Mortgage Insurance Profitability

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

July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Freddie Announces Second ACIS Deal of 2014, Largest to Date

Freddie Mac last week announced its second Agency Credit Insurance Structure of 2014, through which it buys insurance to lay off risk. The GSE said its purchase of a number of insurance policies designed to cover some $285 million in potential losses from a pool of single-family loans acquired in the second quarter of 2013 was its largest credit risk transaction to date. …


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

New GSE Mortgage Insurance ‘Stand-In’ Takes Effect

Last week, new GSE repurchase requirements announced this spring took effect as a potential alternative to repurchase for certain mortgage loans for which the mortgage insurance has been rescinded. Among the requirements are an “MI stand-in,” which Fannie Mae defines as “the full mortgage insurance benefit that would have been payable under the original mortgage insurance policy if the mortgage loan liquidates.” In May, both Fannie and Freddie Mac announced that repurchase requests will no longer be an automatic response in the event that MI is rescinded.


July 11, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA Unveils ‘Eligibility’ Standards For Mortgage Insurance Firms

The Federal Housing Finance Agency late this week finally unveiled new eligibility standards for the mortgage insurance industry, introducing for the first time risk-based capital rules that are tied to a measurement called “available assets.” Immediately after the rule hit the market, several MI firms said they support the idea that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must have strong financial counterparties, while hinting they will have more to say on the topic in the near future.


July 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lender: New GSE Mortgage Insurance ‘Stand-In’ Does Nothing to Reduce Buyback Uncertainty of Legacy Loans

Recently implemented steps by the two government-sponsored enterprises to provide an alternative to repurchase when mortgage insurance is rescinded is a pleasant salve for a minor ailment, but it does nothing to address lenders’ chronic pain of sudden and unexpected buyback demands, according to a mortgage lender. Last week, new GSE repurchase requirements took effect, including the “MI stand-in” option, which Fannie defines as “the full mortgage insurance benefit that would have been payable under the original mortgage insurance policy if the mortgage loan liquidates.” In May, both Fannie and Freddie announced...


July 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Securitize Hefty Crop of Privately-Insured Mortgages in 2Q14

The modest rebound in the housing market during the second quarter of 2014 produced a solid increase in the volume of home loans with private mortgage insurance securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking reveals that the two government-sponsored enterprises securitized $37.36 billion of single-family mortgages with private MI coverage during the second quarter. That was up 24.7 percent from the first three months of the year, which had produced a dismal $29.95 billion of MI-insured loans in new GSE mortgage-backed securities. By comparison, total GSE business was...[Includes two data charts]


July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

Senate Banking Committee Approves HUD, FHFA IG Nominees. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs recently approved the nomination of Julian Castro as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Castro, D, is the incumbent mayor of San Antonio, TX. The panel also approved the nomination of Laura Wertheimer as inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Senate has yet to confirm their nominations. Meanwhile, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Reform on June 25. FHA Policies on Arm’s Length Transactions and Compliance with State Laws. The FHA is developing guidance to address concerns that laws in certain states may conflict with its arm’s length transaction requirements for preforeclosure/short sales. Until the guidance is issued, FHA lenders should seek guidance and assistance from the FHA National Servicing Center in matters of ...


July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Requests Feedback on Handbook Sections

The FHA is seeking comment on two new sections of a proposed single-family handbook for mortgage lenders. The handbook is in development. Once completed, it will serve as the centralized source of current and future FHA policies. Agency staff is collating policies from several handbooks, rules, mortgagee letters, notices and other sources to incorporate into the handbook. The FHA is publishing two new sections, “Doing Business with FHA – FHA Lenders and Mortgagees” and “Quality Control, Oversight and Compliance,” for comment. The “Doing Business” section lays out the requirements for FHA lender approval, including eligibility requirements, application processes, operating requirements and post-approval changes. The section also contains the recertification process as well as processes for applying for ...


