FHA Programs

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHA Programs.

October 13, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

IG Finds HUD Ensured Purchaser Compliance, Needs Improvement

The Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general praised the agency for ensuring purchasers participating in HUD’s single-family note sales program complied with the terms in their purchase agreements. The inspector general noted, however, the need to improve the requirements in the purchase agreements. The IG found those requirements inadequate due to the lack of formal rules for the note sales program. “If a purchaser chose not to comply with its purchase agreement, HUD lacked assurance that the purchaser would offer homeowners foreclosure avoidance, loan-modification options, and other program requirements,” the IG’s audit report stated. Under the agreement, loan buyers must certify their avoidance of final closure for the required period of time, perform loan modification, and submit quarterly reports on their progress, including results of ...


October 13, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Dumps Lender Insight for New Loan Review Summary Report

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is discontinuing its quarterly newsletter, Lender Insight, with the implementation of FHA’s Loan Review System. The change is aimed at improving both FHA’s and lenders’ quality-control and risk-management operations. HUD will be publishing a quarterly Loan Review Summary Report to provide a snapshot of the results of FHA’s quality-control review of mortgage originations over the preceding 12 months. According to HUD, the report will include only underwritten loans that were subject to a post-endorsement technical review. It does not include the results of lenders’ self-reports or any other loans that were reviewed as part of a lender examination, the agency said. The report will show the initial rating of all loans, the updated rating six months from the end of the review period, and a final rating. The “final” rating is subject to change as long as ...


October 13, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Eases Occupancy Rule for Properties with H4P Financing

The FHA has updated its guidelines for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase (H4P) loans to allow lenders to accept loan applications from borrowers without requiring a certificate of occupancy, as well as prior to completion of HECM counseling. The change follows the Sept. 19 effective date of the HECM final rule, which the Department of Housing and Urban Development released earlier this year. The final rule codifies the many policies that are now in place for originating and servicing reverse mortgages, including H4P requirements. According to the revised guideline, an FHA lender may take an initial HECM loan application either prior to or after the completion of HECM counseling. Also, previously, H4P properties were eligible for FHA insurance only when construction was completed and when the local jurisdiction issued a certificate of occupancy or its equivalent, confirming the ...


October 13, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Reveals Nearly 10 Percent Exposure in Disaster Areas

An estimated 9.8 percent of Ginnie Mae’s business may be potentially at risk due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, according to data released recently by the agency. The data represent the number of Ginnie loans and their unpaid principal balance amounts in presidentially declared disaster areas in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A total of 1.07 million mortgage loans with an unpaid principal balance of $184.5 billion have been affected. Ginnie Mae’s current mortgage-backed securities portfolio totals $1.9 trillion. The data only refer to the geographic locations of all affected properties underlying loans in Ginnie MBS pools and do not indicate the percentage of those that may have sustained damage during a storm. Hurricane Irma had the highest share of affected loans, 6 percent, while Harvey and Maria accounted for 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Irma caused the ...


October 13, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae, VA Announce Joint Task Force to Stop Improper Refis

Ginnie Mae and the VA this week officially announced a joint-agency task force to deal with the loan-churning problem that is triggering faster prepayments in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities pools. Specifically, the task force will scrutinize aggressive and misleading refinancing offers and address loan churning and repeated refinancings. It will also examine critical issues, data and lender behaviors related to refinancing loans, as well as determine the kind of policy and program changes agencies should make to ensure VA refi loans do not pose an undue risk or burden to vets and taxpayers. Both the VA and Ginnie Mae programs work best when market participants use them to provide a benefit to VA borrowers and, ultimately, lower vet’s costs, officials said. The task force has begun examining data and information to ensure refi loans provide net tangible benefits to veteran-borrowers. In addition, the ...


