Mortgage Insurance

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Mortgage Insurance.

October 8, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

PMIER Rules Become Effective at Year End, But Some MIs Fear the FHFA May Lower the Boom on Reinsurance Deals

The nation’s seven active mortgage insurance firms expect to be fully compliant with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s new capital eligibility rules by the yearend deadline – if they aren’t already – but now there’s a new worry: more regulations may be on the way. According to sources inside the MI sector, the FHFA is taking a close look at the use of reinsurance by private mortgage insurers with an eye toward capping it. “FHFA is worried that reinsurance firms may not pay,” said one MI official who spoke extensively on the topic under the condition he and his firm not be identified. “They want to reduce the credit you get for using reinsurance firms.” “The FHFA is trying...

October 8, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage CEOs Depart Stonegate, Walter, Lenders One and NMI. Who’s Next? PHH?

Over the past few months, the chief executive officers at two publicly traded mortgage firms and a private cooperative have departed, creating uncertainty in the market while underscoring what might seem obvious to some: It’s not easy running a mortgage business these days. CEOs heading for the exits – either on their own accord or via a management edict – include Jim Cutillo of Stonegate, Jeff McGuiness at the Lenders One Cooperative, and most recently Mark O’Brien, who headed nonbank lender/servicer Walter Investment Management Corp. And rounding out the “departure club” is...

October 2, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

GSEs Do More Credit Risk-Sharing Deals as Fannie, Freddie Find More Interest From Insurance Sector

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continued to tap investor interest in credit-risk transfer transactions over the last week or so, with each company announcing another deal involving more support from various elements in the insurance and reinsurance sectors. Last week, Fannie announced it has completed its latest Credit Insurance Risk Transfer transaction, which shifts credit risk on a pool of loans to a panel of reinsurers. In CIRT-2015-3 which became effective Aug. 1, 2015, Fannie retained...[Includes one data table]

September 24, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHA Firm on Insurance Termination Penalty for Missed Claim-Filing Deadline but Will Remain Flexible, Says Official

The FHA will consider stakeholders’ concern about its proposal to terminate a lender’s mortgage insurance contract for missing a yet-to-be-finalized deadline for filing claims, an agency official said. For now, however, the agency remains adamant about letting the provision stand despite stakeholder complaints about its severity, said Ivery Himes, director of the Office of Single Family Asset Management at FHA, during a panel discussion this week at the Ginnie Mae annual conference in Arlington, VA. She said missed deadlines are costly and are putting a strain on the agency’s resources. Himes blamed...

September 24, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Ginnie Mae’s Tozer Calls Upon FHA to Find Workable Middle Ground for Loan Certification

Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer is urging the FHA to find some flexibility in its loan-level certification proposal that would balance the need to protect the FHA from losses with lenders’ ability to lend without fear of consequences. Tozer said the controversial FHA proposal is trying to find a middle road between protecting the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and making lenders feel confident that they are accountable only for the most egregious problems and not for small oversights or technical errors. “It is...

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Collects on Whatever is Left of TBW – A Mere Slice of FHA Losses

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently saw its long-running attempt to recover $179 million from a bankrupt FHA lender come to a disappointing close, receiving only a little over half-a-million dollars after liquidation. HUD’s Inspector General gave the agency the green light to book its share of funds available to pay an $89.9 million HUD claim against the now-defunct lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, ending further action against the company. In 2006, whistleblowers filed a “qui tam” lawsuit in federal district court in Georgia alleging that TBW and Home America Mortgage had falsely certified and approved poorly underwritten loans for FHA insurance. In 2009, the two mortgage lenders filed for bankruptcy separately but were later consolidated by the court into one bankruptcy case. In May 2010, the Department of Justice, on behalf of HUD, filed a ...

