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Volume 10 - Number 10

May 12, 2017

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Nonbanks Dominate FHA Primary Market; Volume Slowed in 1Q17

Nonbank lenders far out-produced depository institutions in originating FHA mortgages during the first quarter of 2017. A new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis reveals that nonbank lenders produced over 83 percent of FHA forward loans endorsed during the first quarter. With over 8,000 entities listed as originators and sponsors in FHA loan-level data, the overwhelming majority of them were independent mortgage banks, mortgage brokers and other nonbank lenders. The 14 largest FHA originators were all nonbanks, led by Quicken Loans, Freedom Mortgage and loanDepot. One sign of the overwhelming fragmentation in the FHA primary market is the fact that these three lenders accounted for just 11.3 percent of first-quarter endorsements. The largest depository originator of FHA loans was PrimeLending, an affiliate of PlainsCapital Bank. It ranked 15th in production with a ... [charts ]

VA Explains Characteristics of an ‘Egregious Loan,’ Discusses Cases

What is an “egregious” VA mortgage loan? Panelists at last month’s VA Lending Conference in Kansas City, MO, helped shed light on such loans by describing them as flawed and in violation of VA requirements. “But there’s more,” said Greg Nelms, VA chief of loan policy. Unstable income and use of active-duty income when that income will be extinguished within one year could taint a VA loan and make it egregious, said Nelms. High debt-to-income ratio, residual income that is below VA requirements and failure to consider a spouse’s debts or credit in a community-property state also could have an adverse effect on a VA loan, he added. The panel presented several “egregious loan” scenarios involving reviews of several mortgages from 2016 in which lenders were required to sign indemnification agreements. The first example consisted of a VA home loan for $102,047, which closed in ...

VA Clarifies QM Safe Harbor Rules For Streamlined Refinancings

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ interim final rule on qualified mortgages (QM) implements the Dodd-Frank provision requiring creditors to make a reasonable and good faith determination that the borrower has a reasonable ability to repay the loan. The VA interim final rule defines QM to mean any loan that the agency guarantees, insures or originates. However, certain limitations apply to VA’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs) in the rule’s guidance for “safe harbor.” Under the safe harbor requirements for an IRRRL, the loan being refinanced must have been originated at least six months before the new loan’s closing, and six payments must have been made. In addition, the veteran should not have been more than 30 days past due during the six months preceding the new loan’s closing. The QM rule’s six-month seasoning requirement, however, inadvertently created an ...

VA Instructs Lenders on Completing Streamline Refinance Worksheet

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance clarifying its requirements for completing the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan Worksheet. The guidance is effective for all IRRRL applications originated on or after July 2, 2017. The VA said it has received many inquiries from lenders regarding the proper completion of IRRRL Worksheet (VA Form 26-8923) since the implementation of the TRID-LE and CD (Truth in Lending Act-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.) The guidance clarifies and establishes VA policy regarding the following: Amount of the existing allowable loan balance (Line 1); Principal reduction from veteran (Line 2); Maximum allowable discount points (Line 5); Maximum allowable closing costs (Line 8); Maximum allowable closing costs (Line 11); and Maximum loan amount (Line 18). VA said it understands the ...

PennyMac Now Allows Equifax’s VOE in Lieu of Tax Transcripts

PennyMac has announced that, effective immediately, for FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac transactions, lenders may provide Equifax’s The Work Number verification of employment, or a written VOE from an equivalent income-verification company in lieu of tax transcripts for salaried borrowers. The Work Number is a user-paid VOE database acquired by Equifax in February 2007. The written VOE must have full income figures supporting the qualifying income, said PennyMac. For all loans closed on or after June 15, 2017, the 2016 tax transcript will be required, unless the file contains evidence an extension was filed along with a copy of the Internal Revenue Service notice for 2016 showing “no record of return filed.” For all loans closed on or after Dec. 15, 2017, 2016 tax returns and tax transcripts will be required. PennyMac reminded lenders that its underwriting system cannot respond to ...

FY 17 Spending Bill Passed, FHA, Ginnie Mae Budgets Unchanged

Appropriation levels for FHA and Ginnie Mae from the previous fiscal year were unchanged in the FY 2017 omnibus spending bill, which President Trump signed into law on May 5. The bill, which passed the House by a 309-118 vote and the Senate by a 79-18 vote on May 4, will fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017. Among other things, the bill allocates $400 billion to single-family guarantee commitments under the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, and provides $130 million for administrative contract expenses. In addition, the budget provides an additional $30 million if guaranteed loan commitments exceed $200 billion. The agreement also sets aside up to $30 billion for FHA multifamily and specialized loan guarantees during FY 2017. A total of $55 million was set aside for housing counseling programs, $65.3 million for fair housing activities, and $4 million to ...

Preparations for LRS Intensifies as May 15 Effective Date Approaches

With only days to go before the implementation of its new Loan Review System, the FHA is encouraging lenders to take a few more steps to ensure smooth transition to the new system. The LRS will go live on May 15, 2017, as the new electronic platform for FHA’s Title II single-family, quality-control processes. Lenders will use the LRS to interact with FHA during post-endorsement loan reviews, direct endorsement authority test cases, lender monitoring reviews and lender self-reporting of fraud and other material findings. Findings will be communicated through the system’s defect taxonomy, which provides a streamlined method of identifying and capturing information about defects uncovered during individual loan reviews. In its latest guidance, the FHA instructs lenders to check access to FHA Connection for any potential glitches. All users access the LRS through FHA Connection via the ...

HUD Names Industry Veteran as Senior Advisor to Secretary Carson

The Department of Housing and Urban Development this week announced the appointment of industry executive Adolfo Marzol as senior advisor to HUD Secretary Ben Carson. Prior to his appointment, Marzol was a member of the board of directors of Essent Group, a private mortgage insurance company based in Radnor, PA. He resigned from the board on May 6, 2017. Marzol retired as executive vice president of Essent in 2015. During his long career, he held senior posts at Fannie Mae, including executive vice president and chief credit officer. He left the government-sponsored enterprise in 2004. Prior to his stint with Fannie, Marzol worked at Chase Manhattan Mortgage, which is now a part of JPMorgan Chase. HUD noted that Marzol will advise Carson “on matters related to mortgage finance.” An experienced professional, his expertise lies in housing finance reform. “His knowledge of ...

Around the Industry

New USDA Chief. Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was sworn in as Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, shortly after the Senate confirmed him. At the same time, President Trump signed an executive order creating a task force on growing housing, among other things, as an economic driver in rural communities. Improved Lender Search List Launched. The FHA last week announced an improved lender list-search capability to help the public search for FHA-approved single-family and multifamily lenders. The search engine allows search on a variety of criteria, including lender name, city, state, servicer-originator type, and recent Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or 203(k) rehabilitation mortgage experience. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s new Lender List Search web page replaces the previous Lender List lookup page on HUD.gov. While search criteria have not ...

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