VA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to VA.

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]


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Seeks OMB Clearance to Reinstate, Extend Data Collections

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking public comment as well as approval from the Office of Management and Budget for a number of new or expired data collections relating to key FHA programs and issues. Out for a 30-day comment period are proposed data collections relating to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, condominium project approval, claims and conveyance, and property inspection and preservation. Specifically, HUD has asked OMB to reinstate currently approved information collection, which is necessary to screen HECM applications to protect the FHA insurance fund, consumers and taxpayers. HUD also wants OMB approval to extend the forms used to determine the eligibility of borrowers and mortgage transactions for FHA insurance. In addition, HUD’s HECM counseling form was revised to include a property address line for purchase transactions and ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CA Wholesaler Unveils PACE Guidelines for FHA, VA Products

NewLeaf Wholesale has announced Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) guidelines for its FHA and VA mortgage products. PACE financing allows homeowners to retrofit their homes to make them more energy-efficient. The homeowner pays the loan as part of their property tax bill. In some states, PACE liens have superior status over all other liens, including a mortgage loan. A PACE assessment is a debt of property, where the obligation is tied to the property as opposed to the property owner. Hence, when the property is sold the new owner assumes the PACE lien. Last year, the FHA and VA issued guidance for approving purchase and refinance of mortgaged properties with PACE liens provided certain requirements are met. One requirement is that past due PACE loan amounts retain a first-lien position and this has raised some concern among industry groups that are opposed to ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Fully Automates Platinum Securities Processing, Issuance

Ginnie Mae this week announced the full automation of Platinum securities processing and issuance – a key step in modernizing the agency’s outdated technology and infrastructure. Automation went into effect in mid-July and nearly $1 billion of the Platinum pools have been processed through the MyGinnieMae portal, the agency said in a statement. MyGinnieMae is a self-servicing portal that connects users and enables collaboration and the sharing of organizational knowledge, the agency explained. The year-to-date volume for Platinum mortgage-backed securities is $6.1 billion. Ginnie’s Multiclass Securities Program allows participating issuers to pool some of their MBS into a single Platinum trust, which issues securities based on the pool. A Platinum security is designed to improve liquidity of Ginnie MBS through trades or use in structured finance and repurchase transactions. Previously, Platinum products were ...


August 4, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Correspondent Channel Held Up In Shifting 2Q17 FHA/VA Market

Correspondent-originated mortgages were the only segment of the VA market that saw an increase in activity during the second quarter, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Overall, VA loan securitization declined by 1.8 percent from the first to the second quarter of this year. But delivery of correspondent-originated VA loans was up 4.9 percent, while both the retail and wholesale-broker channels saw declines. It was a slightly different picture in the FHA segment of the Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities market. Overall volume was up 9.8 percent from the first quarter, with all three channels posting gains. Brokers saw the biggest increase in FHA business, with volume up 14.5 percent, although the correspondent channel also posted a 12.7 percent increase and remained the most active of the three production venues. Loan characteristics held steady in both ... [Charts]


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Millennials Seeking to Buy Homes In Affordable Markets, Data Show

Affordability and job availability are driving millennials to seek homes in more affordable markets, particularly in the upper Midwest, according to Ellie Mae data for the month of May. Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker, which monitors millennial mortgage applications during specific times, found that the higher percentages of loans made to millennial borrowers are in Hutchinson and Austin, MN, and Wahpeton and Williston, ND. Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL, rounded out the top-five markets. Ellie Mae defines millennials as applicants born between 1980 and 1999. Data showed that 48 percent of millennial borrowers who closed loans in May were single. In Hutchinson, for example, the majority of borrowers were single men. “This suggests millennials may be embracing homeownership in these areas for reasons other than what we have historically seen, which was family formation,” explained ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Emphasizes Need for Testing Individual Water Supply for Vets

The Department of Veterans Affairs is warning VA lenders to adhere strictly to the agency’s requirements for safe potable water for veteran homebuyers. The agency recently provided clarification and guidance concerning the testing of private, individual water-supply systems for properties backed by VA mortgage loans. The VA has long treated potable water as a health and safety issue, including as part of its minimum property requirements that water used for drinking, washing and other in-house uses must be safe for consumption. According to the guidance, which went into effect on July 19, 2017, a disinterested third party must perform all water testing. This includes the collection and transport of water samples from the supply source. Only the local health authority, a commercial testing laboratory, a licensed sanitary engineer, or any other party that is acceptable to the local health agency may test ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies, Underscores Use of Tidewater Process in Appraisals