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Lending Rises in First Half, HMBS Issuance Up Same Period

FHA lenders funded $7.8 billion in new Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans during the first half of 2015, up 8.2 percent from the same period a year ago. HECM loan production was slower in the second quarter with originations down 1.1 percent from the prior quarter. Purchase loans accounted for 86.1 percent of all HECM transactions during the first six months. Interestingly, borrower bias against adjustable-rate loans appeared to have eased. Fixed-rate HECMs accounted for only 15.4 percent of originations during the first half of the year. Initial principal amount at loan origination totaled $4.6 billion over the same period. On a fiscal year-to-date basis, the FHA reported a total of 53,372 HECM endorsements, up from 47,662 HECM endorsements in fiscal YTD 2014. Meanwhile, HECM endorsed cases increased to 5,750 in August compared to ... [ chart ]

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Servicer to Pay $29.6 Million To Resolve False Claims Violations

A major player in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage market has agreed to pay $29.6 million to resolve allegations of submitting false claims related to the servicing of FHA-insured reverse mortgages. According to the Department of Justice, Walter Investment Management Corp., through its mortgage subsidiaries, violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims for debenture interest from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A debenture is a type of debt instrument not secured by physical assets or collateral. It is backed only by the issuer’s general creditworthiness and reputation. HUD requires lenders to self-report curtailment of debenture interest if it misses any foreclosure deadlines. Under the HECM program, a loan becomes due and payable when the home is sold, remains vacant for more than 12 months or upon the ...

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Housing Think Tank Suggests Steps To Make Loan Cert Proposal Work

The FHA should make further adjustments to its latest loan-level certification proposal to fully achieve its aim of limiting lenders’ False Claims Act liability, according to an Urban Institute analysis. As drafted, the agency’s proposed measures to limit liability to errors that lenders can and should avoid appear to fall short of their objective, wrote UI Senior Fellow Jim Parrott. He urged the FHA to make the small changes needed to align the severity of penalties (indemnifications, huge settlements) with the gravity of the mistakes. Many FHA lenders have restricted their lending and imposed overlays partly because of uncertainty in how the agency enforces its underwriting rules. Lenders agree with the need for tougher enforcement against mortgage fraud and misrepresentations that have cost the FHA insurance fund millions of dollars in losses. However, even a minor mistake or a ...

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USDA Loan Securitization Drops In 2Q with Fewer Rural Loans Made

Ginnie Mae securitized fewer rural home loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter, according to analysis of agency data. A total of $8.4 billion of USDA loans were securitized during the first six months of 2015, down 2.1 percent from the same period last year. Securitization volume also dropped by as much quarter over quarter. Chase led all USDA securitizers with $2.6 billion in loans securitized during the first half of the year for a commanding 30.4 share of the market. Wells Fargo funneled $1.1 billion in USDA loans into Ginnie MBS, resulting in a 13.1 market share, while PennyMac delivered $609.7 million for securitization. U.S. Bank closed the first half with $260.3 million in securitized USDA mortgages despite a 31.4 percent drop in the second quarter. Pacific Union Financial rounded out the top five USDA loan securitizers with ... [ chart ]

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Second Quarter Originations Fuel FHA Jumbo Securitization Surge

FHA jumbo securitization continued to rise over the first six months of 2015 on the back of soaring FHA jumbo production in the second quarter. FHA jumbo originations in the second quarter more than doubled to $6.8 billion, according to the Inside Mortgage Finance database. FHA data showed that the jumbo share of originations was highest in conventional-to-FHA refinance (14.9 percent) and streamlined FHA refis (13.3 percent,) but just 9.0 percent for purchase loans. Delivery of FHA jumbos, including modified loans, into Ginnie Mae jumbo mortgage-backed securities rose 131.9 percent in the second quarter from the prior quarter and was up 115.8 percent compared to the first six months of 2014. Wells Fargo led the market in the first half with $1.4 billion in jumbos contributed to MBS, up 123 percent quarter over quarter. That was good enough for a 12.7 percent market share. PennyMac Corp. accounted for ... [ chart ]

September 18, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Jumbo Volume Up in 2Q15, Significant Gains Year-Over-Year

