VA Activity

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

April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Aging Housing Stock Increases Demand for VA Alteration Loans

Lenders will now be able make VA loans to veterans who wish to purchase or refinance a home that needs alteration or repair, under new guidance issued by the VA. According to the VA, it has received inquiries from lenders that have expressed interest in originating and processing loans to finance home alteration and repair. The agency noted that the aging housing stock in the U.S. has spurred an increased demand for such loans. Due to their physical condition, older homes are often sold as “cash or conventional financing,” which immediately excludes VA financing and deprives veterans the opportunity to use their VA benefit. The new policy guidance makes the VA guaranty available to lenders looking to finance home alteration, repair, renovation and improvement. It also allows improvements to be included in the value and completed after the loan is closed. The lender disburses the loan proceeds to the ...


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Accounted for a Good Share of Mortgage Complaints in 2017

FHA-insured loans accounted for a modest chunk of mortgage-related consumer complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year. According to the CFPB’s annual report on consumer disputes, the bureau received approximately 37,300 mortgage complaints in 2017, 13 percent of which were related to FHA mortgages. Loans with a VA guaranty and FHA-insured reverse mortgages accounted for 4 percent and 2 percent of the complaints, respectively. Conventional home mortgages had the biggest share of mortgage complaints – 48 percent – followed by “other type of mortgage” at 28 percent. Six percent of mortgage complaints were about home-equity loans or home-equity lines of credit. For mortgage complaints, 41 percent involved making payments (such as those involving servicing, escrow accounts and posting of payments), while 37 percent were related to borrowers’ ....


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Pulls Disclosure Requirement From Earlier IRRRL Guidance

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently withdrew a directive that was part of an early disclosure requirement for Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans just days after the measure took effect. Although the early disclosure measure became effective for IRRRLs closed on or after April 1, 2018, VA’ “Frequently Asked Questions” guidance issued on April 5 clarified some of the earlier provisions and removed a new disclosure to address lender concerns. The current VA Lenders Handbook requires a veteran to sign a statement showing he or she understands the effects of the IRRRL and how long it would take to recoup all closing costs. If the veteran’s monthly payment increases by 20 percent or more, the lender must certify that the borrower qualifies for the new monthly payment. The handbook, however, is unclear as to when the statement and lender certification must be delivered. Consequently, some ...


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Announces Effort to Convert VALERI to Fully Operational AUS

A general overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Loan Electronic Reporting Interface is underway to convert it into a full service, end-to-end system capable of handling every phase of the loan process. Work on VALERI began in 2017, with the aim of integrating all business lines – loan origination, property valuations, and mortgage servicing – into what VA officials view as an automated underwriting system. “We are potentially looking at the redesigned VALERI as an automated underwriting system, an end-to-end system designed to better serve veterans and their families, lenders, servicers and appraisers,” said Jeff London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service (LGS), during an interview at the recent VA lender conference in Miami. The VALERI application has been used solely for servicing for the last 10 years. Since 2008, on a monthly basis, servicers have been uploading electronic data ...


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA’s Loan Guaranty Chief Says Anti-Churning Rule Under Review

The Department of Veterans Affairs has drafted a proposed rule to curb predatory loan churning. The draft rule is “well on its way through concurrence with VA and the Office of Management and Budget,” said Jeff London, director of the VA Loan Guaranty Service, during an interview at the agency’s 19t Annual Lender Conference in Miami recently. He did not specify a publication date but said the proposed rule will be published “fairly soon.” Churning, or serial refinancing, involves multiple refinances of the same loan within short periods with no clear benefit to the borrower. In addition, churning triggers rapid prepayments in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities to the detriment of investors and makes it difficult to price MBS appropriately. London declined to provide details about the rule’s content but said veterans and taxpayers would be protected. VA looked at a range of things that were common in the ...


April 20, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Share in Gov’t-Backed Servicing Continued to Grow in Early 2018

The Department of Veterans Affairs home-loan guaranty program continued to account for most of the growth in the Ginnie Mae servicing business during the first quarter of 2018, a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis reveals. Total Ginnie mortgage-backed securities outstanding rose to $1.940 trillion as of the end of March, including multifamily MBS and securities backed by FHA reverse mortgages. Some $1.795 trillion of that amount was traditional single-family mortgages, a 1.1 percent increase from the end of last year. The forward-mortgage Ginnie market grew by 7.3 percent over the past 12 months. The amount of VA loans in Ginnie pools was up 13.1 percent from March 2017, nearing the $600.0 billion mark. By comparison, the FHA segment of the Ginnie market was up 4.7 percent from a year ago, hitting $1.085 trillion. Loan performance generally improved in both the ... [Charts]


April 19, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

VA Removes Lender Certification Requirement from New Policy Guidance on Early IRRRL Disclosures

The Department of Veterans Affairs has withdrawn a recent directive to provide lender-certification disclosures as part of early disclosure requirements for Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs).


April 12, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

VA Sends Anti-Churning Rule to OMB, Weighs Risk Sharing, Develops AUS

The Department of Veterans Affairs is close to issuing a final anti-churning rule to better protect veterans from predatory lending practices as well as developing an end-to-end system to monitor loan performance from origination to servicing.


