finance Agency for a smooth transition toward a new secondary mortgage market. Those changes include turning the government-sponsored enterprises into mutuals owned and operated by their seller-servicers and making Ginnie Mae a stand-alone government corporation. Amending the charters could accomplish a wide range of objectives that have eluded legislators and policymakers since the conservatorships, the authors said. Michael Bright, director in the Milken Institute’s Center for Financial Markets, and Ed DeMarco, senior fellow at the institute and former FHFA acting director, said...

October 6, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With TRID’s First Year in the Rear View Mirror, Industry Hopeful Compliance Continues to Improve

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s integrated disclosure rule has now been in effect for a full year, and industry officials hope the potholes and speedbumps in the TRID road will continue to smooth out. Former CFPB official Benjamin Olson, now a partner with the BuckleySandler law firm in Washington, DC, noted that the first year of the TRID rule has been eventful. “In its early stages, the TRID rule proved to be far more disruptive than many envisioned, largely because of extraordinarily high rates of real and perceived errors and pervasive uncertainty over the liability associated with those errors,” he told Inside Mortgage Finance. Over time, the mortgage industry has been...

September 30, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

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

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

September 29, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

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

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

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

PACE Guidance Not Reassuring, Too Many Uncertainties, Pitfalls

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

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Poised to Collect Huge FCA Settlement Funds from Lenders

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


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

I’m confident a bill will be passed the first year.


2 to 3 years. GSE reform is complicated.


Sadly it won’t happen in a Clinton or Trump first term.


Not in my lifetime.


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