Legal Issues

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Legal Issues.

April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Accounted for a Good Share of Mortgage Complaints in 2017

FHA-insured loans accounted for a modest chunk of mortgage-related consumer complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year. According to the CFPB’s annual report on consumer disputes, the bureau received approximately 37,300 mortgage complaints in 2017, 13 percent of which were related to FHA mortgages. Loans with a VA guaranty and FHA-insured reverse mortgages accounted for 4 percent and 2 percent of the complaints, respectively. Conventional home mortgages had the biggest share of mortgage complaints – 48 percent – followed by “other type of mortgage” at 28 percent. Six percent of mortgage complaints were about home-equity loans or home-equity lines of credit. For mortgage complaints, 41 percent involved making payments (such as those involving servicing, escrow accounts and posting of payments), while 37 percent were related to borrowers’ ....


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Pulls Disclosure Requirement From Earlier IRRRL Guidance

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently withdrew a directive that was part of an early disclosure requirement for Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans just days after the measure took effect. Although the early disclosure measure became effective for IRRRLs closed on or after April 1, 2018, VA’ “Frequently Asked Questions” guidance issued on April 5 clarified some of the earlier provisions and removed a new disclosure to address lender concerns. The current VA Lenders Handbook requires a veteran to sign a statement showing he or she understands the effects of the IRRRL and how long it would take to recoup all closing costs. If the veteran’s monthly payment increases by 20 percent or more, the lender must certify that the borrower qualifies for the new monthly payment. The handbook, however, is unclear as to when the statement and lender certification must be delivered. Consequently, some ...


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae Mulls ‘A-Tier’ Issuer Rating to Raise Nonbank Liquidity

Ginnie Mae is considering a tiered rating system to ensure that all participants in its mortgage securities program have sufficient liquidity and capital to meet their counterparty obligations. The agency is still fleshing out the idea of an “A-tier” issuer, which would likely develop into a policy in the near future, said Michael Bright, executive vice president and chief operating officer, during a recent interview with Inside FHA/VA Lending. “An A-tier issuer would be [a company that] has gone above and beyond in helping put together for us a risk management and liquidity plan that does not rely on liquidity providers, and whose defect and cure rates are low,” he explained. Such issuer/servicers also would be well capitalized. Ginnie is developing the metrics for such a system, as well as incentives for the A-tier issuers, Bright said He added that top-rated firms would be eligible for “concierge services” from the ...


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA’s Loan Guaranty Chief Says Anti-Churning Rule Under Review

The Department of Veterans Affairs has drafted a proposed rule to curb predatory loan churning. The draft rule is “well on its way through concurrence with VA and the Office of Management and Budget,” said Jeff London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service, during an interview at the agency’s 19t Annual Lender Conference in Miami recently. He did not specify a publication date but said the proposed rule will be published “fairly soon.” Churning, or serial refinancing, involves multiple refinances of the same loan within short periods with no clear benefit to the borrower. In addition, churning triggers rapid prepayments in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities to the detriment of investors and makes it difficult to price MBS appropriately. London declined to provide details about the rule’s content but said veterans and taxpayers would be protected. VA looked at a range of things that were common in the ...


April 20, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Nomura Seeks SCOTUS Review of $800 Million Fine Paid to FHFA; SIFMA Offers Support

Nomura Securities wants the Supreme Court of the United States to hear its case after losing an appeal in October to overturn an $800 million penalty assessed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The firm argues that the high court should determine whether the Housing and Economic Recovery Act’s extension of the statute of limitations applies to statutes of repose.


April 6, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Insured $1.9 Billion in Loans To Borrowers Barred by Fed Rules

FHA insured approximately $1.9 billion of ineligible mortgage loans made to borrowers with delinquent federal debts or who are subject to federal administrative offset for past-due child support payments, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general. Approximately 9,500 loans were ineligible because the sources used by lenders to identify ineligible borrowers lacked sufficient information to raise red flags. In addition, FHA failed to guide lenders adequately in reviewing child support payments, the IG said. Federal law prohibits loans, loan guarantees or insurance to delinquent federal debtors, including those with delinquent child support subject to administrative offset, until the delinquency is resolved. Auditors drew a statistical sample of 60 loans from 13,927 FHA-insured loans that closed in 2016 and analyzed data on their related borrowers in the ...


April 6, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Chief Confident Agency Will Win Back Investors’ Faith, Trust

Ginnie Mae’s anti-churning efforts have narrowed the spread between Ginnie and Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities, prompting executives to say things are almost back to normal. In an interview with Inside FHA/VA Lending this week, Michael Bright, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Ginnie Mae, said the market and investors have responded positively to the agency’s efforts to resolve the churning and prepayment problems. “The Ginnie spread has fallen almost half a point and our securities have become more liquid,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re giving investors CPRs (constant prepayment rates) that they can model.” Bright said he cares less about the overall level of prepayment speeds. What he truly cares about is ensuring that when an investor purchases a Ginnie security, the prepay speed is correlated to changes in the interest rates and not the ...


