VA Activity

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

June 15, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Introduces New Renovation Loan, Great for Fixer-Uppers

VA lenders are offering a new mortgage product to help veterans purchase and renovate their homes or make necessary repairs through the refinance of an existing home. The VA renovation or rehabilitation loan program allows borrowers to purchase a home with a traditional VA loan and fund up to $35,000 in repairs and improvements. “This product is great for homebuyers looking for fixer-uppers,” said Patti White, president of Military Mortgage in Avon, CT. VA officials announced the new product during a lender conference in Miami last April and it was on lenders’ menu two weeks later. The VA renovation loan is a second loan much like the FHA 203(k) property repair and rehabilitation loan, according to White. Borrowers may finance up to 100 percent of the as-completed value of the home. Borrowers need a 620 minimum credit score to qualify. The 100 percent financing features reduced ...

June 15, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Clarifies Lender Certification Required on All VA-Backed Loans

All home loans with a VA guarantee, including Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans, require a lender’s certification, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. In recent guidance, the agency clarified that the lender certification requirement applies to all VA-backed loans, and is not contingent upon the type of VA loan. Jeff London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service, said there have been inquiries from lenders and the VA regional loan centers regarding the validity of the lender certification on an IRRRL. The lender certification is required on IRRRLs, whether or not underwriting is required, London clarified. Under VA rules, lenders must certify that the VA loans they originate comply fully with the law and meet VA’s underwriting standards. The IRRRL is a streamlined program that requires very little verification yet allows veterans to refinance at a lower rate based on their ...

June 15, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Announces New Metric for Monitoring Issuer Performance

Ginnie Mae has added a new metric to make it easier for approved issuers to track the prepayment rates of single-family loans underlying they have delivered into mortgage-backed securities. The new prepayment metric would enhance Ginnie’s Issuer Operational Performance Profile (IOPP) tool, which was launched in 2015 to help issuers measure their performance against the agency’s standards. The new tool is the latest move by Ginnie to ensure the integrity and market predictability of Ginnie MBS. The prepayment tool will be available to lenders beginning June 25. The announcement follows an agency administrative action last week against three VA lenders that were penalized for cherry picking and refinancing unseasoned VA loans not to benefit borrowers but to charge them higher fees. The lenders – Freedom Mortgage, SunWest Mortgage Co. and NewDay USA – were among nine issuers that ...

June 8, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Mae Places VA Lenders in Penalty Box for VA Loan Churning, Excessive Prepayment Speeds

Ginnie Mae has restricted three issuers from putting VA mortgages in standard multi-issuer MBS pools as it continues to police the ranks for alleged churning activities.

June 1, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

California, Florida, Texas Lead in Deliveries to Securitization Pools

California continued to lead all states in FHA and VA mortgage securitization in the first three months of 2018. The Golden State accounted for 15.3 percent of the $50.6 billion of FHA loans delivered into Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities in the first quarter. FHA loans comprised 18.2 percent of loans securitized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, and 34.6 percent of agency-securitized loans with primary mortgage insurance. About 66.6 percent of FHA loans securitized during the period were for purchase mortgages while refinance loans accounted for 27.5 percent. The average loan-to-value ratio of FHA loans in Ginnie pools was 93.0 percent. The average credit score of 668.2 reflected FHA’s traditional base of lower-income and first-time homebuyers, with an average debt-to-income ratio of 42.4 percent. The other states among the top five in terms of FHA deliveries into Ginnie pools were ... [Chart]

June 1, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Seeks Testers for Enhanced VALERI Servicing Platform

The Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking volunteers to test its redesigned servicing platform, the first phase of the agency’s ambitious plan to convert the platform into a fully automated end-to-end, integrated mortgage origination and servicing system. The VA has reached out to servicers connected to its VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface (VALERI) to participate in the testing and transition process. The plan is to convert VALERI, which allows servicers to upload servicing data, ultimately into a complete automated underwriting and loan origination system. The system conversion effort aims to integrate all business lines, including loan origination, property valuations and mortgage servicing to improve performance of the VA loan program to increase usage by veterans and provide better customer service. It also aims to bring more transparency to the VA loan process and holding underwriters, originators and ...