July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Adds Non-Borrowing Spouses to HECM PLFs

The FHA has announced new principal limit factors (PLF) for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages along with instructions to lenders to ensure that borrowers and their non-borrowing spouses understand the benefits and disadvantages of a reverse mortgage. The new PLF tables have been wholly revised and now include PLFs for use where the borrower has a non-borrowing spouse younger than age 62. In recent guidance, the FHA urged lenders to ensure that borrowers are provided with an analysis of the cost of a HECM loan and its benefits so that they can decide whether a reverse mortgage would meet their financial needs. Lenders also must advise prospective borrowers and their non-borrowing spouses to consult with a housing counselor whether PLFs below 20 percent may or may not actually improve their financial situation or meet their special needs. “Significant consideration should be given to the ...


July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lenders Raise Production Numbers in April

FHA lenders reported a significant increase in the number of FHA-insured loans originated in April, breaking a downward production spiral that began in the third quarter of last year. Whether this marks a turnaround for the market, however, is uncertain. April closed with $10.3 billion in total FHA originations, up 18.5 percent from March but down 51.7 percent from the same period a year ago. This surge in FHA financing occurred despite the rising costs of obtaining an FHA loans and access-to-credit issues, which have narrowed the gap between FHA and conventional loans with private mortgage insurance. Spring and Fall are the busiest times of year for home sales which might explain the spike, according to real estate agents. FHA fixed-rate mortgages comprised 95 percent of April’s production, with purchase loans accounting for 78 percent of loans originated during the month. FHA lending trends, however, show ... [2 charts]


July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Find Glitches in Fledgling LEAP 3.0

It has been barely a month since the FHA deployed its Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP 3.0), but lenders are already having difficulty executing some functions in the new system. Lenders are complaining about how hard it is to provide access to independent public accountants (IPA) for purposes of recertification functions, as well as difficulties in making changes to existing branches or adding new ones or changing cash flow accounts. Lenders are concerned they may be sanctioned or penalized if they make a mistake, but the FHA seems not inclined to do this because the system is new. “[We] are highly focused on correcting these issues, and hope to have these functions working properly very soon,” the agency promised in a recent note to FHA lenders. The FHA said it is also aware of the complications that some lenders have faced in submitting their annual recertification in LEAP. Many of these problems have been addressed and the deadline for submission of recertification packages has been extended as well, the agency noted.


July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Agencies Take Down Another FHA Lender

U.S. Bank became the latest casualty in the government’s offensive against lax underwriting and improper origination of FHA mortgages after the bank to pay $200 million to settle all related charges. The Minneapolis-based bank became the seventh FHA lender since 2012 that has entered into settlement agreements with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to resolve alleged violation of the False Claims Act and the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of government data. The government lawsuits allege that the banks’ certification of loans as eligible for FHA insurance under the direct endorsement program violated the FCA. The banks’ misconduct allegedly contributed to the legacy losses that crippled the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and placed the ...


July 3, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House to Push Permanent PMI Tax Break Bill While Senate ‘Extender’ Legislation Stalled Until Elections

Look for the Republican-controlled House this month to push additional “tax extender” legislation, including a measure to make permanent a tax break for private mortgage insurance, although the Senate will likely defer any action on tax bills stalled until after the November elections. More than six months after a series of tax incentives, including some mortgage-related measures, expired due to Congressional inaction, partisan sniping and a distinct difference in the legislative approaches of House and Senate tax-writing chairmen has contributed to uncertainty within the industry. House, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-MI, has taken...


July 3, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With Loss Mitigation Actions Declining for Banks and Nonbanks, HAMP Extended

Loss mitigation activity continued to decline in the first quarter of 2014, driven by better loan performance. That didn’t stop the Treasury Department from extending the Home Affordable Modification Program and related loss mitigation programs for at least another year, through the end of 2016. A total of 132,783 loan modifications were completed in the first quarter, according to Hope Now, down 3.4 percent from the previous quarter and down 45.7 percent from the first quarter of 2013. On a monthly basis, loan mod activity continued to decline in April. Loan mod activity is...


