HUD

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to HUD.

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 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 ...


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

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

Senate Chairman Seeks Data on ‘Slush Fund’ Payments to Groups

The chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is looking into whether monies from mortgage-settlement funds were channeled to partisan advocacy and community organizations that Congress had previously defunded. In a recent letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-IA, revived a long-standing request by the committee for a list of all settlement agreements reached during the Obama administration that involved alleged payments to community groups. Grassley’s request came in the wake of Session’s June 7 directive prohibiting the DOJ from entering into any settlement agreements that provide for payment to third parties that were not directly harmed by the alleged misconduct. Sessions said the directive ends the previous administration’s practice of requiring or encouraging defendants to make payments to third parties as a condition of settlement. The directive would ...


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

MBA Urges DOJ, HUD to Suspend Future FCA Enforcement Actions

The Mortgage Bankers Association is calling for a moratorium on future claims against FHA lenders under the False Claims Act to give the Department of Housing and Urban Development sufficient time to streamline its defect taxonomy and revise its loan-level certification requirements. In letters to HUD and the Department of Justice, the MBA said the FHA has yet to issue clear standards identifying specific errors that could trigger an FCA claim and those that do not. FCA enforcement actions can result in very significant damage to a lender’s reputation and bottom line, warned Dave Stevens, MBA president and chief executive officer. Although FHA lenders work hard to ensure compliance with strict underwriting and documentation standards, origination, insurance and servicing depend heavily on human efforts, which could easily result in technical errors, he added. While lenders process ...


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 16, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

U.S. Appeals Court Rejects Claims that Would Have Extended ECOA Liability to Loan Purchasers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rebuffed arguments that would have subjected mortgage lenders and other secondary-market participants to increased liability under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In a published opinion that appeared in the Banking Law Journal, the Fifth Circuit court rejected plaintiffs’ argument that mortgage investors that promulgate discriminatory lending guidelines could be held liable as the original creditor. ECOA prohibits...


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 ...


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