The Department of Veterans Affairs is ratcheting up enforcement of its so-called Tidewater process to prevent veterans from paying more than the appraised value of the property when using a VA loan. In recent guidance, the VA reaffirmed its 2003 Tidewater Appraisal Initiative to help reduce the number of cases where appraisers have been asked to reconsider their initial appraisal, which had come in below the sales price. The guidance emphasizes procedures for improving communication of new sales data to VA fee and staff appraisers for a reevaluation of the low initial appraisal. “These guidelines should help limit the number of cases that reach the reconsideration-of-value phase and also provide a more timely response to those cases that are submitted for reconsideration,” the VA explained. The Tidewater procedure provides a designated “point of contact” (POC) the opportunity to ...


July 21, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

House Appropriators Pass HUD Funding Bill, Reject Proposed Fee

The House Appropriations Committee this week approved a FY 2018 spending bill for the Department of Housing and Urban Development with a $135 million allocation for information technology upgrades in lieu of a proposed lender fee. The set-aside also covers quality control and risk management improvements as well as other administrative costs. The recommended funding is $5 million more than the FY 2017 enacted level for administrative contract expenses and $25 million below the budget request. Approved by a vote of 31 to 20, the bill provides HUD with $38.3 billion in discretionary spending for FY 2018, down $487 million from the current level. The House bill authorizes $400 billion for loan guarantees under the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, including the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, and $500 billion for Ginnie Mae. Ginnie will also receive $25.4 million for agency staffing, which is ...


July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Chicago HECM Lender Arraigned on Fraud Charges. Mark Steven Diamond, a mortgage loan originator with offices in Chicago and Calumet City, IL, was arraigned on fraud charges in connection with a $7 million reverse mortgage scheme that targeted elderly homeowners and FHA lenders. According to the Department of Justice, Diamond deceived lenders into making FHA-insured reverse mortgage loans to homeowners who did not apply for a loan or had been beguiled to do so by the smooth-talking suspect. Diamond allegedly pocketed title-company checks intended for the borrowers, with the help of an unindicted co-schemer. Cynthia Wallace, who posed as a representative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was indicted along with Diamond. Using at least three aliases, Wallace allegedly collected money from victims for home repairs, which she claimed Diamond would ...


July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Penny Raises Funding Capacity by Altering Repo Pact Terms with CS

PennyMac has revised master mortgage repurchase agreements with Credit Suisse to increase its funding capacity for new loan originations and acquisition of mortgage servicing rights, the company disclosed in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The increase is temporary – effective from June 23 through Sept. 29 – but it will boost PennyMac’s funding capacity by $486 million. On June 23, 2017, PennyMac agreed to revised terms of its Third Amended and Restated Master Purchase Agreement (CS Repurchase Amendment), which would increase temporarily its maximum committed purchase price to $943 million from $700 million. Entered into on April 28, 2017, the amended repurchase agreement would allow PennyMac to sell to Credit Suisse and later repurchase certain newly originated residential and small-balance multifamily mortgages. The agreement also includes ...


July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VRM Wins 10-Year Contract to Oversee REOs, Service VA Loans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a 10-year contract to VRM Mortgage Services to manage VA’s real estate-owned assets and service its loan portfolio. The contract requires VRM, a 10-year-old California-based real estate services contractor, to manage, market and sell VA REO properties, and provide other real estate services as well. The new contract was negotiated from a previous five-year contract that was awarded to VRM when VA consolidated both REO management and portfolio servicing into a single contract.VA has often sold conveyed properties with seller loan financing, known as vendee loans, to help keep distressed vet homeowners in their homes. Vendee lending is an arrangement whereby a buyer uses VA financing to purchase a property in the agency’s REO inventory. “Once a loan is sold under the vendee financing program, we would monitor that loan as well as ...


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 Krista Cooley, 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 ...


July 7, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie MBS Issuance Rides Rising Home Sales in 2Q17

Ginnie Mae issuers were moderately busier in the second quarter of 2017 than during the first three months of the year, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside FHA/VA Lending. Issuers produced $112.71 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities during the second quarter, including MBS backed by FHA home-equity conversion mortgages. It was a 5.5 percent increase from the previous period and brought year-to-date issuance to $219.51 billion, down 0.7 percent from the first half of 2016. The quarterly uptick in total issuance may not sound like much, but contrasts sharply with production at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which dropped 13.1 percent from the first to the second quarter. Ginnie volume was up because it had a deeper vein of purchase-money mortgages than there was in the government-sponsored enterprise market. Purchase loans accounted for 63.4 percent of ... [Charts]


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