HUD

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to HUD.

August 10, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Wells Fargo, PHH Agree to Pay $182 Million to Resolve FCA Lawsuits Involving FHA, VA, and Loans Sold to GSEs

The Department of Justice and three other federal agencies will rake in $182 million from separate agreements by Wells Fargo and PHH Mortgage over False Claims Act charges. The PHH settlement features a rare FCA action involving loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Wells Fargo agreed to pay $108 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2006 and unsealed in 2011. It alleged that the bank overcharged veterans by masking unallowable fees and concealing the fact in order to obtain VA guarantees for the mortgage loans. At the same time, Wells allegedly falsely certified to the VA that it was not charging improper fees. Similar charges were brought...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Seeks OMB Clearance to Reinstate, Extend Data Collections

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking public comment as well as approval from the Office of Management and Budget for a number of new or expired data collections relating to key FHA programs and issues. Out for a 30-day comment period are proposed data collections relating to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, condominium project approval, claims and conveyance, and property inspection and preservation. Specifically, HUD has asked OMB to reinstate currently approved information collection, which is necessary to screen HECM applications to protect the FHA insurance fund, consumers and taxpayers. HUD also wants OMB approval to extend the forms used to determine the eligibility of borrowers and mortgage transactions for FHA insurance. In addition, HUD’s HECM counseling form was revised to include a property address line for purchase transactions and ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

U.S. Announces Settlements with Contractor, Condo Complex Owner

A property management contractor for the Department of Housing and Urban Development has agreed to pay $4.3 million to resolve allegations that it billed the agency for FHA-related work it did not perform in violation of the federal False Claims Act. Cityside Management Corp. of Manchester, NH, allegedly failed to inspect the work of third-party vendors that it hired to perform termite inspections, treatments and repairs on repossessed houses in HUD’s real estate-owned inventory, as required by its contract with HUD. HUD’s inspector general investigated the case and referred it to the Department of Justice. Following the financial crisis, HUD held title to a large number of foreclosed homes acquired by borrowers with FHA financing. HUD contracted with various field service managers, including Cityside, to prepare the REO properties for resale. According to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CA Wholesaler Unveils PACE Guidelines for FHA, VA Products

NewLeaf Wholesale has announced Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) guidelines for its FHA and VA mortgage products. PACE financing allows homeowners to retrofit their homes to make them more energy-efficient. The homeowner pays the loan as part of their property tax bill. In some states, PACE liens have superior status over all other liens, including a mortgage loan. A PACE assessment is a debt of property, where the obligation is tied to the property as opposed to the property owner. Hence, when the property is sold the new owner assumes the PACE lien. Last year, the FHA and VA issued guidance for approving purchase and refinance of mortgaged properties with PACE liens provided certain requirements are met. One requirement is that past due PACE loan amounts retain a first-lien position and this has raised some concern among industry groups that are opposed to ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USMI Urges CFPB to Include Fed Agencies in ATR/QM Assessment

The private mortgage insurance industry urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week to consider including the qualified-mortgage standards of the FHA, VA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its assessment of the ability-to-repay/QM rule. In a comment letter, industry trade group U.S. Mortgage Insurers said it would be impossible to perform a full assessment of the ATR/QM rule without considering the different federal agency QM rules. If it does not expand the scope of its assessment, the CFPB should at least consider the impact the rules have on consumers in relation to the agency QM rules. In May, the CFPB notified stakeholders of its plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the ATR/QM rule in terms of its benefits and costs. Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, which established new standards for mortgage lending, including requiring lenders to assess consumers’ ability to repay. The statute also established a class of “qualified mortgage” loans that cannot have certain risky product features and are presumed to comply with the ATR requirement.


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Fully Automates Platinum Securities Processing, Issuance

Ginnie Mae this week announced the full automation of Platinum securities processing and issuance – a key step in modernizing the agency’s outdated technology and infrastructure. Automation went into effect in mid-July and nearly $1 billion of the Platinum pools have been processed through the MyGinnieMae portal, the agency said in a statement. MyGinnieMae is a self-servicing portal that connects users and enables collaboration and the sharing of organizational knowledge, the agency explained. The year-to-date volume for Platinum mortgage-backed securities is $6.1 billion. Ginnie’s Multiclass Securities Program allows participating issuers to pool some of their MBS into a single Platinum trust, which issues securities based on the pool. A Platinum security is designed to improve liquidity of Ginnie MBS through trades or use in structured finance and repurchase transactions. Previously, Platinum products were ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Panel Unanimously Passes HUD FY 2018 Spending Package

