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

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Bipartisan Flood Bill Introduced in Senate. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will soon consider a bipartisan bill introduced this week that would keep the National Flood Insurance Program funded for six more years and create new risk mitigation procedures for communities to follow. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-ID, and ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown, OH, said the bill would serve as a template for consideration by the whole committee. The Senate bill does not include core provisions in the House version, including the development of a private flood insurance market to complement the NFIP. In addition, the bill does not call for cuts in the reimbursement rate for Write-Your-Own flood-insurance carriers that service NFIP policies. However, amendments are likely, according to Crapo and Brown. Meanwhile, the ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Millennials Seeking to Buy Homes In Affordable Markets, Data Show

Affordability and job availability are driving millennials to seek homes in more affordable markets, particularly in the upper Midwest, according to Ellie Mae data for the month of May. Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker, which monitors millennial mortgage applications during specific times, found that the higher percentages of loans made to millennial borrowers are in Hutchinson and Austin, MN, and Wahpeton and Williston, ND. Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL, rounded out the top-five markets. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between 1980 and 1999. Data showed that 48 percent of millennial borrowers who closed loans in May were single. In Hutchinson, for example, the majority of borrowers were single men. “This suggests millennials may be embracing homeownership in these areas for reasons other than what we have historically seen, which was family formation,” explained ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

House Panel Earmarks $50 Million For Home Counseling Assistance

The House Appropriations Committee has recommended $50 million to fund the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s FY 2018 housing counseling assistance to homebuyers, homeowners and low and moderate-income renters. The allocation is $3 million more than the Trump administration had requested and $5 million below the amount appropriated for housing counseling in fiscal year 2017. In its budget report, the committee noted the continued improvement in the economy, which has resulted in fewer foreclosures. Foreclosure filings from 2016 were reported on 933,000 properties, representing a 10-year low and a 14 percent reduction from 2015, the report pointed out. “The foreclosure rate has stayed within a historically normal range for three years, even with the pipeline of legacy foreclosures resulting from the housing bubble,” it said. In addition, the bill retains language that ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Emphasizes Need for Testing Individual Water Supply for Vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning VA lenders to adhere strictly to the agency’s requirements for safe potable water for veteran homebuyers. The agency recently provided clarification and guidance concerning the testing of private, individual water-supply systems for properties backed by VA mortgage loans. The VA has long treated potable water as a health and safety issue, including as part of its minimum property requirements that water used for drinking, washing and other in-house uses must be safe for consumption. According to the guidance, which went into effect on July 19, 2017, a disinterested third party must perform all water testing. This includes the collection and transport of water samples from the supply source. Only the local health authority, a commercial testing laboratory, a licensed sanitary engineer, or any other party that is acceptable to the local health agency may test ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies, Underscores Use of Tidewater Process in Appraisals

The Department of Veterans Affairs is ratcheting up enforcement of its so-called Tidewater process to prevent veterans from paying more than the appraised value of the property when using a VA loan. In recent guidance, the VA reaffirmed its 2003 Tidewater Appraisal Initiative to help reduce the number of cases where appraisers have been asked to reconsider their initial appraisal, which had come in below the sales price. The guidance emphasizes procedures for improving communication of new sales data to VA fee and staff appraisers for a reevaluation of the low initial appraisal. “These guidelines should help limit the number of cases that reach the reconsideration-of-value phase and also provide a more timely response to those cases that are submitted for reconsideration,” the VA explained. The Tidewater procedure provides a designated “point of contact” (POC) the opportunity to ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MRB Suspends Lender’s Authority To Originate, Service FHA Loans

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s lender disciplinary arm, the Mortgagee Review Board, has suspended a Pennsylvania FHA lender from originating or underwriting any new agency-insured loans. In addition, HUD’s enforcement center suspended owner John Seckel from doing business with the federal government. According to HUD, Seckle Capital of Newton, PA, and its owner submitted statements and certifications purporting to show the firm was properly audited by independent certified public accountants, when, in fact, it was not. The MRB said Seckel and his firm engaged in a “years-long pattern” of deceit and falsehoods. The action is the result of HUD’s ongoing effort to hold the mortgage industry accountable for the loans it originates, underwrites or services. According to HUD’s Neighborhood Watch website, Seckel Capital has a compare ratio of 164 percent. Of the 557 loans the ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Note Sales Program Operating With No Formal Procedures, Says IG

