FHA, VA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to FHA, VA.

August 10, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Passes FY 2019 T-HUD Bill, Preserves Previous Funding Levels

On Aug. 1, the U.S. Senate voted 92-6 to pass a four-bill appropriations package that includes FY 2019 funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture housing programs. The bill passed without changes to program funding levels previously approved by Senate appropriators. The House Appropriations Committee has approved FY19 spending bills for both HUD and USDA. The full House, which is away for the summer break until Sept. 4, has not yet voted on the package. The Senate bill retains the previous fiscal year’s $400 billion in new loan commitments in the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and $30 billion for the general insurance and special risk insurance program, which include special purpose single- and multifamily loans, multifamily rental housing and condominiums. The bill also sets aside $550 billion for Ginnie Mae ...


August 10, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Treasury Urges HUD to Clarify FCA Materiality, Severity of Violations

A Treasury Department report called on the Department of Housing and Urban Development to establish clear standards for determining which mortgage-related violations and loan defects the Department of Justice should pursue under the False Claims Act. The report also recommended that DOJ ensure that materiality, for purposes of the FCA, is linked to the standards of the agency administering the program to which the claim has been filed. Furthermore, it urged both HUD and the DOJ to work together to clarify the process by which they can jointly resolve claims. The report was issued pursuant to President Trump’s February 2017 executive order establishing his administration’s policy to regulate the U.S. financial system according to a set of core principles. Both HUD and the DOJ have been successful in using the statute to prosecute FHA lenders who knowingly commit fraud or make ...


August 10, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA Urges Congress to Fix Problem of ‘Orphaned’ VA Mortgage Loans

The Mortgage Bankers Association called upon Congress to pass legislation to restore Ginnie Mae eligibility for so-called orphaned VA loans, which have caused a temporary disruption in the government-backed secondary market. In written testimony to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs last week, the MBA urged lawmakers to make technical corrections to restore the eligibility of certain Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans for pooling. The MBA estimated the VA orphan loan mess at roughly $500 million. Due to new loan seasoning requirements in the recently enacted Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, sime IRRRLs were rendered ineligible for Ginnie MBS pools. The loans were in transit when legislation addressing the problem of VA loan churning and serial refinancing became law in May. The new law’s seasoning provisions turned out to be ...


August 10, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

AI Objects to Appraisal Provisions in H.R. 299, Calls for Revisions

The appraisal industry is opposed to a legislative proposal that would make changes to how appraisals are procured for the VA home loan program. The appraisal measure is one of the key provisions in H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 382-0 in June. The bill is now pending in the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The Blue Water Act would clarify presumptions relating to veterans’ exposure to herbicide, such as Agent Orange, during the Vietnam era and disability claims. The bill also proposes changes to the VA loan fee structure, including a proposed hike to the fees veterans, servicemembers and their spouses pay to obtain a VA-guaranteed home loan. The appraisal provision in H.R. 299 would allow VA appraisers to engage a third party to perform property inspections on their behalf. The provision addresses a problem with ...


August 10, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA, MBA Nix Bill Seeking to Raise Loan Fees to Pay for Vet Benefits

A legislative proposal to charge veterans, servicemembers and military spouses more for a VA home loan is getting heat from lenders and the Department of Veterans Affairs itself. Testifying before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs last week, Paul Lawrence, VA undersecretary for benefits, warned that increasing VA loan fees would impose additional financial burdens on veterans who are trying to buy a home, making them more vulnerable to predatory lending. Fee-related proposals are included in H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017. The House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 382-0 in June and it is currently under consideration in the Senate. H.R. 229 would expand disability benefits to Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange while serving on U.S. ships offshore or on the ground in Thailand and the Korean demilitarized ...


August 10, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Purchase Lending Powers VA 2Q Surge, Ends First Half on High Note

VA home-loan guarantee volume rose in the first half of 2018 thanks to a second-quarter surge in purchase business. New VA loan guarantees totaled $89.9 billion at midyear, a 7.5 percent improvement from the same point last year. VA production was even stronger quarter-over-quarter, with $50.9 billion in originations, up a whopping 30.2 percent from the first quarter. Purchase loans accounted for 68.1 percent of VA guarantees in the second quarter, up 23.1 percent from the prior quarter. Purchase for the first six months of 2018 was up 19.5 percent from a year ago. VA refi business struggled in the second quarter as production fell 7.0 percent from the previous period, dropping the overall refi share to 31.9 percent. Most of the damage in VA production in the second quarter was in the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan program, where volume tumbled 42.8 percent from the previous ... [Chart]


July 27, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Court OKs Settlement for Post-Payment Charges on FHA Loans