Ginnie Mae securitized $14.2 billion of VA jumbo loans in the first half of 2015, more than double the volume seen during the same period a year ago. VA securitization data for the first six months reflect an upward trend in VA loan originations, which lenders attribute to better outreach to veterans and servicemembers and aggressive marketing strategies. VA jumbo securitization in the first half of the year was up 120.7 percent from the same prior-year period. Volume also was up 13.9 percent in the second quarter from the previous quarter. All top-five VA jumbo securitizers reported large gains year over year, but four showed volume decreases quarter over quarter. Third-ranked PennyMac recorded a 3.4 percent gain in the second quarter from the prior quarter. The top five, in sequential order – Wells Fargo, Freedom Mortgage Corp., PennyMac Corp., U.S. Bank and Quicken Loans – accounted for ... [ chart ]

September 18, 2015 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

News Briefs

Radian started offering two new mortgage insurance products this week, both of which include jumbo loans. The “super jumbo” product allows for loan-to-value ratios as high as 95 percent with a loan limit up to $850,000. The program requires a credit score of at least 720 and allows debt-to-income ratios as high as 43 percent. Radian’s Medical Professional Program is aimed...

September 18, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fitch Analysis Shows Fannie Mae’s Loan Losses Slightly Lower Than Freddie’s for Some Cohorts

In an analysis of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan-level loss data, Fitch Ratings concluded that while similar, there are differences between loss severities among loans with similar profiles. Fannie disclosed its loan-level loss data in late July to increase transparency to the market as it plans for an actual-loss credit offering in the fourth quarter. Fannie’s loan-level loss data was comparable to historical loss severities for its liquidated mortgages and the fixed loss-severity schedules used in its Connecticut Avenue Securities risk-transfer deals, said the Fitch report this week. All CAS risk-sharing transactions have passed...

September 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Progress of Private MI Industry May Depend on Details of NAIC’s Risk-Based Capital Standards

A stable private mortgage insurance industry is expected to emerge as the residential real estate market continues its recovery but uncertainty related to new risk-based regulatory capital standards from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners could derail or hinder progress, according to a new analysis by Fitch Ratings. So far, the MI industry has returned to profitability with more stability in the market and the continued presence of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the residential market. Stronger regulatory standards bode well for the industry’s stability as well, Fitch noted. The long-term viability of the MI industry does not appear...

September 17, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie and Freddie to Explore More Front-End Risk Sharing Transactions, Including Deep MI

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to explore more front-end risk-sharing transactions while continuing to issue their popular debt offerings that pay investors based on the performance of reference pools of newly originated mortgages. Redwood Trust has done front-end risk-share deals with both Fannie and Freddie. The most recent was a transaction with Freddie in the third quarter, which covered a $1 billion pool and Redwood absorbing the first 1 percent of credit losses on the delivered loans. “Redwood expects...

September 10, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Groups Call for Withdrawal of FHA’s Proposed Claim-Filing Timelines, Warn of Long-Term Negative Effects

Industry trade groups are calling for the withdrawal of a proposed servicing rule that would set new deadlines for filing FHA insurance claims and penalize lenders with termination of insurance coverage if they failed to comply. Banks, independent mortgage lenders and credit unions warn that FHA’s proposed changes to its claims regulations could result in higher interest rates, credit restrictions and lenders exiting from the FHA program. Such effects could be magnified in the hardest hit housing markets, particularly in states that have long foreclosure timelines or older housing stock. The FHA proposal addresses...

September 10, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Blackstone’s Investment in PMI Raises Eyebrows: A Play on Mortgage Insurance or PMI’s Tax Losses?