June 1, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Government Agencies Plan Big Technology Investment

Officials at the government’s mortgage programs said that major investments in technology will make their programs more efficient and pay for themselves, during a panel session at the Mortgage Bankers Association secondary market conference last week in New York. Michelle Corridon, deputy director in the single-family housing guaranteed loan division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said her program’s focus now is on infrastructure and innovation. The USDA is instituting a technology fee on every closed loan starting in October, she said. The enhanced online system will include new screens for housing, which now shares a landing page with other rural programs. When it’s complete, the new system will handle the process from guaranty commitment through loan delivery. In another efficiency move, rural housing is “rolling up” processing chores to fewer offices so it doesn’t have ...

June 1, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Brokers Gain Some Ground in Government-Insured Market

Mortgage brokers and their wholesale funders gained some share in the FHA/VA market during the first quarter of 2018, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis. Survey data collected by Inside Mortgage Finance show that all three production channels took big hits in FHA/VA volume in early 2018. The $49.11 billion in government-insured lending reported by participating lenders was down 20.7 percent from the previous quarter and 10.8 percent below the volume the group generated in the first three months of 2017. Correspondent production remained the biggest source of FHA/VA loans, accounting for 53.5 percent of the survey sample in the first quarter. But production through this channel was down 22.2 percent from the previous three-month period, a slightly larger decline than seen overall. Four of the top five lenders in the group have strong correspondent platforms, especially ... [Chart]

June 1, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

S. 2155 Provides Protections to VA Borrowers; VA Issues Guidance

Provisions to protect VA borrowers from abusive lending are now in effect after President Trump signed into law a broad regulatory relief package last week. The VA measures are part of S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018, which the U.S. Senate passed on March 14 and the House approved on May 22. The bipartisan measures became effective for VA loan applications taken on or after May 25, 2018. They were part of the bipartisan Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act, which Sens. Thom Tillis, R-NC, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, introduced in January and later incorporated in S. 2155. The bill was designed to protect VA borrowers from loan churning or serial refinancing and specifically targeted the VA’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan program, where the churned VA loans ended up. According to the agency, such practices not ...

June 1, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Regulatory Relief Law Unexpectedly Disrupts Ginnie Mae MBS Market

Ginnie Mae this week warned that VA refinance loans, particularly Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans, may not be included in any new pool or loan package if they do not comply with the newly enacted law protecting VA borrowers from predatory lending. The agency announced new pooling guidance pursuant to the loan-seasoning provision in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which President Trump signed into law last week (See details of the new law below ). The changes affect issuances of Ginnie mortgage-backed securities on or after June 1, 2018, but do not affect MBS issued before that date, according to the guidance. However, lenders seeking a guarantee after June 1 may have to recalibrate their loan-origination platforms to exclude refis that do not meet the new law’s seasoning requirements, said the Structured Finance Industry Group. The ...

May 31, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

VA Issues Guidance to Implement Borrower Protection Provisions in Newly Enacted Regulatory Relief Package

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance to VA program participants to ensure that all mortgage loans meet the requirements of the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Act reform law prior to endorsement.

May 18, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CT VA Lender Launches Training Program for Real Estate Agents

Military Direct Mortgage has announced a new training program to help educate real estate agents about the VA loan as well as the advantages of working with veteran borrowers. The program is called “Operation Welcome Home” and aims to connect home-purchase borrowers with real estate agents, who understand veterans’ specific needs and are versed in the VA loan process, said Patti White, president of the Avon, CT-based company. Many real estate agents have little or no knowledge of the VA loan and loan process, which makes the product the least of their priorities, said White. “For example, my husband has been retired from the service for 44 years and we have gone through refinancing,” she noted. “Yet no one has asked us if either of us had served in the military.” There is also a misconception about the VA loan –too much paperwork, restrictive rules and takes longer to close. “I just think there’s ...

May 18, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Bright Nominated to Head GNMA, Montgomery Nomination on Hold

President Trump this week announced Michael Bright as his choice to lead Ginnie Mae, an agency under the Department of Housing and Urban Development, even as Senate Democrats continued to delay vote on his nominee for FHA commissioner. Bright is currently Ginnie Mae’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, though he has been serving as acting president since Theodore Tozer stepped down on Jan. 20, 2017. Tozer served as Ginnie president under the Obama administration for nearly seven years. Bright joined Ginnie on July 11, 2017. Previously, he served as director for financial markets at the Milken Institute and as senior vice president of BlackRock/PennyMac. During his time with Milken, Bright co-authored a paper with Ed DeMarco, former acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and currently president of the Financial Services Roundtable, which proposed to ...

