VA Activity

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to VA Activity.

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Low Rates, High Demand Power VA’s 3Q14 Surge

Production of loans with a VA guaranty was moderately strong in the third quarter of 2014, thanks to lower rates and increased demand for the no-downpayment loans, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of the latest agency data. A 14.1 percent quarter-to-quarter surge helped the industry end last year’s first nine months with a total of $76.3 billion in VA loans, mostly purchase home mortgages taken out by a younger generation of war veterans. VA streamline refinancing also accounted for a substantial chunk of originations, 19.2 percent. Volume jumped from $19.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to $26.5 billion the following quarter. Lenders closed out the third quarter with $30.2 billion. Stanley Middleman, chief executive officer of Freedom Mortgage, said VA lending is on the upswing, driven by low interest rates. He thinks the VA home loan guaranty program has been ... [ 1 chart ]


January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Likely to Reclaim Share with Premium Cut

The half-percent annual premium reduction the FHA announced recently will likely enable the agency to reclaim the high loan-to-value segment of the mortgage market from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to analysts. Speaking with some originators that have been looking at the best way to securitize high LTV loans, Deustche Bank securities analysts said the lower FHA annual premium would put pressure on the government-sponsored enterprises to lower the cost of their guarantees. “The grapevine has anticipated for months that [g-fees] have little chance of going up and more chance of going down,” the analysts said. “But the specific risk triggered by the FHA move is that the cost of credit will now drop for high-LTV conventional borrowers.” Even before the FHA policy shift, private mortgage insurers have been pressuring the Federal Housing Finance Agency to ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lenders Agree to Settle DOJ Fraud Charges

Two FHA lenders have agreed to separate settlements with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to resolve allegations of mortgage fraud that resulted in huge losses for HUD. Golden First Mortgage Corp. and its owner/president, David Movtady, have agreed to a $36.3 million settlement with the DOJ to resolve allegations they had lied to the FHA about the quality of loans they had certified for FHA insurance since July 2007. Consequently, the agency incurred more than $12 million in losses since that time, according to court documents. Filed in April 2013 in Manhattan federal court and amended in August 2013, the government complaint sought damages and penalties under the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act against Golden First for years of misconduct as an FHA direct-endorsement lender. Golden First was a ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Opens Up on QC Reviews, Targeting Methods

The FHA rarely talks about its lender and loan review process in detail but in the latest issue of Lender Insight the agency discusses how it is done and how it selects targets for each review. FHA’s overall counterparty quality-control efforts are divided into lender-monitoring reviews, nonperforming loan reviews, post-endorsement technical reviews of performing loans, post-endorsement technical reviews of early payment defaults (EPD), early cohort claim reviews and lender self-reports. For lender-monitoring reviews, the FHA uses a targeting methodology that takes into account loan volume, default/claim rates, participation in specific FHA loan programs, servicer loss-mitigation performance and certain other factors. Loans are selected to determine compliance with FHA requirements. The Quality Assurance Division (QAD) in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Single-Family ...


January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

New VA Limits: No Material Impact on Borrowers

Despite reduced guaranty limits in more than 80 counties, recent changes to the VA mortgage limits in 2015 will have no material impact on veteran borrowers or hurt credit availability, according to industry analysts. In enacting the omnibus spending bill, Congress reduced the maximum size of mortgages guaranteed by the VA, matching it to the $625,500 high-cost loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA. The change took effect on Jan. 1, 2015, affecting 82 counties, some seeing as much as a 40 percent reduction in the VA loan limit. For example, loan limits in the New York area fell by 36.1 percent and in the Washington, DC, area, lenders saw a 9.7 percent decline, according to estimates by the Urban Institute. The VA home loan program does not require a downpayment and the guaranty is limited to 25 percent of the loan amount. In certain cases, the program allows a veteran to ...


December 19, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

VA Announces New, Lower Loan Limits in 2015

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced new, lower loan limits for 2015 after Congress decided not to extend the agency’s current maximum lending limits beyond 2014. The current limits will expire on Dec. 31. Under new guidelines, the maximum guaranty amounts for VA loan limits in 2015 will match the lower conforming loan limits established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for the government-sponsored enterprises next year. These limits range from $417,000 to $625,500, depending on where the borrower is located. VA’s loan limits are tied to the county-based limits established for conforming loans backed by Freddie Mac. Freddie’s loan limits are calculated based on median house prices in counties across the nation. In recent years, VA’s high-cost loan limits have exceeded Freddie’s due to statutory authority granted under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The VA authority was ...


Poll

The FHA is cutting its annual premium by 50 basis points. How much of a difference will this cut make in your FHA business?

Not much at all—maybe 10 percent at best.
Modestly. We expect a 10 percent to 25 percent gain in applications.
This is a real game changer, 25 percent or better.
Hard to say. This cut may just steal business away from the new Fannie/Freddie 97 LTV effort.

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