Mortgage Insurance

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Mortgage Insurance.

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 9, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MIs Boost Market Share in 2Q18, Report Post-Crisis Record in Earnings

Private mortgage insurers had one of their strongest quarters in recent memory in the spring of 2018, thanks to a surge in new insurance written and a healthy upturn in profitability, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and market analysis. [Includes two data charts]


August 3, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSEs Update Mortgage Insurance Termination Policies

The GSEs have recently updated their policies as they look to simplify borrower-initiated requests to cancel private mortgage insurance coverage. Fannie is the latest to announce plans to update the various methods it uses for verifying current property values and said it will require servicers to implement the new policy by March 1, 2019. Borrower-initiated requests to terminate mortgage insurance based on the home’s original value no longer need to depend on servicers to warrant the property value, under Fannie’s new policy. The GSE said lenders can use the GSE’s Automated Property Service tool to verify the current...


July 27, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD IG Lauds Mortgagee Review Board for Continued Improvement

The Mortgagee Review Board’s improvement of its processes and use of administrative actions has greatly eased its backlog of lender recertification cases, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s internal watchdog. An audit by HUD’s inspector general found a vastly improved enforcement of MRB mandates and application of penalties to lenders compared to previous findings. An analysis of the board’s FY 2016 activities found, among other things, that 19 lenders with the same violation received the same penalty. The report attributed the change to the board’s decision to assign staff to implement recommendations in the IG’s evaluation report in May 2009. The 2009 audit raised concerns about the speed of the MRB process, the number of cases on which the board rules, and the magnitude of penalties it levies. The MRB rules on cases against FHA lenders where there ...


July 27, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

USDA to Charge Lenders ‘Tech Fee’ For Use of Automated Loan System

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to begin charging lenders a fee on each guaranteed rural-housing home loan beginning Jan. 2, 2019, to fund future information-technology upgrades. In a notice published in the July 13 Federal Register, the agency said it expects to levy a $25 user fee for using the Rural Housing Service’s automated loan-guarantee systems. Comments are due Sept. 11, 2018The fee collection is authorized under the 2016 Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act as a “technology fee” to improve program delivery and “reduce burden to the public.” The authorized fee can be up to $50 per loan. It will be collected at closing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has been trying unsuccessfully to obtain authority from Congress to charge a similar fee to modernize its aging information technology. The USDA said it would notify lenders before the ...


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 26, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie Looks to Simplify Borrower-Initiated Requests to Cancel Private MI Coverage

Fannie Mae recently announced plans to simplify its private mortgage insurance cancellation policy. In a letter that went out to lenders last week, the government-sponsored enterprise updated the different methods for verifying current property values.


July 20, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

KBW Speculates EPMI Cap Requirements Indicator of PMIERs

Analysts speculate that the new capital requirements expected for private mortgage insurers will be higher than current standards. Reinsurer capital requirements under Fannie Mae’s new Enterprise-Paid Mortgage Insurance pilot may be an indicator of upcoming private mortgage insurance eligibility requirements (PMIERs), according to analysts with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. KBW said with PMIERs expected to be finalized around the time the EPMI starts, it’s possible that reinsuer capital standards could be similar to PMIERs 2.0. “If the capital requirements for reinsurers end up being the same as PMIERs 2.0, we estimate the capital requirements for the MIs would be roughly 10 percent higher than under PMIIERs 1.0,” said KBW.


July 20, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Fannie EPMI Pilot Troublesome to Some Private Mortgage Insurers

Fannie Mae’s new mortgage insurance pilot announced last week is troubling to mortgage insurers who continue to question the GSEs’ blurring of lines between primary and secondary markets. Fannie’s Enterprise-Paid Mortgage Insurance program is billed as just a way to give lenders another option for obtaining mortgage insurance for high loan-to-value loans. Under the pilot, Fannie will arrange primary MI coverage for existing private MIs or a panel of affiliated reinsurers. Fannie said the new option allows the GSE to streamline the operational requirements of participating lenders, increase the certainty of coverage and better manage Fannie’s counterparty risk. Fannie officials explained that they expect traditional mortgage insurance to be the primary cover for loans with LTVs over 80 percent.


July 20, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Trends

California Top Market for Primary MI

California remained the biggest market in the U.S. for primary mortgage insurance during the second quarter, but other states had higher proportions of insured loans, according to an Inside Mortgage Trends analysis of agency loan-level data. In Florida, Virginia and Georgia, more than 60 percent of agency loans carried some form of primary mortgage insurance ... [Includes one data chart]


July 19, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Strong Home-Purchase Market Buoys Primary Insurance Activity in 2Q18, but Borrower Leverage Creeps Higher

The seasonal surge in housing sales produced a strong increase in primary mortgage insurance activity during the second quarter, especially for private MIs, according to an Inside Mortgage Finance ranking and analysis. [Includes three data charts.]


July 13, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

RHS Proposes Easing Rules to Boost ‘Single Close Loan’ Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would enable more lenders to make combination construction-to-permanent single-family loans to borrowers. The new combination construction-to-permanent loan, or “single close loan,” allows approved lenders to close a new construction loan and receive a loan-note guarantee before construction begins. The loan expands low- and moderate-income borrowers’ access to affordable rural housing financing in areas with populations up to 35,000. The loan may be used to construct and purchase single-family homes, including manufactured homes and eligible condominiums. The amount covers purchasing a lot, reasonable construction administrative costs, contingency reserves, inspection fees, builder’s risk insurance, landscaping costs, and other authorized items, the ...


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 12, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fannie Announces MI Pilot

Fannie Mae this week released details about a pilot program that explores an alternative to how private mortgage insurance is placed on loans the government-sponsored enterprise acquires.


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%