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa earlier this month granted preliminary approval of an $11.2 million settlement in a proposed class-action against national bank JPMorgan Chase. According to the complaint filed in 2016, Chase charged and collected interest on FHA-insured loans that paid off early. Chase was either the lender or the servicer of the loans. The lawsuit, Audino et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, alleges that the bank breached the promissory notes underlying the class’s FHA-insured home loans when it collected post-payment interest without providing disclosures to borrowers who made a prepayment inquiry, request for payoff figures, or tender of prepayment. Plaintiffs allege that the bank did not use the proper FHA form to provide the disclosures to consumers. Chase denies any wrongdoing and neither admits nor concedes any actual or potential fault or liability. The bank also denies it was ...


July 27, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Over Half of Flawed FHA Loans were Cured Year-Over-Year, HUD Reports

More than half of FHA-insured loans analyzed for material defects have been mitigated over a 12-month period, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s latest quarterly loan-review analysis. Approximately 31,396 loans were analyzed over four quarters for possible defects, beginning in the third quarter of 2017 and ending the second quarter of 2018. Approximately 59.8 percent of the reviewed loans were initially deemed unacceptable. HUD data showed that most, 54.1 percent, of the loans reviewed have been successfully mitigated. The report provides a quarter-by-quarter snapshot of the FHA’s Loan Review System results. Net defects represent outcomes after lenders have implemented methods and techniques to mitigate or remediate the initial findings. Of the reviewed loans, 24.7 percent were conforming while 15.5 percent were found to be deficient. About 0.2 percent of loans were ...


July 27, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Vote on FY 2019 T-HUD Bill Delayed; MBA Backs FHA Upgrades

The U.S. Senate has delayed vote on the FY 2019 spending bill for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development as lawmakers worked through amendments to ease the way for a vote prior to the summer recess. As this publication went to press, Senate lawmakers were expected to vote on key appropriation legislation before the July 27 summer break. They are trying to figure out a way to get it wrapped up so they can go home, said an industry source. FY 2019 funding for FHA loan commitments under the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund remained unchanged at $400 billion as did appropriations for the FHA’s general and special risk account, $30 billion. Lawmakers agreed to increase Ginnie Mae’s funding to $550 billion for the fiscal year as requested by the Trump administration, and to return to FY 2018 levels the funding for salaries and other administrative ...


July 27, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lenders Seek Clarity on Eligibility of DACA Dreamers for Home Loans

Lenders will be asking the Department of Housing and Urban Development to clarify the eligibility of borrowers with deferred immigration status for an FHA-insured loan. A mortgage industry trade group is currently drafting a letter on “a series of technical FHA handbook recommendations,” including greater clarity on loan applications submitted by borrowers registered under the government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA status was offered to children who were brought illegally into the U.S. by their parents or guardians but have been in the country for most of their lives. The program was created by the Obama administration as a way for recipients to work legally in the country while Congress could agree on what to do with them. The program faces uncertainty after President Trump rescinded it in September last year as part of his administration’s zero-tolerance immigration ...


July 27, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lawmakers Express Support for Bright’s Nomination as Ginnie Head

Michael Bright’s quick, effective response to the VA loan-churning problem that led to rapid prepayments in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities earned kudos from senators during his confirmation hearing this week. Judging by the positive responses of members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Bright, the administration’s choice to lead Ginnie Mae, will likely get the job. Bright received praise particularly for the swift disciplinary action he took against lender/issuers that were targeting and misleading VA borrowers into repeated refinancing without any clear benefit. Nine lenders were directed to take corrective actions while three of the worst offenders were barred from the agency’s multi-issuer security pools. Bright joined Ginnie Mae in July 2017 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Two months later he began an investigation into rapidly prepaying VA loans ...


July 20, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Tougher VA Refi Requirements Narrow Prepayment Speed Gap between VA, FHA; Convergence Expected

Prepayment speeds for VA and FHA loans are expected to converge due to changes in the refinance requirements for VA home loans, according to Wells Fargo Securities analysts.


July 19, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSEs, Government Agencies Lack Uniform Policy on Eligibility of DACA Recipients for Mortgage Financing

There appears to be no clear, unified lending policy among the government-sponsored enterprises, FHA, VA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture when it comes to the eligibility of certain non-permanent U.S. residents for a conventional conforming or government-backed mortgage loan.


