Refinance Programs

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Refinance Programs.

September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

DOL’s Overtime Rule Dead – For Now. A federal district court in Texas recently struck down an Obama administration proposal that would have made millions of people eligible for overtime pay. Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Aug. 31 invalidated the DOL’s pending overtime regulations, which would have raised the salary threshold exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Obama administration finalized the proposed regulations in May last year but was unable to implement them after Mazzant granted a request for injunction filed by the Plano Chamber of Commerce and 55 other business groups last November. The business entities opposed the proposed rule, which would have raised the minimum salary threshold necessary to qualify for the FLSA’s overtime exemption. The salary threshold would have increased from ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Legal Experts Suggest Five ‘Fixes’ To Avoid Unfounded FCA Claims

Compliance attorneys are calling for legislative changes to prevent possible misuse of the False Claims Act that could result in settlements that could be financially devastating to mortgage lenders. Concerns about possible government misuse of FCA provisions are evident in the statutory qualifiers that are already embedded in the existing statute, according to a recent analysis by Krista Cooley and Laurence Platt, attorneys and partners in the Washington, DC, office of Mayer Brown. The qualifiers are in the main provision of the FCA that the Department of Justice has used against mortgage lenders and servicers, the attorneys said. The provision imposes liability on any person who “knowingly presents, or causes to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval” or “knowingly makes, uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or ...


September 8, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Agency MBS Issuance Up Again in August as Refinance Business Shows Renewed Strength

New issuance of agency single-family MBS rose for the fifth straight month in August, including an unexpected boost from refinance activity, according to an Inside MBS & ABS ranking and analysis. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued $120.10 billion of single-family MBS last month, a 6.9 percent climb from July’s total. August represented the second biggest month of 2017 but fell short of the $134.21 billion issued back in January. At that point, the MBS market was digesting a strong wave of refinance loans that quickly deteriorated over the following months. But the agencies saw...[Includes two data tables]


September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Ginnie Mae Spokesperson Leaves Agency. Cynthia Adcock, director of communications and congressional relations at Ginnie Mae, will no longer be with the agency effective Sept. 4, 2017. Adcock will assume similar duties and responsibilities as a director with the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Michael Huff will handle media inquiries related to Ginnie Mae and congressional matters. FHA Lenders Settle Alleged Violations of FCA, FHA Requirements. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General recently announced receipt of $44.3 million from separate settlements with two FHA lenders. The settlements resolve allegations of fraudulent claims and violation of FHA requirements against Financial Freedom of Austin, TX, and Prospect Mortgage of Sherman, Oaks, CA. On May 16, 2017, Financial Freedom, an FHA servicer, agreed to pay the ...


September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Provides Info Sheet to Help Lenders in Their Use of the LRS

The FHA has posted a quick-reference sheet on its website to help lenders navigate the agency’s new Loan Review System. The quick-reference sheet summarizes the most important information in the LRS user manual. The LRS is an electronic platform for single-family, quality-control processes that includes post-endorsement loan reviews, direct endorsement authority test cases, lender-monitoring reviews, and lender-self-reporting of fraud and other material findings. Defect taxonomy, a key LRS component, provides a streamlined method of identifying and capturing information about loan defects uncovered through individual loan reviews. Lenders have four opportunities to respond to FHA reviews. They may access the LRS to view the results of the review in detail but they may not edit or submit responses, upload documents, manage binder requests or create self-reports. When FHA requests a ...


September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Extends Indefinitely Interim Rules for Condo Project Approval

The FHA this week extended temporary rules for approving condominium projects for FHA financing indefinitely. The extension will remain in place until the condominium rulemaking process is completed, the agency said in a mortgagee letter. Temporary approval requirements were first issued in 2012 and later modified in 2015. The current temporary provisions expired on Aug. 31, 2017. Under a proposed rule issued for comment on Sept. 27, 2016, elderly condominium owners would find it easier to obtain a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. FHA proposes to reinstate “spot condo” approvals whereby individual units are approved by FHA rather than the entire condominium project as required under current rules. Spot-condo approvals would require property recertification every three years rather than the current two-year requirements. Processing recertifications would be streamlined under the ...


September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA, VA Reach Lowest Delinquency Levels in 2Q17, MBA Survey Finds

The FHA and VA reached a milestone of sorts in the second quarter of 2017 when both agencies hit their lowest delinquency levels in as many years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s quarterly survey of mortgage delinquencies nationwide. The FHA delinquency rate fell to 7.94 percent from 8.09 percent in the first quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, reaching its lowest level since 1996. Also on a seasonally adjusted basis, the VA delinquency rate declined to 3.72 percent from 3.90 percent in the previous quarter, the lowest it has been since 1979. Mortgage delinquencies also decreased for conventional loans on a seasonally adjusted basis. It dropped to 3.47 percent from 4.04 percent in the first quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis. Overall, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on single-family residential homes fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.24 percent of all ...


September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Operations, Enforcement at a Crawl as Staff Confirmations Stall

Several mortgagee letters issued this week may have lifted the Department of Housing and Urban Development out of the doldrums, though that can quickly change if key staff positions remain vacant for a longer period, according to industry observers. Observers say problems might arise, as two key staff positions that are crucial to the implementation and enforcement of any HUD rule remain vacant. The Trump administration’s proposed deep cuts to HUD’s FY 2018 spending bill and Republican opposition to HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule reportedly have put a crimp on the nominations for the department’s top staff positions, observers said. Confirmations of Pamela Pantenaude as HUD deputy secretary and J. Paul Compton as HUD general counsel appear stalled on the Senate floor. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs approved ...


