VA Activity

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to VA Activity.

February 9, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Calls for Early Disclosures for IRRRLs to Ensure Vets Benefit

The Department of Veterans Affairs will require lenders to provide early disclosures to veterans seeking to refinance into a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan. The new policy aims to ensure that the VA streamline refi loan they sought would actually lower their monthly mortgage payments and is not just a scam for lenders to charge higher fees. Loan churning, or serial refinancing, is at the root of the VA policy change. Churning refers to multiple refinancing of an unseasoned mortgage loan within a very short time, often within six months of origination. Serial refinancing may add more payments and interest to the new loan, prolonging debt repayment, and can strip equity. It also potentially raises the risk of default by the borrower. In addition, the risk of prepayment could affect pricing of Ginnie Mae securities, which could cause lenders to charge higher rates on VA loans to make up for the ...


February 9, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Targets Issuers Responsible For Rapidly Prepaying VA Loans

Ginnie Mae this week warned nine VA lenders suspected of engaging in loan churning to each develop a plan to slow the rapid pace of prepayments they have triggered in the agency’s securitized loan pools. According to Ginnie, the issuers were directed individually to deliver correction action plans containing measures that could be deployed immediately to bring prepayment speeds in line with market peers. The agency told issuers they would be barred from multi-issuer pools if they do not come up with a plan. Participation would be allowed only in the agency’s custom pools. The latest action builds off the Ginnie Mae/VA Loan Churn Task Force, which has been working since September to resolve the churning problem. “We have an obligation to take necessary measures to prevent the lending practices of a few from impairing the performance of our multi-issuer securities, and thus raising the ... [ Chart ]


February 8, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

VA Requires Early Disclosures for IRRRLs to Help Borrowers Gauge Net Benefit of Streamline Refinancing

The Department of Veterans Affairs is directing lenders to provide early disclosures to help borrowers seeking an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan determine whether they would actually benefit from the transaction and not end up victimized by a refinancing scam.


January 26, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Recoveries from FCA Settlements Involving FHA Loans Down Dramatically in 2017. The Department of Justice reported collecting more than $543 million in False Claims Act settlements and judgments to resolve housing and mortgage fraud complaints in FY 2017, down from $1.6 billion in FY 2016. The largest settlement of a False Claims Act case was $296 million, which involved an FHA lender and the DOJ. In September 2017, a unanimous jury in Houston, TX, found that Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. and Allied Home Mortgage Corp. violated the FCA and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 by falsely certifying that thousands of high-risk, poor-quality loans were eligible for FHA insurance. The companies were also accused of originating FHA loans from more than 100 “shadow” branch offices without authorization from the ...


January 26, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Congress Passes New Stop-Gap Funding Bill, Ends 3-Day Shutdown

President Trump this week signed a short-term spending bill that would keep the government operating until Feb. 8, 2018. The bill ended a three-day shutdown after the previous spending authority for most of the government expired at midnight on Jan. 19. However, the threat of another shutdown looms. FHA and Ginnie Mae both had contingency plans in place in case the short-lived shutdown dragged on, as it had in 2013. That event lasted for 16 days, at a loss of $1.6 billion a day to the federal government. Under FHA’s emergency plan, the agency would continue to endorse new single-family forward mortgages, but not Home Equity Conversion Mortgages and Title I loans. Ginnie would reduce staffing to essential personnel but continue its secondary market operations. It would continue to remit timely payment of principal and interest to investors, grant commitment authority and support issuance of ...


January 26, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Exceeds FHA by Wide Margin in Servicemembers’ Complaints in ‘17

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year logged 988 servicemember complaints related to the origination and servicing of VA and FHA mortgages. CFPB data showed VA outscored FHA on the number of complaints, 740 to 248, respectively, in 2017. The top five reasons for servicemember complaints were trouble during the payment process, difficulty in paying the mortgage, loan servicing, applying for a purchase mortgage or refinance, and closing a loan. Other complaints were about loan modification and foreclosure, mortgage brokers, incorrect information, settlement process and costs, underwriting/credit decision, credit-reporting company’s investigation of a consumer problem, and improper use of a credit report. Abusive practices related to loan churning might not be reflected clearly in servicemembers’ complaints in 2017 compared to the previous year, but a deeper dive into the ... [Chart]


January 26, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Hurricanes Clobbered FHA Loan Performance in Late 2017

The severe hurricanes that tormented a handful of markets during late summer of 2017 continued to push FHA default rates higher in the fourth quarter, a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis reveals. The number of FHA loans paying on time fell from 92.8 percent at the end of September to 91.9 percent at the end of the fourth quarter. Most of the deterioration took place in the more severe default categories. The number of FHA loans 90 days past due more than doubled during the three-month period, climbing to a hefty 0.92 percent of outstanding loans. And the number of FHA loans more than three-payments late increased by 39.7 percent, reaching 1.01 percent of the total outstanding. Three jurisdictions that bore the brunt of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria – Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico – saw huge increases in FHA defaults. Puerto Rico saw a devastating impact in rising ... [Charts]


January 18, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Congress Considers Veteran Protections Against Predatory Refinancing Schemes, Establishes Net Tangible Benefit Test

Bipartisan legislation was introduced last week in the U.S. Senate to protect veterans and service members from predatory serial refinancing by requiring lenders to show the transaction actually bene-fits the borrower.


January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies Buyout Criteria for Uninsured, Unguaranteed Loans

Ginnie Mae is redefining the term “defective mortgage” to remind issuers of their obligations when confronted by a mortgage that does not have federal insurance or guarantee. The action also clarifies options issuers may consider in dealing with defective mortgages. Under their guarantee agreement with Ginnie, issuers are required to cure, buy out or replace single-family mortgages or manufactured home loans that are missing the requisite FHA insurance or VA or U.S. Department of Agriculture guarantee within 120 days after the issue date of the mortgage-backed securities. Ginnie made clear that mortgages that do not have federal insurance or guarantee by the deadline for final certification of the related pool or loan package are defective. In addition, mortgages that have been rejected by FHA, VA or USDA, or for which federal insurance or guarantee have been withdrawn, are defective as ...


January 12, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies Rules for Allowing Use Of Third-Party Verification Services

VA lenders may use third-party vendors to verify borrower income, employment and asset information subject to certain conditions, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Officials issued the clarification in response to lender inquiries regarding the use of third parties to determine if a borrower qualifies for a VA loan. The agency said it would accept third-party verifications if lenders are fully responsible for verifying the accuracy of information the borrower provided in the loan application. Lenders must initiate and receive all verifications of employment and deposits, requests for credit reports, and credit information. When a real estate broker/agent or any other party requests information regarding borrower income, employment or personal assets, the lender must identify the requester as its agent and ensure that any report is returned directly to them. In addition, the lender must disclose the ...


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.


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