Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to VA.

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

GNMA Revises Pooling-Eligibility Rules for Streamlined Refi Loans

Ginnie Mae this week announced a policy change to ease investor fears about the rapid streamline refinancing of some loans in Ginnie I mortgage-backed securities pools and the effect of faster prepayments on mortgage securities investments. The revised policy establishes new criteria for pooling for streamlined refi loans. The revised policy addresses confusion regarding the Department of Veteran Affairs’ streamlined refi program, also known as the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program, which is at the core of the rapid refi dispute. Under the VA’s interim qualified mortgage rule, a borrower must show six consecutive months of payments on the original loan before they can refinance into an IRRRL. With an IRRRL, borrowers get net tangible benefits of a lower interest rate, limited underwriting and no appraisal. As a qualified mortgage, an IRRRL provides ...

October 21, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Nonbanks Took Over GNMA Servicing Market in 3Q16

Nonbanks crossed a threshold in the third quarter of 2016, posting a hefty 6.3 percent increase in their combined Ginnie Mae servicing portfolio, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis. Nonbanks serviced $826.6 billion of Ginnie single-family mortgage-backed securities as of the end of September. That represented 51.3 percent of the total Ginnie market. The nonbank servicing total includes a small amount of Ginnie servicing held by state housing finance agencies, roughly 1.0 percent of the entire market. But it doesn’t include the significant amount of Ginnie servicing that nonbanks do as subservicers for both depository and nonbank clients. Interestingly, the biggest gain for nonbanks in percentage terms came in servicing VA loans, which rose 8.1 percent from the second quarter to $252.1 billion, or 51.0 percent of the market. The VA sector is one business from ... [4 charts ]

October 21, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

GNMA Allays Investor Fears with a Revised Policy on Pooling Eligibility for Streamlined Refinance Loans

Ginnie Mae has announced a policy change to ease investor concern over recent streamlined refinancing trends involving a small number of mortgage loans in Ginnie pools. The policy change addresses the issue of premature streamline refinancing of certain loans in Ginnie Mae I single-issuer pools that threatens to deflate investors’ expectation of a full 100-percent return on their MBS investments. “Investor participation … depends...

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

Thanks to Automation, Response To COE Requests ‘Instantaneous’

VA lenders are reporting faster turnaround times in processing borrower requests for certificates of eligibility (COEs). At a Ginnie Mae summit in Washington, DC, recently, agency officials said more than 70 percent of COEs are issued instantaneously. That is a vast improvement from six years ago, when it took VA about 26 days to issue a COE, said VA Acting Director Jeffrey London. A certificate of eligibility verifies a veteran’s eligibility for the VA home loan benefit. VA’s electronic applications can verify eligibility and issue a COE in a matter of seconds. “Previously we were getting less than 40 percent electronic submissions of COE requests,” London recalled. “We have improved our system so that this year alone, 95.6 percent of our COEs are issued electronically. Out of that 95.6 percent, 65 percent are issued automatically with no human involvement.” London said the ...

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 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

VA Issues Clarifying Guidance for Manufactured, Mobile Properties

VA Home Loan Guaranty has issued clarification regarding title requirements for manufactured or mobile homes conveyed to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Effective immediately, VA is requiring proof of noteholders’ compliance with the agency’s requirements for guaranteed mobile-home financing. Foreclosure title packages that do not include the required documents will be rejected, the agency warned. Under federal law, a manufactured home must be permanently affixed and classified as real property in the state where it is located. VA will not guarantee financing if the property does not meet the criteria. To ensure that a guaranty claim is fully payable and that the holder has the option to convey the manufactured home to VA, servicers must ensure that home loans with a VA guarantee meet federal requirements. Under the clarified VA guidelines, servicers may submit the ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Shares Pointers to Help Avoid Delays in Processing COE Requests

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made recommendations to VA lenders and borrowers calling in with questions and problems at VA regional centers to avoid long wait times and have their concerns resolved as quickly as possible. In a recent memo to lenders, the VA Loan Guaranty Service is reporting that many of its regional loan centers (RLC) are being swamped with calls due to record increases in VA originations in recent months. While this suggests that more veterans are using their housing loan benefit than ever before, the large volume of calls to VA has caused long hold times for callers and delayed processing of borrower certificates of eligibility (COE). To cut down on the waiting time, the VA urged lenders and borrowers to consider several things before making the call. First, do not call to check on the status of a COE request if there is no urgent need, like an ...

September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Originations Stayed Strong in 2Q16 as Volume Rose 30 Percent

VA lenders recorded a strong first half for 2016, thanks to a substantial boost in production in the second quarter, agency data show. VA guarantees on purchase and refinance mortgages totaled $83.5 billion for the first six months, as lenders made a strong second-quarter push that brought production up by 29.9 percent. Streamlined refinancing, also known as Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs), comprised a hefty portion of total VA originations – 21.7 percent. VA has been particularly strong in the refinance segment over the last six months, racking up $44.3 billion in total refi volume, far exceeding FHA’s $36.4 billion and private mortgage insurers’ $21.6 billion. (see IFHA/VA Lending, 8/9/16.) Overall, FHA remained the top mortgage insurer in the government-backed lending market with $123.0 billion, compared to VA’s $84.8 billion. Loans with primate MI totaled $102.7 billion ... [ 1 chart ]

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 ...


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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