An internal watchdog audit alleges that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been auctioning distressed notes to investors with no formal guidance or procedures in place. In a recent audit report, the HUD Office of the Inspector General said the department did not conduct rulemaking or develop standards for its single-family note sales program. The IG said it performed the audit due to the large amount of FHA claims paid on note sales as well as public concerns over the creation and administration of the program. In addition, the IG has never audited the program. In 2002, HUD referred to the initial note sales program as the Accelerated Claims Disposition Demonstration Program. The department later renamed it the Loan Sales Program, and subsequently to its current name: Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. DASP accepts assignment of eligible, defaulted single-family mortgage loans in ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

House Appropriators Pass HUD Funding Bill, Reject Proposed Fee

The House Appropriations Committee this week approved a FY 2018 spending bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development with a $135 million allocation for information technology upgrades in lieu of a proposed lender fee. The set-aside also covers quality control and risk management improvements as well as other administrative costs. The recommended funding is $5 million more than the FY 2017 enacted level for administrative contract expenses and $25 million below the budget request. Approved by a vote of 31 to 20, the bill provides HUD with $38.3 billion in discretionary spending for FY 2018, down $487 million from the current level. The House bill authorizes $400 billion for loan guarantees under the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, including the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, and $500 billion for Ginnie Mae. Ginnie will also receive $25.4 million for agency staffing, which is ...

July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Still Gaining Ground in Growing Ginnie MBS Servicing Portfolio

The VA home loan guaranty program continued to grow faster than the FHA program during the second quarter of 2017, according to a new analysis and servicer ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. At the end of June, Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pools included $548.04 billion of VA loans, a 3.3 percent increase over the previous quarter. Compared to a year ago, the volume of VA loans was up a hefty 15.6 percent. The $1.055 trillion of FHA loans in outstanding Ginnie MBS was still nearly twice the volume of VA loans. But the FHA total was up a more subdued 1.8 percent from March and by 5.4 percent from a year ago. One reason the VA market grows somewhat faster than the FHA is that it loses fewer loans to default. For starters, the VA delinquency rate is lower – 3.03 percent in the second quarter of 2017 vs. 5.52 percent for FHA. Over the past three and a half years, the ... [ Charts]

July 20, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House Appropriators Reject Administration’s Proposed FHA Lender Fee. A $135 Million Set Aside for IT Upgrades

The House Appropriations Committee this week approved a fiscal year 2018 funding bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development with a $135 million allocation for systems enhancements, quality control and risk management improvements in lieu of a proposed lender fee. Approved by a vote of 31 to 20, the bill provides HUD with $38.3 billion in discretionary funding for FY 2018, down $487 million from the current level. The House measure authorizes...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Provides Additional Guidance For Using New Loan Review System

The latest issue of FHA’s Lender Insight provides additional information to lenders regarding the new Loan Review System that was launched on May 15, 2017. FHA urged lenders to keep their contact information current in FHA Connection and in the Lender Electronic Appraisal Portal so that they receive automated system notifications on time. Also, lenders should review current FHAC user access for appropriate roles, the agency added. Lenders’ in-house FHAC application coordinators are authorized to grant access to, and assign roles within, the LRS. Having the correct roles should enable users to access the system from the FHAC menu, the FHA said. In addition, the lender must take a photo of any error messages that might appear on screen before contacting the FHA Resource Center, the agency advised. Be prepared to provide the date and time of the attempted login, user ID, lender user ID and the ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Penny Raises Funding Capacity by Altering Repo Pact Terms with CS