October 13, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Carson Open to Excising HECM From Mortgage Insurance Fund

Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson indicated he is open to the idea of moving the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program out of the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund to stem future losses. Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee this week, Carson said the changes the department has made recently, as well as those currently under consideration, will eliminate most of the program’s problems although residual issues may still linger. Carson acknowledged that the HECM program’s default rate has been a drain on the MMI Fund even though it is much smaller than the FHA’s forward loan portfolio. The recently revised HECM rules issued on Sept. 19 have “stopped the bleeding” in terms of new reverse mortgages, he added. However, separating the HECM portfolio from the FHA insurance fund and making it a stand-alone program is ...


October 13, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie MBS Issuance Rolled To Year’s High Mark in 3Q17

Ginnie Mae issuers rode a wave of purchase-mortgage lending to deliver $120.46 billion of forward mortgages during the third quarter of 2017, the highest three-month volume for the year, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Third-quarter volume was up 9.6 percent from the April-June cycle. The data excluded FHA reverse mortgages and loan amounts are truncated in Ginnie’s mortgage-backed securities disclosures. Without those limitations, total Ginnie MBS issuance rose 9.5 percent to $123.37 billion in the third quarter. Purchase mortgages were the engine behind the growth. Ginnie issuers securitized $85.35 billion of purchase loans in the third quarter, falling just short of the record $85.41 billion set in the third quarter of last year. Although most Ginnie purchase loans (58.7 percent) were FHA loans, the biggest increase was in such loans guaranteed by the ... [Charts]


September 29, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Industry Trade Groups Call for Compton Vote. A coalition of 28 trade groups representing the mortgage and real-estate industries has urged the Senate leadership to bring Paul Compton’s nomination as general counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the floor for a vote. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs approved Compton’s nomination in July but no further action has been taken since. In a joint letter, the coalition underscored the importance of the role of HUD general counsel in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The groups urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, to provide all the necessary resources to help in the disaster recovery and to put the HUD general counsel in place, which is critical to the recovery efforts. On Sept. 14, the Senate confirmed ...


September 29, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GSE Reform Efforts Could Benefit From Ginnie’s Anti-Churning Action

A Ginnie Mae crackdown on abusive VA refinancing could be positive for housing finance reform, according to a Washington research organization. In a recent analysis, the Cowen Washington Research Group said Ginnie’s effort to rein in lenders that are engaging in churning might benefit those who are trying to revamp Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “We expect Ginnie Mae will succeed in curbing prepayment speed on VA mortgages,” wrote Jaret Seiberg, a financial services and housing policy analyst with the Cowen Group. “The crackdown is positive for government-sponsored enterprise reform as it should restore the spread between Ginnie and Fannie/Freddie MBS.” According to Seiberg, GSE reform advocates could potentially use the spread to pay for a housing finance bill that includes a government guarantee on the resulting MBS. Acting Ginnie Mae President Michael Bright has pledged to ...


September 29, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Uptick Seen in FHA 203(h) Usage As Storm Surges, Flooding Worsen

A previously obscure FHA program for properties in designated disaster areas is getting more interest from lenders in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. According to FHA data, there has been a noticeable increase in loans originated under the FHA 203(h) mortgage insurance program, which is designed specifically for hard-hit homeowners in presidentially declared major disaster areas (PDMDA). Origination under the 203(h) program rose from $17.8 million in 2015 to $64.1 million in 2017, data showed. Use of the 203(h) product spiked in the fourth quarter of 2016, when 180 loans totaling $34.0 million were originated, up from 47 in the previous quarter and 26 loans from the same period in 2015. The U.S. experienced more floods in 2016, 19 in all, than any year on record, according to an analysis by Munich Re, a global reinsurance firm. In post-hurricane guidance, FHA urged lenders to ...


