HUD

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to HUD.

March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Moving Vigorously Ahead with Enforcement Actions, as Prospect Mortgage RESPA Case Reveals

With the enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act at stake, and a hostile occupant in the Oval Office, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is certainly not being bashful about continuing its regulation-by-enforcement modus operandi. The recent enforcement action against Prospect Mortgage is just the latest example. According to Colgate Selden, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the law firm of Alston & Bird, the case is important because “it indicates the CFPB is moving full-speed ahead regardless” of the recent court rulings in PHH v. CFPB. This case is...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Launches National Listening Tour in Detroit. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson began a national listening tour March 15 at Benjamin Carson High School in Detroit. Carson’s three-day visit to his hometown gives him an opportunity to hear directly from HUD field personnel and stakeholders who rely upon and support public housing. This week, President Trump released his proposed preliminary FY 2018 budget, which showed among other things a drastic $6.2 billion reduction in funding for public housing assistance and affordable housing. HUD did not release an itinerary of Carson’s listening tour. IG Seeks Changes to Ginnie Mae’s Management Hierarchy, Staffing. Ginnie Mae’s outdated organizational structure and staff levels have made it difficult for the agency to properly monitor and mitigate the risk posed by the increasing number of nonbanks participating in ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Utah FHA Lender Pays $4.25 M to DOJ, HUD to Resolve Fraud Claims

Security National Mortgage Co. of Salt Lake City has paid $4.25 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to settle allegations of failing to comply with FHA loan requirements. Security National, a retail lender, has been an FHA-approved direct endorsement lender since October 1993, the year it was founded. The settlement resolves a joint civil investigation by the HUD Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey into Security National’s FHA origination and underwriting practices in connection with 100 FHA-insured loans. As part of the settlement, the lender “agreed it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination and underwriting of the loans.” The HUD OIG provided no details about the investigation. The OIG said the loans that were certified as compliant would not have been insured had ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Originations Down in 2016, December Spike Slowed Descent

Production of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans was down in 2016 with an estimated $14.9 billion originated last year, compared to $16.0 billion the previous year. Year-over-year, total HECM volume fell 6.4 percent. Purchase loans accounted for 85.9 percent of FHA-insured reverse mortgages produced over the 12-month period. Originations, however, rose by 8.0 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter due to a spike in HECM lending in December. Purchase HECMs with an adjustable rate appeared to be the product of choice among HECM borrowers in 2016. American Advisors Group continued to dominate the market, closing 2016 with $2.1 billion in HECM originations for a 14.0 percent market share. One Reverse Mortgage was the second top HECM producer of the year with $855 million, while Reverse Mortgage Funding was in third place with $649.8 million. Liberty Home Equity Solutions hung on ... [ 1 chart ]


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Trump Proposes Drastic Cuts to 2018 HUD Discretionary Spending

The Trump administration has proposed deep budget cuts in 2018 for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but whether the agencies’ critical housing insurance programs would be affected is unclear. The cuts are part of the administration’s plan to reduce non-defense discretionary spending dramatically in order to fund increased defense spending and President Trump’s southern border wall, and to bring down a projected $9.4 trillion U.S. deficit over the next decade.Released this week, the preliminary 2018 budget seeks $40.7 billion in gross discretionary funding for HUD, $6.2 billion or 13.2 percent lower than the department’s approved spending in 2017. The $47.3 billion in discretionary budget authority enacted for fiscal 2017 does not include offsetting receipts from FHA and Ginnie Mae, which lowered the congressionally appropriated cost for ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Georgia Appeals Court Finds for Wells Fargo in Provisional Win

A Georgia appellate court recently handed Wells Fargo Bank a provisional win in a lawsuit in which a VA borrower alleged breach of contract and wrongful foreclosure. In Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., d/b/a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage v. LaTouche, the court ruled that Wells did not breach its duty to the borrower to comply with VA foreclosure regulations. The court concluded that the trial court had erred in denying Wells Fargo’s motion for summary judgment as to the defendant’s claims for wrongful foreclosure that hinged upon the same VA regulations. The reversal stemmed from Wells Fargo’s request for an interlocutory review of the trial court’s denial of its motion for summary judgment on defendant Michael LaTouche’s claims for breach of contract, wrongful foreclosure and “surprise. An interlocutory review is undertaken when a question of law must be answered by an appellate court before ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Quicken Loans Notches First Win After Court Narrows Scope of Case

