Legal Issues

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Legal Issues.

November 9, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Urge Judge to Reject FHFA’s Request

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders in a class action suit are urging U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to reject the government’s request to reconsider his opinion. On Sept. 28, Royce ruled that the Treasury sweep breached an implied covenant of good faith. That ruling paved the way for shareholders to continue their case against the government. But the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the GSEs are challenging that ruling. They filed a motion on Oct. 15 asking for ...

November 8, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Goldman Nears Settlement Goal, DOJ to File MBS Suit Against UBS, BofA Settles, MBIA Chalks Up Win

Goldman Sachs has forgiven a total of $78.7 million in principal on 746 first-lien mortgages since Aug. 1, 2018, as it neared fulfillment of a $1.8 billion consumer-relief obligation under two mortgage-related settlement agreements, according to independent monitor Eric Green.

November 2, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Reporting on VA Loans Impacted by Natural Disaster. The Department of Veterans Affairs is cautioning servicers against reporting as delinquent VA loans that are impacted by a natural disaster. The electronic default notification (EDN) should only be reported prior to the 61st day of delinquency if the borrower intends to abandon the property or pursue an alternative to foreclosure, according to VA. Cite “property problems” as the reason for default, the agency added. On the 61st day of delinquency, servicers should use “casualty loss” as the reason for default when reporting the EDN. This will help VA identify loan defaults caused by a natural disaster. Texas USDA Guaranteed Housing Program See Increased Volume. The USDA guaranteed single-family guaranteed housing programs in the Lone Star State are experiencing significant volume increases, and consequently, ...

November 2, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

QM Patch Expiration Could Shift More High-DTI Loans to FHA

Certain potential changes could materially affect origination volume and determine the government-sponsored enterprises’ direction going forward, according to analysts. One of those changes could have a significant impact on the FHA market. Wells Fargo Securities analysts recently looked at three potential developments in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac sphere and evaluated their effects on the broader mortgage market. Two of those potential changes – loan limits and guarantee fees – are controlled directly by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, while the third relates to the temporary GSE qualified-mortgage exemption, or “QM patch,” which could affect the FHA market. All three factors loom over the mortgage landscape as the FHFA expects a new director in January 2019, who is likely to be more right leaning and could shift the focus back to shrinking the ...

November 2, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Streamlines Claim-Payment Rules for Reverse Mortgage Loans

FHA-approved servicers will now find it easier to file a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage claim under revised HECM rules announced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development last week. The new requirements apply to HECM loans that have reached 98 percent of their maximum claim amount, according to Mortgagee Letter 2018-08. The revised rules took effect on Oct. 22, but HUD will accept public comments for a period of 30 calendar days. Compliance experts say the change is good news for a program that has been experiencing substantial losses and lower volumes. Significant revisions were made last year to cut losses and make the product more efficient, but they have not been enough, said FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery. Under the revised rules, HECM servicers can use alternative supporting documentation in lieu of previously required materials that ...

November 2, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Fails to Recover Millions in Surplus Proceeds, IG Audit Finds

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general recommended that HUD pursue the collection of $5.7 million in surplus proceeds it is entitled to reclaim from 2017 loan terminations. The IG found $6.8 million in uncollected surplus proceeds from non-conveyance foreclosures in the possession of custodians. The IG said it initiated a review when it discovered while doing an unrelated audit that a trustee attorney held surplus proceeds from two non-conveyance foreclosures and HUD had not claimed these funds to offset earlier partial claims it had paid for the properties. The latest audit found that HUD did not always do its job. Of the 81 foreclosures reviewed, 32 had nearly As a result, an estimated $6.8 million in surplus proceeds never made it into the FHA insurance fund. Various third parties benefited at HUD’s expense, and the unclaimed funds sat dormant with custodians. The IG recommended ...

November 1, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Lehman Seeks to Expand MBS Lawsuits Against Loan Originators; NY Court Rules on Accrual Clauses

The Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court this week granted a motion by Lehman Brothers Holdings to add indemnification claims against its former brokers and loan correspondents based on the allegedly defective loans at issue in a $2.3 billion settlement with non-agency MBS trustees.

October 26, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Government Wants Court to Reconsider Recent Shareholder ‘Win’ in Breach of Good Faith Claim

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are questioning the logic behind a recent federal court ruling that appears to give investors in the government-sponsored enterprises’ stock a glimmer of hope in their legal battles with the federal government.

October 19, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Reboots QM Rule Following Passage of Dodd-Frank Reform Act

The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin a new rulemaking on qualified mortgages to conform to Dodd-Frank reform act mandates. Observers say the move is simply housekeeping, since the previous QM interim final rule (IFR) requirements were rendered moot with the enactment of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act back in May. The new law, also known as the Dodd-Frank reform act, superseded the previous rule’s seasoning and recoupment requirements for VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans. Specifically, the act removed the category of rebuttable presumption for IRRRLs deemed as QM under the interim final rule. It also imposed new requirements that were not considered at the time the IFR was issued. The VA did not say whether changes were made ...