September 29, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Jumbo Securitization Drops, FHA Jumbo Origination Slips in 2Q

Wells Fargo recaptured its crown as the leading VA jumbo securitizer, pushing Penny Mac back to second place even as the market dropped further in the second quarter. The volume of VA jumbo loans securitized during the second quarter declined by 5.2 percent from the prior quarter and by 11.8 percent during the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year. VA jumbo mortgage originations were off by 4.3 percent from the first quarter, according to an analysis by Inside FHA/VA Lending affiliate Inside Mortgage Finance. Agency-jumbo production sagged in the second quarter but the results were not uniform. Fannie Mae production was up 6.5 percent from the prior quarter, while FHA jumbo securitization gained 7.2 percent during the period. At the same time, VA jumbo securitization was down 5.2 percent to $7.4 billion from $7.8 billion, while Freddie Mac saw a hefty 27.8 percent drop in ... [Charts]


September 29, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD IG Says Ginnie had Tepid Response to Shifting Issuer Base

Ginnie Mae’s inadequate response to the rapid increase of nonbank issuers may make it difficult for the agency to identify issuer problems in time to prevent default, warned the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general in a recent audit report. Specifically, the IG report said the agency failed to implement policies and procedures for managing issuers in a timely manner and tried to supervise them without a written default strategy. Furthermore, the report claimed Ginnie did not promptly assess and address the risks posed by nonbanks. Ginnie Mae questioned the findings, contending it “has done a more than credible job adapting to the new environment” despite the pressure on its resources. Ginnie’s issuer base had changed dramatically over the last couple of years as many banks either left or reduced their exposure in the FHA market for fear of being slapped with a ...


September 22, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Mae-VA Task Force to Crack Down on Serial Refinance Abusers, Will Expel Program Violators

Ginnie Mae and the Department of Veterans Affairs have created a joint task force to deal with improper early refinancing of VA loans – a practice the agencies thought they had eliminated but which has reemerged in the last couple of weeks. The task force will be monitoring closely monthly VA refinancing data and will develop additional policies to augment the current policy, which Ginnie, in consultation with the VA, issued last year to curb churning of VA loans in its MBS. Responding to concerns raised by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, acting Ginnie President and Chief Operations Officer Michael Bright acknowledged...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

DOL’s Overtime Rule Dead – For Now. A federal district court in Texas recently struck down an Obama administration proposal that would have made millions of people eligible for overtime pay. Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Aug. 31 invalidated the DOL’s pending overtime regulations, which would have raised the salary threshold exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Obama administration finalized the proposed regulations in May last year but was unable to implement them after Mazzant granted a request for injunction filed by the Plano Chamber of Commerce and 55 other business groups last November. The business entities opposed the proposed rule, which would have raised the minimum salary threshold necessary to qualify for the FLSA’s overtime exemption. The salary threshold would have increased from ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Announces Changes to HECM Counseling Certificates

The FHA will provide lenders that originate Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans the option to view and print unsigned HECM counseling certificates in FHA Connection starting Sept. 18, 2017. While the lender may still take the initial loan application, the lender can only begin to process it once the counseling is complete, as evidenced by a completed HECM counseling certificate that contains signatures of both the counselor and borrower. Lenders that chose to use this option will be required to establish procedures to obtain and document authorization from the HECM borrower to access the counseling certificate in FHA Connection. In addition, lenders must certify that a borrower authorization to view the counseling certificate was obtained. Lenders must follow the guidance on processing HECM loans contained in the HUD Handbook, the FHA said. To access HECM counseling certificates, lenders will ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Legal Experts Suggest Five ‘Fixes’ To Avoid Unfounded FCA Claims

Compliance attorneys are calling for legislative changes to prevent possible misuse of the False Claims Act that could result in settlements that could be financially devastating to mortgage lenders. Concerns about possible government misuse of FCA provisions are evident in the statutory qualifiers that are already embedded in the existing statute, according to a recent analysis by Krista Cooley and Laurence Platt, attorneys and partners in the Washington, DC, office of Mayer Brown. The qualifiers are in the main provision of the FCA that the Department of Justice has used against mortgage lenders and servicers, the attorneys said. The provision imposes liability on any person who “knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval” or “knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Finalizes Rule for Establishing Fees, Charges for Vendee Financing