PennyMac has revised master mortgage repurchase agreements with Credit Suisse to increase its funding capacity for new loan originations and acquisition of mortgage servicing rights, the company disclosed in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The increase is temporary – effective from June 23 through Sept. 29 – but it will boost PennyMac’s funding capacity by $486 million. On June 23, 2017, PennyMac agreed to revised terms of its Third Amended and Restated Master Purchase Agreement (CS Repurchase Amendment), which would increase temporarily its maximum committed purchase price to $943 million from $700 million. Entered into on April 28, 2017, the amended repurchase agreement would allow PennyMac to sell to Credit Suisse and later repurchase certain newly originated residential and small-balance multifamily mortgages. The agreement also includes ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Seeks Continued Use of Form Allowing Lenders to Auto-Close

The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget to continue collecting information considered crucial in approving certain lender requests to close VA loans automatically. Currently, non-supervised VA lenders requesting approval to close VA loans on an automatic basis use VA Form 26-8736 to submit the information needed for VA approval. Upon receiving the form, the appropriate VA regional loan center processes and evaluates the information. Without the required data, VA would not be able to determine if a non-supervised lender is qualified for automatic loan processing. The required data include, among other things, a resume of each principal officer’s experience in mortgage lending in a managerial capacity and the latest financial statements audited and certified by a certified public accountant. The form also requires a listing of all ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Study Finds Rural Applicants More Sensitive to Insurance Costs

New research from the Department of Housing and Urban Development has found that, despite their differences, the FHA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture rural mortgage programs overlap considerably. The study, “Mortgage Choice in Rural Housing,” also found that pricing, rather than underwriting, drives borrowers’ decision to obtain either an FHA or Rural Housing Service-guaranteed mortgage loan. The study’s findings can help guide the policy debate of whether elimination of the RHS home-loan guarantee program or consolidation with the FHA can help simplify and streamline rural-housing financing, according to authors Kevin Park and Joshua Miller. The study used Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, focusing on first-lien applications for purchase of owner-occupied houses between January 2012 and September 2015. Loan amounts may not exceed the ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VRM Wins 10-Year Contract to Oversee REOs, Service VA Loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a 10-year contract to VRM Mortgage Services to manage VA’s real estate-owned assets and service its loan portfolio. The contract requires VRM, a 10-year-old California-based real estate services contractor, to manage, market and sell VA REO properties, and provide other real estate services as well. The new contract was negotiated from a previous five-year contract that was awarded to VRM when VA consolidated both REO management and portfolio servicing into a single contract.VA has often sold conveyed properties with seller loan financing, known as vendee loans, to help keep distressed vet homeowners in their homes. Vendee lending is an arrangement whereby a buyer uses VA financing to purchase a property in the agency’s REO inventory. “Once a loan is sold under the vendee financing program, we would monitor that loan as well as ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Lender Pays $4.2 Million to Resolve False Claims Allegations

Prospect Mortgage of Sherman Oaks, CA, this week joined a growing list of FHA lenders that have opted to settle federal false claims allegations arising from flawed underwriting and poor quality control. Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorneys Offices for the Northern Districts of Georgia and California announced a $4.16 million settlement with Prospect stemming from alleged fraudulent FHA lending practices at two of its Southeastern branches. An FHA direct endorsement lender, Prospect’s branches in Florida and North Carolina allegedly violated the False Claims Act by falsely certifying compliance with FHA underwriting and quality control requirements. Consequently, the FHA suffered substantial losses in claim payments when the loans defaulted. HUD’s Atlanta Home Ownership Center reported that Prospect had a 12.29 percent default rate, well in excess of the national average, between December 2007 and ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

DOJ, HUD Expand FCA Scrutiny to FHA Servicing, Reverse Mortgages

Mortgage compliance experts are cautioning FHA servicers to tread carefully around loss mitigation, annual certifications and reverse mortgages, which could be a potential minefield for False Claims Act lawsuits. While FHA lenders’ exposure to FCA risk remains, the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have increased their scrutiny of FHA servicing practices for potential violations, according to Phil Schulman and Kristie Kully, both partners in Mayer Brown’s Washington office. In a recent podcast, Schulman warned of increasing DOJ and HUD scrutiny of FHA servicing practices in the last 18 months, a worrisome shift from the origination side, which has seen an estimated $5 billion in settlements and penalties since 2011 for violations of the FCA and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. Since 2008, mortgagees participating in ...