A favorable court ruling on the statute of limitations for filing claims under the False Claims Act gave Quicken Loans its first win in a closely watched government case involving allegedly fraudulent FHA loans. Judge Mark Goldsmith of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed portions of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Quicken in a March 9 decision, narrowing the lender’s potential liability for FHA losses. The losses were blamed on sloppy underwriting, fraudulent certification and loan performance. The DOJ said the FHA would not have knowingly insured the loans had it known they were defective. The DOJ and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general began an investigation of Quicken’s FHA lending activities in April 2012. The investigation encompassed some 246,000 FHA loans, which Quicken originated from ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Correspondent Channel Lost Some Share of Gov’t Market in 2016

Correspondent mortgage originators account for an unusually large share of FHA and VA lending, but the channel lost some market share in 2016, according to a new analysis by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Correspondent production accounted for 53.2 percent of the $275.14 billion of government-insured mortgages originated by a diverse group of lenders that included the top players in the market. That was a significantly bigger correspondent share than was seen in the conventional-conforming market (42.6 percent) or the jumbo space (16.2 percent). However, the 2016 figure was down from a 57.8 percent correspondent share of FHA/VA lending back in 2015, the first year for which data are available. Correspondent originations of government-insured lending by the group were up 31.1 percent from 2015, but their total FHA/VA lending jumped 42.3 percent. The retail share rose ... [ 1 chart ]


March 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Serial Rapid Refinancing Continues As VA, MBA Explore Potential Cures

Solicitation of VA purchase loans for streamline refinancing within weeks of closing is apparently continuing despite Ginnie Mae’s efforts to stop the harmful practice. The Mortgage Bankers Association has expressed concern that guidance on pooling eligibility for streamlined refinance loans, which Ginnie issued in October last year, was far less effective than expected. Although the aggressive refinancing trend has slowed due to Ginnie’s action, there are still “pockets of that activity” being reported, said Pete Mills, MBA senior vice president. Refinancing a veteran’s purchase mortgage less than six months after its origination is not in the vet’s best interest because it strips equity from the house and results in higher financing costs, said Mills. While the rapid refi trend involves only a small number of loans in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities pools, investors do not get the full benefit of their investment because of early prepayment. Mills said there are a handful of lenders and brokers that ...


March 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

HUD IG Calls for Changes in GNMA’s Structure, Monitoring to Reduce Risk Posed by Nonbanks

Ginnie Mae’s outdated organizational structure and staff levels have made it difficult for the agency to properly monitor and mitigate the risk posed by the increasing number of nonbanks participating in its MBS programs, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general. In a recent briefing paper, HUD Inspector General David Montoya highlighted challenges Ginnie faces in monitoring nonbanks, adding that HUD is currently being audited by the IG to gauge its capacity to track and supervise nonbanks, said Montoya. Ginnie acknowledged...


March 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Detroit Court Ruling in Government’s FHA-Related Case Against Quicken Loans Narrows Lender’s Potential Liability

A recent decision by a federal judge in Detroit dismissing portions of the Department of Justice’s FHA-related claims against Quicken Loans will shrink the lender’s liability under the False Claims Act, according to a legal expert. In a decision rendered March 9 on the closely watched case, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith narrowed the scope and timeframe for which the DOJ can pursue any recovery or settlement against Quicken Loans for FHA losses allegedly due to faulty underwriting and loan default performance. It is the first major decision since the DOJ’s suit was transferred from federal court in Washington, DC, to federal court in Detroit last year. The DOJ and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General began...