October 19, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

CMLA Seeks New Language for Bill Addressing ‘Orphan’ VA IRRRLs

Community mortgage lenders are asking the U.S. Senate to consider with caution before voting on legislative language passed recently by the House of Representatives to address “orphan” VA streamline refinance loans. Specifically, the Community Mortgage Lenders of America asked the Senate to step back and allow some time for substitute language to be presented with input from the industry and the Department of Veterans Affairs. At issue is the wording in H.R. 6737, the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2018. The bill fixes a technical issue that prevented VA lenders from pooling certain VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans in Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pools. Approximately 2,500 VA refi loans were affected by an inconsistency between the loan seasoning guidelines issued by Ginnie in late 2016 and provisions in the ...

October 19, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Prepay Speeds Remain a Concern for Ginnie Mae, Overseas Investors

Ginnie Mae has made considerable progress in dealing with rapid prepayments on VA loans but prepayment speeds on Ginnie mortgage-backed securities in general continue to annoy investors. Prepay speeds on Ginnie MBS are now at the lowest since 2014 but it is not enough for agency Executive Vice President Maren Kasper to feel confident as she addressed the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association this week. “Our prepayment issue is not solved,” said Kasper, as she spoke on a panel with representatives of government-lending programs. The agency continues to hear from investors about the problem, she said. Kasper cited two instances where Ginnie officials were summoned to meetings in China and New York to explain the prepayments to irate investors. They threatened to stop purchasing Ginnie bonds, she said. Kasper declined to say how bad the ...

October 18, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Castle & Cooke Mortgage Attorney Says Nonbank Lender Wasn’t Looking for a Warehouse Line

Outside counsel for nonbank lender Castle & Cooke Mortgage disputed several statements included in an Oct. 12 Inside Mortgage Finance article about the firm and one of its investors.

October 15, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief: New Settlement; Senate in Recess; Discriminatory Mortgage Lending Charges; Town Hall Meeting

The CFPB recently settled with Bluestem, Eden Prairie, MN, over allegations that the group of firms unfairly delayed payment transfers to third-party debt buyers. The settlement will require the companies to pay a civil money penalty of $200,000. The CFPB alleged that the Bluestem companies, between 2013 and 2016, delayed forwarding payments for more than 31 days in 18,000 instances. In 3,500 of those instances, Bluestem allegedly delayed [Includes four briefs] ...

October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Win Will Allow Plaintiffs to Press Forward

A recent court ruling that affirmed the validity of claims that the GSE net worth sweep breached an implied covenant of good faith is a big deal for shareholders, according to the plaintiff’s attorney. David Thompson of Cooper and Kirk told Inside The GSEs this week that U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s decision is a “significant victory” for the plaintiffs.

October 12, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

HSBC to Pay DOJ $765 Million to Resolve Legacy MBS Case Alleging Misrepresentation, Fraud

HSBC has agreed to pay $765 million in civil penalties under a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve allegations it misled investors on the quality of its residential MBS and the accuracy of its due diligence procedures.

October 11, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Court Ruled Zillow’s Co-Marketing Program Does Not Violate RESPA; CFPB Had Already Backed Off

A federal judge in Washington last week dismissed a securities fraud lawsuit against Zillow, ruling its co-marketing program does not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

October 5, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA Issues Waiver of Property Inspections in Disaster-Stricken California Counties. FHA has issued a waiver of its timing policy for completing property inspections prior to closing or endorsing a loan for FHA insurance. The waiver is in effect in presidentially declared major disaster areas in Lake and Shasta Counties, CA, that were ravaged by wildfires and high winds. FHA believes that the wildfires and high winds have stabilized so as not to cause any further damage to properties, even though FEMA has not declared “all clear” in the affected areas. The waiver allows damage inspections to be completed after Oct. 2, for properties located in the PDMDA. NC Commissioner of Banks Amends State Reverse Mortgage Rules. The North Carolina Commissioner of Banks recently amended its ...

October 5, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Still Has Time to Enact VA ‘Orphan’ Loan Bill, Says MBA

The mortgage banking industry is optimistic about Congress enacting legislation that would cure VA orphan loans before the midterm elections. The U.S. Senate still has time to consider H.R. 6737, the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act, according to Bill Kilmer, chief lobbyist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Most observers think [lawmakers are] going to be around until Oct. 18 or 19, which is when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants to keep folks around to work on nominations and other measures they need to clear,” Kilmer said. “There is time and, more to the substantive point, the bill passed the House.” H.R. 6737 would provide a technical fix so that certain VA refinance loans would be eligible for pooling in a Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed security. The bill was reported out of committee by a unanimous 49-0 vote, and was approved quickly by the House ...

October 5, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Shareholders Finally Get a Modest Win in Case Against Treasury Sweep

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders received a bit of good news late last week when a judge sided with them on one of their arguments against the government.

October 4, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Director’s Harassment Allegations Center Stage at House Hearing, Accuser’s Lawyer Looks to Next Steps

With just three months left in Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt’s term, it’s still uncertain whether he will ride out his appointment until January 6 as planned or resign because of sexual harassment allegations. Last week during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, lawmakers heard from both Watt and his accuser, Simone Grimes, about harassment that she said began in 2015. At the hearing, Watt fought back against the allegations and questioned the committee’s ...


With loan volumes declining, does your shop have plans to enter the non-QM lending market in 2019?

Yes, definitely. A solid move forward.
Yes, but only incrementally.
We’re pondering a move into non-QM, but haven’t made up our mind.
No, definitely not. We view it has too risky.

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