July 3, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Readies Capital Rules for Mortgage Insurers; Parent Companies May Have to Put Assets Into Subs

The Federal Housing Finance Agency will soon unveil capital rules for private mortgage insurers, introducing a risk-based standard based on loan-to-value ratios and other factors, while requiring parent companies to pledge assets to their MI subsidiaries if necessary, according to officials close to the matter. “Financial strength will be measured by comparing insured risk, on a risk-adjusted basis, against available assets,” said one official commenting under the condition he not be identified. The phrase “available assets” is key because it portends that liquidity must reside at the MI level and not at an affiliate of a parent company. It’s...


June 27, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

OIG: FHFA Should Sue To Recover LPI Overcharges on GSE Coverage

A new audit released this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s official watchdog found that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac suffered $158 million of “financial harm” due to excessively priced lender-placed or “force-placed” insurance policies in 2012 alone. The FHFA-OIG audit notes that several state financial regulators found that the LPI rates in their states were excessive. The excessive costs were driven up by “profit-sharing arrangements under which servicers were paid to steer business to LPI providers. Such arrangements often took the form of commission structures and reinsurance deals,” according to the OIG.


June 26, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

IG Audit: Fannie, Freddie Overcharged at Least $158M For ‘Force Placed’ Insurance, FHFA Should Sue to Recover

The Federal Housing Finance Agency will “assess the merits of litigation” against Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s servicers and lender-placed insurance providers to recover premium overpayments by the government-sponsored enterprises following a pointed suggestion to do so by the agency’s official watchdog. A new audit released by the FHFA’s Inspector General found that Fannie and Freddie could have overpaid about $158 million in 2012 alone for lender-placed or “force-placed” insurance policies. The IG said it calculated its $158 million figure as the difference between the amount the GSEs actually paid in premiums – $360 million – and a “reasonable” price for such coverage – $202 million. “Our retrospective analysis suggests...


June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

NY Passes Bill to Reduce Number of FHA Loans that Would Fall Under Subprime. The New York Assembly recently passed legislation that would result in fewer FHA loans being classified as “subprime” under state banking law, according to the law firm Ballard Spahr. Already passed by the Senate, the bill would make permanent prior emergency rules issued by the Department of Financial Services, which raised the subprime threshold 75 basis points for those loans subject to the revised FHA mortgage-insurance premium cancellation policy. Although the emergency rules were set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013, the DFS granted an extension to allow the state legislature additional time to find a permanent solution, said Ballard Spahr attorneys. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and strong industry backing, and is expected to ...


June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Jumbo Production Continues Slide in 1Q14

FHA jumbo loan originations fell significantly in the first quarter of 2014 due primarily to higher mortgage insurance premiums and a decrease in the mortgage loan limits, particularly in high-cost areas of the country, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. FHA lenders reported a meager $2.4 billion in jumbo originations during the first three months of the year, a decrease of 21.2 percent from the previous quarter and down a whopping 55.7 percent from the same period a year ago. Purchase loans accounted for 81.0 percent of new originations while fixed-rate loans comprised 86.8 percent. FHA jumbo loans are those over $417,000 and they comprise a very small slice of the FHA’s overall loan portfolio. Citing FHA data, Brian Chappelle, a mortgage industry consultant, said that of the FHA loans originated in the last 12 months, roughly 11,000 loans were above $500,000, down from ... [ 2 charts]


June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Public Support Building for HUD’s HAWK Pilot

The FHA’s Homeowners Armed With Knowledge (HAWK) pilot program is getting strong public support, particularly from first-time homebuyers and housing counselors.Based on comments received by the Department of Housing and Urban Development so far, the HAWK pilot is already taking hold in the public’s mind despite its limited publicity. -Rachel Andreyo, a new college graduate who was turned down recently for a mortgage loan pre-approval, said HAWK not only would educate potential first-time homebuyers about homeownership but also raise their hope of becoming a homeowner before the age of 30. “The knowledge this program would provide could be a game changer for young people and struggling Americans everywhere,” she wrote. Shawanda Walker, a single mother, sees HAWK as an opportunity for her to learn how to negotiate her first home purchase, learn about property taxes and ...