March 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HFSC’s Budget Views Lay Groundwork for Carson’s HUD Agenda as Secretary Prepares for ‘Listening’ Tour

Secretary Ben Carson may not yet have a clear agenda and a set of priorities for the Department of Housing and Urban Development over the next four years, but the House Financial Services Committee appears to have identified changes that Republican lawmakers want to see at the agency. A HUD spokesman said Carson will embark next week on a nationwide “listening” tour of certain communities and HUD field offices to learn more about the agency he leads, FHA programs and the mortgage insurance fund he oversees. On March 2, Vice President Mike Pence swore...


March 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

RESPA Experts Highlight Troubling Behavior in CFPB’s Consent Orders With Prospect Mortgage

As the mortgage industry waits for a definitive resolution to the legal dispute between PHH Mortgage and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, industry experts tried to glean some guidance on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act from the bureau’s recent consent orders involving nonbank Prospect Mortgage and some of its partners. Earlier this year, the CFPB brought a $3.5 million enforcement action against Prospect, accusing the firm of illegal kickbacks for mortgage business referrals from two real estate brokers, and in an unusual twist, a mortgage servicing operation. The bureau also acted against ReMax Gold Coast and Keller Williams Mid-Willamette, the brokers, and Planet Home Lending, the mortgage servicer – all of whom it accused of taking illegal kickbacks from the lender. During a webinar this week sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, Rodrigo Alba, senior vice president of mortgage finance and senior regulatory counsel for the American Bankers Association, said...


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Public Disclosure of Misconduct May Bar Specific Claims of Fraud

Relators in a False Claims Act lawsuit must allege misconduct that has not already been publicly disclosed or risk dismissal of their qui tam claims, according to the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit. In U.S. ex rel. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. v. U.S. Bank, the court ruled that whistleblowers cannot raise “substantially the same allegations or transactions” that have been previously alleged in an action or claim and publicly disclosed. The qui tam plaintiff must be the original source of the allegations, the court said. Only certain disclosures trigger the prohibition, the court noted. They include disclosures “in a federal criminal, civil or administrative hearing in which the government or its agent is a party,” or in a Government Accountability Office or other federal report, hearing, audit or investigation, or from the news media. n this case, the relator/plaintiff alleged that U.S. Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings ...


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Primes Lenders for LRS, Defect Taxonomy; System to Go Live in 2Q

The FHA is nearing full implementation of a new loan review system (LRS) for managing FHA’s Title II single-family quality-control processes. No specific implementation date has been set but it could be sometime in the second quarter, the agency said. The LRS builds on FHA’s efforts to align the documentation of loan-review results. In addition, it incorporates the Single-Family Housing Loan Quality Assessment Methodology or defect taxonomy. The FHA said the new system would not be used to manage any aspect of the agency’s standard loan origination or endorsement processes. Rather, it would be used to review of test cases submitted by lenders seeking unconditional direct-endorsement authority. It would be used as well for various post-endorsement reviews of forward single-family loans. After the ...


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Confirms Carson as HUD Chief by Nearly Party-Line Vote

Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson plans to hit the ground running with a nationwide listening tour to learn more about the agency he will lead and the FHA programs he will oversee. This week, Carson, a neurosurgeon, was sworn in as the 17th secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development after the U.S. Senate voted 58 to 41 to confirm his nomination. A handful of Democrats, including Sen. Sherrod Brown, OH, ranking minority member on the Senate Banking Committee, joined Republicans in support of Carson in spite of his inexperience in housing policy and in running a federal agency. In a statement following Carson’s committee confirmation Jan. 24, Brown said he would have not picked the nominee to lead HUD because of his lack of experience and controversial public statements. Brown said he decided to give Carson a ...


