Mortgage Insurance Profitability

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

August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA Begins Registration of Lenders to Prepare their Transition to the EAD Portal. Lender registration for the transition phase of the new Electronic Appraisal Delivery portal began on Aug. 18. Lenders may select any of the seven onboarding phases, which FHA has established to ensure that lenders have more time to work within the EAD portal to ensure that their systems, data flow and operational process meet portal requirements before the June 27, 2016, mandatory-use date. Although lenders may enter at any phase they choose, the FHA strongly encourages lenders to register for the earliest onboarding phase, and to do it as soon as possible. That would give them more time to get ready for the full transition, the agency said. The first phase begins on Oct. 15, 2015, with additional phases beginning each month and running through the first half of 2016. Information on the onboarding phases as well as ...


August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Publishes Latest Updates to FHA Single Family Policy Handbook

The FHA will not issue a new case number for any FHA-to-FHA refinance if the current mortgage has a repair or rehabilitation escrow account in FHA Connection. The change, which is one of several updates to FHA Single Family Policy Handbook 4000.1, applies only to FHA streamline refis. It aims to ensure that escrow funds of the mortgage being refinanced are properly applied as well as conform to system requirements. The updated sections become effective on Sept. 14, 2015. Another change clarifies that the payoff statement for the mortgage being refinanced is the only document required when calculating the maximum mortgage amount for simple refi transactions. In addition, guidance for loan-to-value limits for cash-out refis has been updated to clarify that the 85 percent LTV restriction applies only to cash-out refis. HUD also noted that appraisers have flexibility in regards to when inspections should ...


August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USDA Direct Loan Option Ideal for Non-Qualifying Rural Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service strongly urged approved lenders to recommend the Section 502 Direct Loan Program to low- and very low-income borrowers who do not qualify for the USDA’s single-family housing guaranteed loan program. While some rural home-loan applicants show willingness and ability to pay their debts, they may not be able to afford to repay a guaranteed loan, the USDA observed. However, lenders can help by introducing such borrowers to the USDA direct loan program, a subsidized mortgages that allows the agency to lend directly to households with adjusted income not exceeding 80 percent of the area median. The program requires no downpayment on a mortgage with a fixed interest rate tied to the Treasury benchmark interest rate. The rate in effect for August and September 2015 is ...


August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD, IG Office at Odds Over Results Of Audit of 203(k) Rehab Program

Poor oversight of lenders participating in the Section 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan Mortgage Insurance Program has increased the risk to FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund by more than $1.2 million for 40 active loans, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General. HUD’s Office of Housing questioned the findings of its independent auditors, saying that 203(k) lenders are monitored closely despite the limited staff and resources. The IG recommended to HUD that lenders be required to support or indemnify the department for any future losses on the 40 loans and to reimburse actual losses on two 203(k) loans totaling $83,332. An audit of HUD’s oversight of the program uncovered alleged weaknesses in the monitoring of lenders for compliance with the 203(k) program. In addition, HUD did not always ensure that loan-to-value ratios were ...


August 21, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Adopts Final Rule Aligning ARM Disclosure/Notice Rule with TILA’s

The Department of Veterans Affairs has adopted a final rule aligning the Home Loan Guaranty Program’s disclosure and interest-rate adjustment requirements with the servicing provisions in the Truth in Lending Act, as recently revised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rulemaking will ensure VA remains consistent with other consumer finance and housing regulations governing adjustable-rate mortgages, the agency said. The rule is effective Sept. 11, 2015. The VA adopted without the change the rule as proposed on March 30, 2015. In this rule, VA adopted TILA’s minimum 45-day look-back period to clarify that lenders making VA ARMs must meet the statute’s minimum notification requirements. Specifically, disclosures and notifications must be provided to borrowers before an interest-rate adjustment. Lenders are required to adjust ARM rates based on the most recent ...


August 21, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fracking, Earthquakes and Collapsing Oil Market Pose New Challenges to Housing, Mortgage Finance

Investors have a lot more to worry about these days than the collateral damage stemming from problems in Greece and China and a bumpy U.S. stock market. Ratings analysts indicate some new energy-related risks – most notably earthquakes near “fracking” sites and a plunge in the price of oil – have emerged as potentially significant challenges to investors in real estate and to mortgage lenders. Analysts at Standard & Poor’s said in a recent client note that earthquakes in proximity to fracking sites introduce a unique risk factor into the investment equation for those with a stake in real estate located in affected regions. “In particular, determining whether or not earthquake coverage is...