April 6, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Issuers Punished for Churning, Barred from Multi-Issuer Pools

Ginnie Mae this week meted penalties to two of the nine issuers that received warnings from the agency for excessive refinancings of VA mortgages. Bloomberg reported that Ginnie barred NewDay Financial’s and Nations Lending’s from the more lucrative multi-issuer mortgage-backed securities pools, forcing them to issue custom pools. The restrictions became effective immediately. The agency’s action could reduce mortgage interest rates by 50 basis points for FHA and VA loans, which would benefit first-time homebuyers, said Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Cowen Washington Research Group. On the other hand, the issuers Ginnie limited to issuing custom pools will end up making loans with higher rates, the analyst noted. Ginnie’s action is part of a joint effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs to crack down on loan churning and faster prepayments of VA loans pooled in Ginnie securities. Loan churning ...


March 30, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Fannie Announces Community Impact NPL Winners. Fannie Mae announced this week that the winning bidder for its 11th and 12th Community Impact pools of non-performing loans was VRMTG ACQ, LLC (VWH Capital Management, LP), a minority- and woman-owned business. The transaction is expected to close on May 22, 2018, and includes approximately 182 loans totaling $34.25 million in unpaid principal balance, divided between two pools focused in the Orlando and Tampa areas of Florida. GSE Foreclosure Preventions Surpass 4M. The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported this week that the GSEs completed 67,569 foreclosure prevention actions in the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing the total number of homeowners helped to 4.04 million since 2008. But, thanks to the fall...


March 30, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Continue to File Lawsuits Against Treasury Sweep

More Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders have initiated lawsuits against the government for the Treasury sweep of the mortgage giants’ profits. Each of the plaintiffs in the three new cases were owners of the GSEs’ junior preferred stock. The cases, Akanthos v. U.S., CSS v. U.S. and Appaloosa v. U.S., have been assigned to Judge Margaret Sweeney, who is also handling other similar complaints. They were filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. According to court documents, Akanthos Opportunity Master Fund owned more than $137 million in junior preferred stock as of Aug. 16, 2016. Akanthos complained of suffering from “severe economic loss” to its holdings.


March 23, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Bars Certain Lender Payments To Subsidize Borrower Obligations

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently clarified policy regarding lender use of credits or interest rates to pay veterans’ costs in VA home loans. Under VA regulations, lenders may charge and a veteran may pay a flat fee not exceeding 1 percent of the loan amount. The VA allows the charge provided it is in lieu of all other charges related to the costs of origination not expressly specified and allowed in the regulations. However, the agency has learned that some lenders are charging veterans interest-rate premiums in exchange for temporarily subsidizing the borrower’s monthly payments. “More precisely, an interest-rate premium is imposed as a charge for a cash advance on a loan principal,” the VA explained. While the agency allows lenders to charge borrowers for allowable costs, which may be made through an interest-rate adjustment, it clearly prohibits charges for impermissible costs, like ...


March 23, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Banking Bill Imposes New Terms on VA Non-Cash-Out Refis

Legislation that would protect veterans from predatory lending that was passed by the Senate recently could have lasting impacts on the VA home-loan guaranty program, according to legal experts. S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, passed on March 14 by a vote of 67-31. Sixteen Democrats and one Independent joined all 50 Republicans in passing the bill. Primarily, the bill would loosen stringent rules in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent the bad business practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis. A stand-alone bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-NC, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, in January was added to S. 2155 shortly before the Senate vote. The Tillis-Warren bill, Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act of 2018, addresses the issue of serial refinancing, or loan churning, in which the victims are veterans. Churning refers to the ...


March 23, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

New Fannie/Freddie Lawsuits Filed in Federal Claims Court Argue Against Treasury Sweep

More Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders have initiated lawsuits against the government for the Treasury sweep of the mortgage giants’ profits.


March 22, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Court Finds Servicers are Subject to California Escrow Rules, More Preemption Battles Likely

An appeals court ruling this month against Bank of America regarding compliance with a state law on escrow accounts has broad implications for banks that rely on federal preemption of state laws, according to industry attorneys.


March 22, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

DC Circuit Court Ruling Narrows FCC’s 2015 Order Restricting Use of Cell Phones to Contact Consumers

A Washington, DC, appellate court recently overturned a Federal Communications Commission ruling that restricted the use of “autodialers,” including cell phones, to communicate with consumers.


March 16, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Bankruptcy Court Sides with Lehman on Valuation of Trustees’ Legacy MBS Claims

A New York bankruptcy judge has ordered the bankruptcy estate of Lehman Brothers Holdings to pay $2.38 billion to cover legacy residential MBS claims filed by trustees in 2008.


Poll

What’s your opinion on how Mick Mulvaney has managed the CFPB since he took over three months ago?

He’s done a good job of paring back the agency’s excesses and we’d like to see more.

35%

I hope he totally dismantles the agency and sends those functions back to the agencies hence they came.

14%

Not bad, but he needs to take his time making additional changes.

12%

We’re totally aghast. He’s gone way too far in protecting the rights of companies not consumers!

39%