March 3, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Issuance Tumbles in 1Q17 Following 2016’s Stellar Volume

Ginnie Mae production fell substantially in February from January as the government-insured lending market continued to lose steam in the first quarter of 2017. Ginnie mortgage-backed securities issuance fell 24.0 percent from January as fewer purchase and refinance loans were pooled for securitization, bringing February’s total issuance to just $32.2 billion. Year-over-year Ginnie MBS issuance, on the other hand, increased by 6.2 percent. The government-insured market set an all-time record of $545.0 billion in originations during 2016, a whopping 31.0 percent jump from the previous year. That total eclipsed previous records for originations of FHA, VA and rural housing loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to data compiled by affiliate Inside Mortgage Finance. In addition, government-insured lending accounted for a record ... [ 3 charts ]


March 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Contracts Signed on Existing Homes Fall in January, Signals a Competitive Spring Housing Market

Although sales of existing and newly constructed homes were both up in January 2017, a slump in the number of contracts signed for existing homes may be a harbinger of a rough spring market. A low supply of homes on the market, especially in the Midwest and West, caused a lull in pending home sales at the beginning of the year, according to a National Association of Realtor index based on contract signings. The Pending Home Sales Index showed that the number of homes with a contract in January was the lowest it’s been since January 2016. Existing home sale gains (up 3.3 percent in January) showed...


March 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Participants Push to Include Servicing Reforms in Broader Housing Reform Efforts

As policymakers work toward housing finance reform, industry participants are forming plans to ensure that servicing issues are addressed. The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center recently launched the Mortgage Servicing Collaborative, which will provide data on servicing issues and analyze possible solutions. “We are...


February 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

HUD Reportedly Set to Begin Redlining Probe of CIT Group

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is apparently poised to begin an investigation of allegations of redlining on the part of CIT Group, Pasadena, CA, through its CIT Bank subsidiary, the successor to OneWest Bank, after agreeing to accept a complaint against the lender filed by the California Reinvestment Coalition. The CRC alleges the bank violated and continues to violate the Fair Housing Act by providing residential real estate-related transactions in a manner that discriminates on the basis of race, color and national origin. Specifically, the complaint alleges that since at least 2011, CIT Bank discriminated in marketing and originating housing-related products, as evidenced by the low number of mortgages it made to African-American, Asian-American and Latino borrowers in ...


February 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private Mortgage Insurers Raise Concerns About Differences in QM Standards for GSEs and FHA

The U.S. Mortgage Insurers trade group is seeking to eliminate differences in standards for qualified mortgages. USMI detailed its policy priorities for 2017 late last week. While the priorities largely rehash previous points of emphasis that could increase business for private mortgage insurance companies, USMI said it has particular concerns about how some QM standards vary on mortgages delivered to the government-sponsored enterprises compared with FHA mortgages. As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lender, Charity Hid Defaults from FHA to Manipulate Default Rate

Three federal agencies have announced a joint settlement agreement and consent order with a New York FHA lender and several of its top executives to resolve alleged violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act and the False Claims Act. The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced the $1.25 million settlement with Franklin First Financial, Ltd., its Chief Executive Officer Frederick Assini, Chief Operating Officer Christopher Berman, and Andrew Dauro, a manager of the company. The lawsuit alleged that the defendants made illegal payments on behalf of borrowers from February 2009 through March 2010 to keep default rates low so that Franklin First could keep its ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA-Related FCA Enforcement, Recoveries Increase in 2016

Claims relating to housing and mortgage fraud represented a huge chunk of the amount recovered by the federal government under the False Claims Act last year. An analysis by the WilmerHale law firm found that the Department of Justice continued to give high priority to FCA investigations and prosecutions in 2016, resulting in more than $4.76 billion in settlements and judgments, nearly $1 billion more than in 2015. The increase also reflected a continued focus on financial institutions and the mortgage lending industry, with approximately $1.6 billion in recoveries last year, the law firm said. The DOJ, working on referrals from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general, has used the FCA effectively as a tool in prosecuting FHA-related fraud cases against lenders. The DOJ ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