August 21, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank Agree to Settle Ongoing MBS Lawsuits with Pension Fund, Insurer

Two more long-running legacy MBS lawsuits were resolved last week after defendants Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank separately agreed to settle with plaintiffs. The NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund, a union pension fund in Decatur, IL, is seeking preliminary court approval of a $272 million settlement with Goldman Sachs on behalf of entities that purchased MBS issued by defendant GS Mortgage Securities and which Goldman underwrote. If approved, the settlement would put...


August 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Piggyback Second Mortgages Making a Comeback with Focus on Jumbo Loans

Piggyback mortgage financing structures appear to be creeping back into the market, a trend that some observers say could destabilize the industry. Before the financial crisis, many borrowers combined a first-lien mortgage for 80 percent of home value with a second lien of 10 percent or more in order to avoid paying private mortgage insurance. While many first-lien mortgages are still originated with a simultaneous second in recent years, the combined loan-to-value ratio of the two has been capped at 80 percent or less. “From what we’ve seen from lenders who are interested in expanding their customer base, there appears...


August 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

PHH Mortgage May Renew Valuable Private-Label Contract With Merrill, But Other Hurdles Remain

Although PHH Corp. refuses to answer questions regarding a key private-label services contract to originate mortgage loans for Merrill Lynch, most analysts that follow the company believe the Wall Street giant will renew the agreement. To date, PHH will not say either way, but observers of the situation believe it’s more a technical matter than anything else. The general consensus is that Merrill has verbally agreed to renew, but hasn’t signed on the dotted line. On its recent earnings call, PHH management said...


August 13, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MIs Post Big Jump in New Insurance Written But Still Lose Some Market Share to FHA in 2Q15

The private mortgage insurance industry had its best quarter since the housing market crash during the second quarter of 2015, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. Private MIs provided insurance on $60.51 billion of new single-family mortgages during the second quarter, a strong 33.7 percent increase over the first three months of the year. It was the biggest three-month output for the industry since the first quarter of 2008. The sharp increase in purchase-mortgage lending during the second quarter helped float...[Includes three data tables]


August 10, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

In Brief/Worth Noting

CFPB Sends Questionnaire to Debt Collection Entities. The CFPB recently sent a questionnaire to a variety of debt collection firms, creditors and service providers in an effort to help the bureau “better understand operational costs and other factors associated with debt collection.” Noting that participation is voluntary, the consumer regulator said industry responses “will inform the bureau’s analysis of the costs and benefits of potential new rules related to debt collection.” The questionnaire asks about basic activities and operational costs of collecting debt, including, for example, questions about vendors used for activities such as dialers or print mailings, maintaining data about consumer accounts, and furnishing information to credit bureaus. “After we have received the questionnaire responses, we plan to reach ...


August 10, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

Court Hands PHH a Victory in Dispute With CFPB Over MI

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia recently issued a stay against a $109.2 million fine levied by the bureau against PHH Corp. related to the lender’s captive mortgage insurance activities. The bureau had initiated an administrative proceeding against the nonbank lender, accusing it of harming consumers through a mortgage insurance kickback scheme tied to a captive MI. A judge agreed and recommended a penalty of just $6.4 million, which the CFPB ignored and jacked up to $109.2 million, a figure the regulator argued represented all the MI premiums received after July 2008. What startled the industry was the CFPB’s decision to throw out previous guidance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development under which PHH and ...


August 7, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

HUD Proposes to Clarify Participation of Religious Organizations in Agency Programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed a rule that would amend current rules regarding equal participation of faith-based organizations in HUD programs. The amendments implement a 2010 presidential directive, which clarified that religious providers may compete for federal funding without losing their religious identity. The directive also provided protections for program beneficiaries, including a referral process for those opposed to religious groups that operate federally funded programs. The public has 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to comment on the proposed changes. NMI Holdings Turn Profitable. NMI Holdings, parent company of National Mortgage Insurance, appears to be turning the corner toward profitability as the changes implemented by ...