April 6, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Chief Confident Agency Will Win Back Investors’ Faith, Trust

Ginnie Mae’s anti-churning efforts have narrowed the spread between Ginnie and Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities, prompting executives to say things are almost back to normal. In an interview with Inside FHA/VA Lending this week, Michael Bright, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Ginnie Mae, said the market and investors have responded positively to the agency’s efforts to resolve the churning and prepayment problems. “The Ginnie spread has fallen almost half a point and our securities have become more liquid,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re giving investors CPRs (constant prepayment rates) that they can model.” Bright said he cares less about the overall level of prepayment speeds. What he truly cares about is ensuring that when an investor purchases a Ginnie security, the prepay speed is correlated to changes in the interest rates and not the ...


April 6, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Issuers Punished for Churning, Barred from Multi-Issuer Pools

Ginnie Mae this week meted penalties to two of the nine issuers that received warnings from the agency for excessive refinancings of VA mortgages. Bloomberg reported that Ginnie barred NewDay Financial’s and Nations Lending’s from the more lucrative multi-issuer mortgage-backed securities pools, forcing them to issue custom pools. The restrictions became effective immediately. The agency’s action could reduce mortgage interest rates by 50 basis points for FHA and VA loans, which would benefit first-time homebuyers, said Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Cowen Washington Research Group. On the other hand, the issuers Ginnie limited to issuing custom pools will end up making loans with higher rates, the analyst noted. Ginnie’s action is part of a joint effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs to crack down on loan churning and faster prepayments of VA loans pooled in Ginnie securities. Loan churning ...


April 6, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie MBS Production Tumbled To Three-Year Low in Early 2018

Issuance of new single-family Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities fell sharply in the first quarter of 2018, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending ranking and analysis. The agency issued $92.58 billion in MBS backed by forward mortgages during the first three months of 2018. That was down 14.8 percent from the previous three-month period and represented the lowest quarterly total since early 2015. The 1Q figure is based on truncated loan amounts reported in Ginnie’s loan-level MBS disclosures. Reports with unrounded single-family loan amounts show a total of $95.75 billion in first-quarter MBS issuance, including FHA reverse mortgages. The loan-level data reveal that production fell 6.9 percent from February to March, when just $28.21 billion of Ginnie single-family securities were issued. That was the lowest monthly volume since February 2015. Both the FHA and VA programs saw significant ... [Charts]


March 23, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Bars Certain Lender Payments To Subsidize Borrower Obligations

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently clarified policy regarding lender use of credits or interest rates to pay veterans’ costs in VA home loans. Under VA regulations, lenders may charge and a veteran may pay a flat fee not exceeding 1 percent of the loan amount. The VA allows the charge provided it is in lieu of all other charges related to the costs of origination not expressly specified and allowed in the regulations. However, the agency has learned that some lenders are charging veterans interest-rate premiums in exchange for temporarily subsidizing the borrower’s monthly payments. “More precisely, an interest-rate premium is imposed as a charge for a cash advance on a loan principal,” the VA explained. While the agency allows lenders to charge borrowers for allowable costs, which may be made through an interest-rate adjustment, it clearly prohibits charges for impermissible costs, like ...


March 23, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie-MPF Partnership Bears Fruit as Issuance Exceeds $1 B

Ginnie Mae has passed the $1 billion mark for mortgage-backed securities issued through the Federal Home Loan Banks’ Mortgage Partnership Finance program. The MPF government MBS product was available initially to eligible participating members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. The Chicago FHLB launched the MPF program in 1997 to give approved participating members access to the secondary mortgage market. Specifically, the program provided an outlet other than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for member institutions to sell fixed-rate mortgage loans (conventional, government, or jumbo). Most of the institutions participating in the MPF are small banks, thrifts and credit unions with assets of less than $400 million. The MPF government MBS product arose from a 2015 partnership between Ginnie Mae and the Chicago FHLB to issue Ginnie MBS backed by ...


March 23, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Banking Bill Imposes New Terms on VA Non-Cash-Out Refis

Legislation that would protect veterans from predatory lending that was passed by the Senate recently could have lasting impacts on the VA home-loan guaranty program, according to legal experts. S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, passed on March 14 by a vote of 67-31. Sixteen Democrats and one Independent joined all 50 Republicans in passing the bill. Primarily, the bill would loosen stringent rules in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent the bad business practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis. A stand-alone bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-NC, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, in January was added to S. 2155 shortly before the Senate vote. The Tillis-Warren bill, Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act of 2018, addresses the issue of serial refinancing, or loan churning, in which the victims are veterans. Churning refers to the ...


March 23, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Government-Insured Conduits Report Production Drop in 4Q17

Overall production of government-insured loans fell in all three origination channels in the fourth quarter as refinancing continued to decline in 2017. A survey of FHA, VA and rural housing lenders showed originations in retail, correspondent and broker conduits totaled $248.9 billion, down 11.8 percent from 2016. Correspondent production suffered the biggest quarterly decline, 14.9 percent from the third to the fourth quarter. Production in this channel also declined 4.8 percent for the full year. Approximately $139.3 billion of FHA and VA loans came through this channel last year. Notwithstanding the decline, the correspondent share of government-insured lending grew to 56.0 percent in 2017, up from 51.9 percent in 2016. Brokers saw their share of the government-insured market rise to 10.0 percent, even as quarterly and year-over-year originations declined by 2.0 percent and 10.7 percent ,,, [ Charts ]


Poll

What’s your opinion on how Mick Mulvaney has managed the CFPB since he took over three months ago?

He’s done a good job of paring back the agency’s excesses and we’d like to see more.

35%

I hope he totally dismantles the agency and sends those functions back to the agencies hence they came.

14%

Not bad, but he needs to take his time making additional changes.

12%

We’re totally aghast. He’s gone way too far in protecting the rights of companies not consumers!

39%