September 1, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FTHB Purchase Securitization Up in First Half of 2017, FHA Leads Pack

First-time homebuyers accounted for $170.3 billion of securitized purchase mortgages during the first half of 2017, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of loan-level data for mortgage-backed securities issued by Ginnie mae, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Purchase-mortgage origination to first-time homebuyers was up 15.7 percent year-over-year and comprised 50.3 percent of total purchase-mortgage loans securitized during the six-month period. FHA accounted for 36.8 percent ($61.4 billion) of first-time homebuyer purchase mortgages delivered into agency pools from beginning to midyear, while conventional purchase mortgages with private mortgage insurance accounted for 28.3 percent ($48.3 billion) over the same period. FHA and private MI are the two leading mortgage insurers for first-time homebuyers. Together, they have provided mortgage insurance for nearly ... [Charts]


August 18, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

No Ginnie Mae Summit in 2017, Event Moved to January 2018

Ginnie Mae will not have an annual summit this year but has rescheduled it for January 2018, according to Ginnie Mae’s new spokesperson. Michael Huff, senior advisor, congressional and stakeholder relations, said a new administration and staff departures have caused organizers to reconsider having the annual Ginnie Mae Summit this year, usually held in October. The Trump administration has yet to announce a nominee for the top job at Ginnie Mae since former president Ted Tozer left in January. David Kittle is reportedly a leading contender, but there has been no official announcement or confirmation. So far, Kittle has declined to comment. Kittle is a mortgage industry veteran who began as a loan officer and now heads his own company. He also was a top executive with the Mortgage Bankers Association and managed, among other things, the group’s political action committee. In addition, Kittle co-founded the ...


August 18, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Wells Fargo, PHH Reach Separate Settlements to Resolve FCA Suits

Wells Fargo and PHH Mortgage have reached separate settlements with the Department of Justice and three other federal agencies to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act. The DOJ, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Finance Agency will rake in $182 million from the settlement of lawsuits involving FHA and VA loans, as well as loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Wells Fargo denied the allegations in the whistleblower lawsuit but agreed to pay $108 million to resolve the claims. It admitted to no fault or liability. Filed in 2006 and unsealed in 2011, the lawsuit alleged that the bank overcharged veteran borrowers by masking ineligible fees in order to obtain VA guarantees on certain Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans, or streamlined refi mortgages. At the same time, Wells allegedly falsely certified to the VA that it ...


August 18, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Originations Up, VA Down, Quicken, USAA Lead Production

FHA production increased slightly even as VA originations fell by a larger percentage in the second quarter of 2017, an analysis of the agencies’ lending activities found. FHA ended the quarter with $60.8 billion in forward mortgage endorsements, up 1.8 percent from the previous quarter. In contrast, VA originations declined by 4.9 percent over the same period, closing the second quarter with $40.8 billion. FHA and VA production typically gain share when the purchase-mortgage lending increases. For example, Inside Mortgage Finance reported that purchase mortgages comprised 71.3 percent of loans securitized in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities in 2Q17, compared to 59.9 percent in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac MBS. FHA endorsements over the first half of 2017 totaled $120.6 billion, of which $86.0 billion were purchase loans. This was up 4.8 percent from the same six-month period ... [Charts]


August 18, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Industry Experts Favor Unified GSE, FHA/VA Servicing Policies

Simplifying and aligning the default servicing policies of the conventional conforming and the government-backed mortgage markets would better serve the mortgage industry and homeowners, according to industry experts. In a recent discussion on how regulatory burden and high servicing costs might impede lending, members of the Mortgage Servicing Collaborative agreed on the need for streamlined and harmonized federal, state and agency policies and rules on servicing. Increased regulatory requirements have caused mortgage-servicing costs to skyrocket in recent years, experts said. Even though the quality of servicing has improved, the new regulations are complex and costly, they noted. Multiple pressures placed upon servicers have suppressed mortgage lending, making it harder for borrowers with tainted credit to obtain a mortgage, according to the ...


August 18, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Portfolios Shrink at Fannie and Freddie as GSE Share of MBS Market Hits 3 Percent in 9th Year of Conservatorship

The Home Affordable Refinance Program was arguably one of the most successful initiatives aimed at delivering consumer relief in the wake of the housing meltdown. It’s proving hard to kill. The Federal Housing Finance Agency this week extended HARP for another year, until the end of 2018. It was slated to sunset at the end of this year. The program has been extended several times since it was authorized back in 2009. The extra year is...


August 10, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Private MI Industry on a Roll: Market Share Surging and Profits Still Climbing (Updated 8/16/2017)

The private mortgage insurance business saw a jump in its share of the primary MI market during the second quarter, and all six active firms racked up solid gains in earnings, according to a new Inside Mortgage Finance analysis and ranking. Private MIs reported $70.65 billion in new primary MI written through traditional flow business activity during the second quarter. That was up 38.4 percent from the first three months of the year, though still slightly below the pace set in late 2016. Meanwhile, the government-insurance market faltered...[Includes two data tables]


Poll

The year is almost 75% done. How is mortgage origination volume at your shop?

We will fund about the same as we did in 2016.
We will fund more than last year – by a little.
We will fund more than last year – by a lot.
We will fund less than last year – by a little.
We will fund less than last year – by a lot.

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