June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

NAR Seeks Changes to FHA Performance Metric

The FHA’s proposed supplemental method for measuring lender performance is “a step in the right direction” and would help compare lenders to an FHA acceptable rate, rather than an industry average, according to the National Association of Realtors. The supplemental performance metric is crucial in an environment where lenders are instituting credit overlays on FHA-insured mortgages, the NAR said in a comment letter. The FHA proposes to use the metric along with the compare ratio to determine whether a lender with an unusually high default rate should be terminated from the FHA single-family program. This reflects the FHA’s view that factors other than the compare ratio might also influence a lender’s performance. Currently, the FHA compares a lender’s early seriously delinquent (SDQ) performance in a geographic area to other lenders in the same area. The number derived from this ...


June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Castro Sails Smoothly Through Nomination Hearing

Barring any unpleasant news, Julian Castro, President Obama’s nominee for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, apparently has passed his job interview with the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. This week, Castro, a three-term mayor of San Antonio, TX, laid out his priorities as HUD secretary before committee members if he is confirmed for the job. Castro underscored the importance of “partnership and pragmatism” as the key drivers in running a city. As HUD secretary, Castro said he would enhance “cross-agency collaboration” and emphasize the value of “measuring results” by setting precise goals, consulting with the public on major issues, developing a public report card and annual updates – tools he employed in his municipal housing education and affordable housing initiatives in San Antonio. As mayor, Castro worked to ...


June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Agencies Crack Down on False Ads, Marketing

Two federal agencies have announced separate actions to protect reverse mortgage borrowers and rural home purchasers from deceptive advertising and marketing. This week, the FHA warned lenders participating in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program not to use misleading or deceptive language in marketing FHA-insured reverse mortgages to consumers. The FHA said the guidance is intended to protect HECM borrowers from advertising and presentations that appear to limit their options rather than informing them of the full range of available HECM products. Underscoring senior borrowers’ “freedom of choice,” FHA Commissioner Carol Galante said the agency wants lenders to know their marketing and advertising practices are under constant surveillance to prevent customers from being steered to unsuitable reverse mortgage products. Galante noted the ...


June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Feel ‘Unsafe’ Dealing with FHA

SunTrust Mortgage’s recent settlement of a dispute with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general over defective FHA loans and Wells Fargo’s losing bid to quash a similar lawsuit are raising concerns about doing business with the FHA. Industry attorneys say the lesson for lenders in these recent industry debacles is that it is “extraordinarily dangerous” to do FHA loans these days given the outcome of the two cases. It is also getting harder to trust mortgage settlement agreements with the government, they added. “The scariest part in all these is the combination of government forces involved in these claims – state AGs, Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said an attorney, who worked on both cases. “When they want to get you, they can get you.” Others believe these developments could have a ...


June 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HUD Nominee Castro Says the Right Things, Provokes No Opposition During Senate Nomination Hearing

Barring the discovery of a skeleton in his closet, Julian Castro’s nomination for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development appears to be a lock in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Appearing before the committee this week, Castro, a three-term mayor of San Antonio, TX, laid out his priorities for HUD if confirmed. He said he would emphasize working closely with agencies as well as the value of “measuring results” by setting precise goals, public consultation, development of a public report card and annual updates – tools he employed in his municipal housing education and affordable housing initiatives in San Antonio. Castro said...


June 12, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Bemoans Senate Committee Authorizing FHA to Charge New Fee to Fund Quality Assurance Improvements

A potential conflict over funding of the FHA’s loan-quality improvement efforts and, possibly, of a pilot program that seeks to make broader use of housing counseling in FHA origination and servicing may be brewing as both the House and Senate moved towards finalizing their separate versions of fiscal 2015 appropriations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 29 to 1 to pass S. 2438, its FY 2015 HUD funding bill. Notably, it contains a provision authorizing HUD to charge and collect a new fee from FHA lenders in an amount of no more than 4 basis points of the original principal balance of mortgages originated by the lender that were insured during the previous fiscal year. According to the Senate provision, the new fee would be used...