July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie MBS Issuance Rides Rising Home Sales in 2Q17

Ginnie Mae issuers were moderately busier in the second quarter of 2017 than during the first three months of the year, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Issuers produced $112.71 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities during the second quarter, including MBS backed by FHA home-equity conversion mortgages. It was a 5.5 percent increase from the previous period and brought year-to-date issuance to $219.51 billion, down 0.7 percent from the first half of 2016. The quarterly uptick in total issuance may not sound like much, but contrasts sharply with production at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which dropped 13.1 percent from the first to the second quarter. Ginnie volume was up because it had a deeper vein of purchase-money mortgages than there was in the government-sponsored enterprise market. Purchase loans accounted for 63.4 percent of ... [Charts]

July 7, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

After a Significant Lull, Credit Suisse Returns to Non-Agency MBS Market with a Flurry of Deals

Near the end of the second quarter, Credit Suisse resumed its activity in the non-agency MBS market after a lengthy pause. In May, the investment bank unveiled a $91.18 million deal backed by seasoned FHA loans. That was followed by a $393.97 million issuance backed by seasoned mortgages at the end of June. Credit Suisse marked its return to the jumbo MBS market in June – not as an issuer but as a depositor – lending its shelf registration to American International Group for a $511.98 million MBS. The bank faced...

July 6, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Will Rep. Hensarling Go Along With Evolving Housing-Finance Reform Effort in the Senate?

Late last month the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee showed a new willingness to tackle housing-finance reform legislation and the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the wild card remains how its bipartisan solution will go over in the House. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is no friend of the two government-sponsored enterprises and has leaned toward minimizing the government’s role in the market. Based on his past legislative efforts regarding GSE reform, the conservative from Texas would love...

July 6, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage M&A Market Heats Up: Freedom And Guild Are Buyers, NYCB Exits Business

Fresh off agreeing to buy $20 billion in mortgage servicing rights and production assets from New York Community Bancorp, Freedom Mortgage is in the hunt for more deals. “We’re looking and we’ve had people approach us with opportunities,” company founder and CEO Stanley Middleman told Inside Mortgage Finance. “We’re working on several MSR acquisitions right now.” Middleman declined...

June 29, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Compliance Experts Warn of FCA Pitfalls for Servicers as DOJ Expands Statute’s Applicability

As much as the False Claims Act has been a formidable government enforcement tool against FHA loan originators, the statute is also being used increasingly against mortgage servicers, according to compliance experts. Within the last 18 months, the DOJ has expanded FCA use to reverse mortgages and loan servicing, according to Phil Schulman and Kristie Kully, both partners in Mayer Brown’s Washington office and members of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services group, during a recent podcast. While the Department of Justice has consistently used the FCA and its treble-damage provision to enforce FHA loan origination rules, the economic downturn and foreclosure crisis has put...

June 29, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Servicing Group Focuses on Issues with Government-Insured Mortgages; Also Looking for Ways to Simplify Servicing

A group of servicers and other industry participants is focusing on issues with government-insured mortgages and has plans to simplify servicing practices. The Mortgage Servicing Collaborative was organized by the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center. It includes representatives from a number of major servicers along with some officials from trade groups, consumer groups, investors, mortgage insurers, vendors and academics. The goal is...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

House Financial Services Committee Approves Flood Insurance Reform Measures.The House Financial Services Committee this week reported out several bills to reform and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, which is set to expire on Sept. 20, 2017. The bills that passed included H.R. 2875, the National Flood Insurance Program Administrative Reform Act of 2017, which would protect taxpayers from program fraud and abuse; H.R. 1588, the Repeatedly Flooded Communities Preparation Act, which would ensure community accountability for areas frequently damaged by floods; and H.R. 1422, the Flood Insurance Market parity and Modernization Act, which would increase the availability of private flood insurance. The committee also approved H.R. 2246, the Taxpayer Exposure Mitigation Act of 2017, which would shift flood insurance risk for commercial and multifamily properties in ...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD’s Old IT Systems ‘Near Death’ Due to Lack of Technical Support