The Blackstone Group, which has been gobbling up mortgage banking franchises of late, may have its eye on the mortgage insurance space. But for now it does not appear that it plans to rebuild what’s left of PMI Mortgage insurance as a going concern. As usual, the investment banker is saying little about what it plans to do with its “strategic investment” in The PMI Group, a once top-ranked MI that was placed into receivership back in 2012. PMI isn’t talking either. The investment, revealed last week, was made through the Blackstone Tactical Opportunities Fund. When the announcement was first unveiled, both analysts and MI professionals were left...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Another Cut in FHA Premiums Coming This Winter? Will the FHA take the bold step of cutting annual mortgage insurance premiums this winter? It’s an intriguing question posed by Capital Alpha Partners. The research firm, in a new report, quotes what it calls a “reliable FHA bull” who “presciently foresaw” the last premium cut. Alpha cautions that its source on the matter is not betting on such a move, but raises the possibility “that the tumblers could fall into place once again.” One possible catalyst for an MIP cut would be poor results from a forthcoming Home Mortgage Disclosure Act report that shows FHA as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not serving low-income borrowers very well. In January 2015, FHA implemented a half-percent reduction in annual mortgage insurance premiums. At the time, the Department of Housing and Urban Development predicted that 250,000 new homeowners would ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Crafting New Standards for Insuring Loans with PACE Liens

The FHA is developing standards that would allow FHA financing on homes with existing Property Assessed Clean Energy liens going forward. Specifically, the guidance would require subordination of PACE financing to first-lien FHA mortgages. The FHA is also working on a monitoring mechanism to track the number of PACE loans with FHA insurance in the future, said a HUD spokesman. Mortgage market analysts say FHA’s action could lead to broader adoption of the PACE program for FHA-insured single-family homes. The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a statement, applauded the move. “This modification should allow some homeowners to install energy improvements in their home but not impede the rights of the first lien, something the original PACE program failed to consider,” said David Stevens, MBA president and CEO. PACE programs allow local governments to raise bond-funded financing to ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Clarifying Guidance for Repurchase, Mobile-Home Loans

The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program has issued guidance to clarify the notification requirement applicable to all holders of VA repurchase and mobile-home mortgage loans. Under existing regulation, holders of VA repurchase and mobile-home loans are required to report to the Department of Veterans Affairs any event that leads to the full payment of a VA-backed loan. The guidance requires all holders to report the status of all VA repurchase and mobile-home mortgages upon full satisfaction of the loan. All notifications must be sent directly to the chief of contract assurance at For further questions, contact Ronnie Lamb at ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USDA Raises Upfront Fee for Single-Family Guaranteed Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program has tweaked its guaranteed underwriting system (GUS) to support an increase in the upfront loan guarantee fee. Effective Oct. 1, 2015, the upfront guarantee fee for USDA purchase and refinance loans will be raised to 2.75 percent from 2.00 percent. The annual fee will remain at 0.50 percent for purchase and refi loans. The increase helps cover the cost of operating the program, which requires no congressional subsidy to offset credit costs, the agency said. The fee hike, however, is raising concerns among rural housing lenders. An increase to 2.75 percent could add more than $4,000 to a $150,000 mortgage with a USDA guarantee and increase monthly payments. “A $5 increase in monthly mortgage payments may not sound like much but it could make a difference in qualifying a ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Announces Interim Procedures After Finding HECM Tech Problems

The FHA has discovered glitches in FHA Connection and in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage calculation software, which are creating problems for HECM lenders. A bad field edit in FHA Connection is preventing mortgagees from completing their on-screen financial assessment update on HECMs with negative residual income. This hinders submission of reverse-mortgage transactions to FHA for insurance. The FHA has issued temporary procedures that include instructions on submitting a request for a waiver of penalties for late payment of mortgage insurance premiums on closed loans. The agency was also alerted to a second technical problem following the release of the HECM Calculator, Version 2.2. The software incorrectly defaults, in some cases, to the 2.5 mortgage insurance premium rate when a value is entered in the Cash from Borrower and Cash from Lender fields. The FHA is also issuing ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Unveils Reporting Process for Post-Endorsement Loan Reviews