June 12, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

‘Agency Jumbo’ Mortgage Originations Down Sharply in Early 2014, Further Declines Ahead

Production of “agency jumbo” mortgages fell sharply in the first quarter of 2014 and is likely to drop even more as new FHA loan limits show up in endorsement data. According to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA saw $10.5 billion in single-family business with loan amounts exceeding the traditional agency limit of $417,000 during the first quarter of 2014. That was down 30.6 percent from the fourth quarter. It was also the lowest three-month volume since the fourth quarter of 2008, not long after dramatically higher “emergency” loan limits were put in place by the agencies. In comparison, originations of non-agency jumbo loans fell...[Includes three data charts]


June 6, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lenders Begin Recertification Process in LEAP

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has outlined steps FHA lenders must take following the successful deployment of a new system for requesting changes and notifications as well as completing their annual recertification. The changes became effective on May 27, 2014, as the new system, Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP), went live. All of FHA’s approximately 2,500 approved lenders will now use LEAP for their annual recertification and business updates and changes. Senior HUD officials, who requested anonymity, said the transition from the Lender Assessment Subsystem (LASS) and the Institution Master File (IMF) to LEAP is almost complete, except for a few kinks HUD staff is working out. “The change in the IMF is noteworthy because it was the repository for information about all FHA lenders and it had been operating on outdated technology for a long time,” said one agency executive. “All essential information about all FHA lenders is now consolidated in a ...


June 6, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Reevaluates ‘Spot Loans’ for Condo Financing

The FHA is reportedly considering reinstating “spot” loans in condominium projects that were not on its approved development list to boost FHA-insured condo lending. Spot loans are currently prohibited, but the FHA is said to be reevaluating the product because of reports of first-time homebuyers having difficulty in obtaining FHA financing for condo unit purchases and seniors seeking reverse mortgages to tap the equity in their units. The National Association of Realtors is trying to break the impasse between the FHA and reluctant board of directors of condo projects that do not have FHA certification to resolve the financing issue. FHA-insured condominium lending has dropped to $884.4 million in the first quarter of 2014, down 70 percent from the $2.98 billion in total originations reported in the first quarter of 2013, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Even as the NAR tries to ...


June 6, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Favor Performance Metric, May Seek Changes

FHA lenders are generally supportive of the agency’s proposal to add a new method for evaluating lender performance but may request certain adjustments to ensure they are not at great risk for enforcement action, according to compliance experts. Lenders believe the proposal for an additional performance metric to supplement the lender compare ratio under the Credit Watch Termination Initiative is a positive step toward providing a more well-rounded analysis of a lender’s performance when the FHA is considering further action. “In and of itself, the proposal is not a panacea, but it is certainly a step in the right direction,” said Brian Chappelle, a mortgage industry consultant. The proposal reflects the FHA’s belief that a number of factors influence a lender’s performance, not just its compare ratio. The compare ratio compares a lender’s rate of early defaults and claims to those for ...


June 6, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

HECM Lending Spike in 1Q14 a Fluke?

Endorsement of FHA-insured reverse mortgages rose in the first quarter of 2014, although lenders say it may just be trailing figures reflecting the lag time between closing and approval for FHA insurance. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage guarantees totaled $4.0 billion in the first quarter, up 16.4 percent from the end of the fourth quarter in 2013 and up 4.1 percent from the same period last year, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of agency data. Home purchase accounted for 92.7 percent of HECM volume but only 14.5 percent were fixed-rate. Initial principal amount at loan origination totaled $2.4 billion. The 16.4 percent increase was more likely due to the fact that a huge number of reverse mortgages closed in November and December were not insured by FHA until January, said Josh Moran, vice president of wholesale lending at Live Well Financial. Some lenders who delayed reporting to ... [1 chart]


Poll

Will non-QM lending add to loan production by 2015?

Yes, but not by much.
Yes, by a lot. Necessity is the mother of invention.
No way. You’re dreaming.
I’m hopeful, but unsure of the whole non-QM market.

vote to see results
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