The Department of Housing and Urban Development could soon face a technology crisis with roughly 87 percent of its antiquated information-technology systems dying or on the verge of collapse. The warning came from the HUD inspector general in a semiannual report to Congress. The report raised concerns about the poor state of HUD’s IT systems, “of which 87 percent are at or near the end of their life cycle.” These systems include 400 IT products that no longer have technical support, the report noted. The problem is so bad that HUD is having trouble doing mathematical ...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Blames Flawed Uploading Procedures for Servicing Glitch

VA troubleshooters have identified the technical glitch that has prevented servicers from uploading current servicing data to the agency’s VALERI system. According to a VA spokesperson, the problem was caused by faulty uploading procedures, not by malware within the documents as earlier feared. “Dridex was originally suspected because we became aware of it at the same time the uploading problem occurred,” he explained. “Our warning to servicers was an emphasis on the side of caution.” The Dridex malware, which can go undetected, targets customers of financial institutions by stealing their personal information through HTML injections. The VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface (VALERI) is a loan administration system that servicers use to oversee loan servicing, monitor loan defaults, and accept and pay claims and incentives. Servicers experiencing problems with uploading servicing data should immediately ...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Discusses Challenges when Using Agency’s New EAD Portal

The FHA has issued guidance to lenders and appraisers regarding problems that have arisen since the agency announced its Electronic Appraisal Delivery (EAD) portal in 2015. Effective June 27, FHA will require appraisals for new FHA originations to be submitted through the EAD. The portal’s use has been voluntary. Users without a valid user ID for accessing the EAD portal will be locked out of the system after the effective date, the FHA warned. Users that have not signed on the FHA Connection will lose their user ID. Only their organization’s FHAC application coordinator can reinstate them and restore access to the portal. “Hard stop” messages, which are built into the EAD portal, indicate data errors that must be resolved before the appraisal can be successfully transmitted to FHA. This helps avoid potential data conflicts between the portal and FHA. The FHA has identified five hard-stop errors ...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Explains How Condo Financing Could be Difficult for Vets, Lenders

The VA condominium-financing process can be difficult for both veteran borrowers and lenders, according to experts at a recent VA lender conference. The big issue for borrowers is finding a condo development that has VA approval or one that can obtain approval quickly enough to complete the loan process in the shortest time possible. A development that has a high number of foreclosures, a significant number of condo owners that are behind on their association dues, or pending litigation against the homeowner association is unlikely to win VA approval, experts said. Such factors could put the VA and the lender at risk. As such, securing VA approval for a development is crucial. In 2009, VA stopped accepting HUD/FHA condo project approvals in lieu of a VA project review, said Phyllis Chilton, valuation officer at VA’s Phoenix regional loan center. Condo projects that were accepted previously by ...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Disparate Impact Tops Groups’ List Of HUD Rules Needing an Overhaul

Industry comments on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s plan to streamline and clarify agency regulations and discard those that have outlived their usefulness reflect mixed priorities. The Mortgage Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association chose to focus on a single issue, while the National Association of Realtors, the Community Home Lenders Association and the Consumer Mortgage Coalition called for changes on multiple issues. A HUD task force is sifting through department regulations to identify those for repeal, replacement, clarification or amendment. The regulatory review is in response to President Trump’s directive to reduce regulatory burden and control regulatory costs. While the MBA called for a freeze on all future False Claims Act enforcement actions against lenders (see story on p. 6), the ABA raised concerns about ...

June 23, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Jumbo Securitization Declines, FHA Jumbo Production also Down

Wells Fargo fell a notch as PennyMac raced to the top to become the leading VA jumbo securitizer for the first quarter of 2017 – a period in which VA jumbo loan securitization took a sharp nose dive. The volume of VA jumbo loans securitized during the first three months plunged 36.8 percent, compared to the meager 2.0 percent decline seen in the fourth quarter. The drop reflected a 32.9 percent drop in jumbo mortgage production during the first quarter, along with similar large drops in virtually every product segment in the mortgage market, according to an analysis by Inside FHA/VA Lending affiliate Inside Mortgage Finance. The agency jumbo market was down 39.1 percent from the fourth quarter despite the bump up in high-cost loan limits to $636,150, an increase of $10,650 that became effective in January. All components of the agency jumbo market took big hits in the first quarter, including ... [ Charts ]