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a final rule that will allow it to establish reasonable fees to cover the costs of originating and servicing a VA-backed vendee loan. A vendee loan enables a borrower to purchase a VA real estate-owned property. Vendee financing is not a veteran benefit but is available to any purchaser, including veterans and servicemembers. In addition, vendee financing is available for non-owner and owner-occupied residential properties. An owner-occupied purchase can be financed with as little as zero percent downpayment while a non-owner-occupied purchase requires a minimum 5 percent downpayment. In addition, for non-owner-occupied purchases, investors may use 75 percent of anticipated rent, based on an appraiser’s estimate, to offset the subject property monthly payment. Furthermore, investors must have experience in ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA Offers Measures to Deal With VA Appraisal Issues, Delays

The Mortgage Bankers Association has recommended steps to address the VA appraiser shortage and increased appraisal turn times. The industry group made its recommendations in a recent letter to Jeffrey London, executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Loan Guaranty Service, based on a roundtable discussion between MBA and other industry stakeholders in March. Stakeholders expressed their concern for the lack of VA appraisers and longer waiting periods for appraisal reports. Appraiser shortage is an ongoing problem for the VA, and has resulted in delayed loan closings, particularly in highly rural areas. Some states, like Oregon, have very few appraisers, the MBA pointed out. “This delay may force veterans to choose other loan programs to meet certain deadlines or face other adverse outcomes,” the MBA letter warned. On the other hand, the ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Trump Nominates Industry Veteran To Be the Next FHA Commissioner

The White House this week officially nominated industry veteran Brian Montgomery to be the next FHA commissioner and assistant secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a related development, the Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Pamela Pantenaude as HUD deputy secretary, three months to the day the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs approved her nomination. Montgomery, currently vice chairman of the Washington-based business-consulting firm The Collingwood Group, is no stranger to the job. He previously served as FHA commissioner/HUD assistant secretary during the second Bush administration and as acting HUD secretary in January 2009. As FHA commissioner, Montgomery lead legislative efforts to preserve the nation’s affordable rental housing stock while reducing rental-assistance costs and the cost of ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae to Take Action Against Illicit Refinancing of VA Mortgages

Rapid, aggressive refinancing of VA loans has made a comeback with some issuers using strategies to mask the practice and avoid possible penalties, including expulsion from the Ginnie Mae program, according to a top agency official. Responding to concerns raised by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, Michael Bright, acting Ginnie Mae president and chief operations officer, said a joint Ginnie Mae/VA lender-abuse task force is analyzing monthly data and developing additional policy measures to deal with the problem. Bright confirmed the resurgence of inappropriate streamline refinancing in Ginnie securitization pools in recent weeks and has promised to crack down on the questionable practice. The problem surfaced last year when Ginnie Mae noticed unusually fast prepayment speeds in its mortgage-backed securities, particularly MBS backed by VA loans. Ginnie found that certain lenders and ...


September 8, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Issuance Up Again in August as Refinance Business Shows Renewed Strength

New issuance of agency single-family MBS rose for the fifth straight month in August, including an unexpected boost from refinance activity, according to an Inside MBS & ABS ranking and analysis. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued $120.10 billion of single-family MBS last month, a 6.9 percent climb from July’s total. August represented the second biggest month of 2017 but fell short of the $134.21 billion issued back in January. At that point, the MBS market was digesting a strong wave of refinance loans that quickly deteriorated over the following months. But the agencies saw...[Includes two data tables]


Poll

The year is almost 75% done. How is mortgage origination volume at your shop?

We will fund about the same as we did in 2016.
We will fund more than last year – by a little.
We will fund more than last year – by a lot.
We will fund less than last year – by a little.
We will fund less than last year – by a lot.

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