The FHA has announced a new format for reporting results of quarterly post-endorsement technical reviews of single-family loans. Previously, the loan-level findings were grouped into five broad categories: file documentation, credit/underwriting, operation deficiencies, program eligibility and collateral/asset valuation. The top five reasons for an “unacceptable” rating were provided for each category. Loans were rated as “conforming,” “deficient,” or “unacceptable,” with the last two ratings based on the magnitude of the underwriting error. With the new format, the focus will be on the most prevalent unacceptable findings, regardless of category. The period upon which the reporting is based is also different, according to FHA.Instead of reporting the review findings on a loan sample in the most recent quarter, FHA will now wait for one quarter to pass before reporting on the sample. Emphasizing the frequency of ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Condo Projects Could Lose VA, FHA Business Due to Lapsed Approvals

Many condominium projects in California are losing FHA and VA business because their agency approvals have lapsed or are about to expire, according to lenders. In Orange County alone, about 57 percent of condo developments have FHA or VA approvals that are near expiration, said Jon Shrum, vice president of Commerce Home Mortgage in Huntington Beach, CA. It is unclear how many developments have expired approvals but the number could be significant, Shrum said. Condos accounted for 2.9 percent of total FHA endorsements as of June 30, 2015, and that share has remained flat over the first six months of 2015 and on a year-over-year basis, according to FHA data. “We’re seeing a lot of condo complexes whose approvals are expiring, and they are not even aware of it,” he said. “As an FHA and VA lender, we try to reach out to the condo homeowners associations (HOA) to make sure they retain or renew their ...

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Increased Purchase, Refi Activity Boost Ginnie First Half Issuance

Securitized FHA,VA and rural housing loans in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities totaled $188.5 billion in the first six months of 2015, fueled by significant purchase and refinance activity, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of Ginnie Mae data. An estimated $113.4 billion in FHA-insured mortgages were securitized during the first half of the year. Of that total, $60.6 billion were purchase mortgages and $44.2 billion were refinance loans. FHA purchase-loan production increased 58.8 percent in the second quarter from the prior quarter while refi lending jumped 160.8 percent over the same period as FHA’s reduced annual mortgage insurance premium began to take hold. The FHA loans that went into Ginnie MBS showed an average loan-to-value ratio of 92.8 percent and an average debt-to-income ratio of 39.7 percent. Borrowers’ average FICO score was 675.9, which was indicative of ... [ 2 charts ]

September 4, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Stakeholders Say FHA’s Revised Loan Cert Proposal Lacks Clarity

Wells Fargo this week said it would reinstate certain credit overlays on its FHA business segment after expressing frustration over FHA’s republished proposal on loan-level certification. The lender, which ranked second on Inside FHA/VA Lending’s top FHA lenders for the first six months of 2015, reiterated the need for clearer rules in order to originate FHA-insured loans without fear of litigation or enforcement action. The bank said it is very disappointed with FHA’s revised certification proposal, which was republished in the Sept. 1 Federal Register. “In spite of much input to FHA from various consumer groups and lenders over a long period of time, [the] proposal falls short of what is needed,” said Mike Heid, head of Wells Fargo Home Lending. “As a result, this will now force us to add back certain credit overlays on the FHA single-family program.” Other FHA lenders could follow Wells Fargo’s lead as some did when ...

September 3, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Despite Changes, FHA’s Proposed Loan Certification Policy Creates More Uncertainty, Potential Liability, Lenders Say

The Department of Housing and Urban Development this week republished for comment new proposed changes to lender certification for FHA that would allow for minor lender errors while leaving the door open for government enforcement action under the False Claims Act. The proposed revisions, however, failed to impress mortgage lenders and raised the specter of increased overlays unless HUD makes clear assurances that, barring any significant mistakes, lenders will not be on the hook for millions of dollars for small glitches in the loan certification document. “The language in the certification lacks...


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TRID (Integrated Disclosures)
Uncertainty regarding "marketing service agreements"
Getting sued by HUD/DOJ for alleged underwriting violations
Declining loan volumes

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