VA Activity

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

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 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Finalizes Rule for Establishing Fees, Charges for Vendee Financing

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a final rule that will allow it to establish reasonable fees to cover the costs of originating and servicing a VA-backed vendee loan. A vendee loan enables a borrower to purchase a VA real estate-owned property. Vendee financing is not a veteran benefit but is available to any purchaser, including veterans and servicemembers. In addition, vendee financing is available for non-owner and owner-occupied residential properties. An owner-occupied purchase can be financed with as little as zero percent downpayment while a non-owner-occupied purchase requires a minimum 5 percent downpayment. In addition, for non-owner-occupied purchases, investors may use 75 percent of anticipated rent, based on an appraiser’s estimate, to offset the subject property monthly payment. Furthermore, investors must have experience in ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

MBA Offers Measures to Deal With VA Appraisal Issues, Delays

The Mortgage Bankers Association has recommended steps to address the VA appraiser shortage and increased appraisal turn times. The industry group made its recommendations in a recent letter to Jeffrey London, executive director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Loan Guaranty Service, based on a roundtable discussion between MBA and other industry stakeholders in March. Stakeholders expressed their concern for the lack of VA appraisers and longer waiting periods for appraisal reports. Appraiser shortage is an ongoing problem for the VA, and has resulted in delayed loan closings, particularly in highly rural areas. Some states, like Oregon, have very few appraisers, the MBA pointed out. “This delay may force veterans to choose other loan programs to meet certain deadlines or face other adverse outcomes,” the MBA letter warned. On the other hand, the ...


September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae to Take Action Against Illicit Refinancing of VA Mortgages

Rapid, aggressive refinancing of VA loans has made a comeback with some issuers using strategies to mask the practice and avoid possible penalties, including expulsion from the Ginnie Mae program, according to a top agency official. Responding to concerns raised by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, Michael Bright, acting Ginnie Mae president and chief operations officer, said a joint Ginnie Mae/VA lender-abuse task force is analyzing monthly data and developing additional policy measures to deal with the problem. Bright confirmed the resurgence of inappropriate streamline refinancing in Ginnie securitization pools in recent weeks and has promised to crack down on the questionable practice. The problem surfaced last year when Ginnie Mae noticed unusually fast prepayment speeds in its mortgage-backed securities, particularly MBS backed by VA loans. Ginnie found that certain lenders and ...


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, 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

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

NYDFS Accuses Veterans United of Overcharging Vets on VA Loans

The Mortgage Research Center, which does business as Veterans United Home Loans and/or VA Mortgage Center, has agreed to pay $1.1 million to New York regulators to resolve allegations of overcharging veterans on loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans United was the second largest VA lender in the country in the second quarter, with a 5.4 percent share of the VA market, according to the Inside FHA/VA Lending database. The settlement agreement is part of a consent order entered into recently by Veterans United with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). The settlement stemmed from an investigation which found that the Columbia, MO-based company did not refund “surplus lender credits” on 322 VA loans originated from Jan. 1, 2011, to June 30, 2014. According to the consent order, borrowers obtained a credit from ...


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 ...


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.

vote to see results