4Q16 Spike in FHA Delinquencies Justifies Trump’s Premium Action

The spike in FHA delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2016 justifies the Trump administration’s decision last month to suspend and review the outgoing administration’s lowering of FHA mortgage insurance premiums, said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX. Commenting on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s quarterly delinquency rate survey, Hensarling praised President Trump’s decision to set aside the 25-basis-point premium reduction, which Inside FHA/VA Lending reported first on Jan. 6, 2017. “Lowering premiums at this time was a big mistake,” said Hensarling. “The sudden increase in delinquencies makes it clear that President Trump was absolutely right to undo the previous administration’s irresponsible action.” Hensarling recalled that in 2013 “taxpayers had to spend $1.7 billion to bail out the FHA.” Going forward, the FHA must be fiscally sound, with a ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Republicans Invoke Cloture in Upcoming Carson Confirmation

Ben Carson is a step closer to being confirmed as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development after Republicans this week invoked cloture to block any attempt by Democrats to delay or prevent a Senate confirmation vote. Republicans filed their cloture motion and waived quorum call on Feb. 13, effectively ending further debate on Carson’s nomination. At least 16 senators must sign a cloture petition.]There has been no date set for Carson’s confirmation vote. The Trump administration has been slow to fill its Cabinet positions, partly due to Democrats’ stalling techniques. So far, only nine cabinet positions have been filled. There has been no Senate action scheduled since the Senate Banking Committee approved Carson confirmation by voice vote on Jan. 24, and nobody seems to have an explanation for the delay. While the committee vote was unanimous, Democrats continue to ...


February 17, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Debt Burdens Crept Slightly Higher In 2016 for FHA and VA Borrowers

FHA and VA borrowers took on slightly greater payment obligations in 2016 than they have in previous years, according to a new analysis and servicer ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. The average debt-to-income ratio for FHA loans securitized in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities last year was 40.4 percent, up about half a percentage point from 2015. The average VA DTI ratio nudged up slightly to 38.3 percent. Average credit scores in the FHA program drifted slightly lower, while climbing 1.9 points for VA loans. The differences in credit quality between the two programs remained substantial: the VA attracts borrowers with higher credit scores and lower DTI ratios who take on larger loans. Some 36.3 percent of VA loans backing Ginnie MBS issued last year had credit scores of 740 and up, while just 13.2 percent of FHA loans fell in that category. Meanwhile, 67.1 percent of FHA loans had ...


February 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

The Time is Right for a Boom in Servicing Sales. Another Month or Two of Slow Prepayments Could Spur Market

The secondary market for bulk agency mortgage servicing rights is beginning to pick up a decent head of steam, but one factor is holding it back from a full-throttle: worries about prepayment speeds. “We’ve had one month of low prepayment numbers,” said Mark Garland, president of MountainView Servicing Group, Denver. “A couple of more months would be better.” According to investment bankers who work the market, although rates have been on a steady climb since the November election – the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury is...


February 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Carson Seeks ‘Strong Housing Finance Practitioner’ For FHA Post, Promises More Clarity for Lenders

Ben Carson, who is expected to be confirmed soon as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he’s looking for an experienced mortgage professional to guide the FHA program during his tenure. In recent years, the top FHA job has been held by people with more experience in government than in the mortgage business. The last industry veteran in the post was Dave Stevens, who brought years of mortgage finance experience when he took the job in the first Obama administration. He left in 2011 to become president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. In response to written questions from Senate Democrats, Carson said...


February 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HUD IG Says FHA Improperly Cleared New Defect Taxonomy and Pushes for Recall, HUD Holds Ground

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is facing criticism for its handling of FHA’s loan quality assessment methodology. A draft of the so-called defect taxonomy was published without proper departmental clearance, according to a recent report by HUD’s Office of Inspector General. The defect taxonomy is one of 13 FHA-related documents the OIG claims were not properly cleared. The OIG called on HUD to pursue departmental clearance for the documents and policies and to recall any documents that can’t be appropriately cleared. A recall of the defect taxonomy would be...


Poll

With rates higher this year, there has been talk of lenders liberalizing their underwriting standards in an effort to increase volume and make up for lower refis.

Do you think your shop will loosen standards over the coming three months?

Yes, but not by much.

47%

Yes, by a lot.

5%

Yes and, heck, we may even do non-QM lending.

14%

No, not at all.

26%

No and we may even tighten credit.

7%