The Senate Committee on Appropriations last week voted 31 to 0 to set aside $40.2 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Housing and Urban Development for FY 2018. The full committee vote on July 31 followed a subcommittee vote earlier in the week. The Senate funding bill includes $400 billion in new loan commitments under the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, including the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, and $130 million for FHA’s administrative expenses. However, the bill did not grant a HUD request for authority to impose a lender fee to help cover FHA’s information technology upgrades, risk management and quality-assurance improvements. The House HUD spending bill provided $130 million for administrative costs and added another $5 million for IT enhancement. House appropriators passed their version late last month. The Senate bill also ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Groups Seek Rule Change to Allow Private Flood Policies on FHA Loans

Industry groups representing lenders, real estate agents and insurance providers are urging the FHA to adopt a policy allowing borrowers to purchase private flood insurance on FHA-insured loans. In a recent letter, eight industry groups said FHA’s current stance of accepting only policies authorized by the National Flood Insurance Program contradicts Congress’ intent to encourage the use of private flood insurance and conflicts with current lender requirements. Congress is putting together a comprehensive legislative package of flood-insurance reforms, which would extend the NFIP for another five years and require lenders to accept private flood insurance to meet statutory flood-insurance requirements. The group said FHA’s current policy appears to conflict with lender requirements in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. A number of home-loan transactions have failed to ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Correspondent Channel Held Up In Shifting 2Q17 FHA/VA Market

Correspondent-originated mortgages were the only segment of the VA market that saw an increase in activity during the second quarter, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Overall, VA loan securitization declined by 1.8 percent from the first to the second quarter of this year. But delivery of correspondent-originated VA loans was up 4.9 percent, while both the retail and wholesale-broker channels saw declines. It was a slightly different picture in the FHA segment of the Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities market. Overall volume was up 9.8 percent from the first quarter, with all three channels posting gains. Brokers saw the biggest increase in FHA business, with volume up 14.5 percent, although the correspondent channel also posted a 12.7 percent increase and remained the most active of the three production venues. Loan characteristics held steady in both ... [Charts]


August 4, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

David Kittle is White House Pick to Head Ginnie Mae, But Michael Bright Holds the Fort for Now

For months now, the industry has expected the Trump administration to tap veteran mortgage banker David Kittle to be the new president of Ginnie Mae – but so far it’s a no go. According to industry officials who claim to have knowledge of the matter, Kittle is still the top pick, and they’re not sure why his name hasn’t shown up on the White House “Nominations & Appointments” webpage. Kittle, so far, has declined to comment. Industry officials interviewed by Inside MBS & ABS believe...


August 3, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Senate Appropriators Pass HUD FY 2018 Spending Bill, Adopts House Stance on Controversial Fee for IT Upgrades

The Senate Committee on Appropriations last week unanimously approved legislation setting aside $40.2 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development for fiscal 2018. The Senate HUD appropriations bill passed by a vote of 31-0 and, like the House version, did not include authority for HUD to charge a fee to cover FHA’s administrative costs and systems upgrades as proposed in the Trump administration’s budget request. Rather, both bills set aside $130 million for administrative expenses with the House adding another $5 million for technological improvements. In addition, the committee recommended...


July 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB to Propose Substantive Changes to its Mortgage Servicing Rule, Latest Agenda Reveals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to make some significant, but as yet unspecified, changes to its mortgage servicing rule sometime this fall, in response to concerns raised by the industry, the bureau revealed in a blog posting about its latest semiannual rulemaking agenda. The agency said it is “considering concerns raised by industry participants regarding a few substantive aspects of the mortgage servicing rule that we used in August 2016. These aspects may be posing particular complexities for implementation that were not anticipated in the course of the original rulemaking. We expect to issue a proposal to make one or more substantive changes to the rule in response to these concerns this fall – perhaps as early as September.” Edward Mills, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets & Co., said...


July 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lawmakers Urge HUD Secretary Carson to Reduce FHA Loan Premiums by 25 bps, Private MIs Say No

House Democrats are trying to persuade Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to reinstate a 25-basis-point FHA mortgage insurance premium cut scheduled under the Obama administration, citing continuing improvement of the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. In a letter to Carson last week, 21 Democrats led by Rep. Joyce Beatty, OH, called upon the secretary to place homeownership within the reach of families, especially millennials and minorities, by lowering the FHA annual MIP rates to the same level that was announced during the waning days of the Obama administration. On Jan. 9, 2017, encouraged by the strong recovery of the MMI Fund, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced...


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

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

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

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 Krista Cooley, 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 ...


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