August 7, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

District Court Applies SCOTUS’ Disparate Impact View in L.A. Case

A California federal district court’s recent decision to reject fair housing claims related to FHA loans brought by the City of Los Angeles against Wells Fargo relied heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on disparate impact, according to legal experts. Specifically, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted summary judgment for Wells Fargo in a Fair Housing Act case brought by the City of L.A. The suit alleged that the bank’s mortgage lending practices had a disparate impact on minority borrowers, which resulted in a disparate number of foreclosures in minority areas. Wells Fargo was accused of reverse redlining since at least 2004 by imposing different terms or conditions on minority borrowers. The suit further alleged that Wells Fargo originated eight types of “predatory” home loans targeted to minorities. These loans include “high-cost” loans, subprime loans, interest-only loans, ...


August 7, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ, NY Bank Seek to End Probe of FHA Loan Sale to Fannie, Freddie

M&T Bank is in talks with the federal government to resolve an investigation of a pre-crisis sale of FHA-insured and conforming mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that resulted in losses for the government-sponsored enterprises. The New York-based bank disclosed the settlement discussion in a second-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is cooperating with the investigation. The Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General are investigating whether M&T Bank complied with FHA’s underwriting guidelines as well as with guidelines for selling loans to Fannie and Freddie. It is unclear how much the FHA paid out in loss claims in this case but investigators said that, based upon their review of a sample of FHA loans for which a claim was paid, “some of the loans do not meet underwriting guidelines.” M&T Bank could be ...


July 31, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Trends

California Top Market for Mortgage Insurance

California generated more than twice as many home loans that carried some form of primary mortgage insurance than any other state, but relatively few loans there are actually insured, according to a new Inside Mortgage Trends analysis. A total of $45.45 billion of insured California loans were securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae during the first six months of 2015. Second-place Texas had less than half that amount, $20.15 billion ... [Includes one data chart]


July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

HUD Re-Offers Single-Family Loans to Investors. Due to the required release of a Bidder Supplement for Single-Family Loan Sale 2015-1, the Department of Housing and Urban Development re-offered all pools in SFLS 2015-1 on July 16. The offering included National Pools and Neighborhood Stabilization Outcome Pools (NSOs). The NSOs include one pool for which only nonprofit bidders or local-government agencies were allowed to bid. Such pools consist of loans in areas that have been hard hit with foreclosures or that have experienced an economic downturn. The final NSO pool areas include Chicago; Newark, NJ; Camden, NJ; Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NY; Baltimore; and Philadelphia. The NSO pool for Detroit was earmarked for nonprofit and local-government bidders. Sellers Bring $1.53 Billion Servicing Offering to Market. Denver-based Phoenix Capital is in the market with a ...


July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MPF Drops Certain Requirements For Government Streamline Refis

The Federal Home Loan Bank’s Mortgage Partnership Finance (MPF) Program has removed certain barriers to streamline refinancing of government-backed mortgages. Effective on July 6, 2015, the MPF no longer requires minimum FICO score, maximum loan-to-value ratios or appraisals for FHA streamlined refis, VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance loans and rural housing home loans with a U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantee. The MPF program’s participating financial institutions (PFIs) may now originate and underwrite streamline refis based solely on the requirements of the FHA, VA or the USDA’s Rural Housing Service. The program currently requires borrower and co-borrower income for government loan streamline refis for the purpose of loan presentment. “Presentment” refers to the right to require a lender to demand payment of amounts ...


July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ’s False Claim Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo Now in Discovery Phase

A multi-million dollar false claim lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against Wells Fargo in 2012 appears headed to trial unless both sides agree to renegotiate a settlement. Brought under the federal False Claims Act, the lawsuit has moved on to the discovery phase of the litigation following a failed attempt by the parties to reach a settlement. The DOJ has wielded the FCA effectively in the past couple of years in efforts to recover losses from lenders that allegedly committed loan fraud against the FHA. A string of FCA lawsuits against FHA lenders has resulted in approximately $4.5 billion in recoveries for the government. The 2012 lawsuit alleged that Wells Fargo misled the FHA as to the quality of underwriting on 6,320 FHA-insured loans, which later caused approximately $190 million in losses to the agency’s mortgage insurance fund. Wells Fargo has denied the allegations and maintains that, as a ...


July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Proposed FHA Certification Form Triggers Democrat, Industry Ire

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposal to remove a key disclosure in a standard HUD/VA form that comes with a residential mortgage closing document is getting flak from the mortgage industry and from some members of Congress. Leading Democrats on the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees are pushing HUD to reconsider the proposal. They fear the proposed change would make it easier for lenders that have engaged in criminal behavior to re-enter the FHA and VA markets and continue their illegal lending practices. Among other things, HUD’s proposal would eliminate the requirement that FHA lenders certify on each loan application that they are not, or have not recently been, subject to certain charges or penalties. In their letter, Senators Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, urged HUD to ...