May 18, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Asks Stakeholders to Weigh Disparate-Impact Regulation

A recent announcement by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to seek public comment on its 2013 disparate-impact rule is an opportunity for both HUD and the industry to clarify the liability issues it raises, said compliance experts. On May 10, HUD announced it would formally seek public input on whether the disparate-impact regulation is in tune with the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2015 decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The HUD rule affirmed the use of disparate impact to establish liability for violations of the Fair Housing Act. It lays out a three-step approach to determining FHAct liability. The first step requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that a practice or a policy has a discriminatory effect on a protected class of persons. According to the rule, liability may be established even if the ...

May 18, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA, VA Lending Down Sharply in 1Q18 But Programs Diverged

New FHA endorsements and VA home loan guaranty volume were both down significantly in the first quarter, but the two programs followed different paths to mostly similar results. A new Inside FHA/VA Lending ranking and analysis shows that endorsements of FHA forward mortgages slipped 10.5 percent from the fourth quarter to $48.96 billion. That was the lowest quarterly output for the program since early 2015, when just $39.48 billion of FHA forward loans were originated. In the VA program, new loan guarantees fell 11.1 percent from the fourth quarter to $39.06 billion. That was the lowest three-month total since the first lap in 2016, with $37.09 billion produced. Most of the decline in FHA business was in purchase-mortgage lending, which fell 13.5 percent from the fourth quarter. While purchase loans still accounted for a hefty 71.1 percent of FHA forward endorsements during the ... [Charts]

May 4, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Pre-Approval Request Guidance, Other Instructions

VA servicers may request to deviate from a VA regulation more than once if circumstances change during the life of the loan, according to guidance issued by the agency. Servicers should submit all deviations in a single pre-approval request if there is a need to diverge from multiple regulations, the VA said. “It is the servicer’s responsibility to adhere to all other regulatory requirements and ensure all actions are in the best interest of the veteran and the government,” the guidance stated. Meanwhile, servicers may now access a VA title-training module tailored for servicers. Vendor Resource Management, VA’s property management contractor, developed the module. Servicers must fill out and submit a training request form to be able to access the training, according to agency instructions. In addition, VA encourages servicers to submit as few forms as possible rather than submit one form per person. Upon completion of the ...

May 4, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Reinstates Nations Lending Following Talks on Loan Churning

An approved issuer suspended last month due to alleged VA loan churning activities is back in Ginnie Mae’s multi-issuer mortgage-backed securities program. Nations Lending, ranked 97th in Inside FHA/VA Lending’s top 100 VA lenders, was reinstated after reaching a confidential agreement with Ginnie Mae, according to a source familiar with the case. The Ohio-based lender has been “fully reinstated and [again] able to use all of Ginnie Mae’s programs that are available for lenders in good faith,” said the source, who asked not to be identified. The source declined to provide details of the agreement, maintaining Nations has been very transparent and was “ahead of the curve” in terms of dealing with the churning problem. “Nations began addressing the issue even before Ginnie took action,” he said. Ginnie neither confirmed nor commented on the report. “The evidence will show what is happening in the ...

May 4, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Risk Factors Creep Higher in FHA And VA Loans in Early 2018

With overall production levels falling, there was a modest increase in several risk vectors of FHA and VA loans pooled in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities during the first quarter of 2018.A new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis shows the average credit score for FHA loans in Ginnie MBS issued during the first quarter was 671.1, the lowest level since Ginnie began reporting loan-level data on its securities. That was down from 673.2 in the fourth quarter and 679.2 a year ago. Part of the slide in FHA credit scores likely reflects the increased share of purchase mortgages, which typically have lower scores than refinance loans. The same thing happened in the VA market, where average credit scores fell 1.1 points to 707.8 in the first quarter. A year ago, the average VA score was 710.2. Debt-to-income ratios also drifted higher, suggesting more risk of default. Among FHA loans, the average DTI rose to ... [Charts]


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