Volume 7 - Number 5
February 28, 2014
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Slowing refinance activity and higher mortgage insurance premiums took a toll on FHA loan production in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Inside FHA Lending's analysis of FHA data. Overall FHA endorsements fell 24.3 percent from the third quarter as the year ended with $210.0 billion. This was down 9.6 percent from total FHA loans originated in 2012. The year-s top five FHA lenders -- Wells Fargo, Quicken Loans, JPMorgan Chase, Freedom Mortgage and Bank of America -- combined for 21.9 percent, or $46.0 billion, of total originations, down ... [includes one chart]
Issuance of mortgage-backed securities with a Ginnie Mae guaranty fell in the fourth quarter, with most issuers showing significant decreases from the previous quarter. Ginnie Mae issuances saw a hefty 28.0 percent decline quarter over quarter, with the top five issuers -- Wells Fargo, Chase Home Finance, PennyMac, Freedom Mortgage and Quicken Loans -- recording substantial decreases during the period. There is speculation that slower FHA refinancing activity, FHA policy changes and the premium hike that took effect in June last year might have caused the decline in Ginnie Mae issuance. Ginnie Mae data showed monthly issuance peaking in June at $41.0 billion, progressively dropping over the next few months and finally settling at $22.3 billion at the end of December. Ginnie Mae MBS issuances totaled $393.2 billion in 2013, down 2.4 percent compared to 2012 business. The FHA share of issuances was ... [including one chart]
The Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating Bank of America's compliance with the requirements of the FHA's Lender Direct Endorsement program. BofA disclosed the investigation in its recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission but withheld details. Department of Justice investigations of FHA-related fraud are based typically upon an alleged violation of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) and/or the False Claims Act (FCA). Civil monetary penalties under FIRREA could go as high as $1.1 million per violation while treble damages are potentially available for FCA claims. Both laws have a 10-year statute of limitation. As a direct endorsement lender, BofA is authorized to originate, underwrite and certify loans for mortgage insurance without further reviews by the FHA or the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If the loan defaults, the holder of the loan may ...
Ginnie Mae has expressed concern about a new FHA policy accepting electronic signatures on most mortgage documents and will seek input and feedback from issuers. In a memo to participants this week, the agency said electronic documents "present unique challenges to implementation." In a Jan. 30 mortgagee letter, the FHA announced that it would begin accepting electronic signatures on most loan docs, including loan disclosures and loan servicing/loss mitigation documents. The FHA said it will accept electronic signatures only on "authorized" docs but delayed their use on notes until Dec. 31, 2014. This delay reflects considerations that are necessary in connection with electronic notes (eNote) and electronic mortgages (eMortgages), said Ginnie Mae. An electronic signature is a signature that is applied or affixed to a document by electronic means. Scanned images of paper docs that bear a physical or "wet" signature are not ...
Community-based mortgage lenders have asked the Obama administration to include a provision in the FY 2015 budget lowering FHA annual premiums to allow the agency to fully meet its mission of providing affordable mortgage credit while shoring up the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. In a recent letter to the Office of Management and the Budget, the Community Home Lenders Association called for a reduction in the annual FHA premium on purchase loans from the current 1.35 percent to 0.75 percent. The CHLA further recommended a 0.5 percent reduction of the annual premium for all borrowers when the FHA reaches its 2.0 percent net worth standard. At the same time, the CHLA also recommended lowering down to 0.5 percent the premium paid by homeowners who have completed HUD-sanctioned pre-purchase homeownership counseling. The group also called for an increase in the upfront FHA premium to as high as ...
The FHA's model mortgage form clearly makes the federally required flood-insurance amount the minimum, not the maximum, the borrower must have, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling. In Faire Feaz v. Wells Fargo Bank, et al. No. 13-10230, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit determined that the language in the FHA's model form requiring borrowers to purchase the FHA's minimum required amount of flood insurance does not prevent lenders from demanding more insurance than the agency requires. With its ruling, the court upheld the dismissal of the claim for breach of contract, related claims for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and breach of fiduciary duty. The 11th Circuit ruling also agreed with the First Circuit's recent en banc ruling in Kolbe v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, F.3d -- 2013 WL 5394192 (1st Cir. Sept. 27, 2013). Noting a split among the district courts, the First Circuit recognized that ...
Several industry trade associations have asked the FHA to confirm whether the 203(k) property rehabilitation program can be used to mitigate future flood threats, particularly for undamaged homes in flood zones. Because of their properties' location in a designated floodplain, homeowners could be hit by rising flood insurance rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies and the Association of State Floodplain Managers said they believe the federal 203(k) program can be used to reduce or minimize the effect of future floodings on undamaged floodplain properties. Flood insurance rates can be reduced significantly by raising a home to a level at or above the 100-year flood elevation, or by ...
Genworth Mortgage Insurance is helping customers understand the benefits of the new master policy private mortgage insurers have helped develop with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to improve the MIs' operating and servicing processes. Genworth expects the new master policy to take effect in July. Customers will receive a copy of the document as well as information explaining its benefits and operation before the effective date. A "Master Policy Introduction Reference Notes" and other resources may be found at Genworth's website, including a downloadable sample of the master policy, sample endorsements, a summary of changes and frequently asked questions. In December 2013, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced the government-sponsored enterprises' completion of the first major overhaul of the MI master policy requirements in many years. As part of their conservatorship, Fannie and Freddie were required to ...
House Weighs Bill to Restore Grandfathered Flood Insurance Rates. There is a possibility that the House of Representatives will vote next week on the amended version of H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, as Republicans and Democrats continued to negotiate on proposed changes and further protection for homeowners who face hefty rate increases. H.R. 3370 builds on bipartisan legislation the Senate passed last month to delay flood insurance rate increases. Specifically, the substitute bill would make permanent the grandfathering of lower rates, which means catastrophic rate increases would no longer occur because of Federal Emergency Management Agency remapping. The Senate bill would only delay the changes for four years. In addition, the House bill would repeal the home sale/new policy triggers in the Biggert-Waters Act for all properties, including the ...
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