Mortgage Insurance

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

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 MBS & ABS

Industry Groups Say GSE Credit-Risk Sharing Needs to Develop Front-End Transactions, Improve Transparency

Trade groups representing a broad spectrum of mortgage and securitization businesses generally support an effort by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop more credit-risk transfer options, but some cautioned that the government-sponsored enterprises should maintain a level playing field. In response to a Federal Housing Finance Agency request for comments on the CRT program, the Mortgage Bankers Association and U.S. Mortgage Insurers repeated their calls for programs to allow loan sellers to buy deeper private MI in exchange for reduced GSE guaranty fees. To date, the vast majority of Fannie and Freddie CRT deals have been...

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 14, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Private MIs Winning Purchase-Market Share

Private mortgage insurers are quietly gaining ground on their government-insured rivals in the critical home-purchase market, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of agency mortgage-backed securities data. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitized $61.47 billion of purchase mortgages with private MI coverage during the third quarter, a gain of 33.4 percent from the previous period. At the same time, Ginnie Mae securitized $79.91 billion of FHA and VA purchase mortgages, up 19.3 percent from the second quarter. The private MI share of agency purchase loans rose...[Includes two data tables]

October 14, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

A ‘Revolving Door’ in the Executive Suite of Clayton Holdings Has Its Clients Scratching Their Heads

Executive departures continue to plague due diligence provider Clayton Holdings and now there’s talk that its parent company, Radian Group, is contemplating taking a goodwill charge on a subsidiary it paid $305 million for two years ago. The latest top-level officials to leave the unit include Capital Markets Senior Managing Director Brian Wornow and Mark Hughes, executive vice president in charge of sales and marketing. Sources close to Wornow contend...

October 13, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Utah Lenders Agree to a Settlement with DOJ to Resolve Allegedly Faulty Origination, Underwriting of FHA Loans

Two FHA lenders in Utah have agreed to pay the federal government a total of $9.25 million to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act in connection with badly underwritten FHA-insured loans that later resulted in losses to the FHA insurance fund. Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) and SecurityNational Mortgage Co. became the latest statistics in the government’s effort to prosecute lenders whose practices result in losses to the FHA insurance fund. The two lenders have agreed separately to $5.0 million and $4.25 million settlements, respectively, without admitting to any fault or liability for the failed loans. In separate complaints, the Department of Justice accused...

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 13, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Flow of Private MI Loans Into GSE MBS Kept Pace With Overall Increase in Fannie/Freddie Business in 3Q16

Trends in the agency mortgage-backed securities market suggest that private mortgage insurers may have gained some market share from government MI programs during the third quarter of 2016, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitized a total of $75.89 billion of insured single-family mortgages during the third quarter, an increase of 29.5 percent from the previous period. That was a tad below the 29.7 percent increase in overall MBS production by the two government-sponsored enterprises, but it kept the private MI share at 26.8 percent for the third quarter. Meanwhile, the booming Ginnie Mae market showed...[Includes two data tables]

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

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 ]

September 30, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Freddie Launches MI Pilot, Fannie to Follow, PMIs Not Excited

Freddie Mac introduced a front-end credit risk-transfer pilot program this week, but industry observers say it doesn’t include some of the features that many private mortgage insurers and mortgage bankers have been looking for. Guarantee fees will not be lowered because of the deep MI pilot and lowering them is something that the Mortgage Bankers Association has been advocating. Moreover, it’s not the deep-cover primary insurance that private MIs were hoping to write. The GSE is purchasing additional coverage beyond the primary MI contract from a group of four MI firms on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of 80 to 95 percent. The coverage is then placed immediately as loans are sold to the GSE.

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

Freddie’s Deep Coverage MI Pilot Underwhelms Mortgage Bankers and Private MIs Looking for Something Else

Freddie Mac’s newly launched front-end credit-risk transfer pilot doesn’t appear to be the expansion of credit-risk transfers that mortgage bankers have been clamoring for. For starters, the deep MI pilot won’t result in lower guarantee fees, which is what the Mortgage Bankers Association has been seeking. And it’s not the deep-cover primary insurance that private MIs would like to write. Under the Freddie Mac Deep MI pilot, the government-sponsored enterprise is purchasing...

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 ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Streamline Refi Segment Causing Problems for VA, Ginnie Investors

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a change to its existing streamline refinancing policy to address a problem that is giving VA and Ginnie Mae the fits. Under the VA’s qualified-mortgage rule, a VA borrower must wait six months and show six months’ worth of mortgage payments before they can refinance into an IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan) and take advantage of the lower rate. However, it seems not all VA lenders are adhering to the rule and that a good number are refinancing veterans into IRRRLs even before the mandatory seasoning period ends for fear interest rates might rise and the borrower might not benefit from the lower rate. “I’ve redone the numbers in 20 different directions on how much a borrower would save if they had to wait two more months and the rate went up a quarter of a point because they lost those two months ...

September 22, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Closings of Purchase Mortgages Increasingly Delayed As Strong Volume Mixes with Shortage of Appraisers

An increasing share of purchase mortgages have missed their scheduled closing dates in recent months, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. Many of the delays are tied to a shortage of appraisers as home sale activity increased during the spring and summer. Just before the start of the spring home-buying season, the on-time share of closings was at high levels for mortgage-financed purchases. Some 76.6 percent of purchases in April with a low downpayment mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac closed on time, based on a three-month moving average. The on-time closing share has declined...

September 22, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Liquidity, Credit Access, Regulation Remain As Chief Concerns As Ginnie Mae Stakeholders Meet to Discuss Market’s Future

With liquidity and an uncertain regulatory environment dominating this year’s Ginnie Mae summit in Washington, DC, top agency officials called on stakeholders and other market participants to stand up to the challenges posed by a rapidly evolving Ginnie marketplace. Chief among those challenges is the growing domination of the Ginnie market by independent mortgage bankers, who now account for 80 percent of the agency’s monthly issuance volume. Ginnie President Ted Tozer reiterated his concerns raised last year about the increasing number of nonbanks in the agency mortgage-backed securities market with very little experience and liquidity. In his opening remarks, Tozer acknowledged...

September 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FEMA Recommends Structure-Based Approach to Assessing Flood Risk, Setting NFIP Premium Rates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency this week updated Senate lawmakers on efforts to produce more accurate flood maps and flood-risk models. A key change will shift flood-risk analysis and insurance pricing from the so-called 1 percent annual chance of flooding to the actual flood risk to the structure itself. Testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, FEMA Administrator Roy Wright said adopting the structure-based methodology would require an entirely new approach in flood insurance rating and underwriting, including new regulatory hazard and risk products. Other witnesses at the hearing expressed support for the recommendation, saying it would remove the uncertainty caused by constantly changing flood lines in FEMA maps. The hearing is...

September 15, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HFSC Passes Dodd-Frank Replacement, Bill Would Foster Portfolio Lending, Make Mortgage Changes

The House Financial Services Committee this week marked up, mostly on party lines, a comprehensive alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act that would, among other things, create a legal safe harbor for mortgage loans that are originated by a lender and then held in portfolio on its balance sheet. Democrats unanimously opposed the bill and refused to offer a single amendment, continually railing against Wells Fargo and accusing the Republicans of wanting to take the nation “back to the regulatory Stone Age.” The bill passed...


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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