July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

IG’s Audit of a DAP Lender Causes Friction with HUD, Other Lenders

Department of Housing and Urban Development program staff and the agency’s inspector general are reportedly at loggerheads over an IG recommendation to deny FHA insurance to loans that receive downpayment assistance from programs funded through premium-pricing mechanisms. Responding to critics, the HUD OIG is standing by its audit findings, which could force the HUD deputy secretary to intervene in order to resolve the issues raised by the audit report and restore lender confidence. The report’s recommendation has alarmed lenders that participate in downpayment assistance “gift” programs run by housing finance agencies (HFAs). This prompted Ed Golding, HUD’s principal deputy assistant secretary for housing and head of the FHA, to issue a clarification of the FHA’s position on the issue. Golding’s note reaffirmed FHA’s support for certain downpayment assistance programs (DAPs), “like those run by ...


July 24, 2015 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Utah Lender Plans to Expand VA, FHA Segments Nationwide by 2016

FHA/VA lender Castle & Cooke Mortgage is embarking on a major expansion that could boost their standing in the government-backed market if things work out as planned. The Salt Lake City-based retail lender is in the midst of an aggressive expansion plan to be in 48 states by the end of 2016, according to Adam Thorpe, who was named president and chief operating officer in late 2014. C&C’s government-backed lending activities are mostly in the West with licenses to operate in 18 states. Recently the company, which entered the mortgage market in 2005, opened a new branch office in Anaheim, CA, bringing to 36 the number of C&C branch offices across the country. Orange County and the Southern California housing market are among the priciest in the nation, and the high demand and lower inventory in those areas can be good for government and ...


July 23, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Wells Fargo Wins Dismissal of Predatory Lending Cases in Chicago, Los Angeles, but Fails to Settle FCA Suit with DOJ

Wells Fargo won key victories last week with the dismissal of two lawsuits in Chicago and Los Angeles alleging reverse redlining in the cities’ minority neighborhoods, resulting in high foreclosure rates, reduced property values and lost property tax revenues. The lawsuits accused Wells Fargo of targeting minority areas in the two cities with higher-cost loans, even though they could not afford such loans. Eventually, many borrowers defaulted on their mortgages and lost their homes to foreclosures. This, in turn, left many vacant homes throughout neighborhoods, driving down property values and costing counties and cities billions of dollars in efforts to eliminate urban blight. In Chicago, a federal district court judge said...


July 23, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

AIG to Issue $300 Million in Mortgage Bonds Backed by Policies Written by United Guaranty

American International Group is reportedly bringing to market $300 million in securitized notes backed by mortgage insurance written by its private MI subsidiary United Guaranty Corp., but the global insurance company is playing it close to the vest. AIG and United Guaranty are keeping details of the risk-transfer transaction under wraps and a spokesperson for UG declined to comment. Credit Suisse is the seller of the notes. Citing company marketing documents, Bloomberg reported...


July 16, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Government Mortgage Insurance Programs Focus On Improving Risk Management, Expanding Credit

The big gains in business volume at the FHA and the Veterans Administration reflect the two agencies’ differing missions, and officials at both organizations are looking at ways to improve risk management practices. Ed Golding, principal deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the FHA dominates the market for high loan-to-value lending to borrowers with credit scores below 680. While some view 680 as borderline subprime, it’s the median credit score for the country, he noted during remarks at a symposium sponsored this week by the Urban Institute. “Risk management is...


July 16, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

As REITs Ramp Up FHLB Borrowings, They Wait for the FHFA to Issue Its Decree on ‘Captive’ FHLB Membership

While the Federal Housing Finance Agency takes its time deciding whether nonbanks should be allowed to use captive insurance units to become members of a Federal Home Loan Bank, real estate investment trusts appear to be ramping up their borrowings from the system’s advance window. At least that’s what Inside Mortgage Finance found when it recently conducted a spot check of mortgage REITs that have gained access to the FHLBank system via a captive insurance subsidiary. Redwood Trust, for example, had...


Poll

During the first half of 2015 all residential lenders originated a better-than-expected $805 billion of home mortgages, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. What do you expect in the second half?

Just as good. We like what we’re seeing.
Better. Applications are strong.
Worse. We’re worried about rates, seasonality.
A lot worse. The fourth quarter could be a killer.

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