June 23, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Securitization Rates Started Strong in 2017, But Secondary Lagged Mortgage Originations Slump

Securitization rates appeared to rebound strongly in the first quarter of 2017, with an estimated 79.5 percent of primary-market mortgage originations finding their way into a variety of MBS, according to a new Inside MBS & ABS analysis. That’s up from a 69.1 percent securitization rate for all of 2016 and, if it keeps up for the rest of 2017, it would be the highest mark since 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the rate was 72.7 percent. Both new MBS production and primary-market originations were...[Includes one data table]

June 22, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Looks into Return of Settlement Monies Paid to Third Parties

Weeks after the Trump administration banned the practice, the Senate Judiciary Committee is looking into whether the Obama administration used mortgage-related settlement funds to funnel money to political organizations that Congress deliberately defunded. In a recent letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, revived a standing request to the Department of Justice for a list of all settlement agreements reached during the previous administration that involved alleged payments to partisan community organizations. He gave the agency until June 28 to respond to his request. Specifically, Grassley asked...

June 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

First-Time Buyers, Millennials Drive Home Sales

First-time homebuyers have fueled a surge in home sales in the last two years, and the trend is continuing into 2017, according to a new report on the first-time homebuyer market from Genworth Mortgage Insurance. The report focused on mortgage origination data from more than 20 million first-time homebuyers over the past 24 years, with some interesting findings. Approximately 85 percent of the overall increase in home sales over the past two years was...

June 16, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Treasury Seeks Significant Regulatory Changes to Spur Non-Agency MBS Market, Boost ABS Issuance

The Trump administration wants to pare back regulations that inhibit the non-agency MBS and ABS market and tilt current securitization economics that favor the government-sponsored enterprises over private issuers. “In order to revitalize a responsible [private-label securities] market, it is important to improve incentives for issuers through reasonable reductions in costs and regulatory burdens,” the Treasury Department said in a new report released this week. In particular, it aimed at adjusting relative economics for the government-sponsored enterprises and FHA/VA mortgage programs. On the regulatory side, Treasury recommends...

June 15, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Treasury Seeks to Eliminate GSE Patch, Or Something Like That, Citing Fairness Concerns

The Treasury Department this week proposed eliminating the special qualified-mortgage provision that allows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to acquire loans with debt-to-income ratios that exceed the normal 43 percent limit for QM loans. The special treatment for the government-sponsored enterprises, known as the GSE patch, “creates an unfair advantage for government-supported mortgages without providing additional consumer protection … and inhibits consumer choices by restricting private sector flexibility and participation,” the agency said in a report on financial service regulatory reform. The report urged...

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

OMB Approval Sought on Key Borrower Forms for VA Loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking clearance for two information-collection forms that are crucial to a veteran’s ability to obtain or cure a VA-guaranteed mortgage loan. The Office of Management and Budget is currently reviewing the forms. The VA also has published notices in the June 1 Federal Register seeking public comment on the proposed revised forms. Comments for both notices are due July 3, 2017. The first form relates to information a veteran must provide to be exempted from paying a funding fee. Borrowers are required to pay a funding fee to obtain a loan with a VA guaranty, unless the borrower is a disabled veteran receiving VA compensation for his or her service-connected disability. Loans made to unmarried surviving spouses of veterans who have died in service or from a service-related disability also are exempted from payment of the funding fee (regardless of whether the ...

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Explains Underwriting of Non- Service-Connected Pension

A military veteran’s disability pension, a key underwriting factor for a VA loan, either can be service-connected or non-service-connected. A non-service-connected pension is for vets whose disability is unrelated to his time in the military. “It is permanent and total in nature and may not have been caused by their service to the military,” said Mark Jamison, loan production officer (LPO) with the VA’s Cleveland Regional Loan Center. A service-connected pension is for vets whose disability was a result of their military service, Jamison noted. If a vet is eligible for both a service-connected disability from VA and a non-service connected pension, he or she gets only the greater of the two amounts. Those eligible for a non-service connected pension include vets who were discharged from service for reasons other than dishonorable, and who served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of ...

