Refinance Programs

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

January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Galante’s FHA Restructuring Plan Elicits Bland Stakeholder Response

A former FHA commissioner’s proposal to restructure FHA as part of broader housing-finance reform has received mixed responses from industry stakeholders and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While participants in a recent panel discussion hosted by the Urban Institute praised the proposal, they admitted to still being unsure about FHA’s role in a revamped world of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a single mortgage-backed security. The recommendation for a reconstituted FHA is part of a paper presented for debate at the Urban Institute this week by Carol Galante, faculty director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California Berkeley, and former head of FHA during the second Obama administration. Under Galante’s proposal, all of FHA’s mortgage insurance programs would remain with the agency while rental assistance and other ...


January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GSE Housing Reform, Enforcement Highlight FHA, VA Outlook in 2018

2018 might not turn out to be a record-breaking production year for FHA and VA, but it could become significant in terms of enforcement and housing finance reform, according to industry stakeholders. Ed Pinto, codirector of the American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk, expects a slight increase in FHA’s and VA’s mortgage unit production and stronger dollar volumes due to rising house prices. Pinto believes loose purchase lending, particularly by FHA, and declining housing inventory are driving housing prices. This in turn results in FHA/VA cash-out refinancing at very high loan-to-value ratios, which helps feed the general economy but makes FHA lending riskier, he said. “We see a stronger demand for housing amid constrained housing supply,” said Pinto. “We’re seeing this vicious cycle of purchase transactions becoming more risky, cash-out transactions increasing in ...


January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA, Ginnie Mae Working on Long- Term Cures to Rapid Refinancing

Ginnie Mae and the Department of Veterans Affairs have announced additional measures to curb serial refinancing of VA loans. Testifying before a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee this week, officials from both agencies said the latest measures will complement guidelines Ginnie issued last year to deal with the loan-churning problem. Lenders urged Congress and the two agencies to be cautious in prescribing fixes that could potentially cut off VA funding. Jeffrey London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service, said a proposed rule that includes a net tangible benefits test for veterans as well as seasoning and recoupment requirements will be issued soon. The VA is also planning to require upfront lender disclosure of the terms and benefits of a streamline or cash-out refi, including the recoupment period of the new transaction. Even though serial refinancing is not systemic to the VA portfolio, it has grown in ...


January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Deal With VA’s Vexing Churning Problem

Senate lawmakers this week introduced bipartisan legislation to protect veterans and servicemembers from predatory refinancing schemes. Introduced by Sens. Tom Tillis, R-NC, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, the bill would require lenders offering streamline or cash-out refinancing to demonstrate a material benefit to veterans with a VA loan. The Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act reflects measures Jeffrey London, director of VA’s Loan Guaranty Service, talked about when he testified during a hearing on loan churning before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity (See next story.) Prior to submitting a refi loan for a VA guarantee, a lender would be required to certify that all fees associated with the transaction would be recouped by the veteran through lower monthly payments within 36 months. Such fees would include closing costs and any expenses other than ...


January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie MBS Program Faltered In 2017, Refi Flow Up in 4Q17

Ginnie Mae set records for new issuance of single-family mortgage-backed securities in 2015 and 2016, but production sagged last year, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. The agency issued $443.20 billion of MBS backed by forward single-family mortgages in 2017, a 10.8 percent decline from the previous year. Including FHA reverse mortgages and that are not truncated, 2017 issuance fell 10.3 percent to $455.00 billion. Meanwhile, the private mortgage insurance business – based on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac MBS data – saw a smaller decline of 5.0 percent from 2016 to last year. The VA program generally held up better than the FHA program during the fourth quarter, when refinance lending was climbing. But the FHA had a better year overall despite some loss of market share in purchase-mortgage activity. Deliveries of FHA loans into ... [ Charts ]


January 12, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

VA, Ginnie Mae Working on Additional Long-Term Measures to Rein in Predatory Refinancing Practices

The Department of Veterans Affairs and Ginnie Mae are ramping up efforts in 2018 to curb serial refinancing, including long-term solutions, increased portfolio monitoring and protection for veterans against predatory lending practices.


December 8, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Congress Passes Short-Term Spending Bill, Avoids Shutdown

Congress on Thursday passed a stopgap-spending bill to prevent a potential government shutdown and to give lawmakers time to negotiate crucial issues. The House voted 235-193 to pass the measure. A short time later, the Senate quickly approved it 81-14. The temporary spending bill will keep the government running through Dec. 22. The continuing resolution or CR, that has kept the government open would have expired on Dec. 8. Both the House and Senate are scheduled to adjourn on Dec. 15. Congress will need to pass a final appropriations bill or another continuing resolution to keep the government operating after Dec. 22. Despite differences over tax reform, FY 2018 budget, immigration, health care and other issues, lawmakers do not want a shutdown, mortgage industry sources said. Republicans, in particular, hope to enact their $1.5 trillion tax package by Christmas. On the other hand, ...


December 8, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Rising Home Values Lead to Higher Loan Limits for Forwards, HECMs

FHA this week announced a 6.8 percent increase in loan limits nationwide for 2018 with 26 counties seeing increases above the national rate. In high-cost areas, the loan-limit ceiling will rise to $679,650 from $636,150 in 2017, while the floor will increase to $294,515 from $275,665. In addition, the national mortgage limit for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) or reverse mortgages will rise to $679,650 from $636,150. FHA regulations do not allow HECM loan limits to vary by metropolitan statistical area or county. Instead, the single limit applies to all mortgages regardless of where the property is located, the agency explained. In between the floor and the ceiling is a broad band of loan limits for single-family forward mortgage loans set at 115 percent of median house prices. The forward limits vary according to MSA and county. The changes in the loan limits are the result of ... [ Chart ]


December 8, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae Expands Seasoning Requirement for VA Refi Loans

Ginnie Mae has issued expanded guidelines to protect veterans and investors from harmful loan churning and rapid prepayments in mortgage-backed securities. The changes, along with additional measures under consideration by a joint Ginnie Mae/VA refinance task force, are aimed at ensuring continued strength and liquidity of the Ginnie Mae MBS program, said Michael Bright, the agency’s acting president. The latest guidelines expand on an initial measure Ginnie implemented requiring six-months of seasoning of VA loans before they can be refinanced and delivered into Ginnie MBS pools. However, some lenders have found ways around the measure and have continued their questionable lending practices, said Bright during recent testimony before a House Financial Services subcommittee. Churning is both illegal and unethical because it preys on unsuspecting borrowers, who are pressured by ...


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How many new retail loan officers (net) is your shop looking to hire in the first quarter of 2018?

1 to 10. We’re being careful.
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31 or more. We’re in expansion mode.
None. We’re staying right where we are, for now.
We’re cutting back.

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