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Volume 11 - Number 8

April 20, 2018

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VA Share in Gov’t-Backed Servicing Continued to Grow in Early 2018

The Department of Veterans Affairs home-loan guaranty program continued to account for most of the growth in the Ginnie Mae servicing business during the first quarter of 2018, a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis reveals. Total Ginnie mortgage-backed securities outstanding rose to $1.940 trillion as of the end of March, including multifamily MBS and securities backed by FHA reverse mortgages. Some $1.795 trillion of that amount was traditional single-family mortgages, a 1.1 percent increase from the end of last year. The forward-mortgage Ginnie market grew by 7.3 percent over the past 12 months. The amount of VA loans in Ginnie pools was up 13.1 percent from March 2017, nearing the $600.0 billion mark. By comparison, the FHA segment of the Ginnie market was up 4.7 percent from a year ago, hitting $1.085 trillion. Loan performance generally improved in both the ... [Charts]

VA’s Loan Guaranty Chief Says Anti-Churning Rule Under Review

The Department of Veterans Affairs has drafted a proposed rule to curb predatory loan churning. The draft rule is “well on its way through concurrence with VA and the Office of Management and Budget,” said Jeff London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service, during an interview at the agency’s 19t Annual Lender Conference in Miami recently. He did not specify a publication date but said the proposed rule will be published “fairly soon.” Churning, or serial refinancing, involves multiple refinances of the same loan within short periods with no clear benefit to the borrower. In addition, churning triggers rapid prepayments in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities to the detriment of investors and makes it difficult to price MBS appropriately. London declined to provide details about the rule’s content but said veterans and taxpayers would be protected. VA looked at a range of things that were common in the ...

VA Announces Effort to Convert VALERI to Fully Operational AUS

A general overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Loan Electronic Reporting Interface is underway to convert it into a full service, end-to-end system capable of handling every phase of the loan process. Work on VALERI began in 2017, with the aim of integrating all business lines – loan origination, property valuations, and mortgage servicing – into what VA officials view as an automated underwriting system. “We are potentially looking at the redesigned VALERI as an automated underwriting system, an end-to-end system designed to better serve veterans and their families, lenders, servicers and appraisers,” said Jeff London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service (LGS), during an interview at the recent VA lender conference in Miami. The VALERI application has been used solely for servicing for the last 10 years. Since 2008, on a monthly basis, servicers have been uploading electronic data ...

Ginnie Mae Mulls ‘A-Tier’ Issuer Rating to Raise Nonbank Liquidity

Ginnie Mae is considering a tiered rating system to ensure that all participants in its mortgage securities program have sufficient liquidity and capital to meet their counterparty obligations. The agency is still fleshing out the idea of an “A-tier” issuer, which would likely develop into a policy in the near future, said Michael Bright, executive vice president and chief operating officer, during a recent interview with Inside FHA/VA Lending. “An A-tier issuer would be [a company that] has gone above and beyond in helping put together for us a risk management and liquidity plan that does not rely on liquidity providers, and whose defect and cure rates are low,” he explained. Such issuer/servicers also would be well capitalized. Ginnie is developing the metrics for such a system, as well as incentives for the A-tier issuers, Bright said He added that top-rated firms would be eligible for “concierge services” from the ...

VA Pulls Disclosure Requirement From Earlier IRRRL Guidance

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently withdrew a directive that was part of an early disclosure requirement for Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans just days after the measure took effect. Although the early disclosure measure became effective for IRRRLs closed on or after April 1, 2018, VA’ “Frequently Asked Questions” guidance issued on April 5 clarified some of the earlier provisions and removed a new disclosure to address lender concerns. The current VA Lenders Handbook requires a veteran to sign a statement showing he or she understands the effects of the IRRRL and how long it would take to recoup all closing costs. If the veteran’s monthly payment increases by 20 percent or more, the lender must certify that the borrower qualifies for the new monthly payment. The handbook, however, is unclear as to when the statement and lender certification must be delivered. Consequently, some ...

FHA Accounted for a Good Share of Mortgage Complaints in 2017

FHA-insured loans accounted for a modest chunk of mortgage-related consumer complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year. According to the CFPB’s annual report on consumer disputes, the bureau received approximately 37,300 mortgage complaints in 2017, 13 percent of which were related to FHA mortgages. Loans with a VA guaranty and FHA-insured reverse mortgages accounted for 4 percent and 2 percent of the complaints, respectively. Conventional home mortgages had the biggest share of mortgage complaints – 48 percent – followed by “other type of mortgage” at 28 percent. Six percent of mortgage complaints were about home-equity loans or home-equity lines of credit. For mortgage complaints, 41 percent involved making payments (such as those involving servicing, escrow accounts and posting of payments), while 37 percent were related to borrowers’ ....

House Bill Introduced to Ensure Compliance with Loss-Mit Rules

Legislation was introduced this week in the House Financial Services Committee that would strengthen oversight of FHA mortgage servicers to ensure their compliance with the agency’s loss-mitigation requirements. The FHA Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2018 (H.R. 5555) would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development to conduct servicer oversight, including sampling, compliance reviews, and direct information collection from borrowers whose files were sampled. “A decade after the devastating foreclosure crisis, we continue to see significant problems with the servicing of FHA loans that unnecessarily put homeowners at risk of foreclosure,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, ranking member on the committee and sponsor of the bill. Waters said her bill would ensure that FHA servicers help families experiencing financial hardships avoid foreclosure so that they can ...

Aging Housing Stock Increases Demand for VA Alteration Loans

Lenders will now be able make VA loans to veterans who wish to purchase or refinance a home that needs alteration or repair, under new guidance issued by the VA. According to the VA, it has received inquiries from lenders that have expressed interest in originating and processing loans to finance home alteration and repair. The agency noted that the aging housing stock in the U.S. has spurred an increased demand for such loans. Due to their physical condition, older homes are often sold as “cash or conventional financing,” which immediately excludes VA financing and deprives veterans the opportunity to use their VA benefit. The new policy guidance makes the VA guaranty available to lenders looking to finance home alteration, repair, renovation and improvement. It also allows improvements to be included in the value and completed after the loan is closed. The lender disburses the loan proceeds to the ...

Around the Industry

VA Issues Guidance on Construction/Permanent Home Loans (Circular 26-18-7). The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued revised guidance designed to encourage lenders to process and originate more home construction loans for veterans. The agency has long offered a program for new home construction but the lack of detailed guidance has inhibited many VA lenders from offering the product. Construction loans are closed before the start of construction. Proceeds are disbursed to cover building costs, the cost of the land, or balance owed on the land. The remaining balance, referred to as a loan-in-process account or a draw account, is held in escrow and disbursed to the builder during construction. The revised guidance requires the lender to obtain a written approval from the borrower before each disbursement or draw payment to the builder. VA construction/permanent home loans are ...

Poll

What’s your opinion on how Mick Mulvaney has managed the CFPB since he took over three months ago?

He’s done a good job of paring back the agency’s excesses and we’d like to see more.

35%

I hope he totally dismantles the agency and sends those functions back to the agencies hence they came.

14%

Not bad, but he needs to take his time making additional changes.

12%

We’re totally aghast. He’s gone way too far in protecting the rights of companies not consumers!

39%