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Explains Surviving Spouse Eligibility for VA Home Loan

The eligibility of surviving spouses of deceased veterans is something that surfaces every once a while in discussions about VA lending. According to Maxine Henry, program analyst with the VA Home Loan Guaranty Service in Washington, DC, the term “veteran” includes the surviving spouse of any veteran who died in active military service or from a service-connected disability. However, in July 2012, Congress passed H.R. 1627, Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, expanding the category of spouses who would be eligible for VA home loan benefits. President Obama signed the bill into law in August of that year. Prior to the bill’s enactment, only surviving spouses of veterans who died in service or of service-connected causes were considered for a VA mortgage. The statute extended VA home loan benefits to others, including widows who have not remarried and ...

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Lenders Seek Clarification of Certain Proposed HMDA Changes

An industry trade group is requesting that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exclude reverse mortgages from the income-reporting requirement of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association is seeking an exemption similar to the HMDA exemptions for rate spread; Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act status; origination charges; discount points; lender credits; total loan costs; points and fees; prepayment penalty term; and balloon payments. However, should the CFPB require income reporting on reverse mortgages, the NRMLA would want further guidance and clarification. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans make up over 99 percent of the reverse mortgage market today, and have not dropped below 85 percent since 1993, according to the group. NRMLA’s request is part of a broader comment on ...

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Originations Rise in 1Q17 Even As Endorsements Lose Steam

Reverse-mortgage originations with FHA insurance rose in the first quarter of 2017 from the prior quarter and from the same period last year despite a long-term slowdown in Home Equity Conversion Mortgage activity, an analysis of agency data found. HECM lenders, including an increasing number of nonbanks, produced $4.5 billion in new HECM loans during the first three months of 2017, up 16.9 percent from the prior quarter. Production also was up 16.6 percent year-over year. Purchase reverse mortgages comprised 83.6 percent of HECMs produced during the period. Borrowers appeared to favor reverse mortgages with adjustable rates over fixed-rate HECMs, which accounted for only 10.7 percent of HECMs in the first quarter. Despite increased originations in the first quarter, FHA data show a gradual decline in HECM endorsements since peaking in FY 2009 with ... [Charts]

June 9, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Avoid Economic Disruptions When Pondering FHA Changes, Says MBA

Any Trump administration effort to reduce the role of FHA in the mortgage market should avoid any changes that might disrupt or damage the overall economy, said the Mortgage Bankers Association.Proposed changes to FHA intended to increase the role of private capital should strive to find the right balance between competing interests, said MBA President/CEO Dave Stevens. Unilateral action could prove to be detrimental to housing and the economy, he cautioned. President Trump campaigned, among other things, on a promise to reduce the role of government in a variety of areas, including the mortgage market. He has issued an executive order to freeze all new and pending regulations and review existing ones to determine which ones to eliminate, retain or revise. The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently published a notice in the ...

June 9, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Retail Share of Jumbo Originations Declined Slightly in Early 2017

Sharp declines in retail originations of jumbo mortgages at a number of major lenders contributed to a decline in the channel’s share of jumbo originations in the first quarter of 2017, according to a new analysis by Inside Nonconforming Markets. The retail channel accounted for 79.3 percent of the $49.49 billion of jumbo originations reported by a diverse group of top lenders in the first quarter, down from an 82.6 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2016. Actual jumbo retail production reported by the group was...[Includes one data table]

June 9, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Investors Hold Their Noses; Overseas Demand is Robust; Call Risk Rising

Product valuations are not the most appealing to agency MBS investors right now – not enough to keep them from buying, perhaps, but enough to dry up whatever enthusiasm they might have, according to a new structured finance report from analysts at Wells Fargo Securities. “The core theme in the financial markets right now seems to be ‘reluctant buying,’” the report said. Most of the spread products at this point are trading at multiyear tights. And the bloom may be off the rose when it comes to the so-called Trump trade. “Some of the optimism around fiscal policy post-election that drove risk-premiums tighter is...


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