July 13, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Streamlines Inspection Rules, Eliminates FHA Inspection Roster

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has removed the FHA inspector roster to streamline inspection requirements for FHA single-family mortgage insurance. Removal of the list of approved inspectors recognizes the quality of inspections performed by certified inspectors and other qualified individuals, said HUD. HUD originally established the roster to standardize the inspection process for properties with FHA-insured mortgages. Prior to the roster, cities and states developed their own building codes, which had little uniformity or consistency with each other. Currently, the department abides by the International Residential Code (IRC), which is in use in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The International Code Council, which developed the IRC, also certifies combination inspectors (CIs) and residential ...


July 13, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Activists Slam DOJ’s Repeal of Consumer Protection Guides

Fair housing advocates are outraged over the Department of Justice’s recent repeal of mortgage shopping guides and other regulatory guidance, but an industry attorney says it is no big deal. Bent on eliminating agency regulation by guidance, the DOJ last week rescinded 24 guidance documents issued by a variety of government agencies. Among those revoked were guidance that provided information regarding predatory lending, consumer mortgage shopping and discrimination based on national origin. The DOJ action stems from a November 2017 memorandum issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding guidance that either were issued improperly or were inconsistent with current law. It also complies with a presidential directive to all federal agencies in February to implement and enforce regulatory reform, which called for a review of all existing regulations, policies and guidance for possible repeal ...


July 13, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Chief’s Priority: Preserving Revenue for FHA Insurance Fund

New FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery this week revealed that he’s in a “fix it” mode to preserve the government mortgage insurer for “generations to come.” In a wide-ranging interview with Inside FHA/VA Lending and other members of the trade press, Montgomery made it clear his goal is to make sure the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund – which backstops agency loans – remains in the black and above its minimum capital reserve ratio of 2.0 percent. During the interview, however, he hardly mentioned the MMIF by name but set parameters on what he would be willing to change at FHA. All his positions seem aimed at preserving and growing the fund’s cash position. First and foremost, there likely will be no cut in FHA premiums this year. Also, don’t count on any risk-sharing arrangements with private mortgage insurance firms. And last, the thought of ending the “life of loan” coverage that ...


July 13, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA Asks HUD to Rethink Stance on VA Refis as Eligible Collateral

The mortgage industry this week continued to look for ways to resolve the VA streamline refi loan mess, which arose from the implementation of statutory seasoning requirements under the Dodd-Frank reform act, even as Ginnie Mae pointed to Congress to come up with a solution. At issue is approximately $500 million worth of “orphaned” VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans that are now ineligible for Ginnie Mae securitization. The Mortgage Bankers Association is asking Congress for a legislative fix but is also looking for other forms of relief. Pete Mills, MBA’s senior vice president of residential policy and member management, is trying to drum up investor interest in the orphan loans, which, for now, appear destined for the secondary “scratch and dent” market. More buyers could potentially generate higher bids for the loans and lower losses for nonbanks that could not deliver them ...


July 13, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Issues Interpretive Rule to Fix Ginnie Mae’s VA IRRRL Snafu

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued an interpretive rule to clear up some of the confusion created by the recently approved Dodd-Frank reform act regarding the eligibility of certain VA refinance loans to serve as Ginnie Mae collateral. Although interpretive rules are exempted from public comment under the Administrative Procedures Act, HUD is seeking public input on its interpretation of the loan-seasoning provision of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which President Trump signed into law on May 24, 2018. Among other things, the statute prohibits Ginnie from guaranteeing payment on a security backed by a mortgage that does not meet its seasoning requirements. The protective measure was designed to deter lenders from encouraging veterans to refinance their loans often and repeatedly. Loan churning led to faster prepayment speeds on the ...


July 13, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Seasonal Factors Boost Ginnie Mae MBS Issuance in Second Quarter

The spring homebuying season fueled a relatively modest increase in production of Ginnie Mae single-family mortgage-backed securities during the second quarter of 2018, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending ranking and analysis. Lenders issued $98.66 billion of Ginnie MBS backed by forward mortgages during the April-May cycle. That was up 6.6 percent from the first three months of the year, but 2018 continued to lag behind the pace set in 2017 by 10.7 percent. Given current trends, annual Ginnie MBS issuance in 2018 could fall short of the $400 billion mark for the first time since 2014. The flow of FHA and VA purchase mortgages was up a solid 23.7 percent from the first to the second quarter, bringing the total for the first half of the year to $121.01 billion. However, that was down 4.7 percent from the same period in 2017. Ginnie securitized $75.02 billion of FHA purchase loans in the ... [Charts]


Poll

With mortgage production down noticeably this year from 2017, how many lenders might disappear via M&A or failure during the next 12 months?

10% or less. It’s not that bad out there.

17%

11% to 25%. It’s a challenging market.

48%

25% to 40%. It’s going to be very ugly.

24%

No opinion.

11%