Simplify the FHA approval process for
condominium loans and make needed reforms to the
Rural Housing Service loan program.
H.R. 3700 was passed by the U.S. House 427-0.
Despite passing with NO OBJECTIONS, the U.S. Senate
has not acted on H.R. 3700.
This legislation provides significant benefits to taxpayers, homebuyers and the real estate market by:
• Removing a burdensome and expensive FHA Condo approval process
• Reducing FHA restrictions on the number of condos available to homebuyers
• Permanently streamlining Rural Housing Service loan processing
January 08, 2015
FHA Officially Reduces Annual Premiums
As the nation’s housing market continues to improve, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce their annual premiums. New borrowers will pay by half of a percent less than they do now. This action is projected to save more than two million FHA homeowners an average of $900 annually and spur 250,000 new home-buyers to purchase their first home over the next three years.
Today’s action also reflects the improved economic health of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). FHA’s recent annual report to Congress demonstrates the economic condition of the agency’s single-family insurance fund continues to improve, adding $21 billion in value over the past two years.
There have also been some bold steps taken to reduce risks in the mortgage market and to protect consumers. These efforts have made it possible to ensure FHA remains on a positive financial trajectory.
In the wake of the nation’s housing crisis, FHA increased its premium prices to stabilize the health of its MMI Fund. In addition, there were dramatic steps to safeguard consumers in the mortgage market by banks tightening their lending standards.
FHA’s new annual premium prices will take effect for all new FHA-insured mortgages endorsed toward the end of January 2015. The FHA will publish a Mortgagee Letter detailing its new pricing structure shortly.
October 29, 2014
Homeowners with FHA loan may be due a refund
SALT LAKE CITY — People who bought a home using an FHA-backed loan may be owed money by the government.
Third-party companies are finding these people and telling them they can get the money, for a price. However, there is no reason to pay a third party in order to collect the money.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website lists thousands of people who are owed money. Most of them have no idea. Many are people who took out an FHA loan which required mortgage insurance. The premium was to be paid upfront.
Kelly Jorgensen, Utah's HUD office director, said people who pay off their loans in full and on time can get some of that premium back.
“If we can’t find them, and sometimes that’s the case in a very small percent, it goes into kind of a holding area and those are unclaimed refunds,” he explained.
HUD is holding $412 million in its refunds box. Those unclaimed refunds can be as little as a couple of dollars or as much as a couple of thousand dollars.
Looking through HUD's unclaimed refunds list, KSL found HUD owed Utah residents Nate and Kristin Harbertson more than $2,000 from the sale of their first home in Park City over 10 years ago. Today, both work in real estate.
“To be so involved in the real estate industry, and to have $2,000 sitting out there and not know about it, and my wife doesn’t know about it, it’s kind of ironic, interesting,” Nate said.
He said he did receive a couple of short letters over the years from people telling him the government owed him money and they'd get it for him, for a cut.
“You just never really think there is money sitting out there. I thought it was somebody trying to prospect me, get a loan, do something with them,” he said.
Jorgensen warned, “There’s no reason why you would need to pay for that.”
He said there are people called HUD tracers who'll track down refund owners, tell them that getting their HUD refund is a long, drawn-out process that can only be done through them. Not true, Jorgensen said.
Usually it just involves a couple of phone calls and sending in some documents.
“You have to prove that it’s you,” he said. “You have to show you have an FHA-insured mortgage and that mortgage has been paid off.”
The question now for the Harbertsons is not whether HUD owes them a refund, it's what they will do with it.
“It’s surprising, it’s special. Maybe I’ll go and take the family on a trip or something,” Nate said.
For anyone who took out an FHA loan in the 21 year period between September 1983 and December 2004, there's a chance you have a mortgage insurance premium refund coming to you. Visit the HUD website or call (800) 697-6967.
Jorgensen said it can take up to 120 days to get a refund, but usually it's quicker.
October 9, 2013
Government Shutdown Q&A's on FHA Loans
As a result of the government shutdown, FHA Single Family has received several questions regarding their operating plans which are clarified in the following Q&As.
Q: Can I get an FHA case number?
A: Yes. Lenders will be able to obtain an FHA case number from the FHA Connection.
Q: Will FHA endorse single family loans during a shutdown?
A: FHA will be able to endorse single family loans, with the exception of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) and Title I loans, during the shutdown. A limited number of FHA staff will be available to endorse new loans. Due to limited staff, the time to endorse the cases may be extended.
Q: Will FHA still be able to endorse my loan if I am not able to obtain tax returns verified by the IRS during the shutdown?
A: FHA is aware that some lenders obtain tax transcripts directly from the IRS for use in underwriting their FHA-insured loans. These lenders may be unable to actually obtain any returns directly from the IRS for the duration of the Government shutdown.
Lenders may continue originating loans using FHA’s existing underwriting requirements, which have not changed as a result of the shutdown. Lenders are required to obtain tax returns from certain borrowers in order to originate FHA-insured loans and lenders must also continue to obtain the borrower’s signed authorization (i.e., Forms IRS 4506, IRS 8821, or whatever form or electronic retrieval service is appropriate) for any loan for which the borrower's tax returns are required.
Q: Why didn’t the borrower’s name and Social Security Number pass validation with the Social Security Administration?
A: When the lender requests the FHA case number, the borrower’s name, date of birth and Social Security Number (SSN) and property address are entered into FHA Connection (FHAC). If the overnight matching process with Social Security Administrations (SSA) fails, a Case Warning for SSN Validation will be placed on the case number. The failure could occur because the data doesn’t match or because the system went offline due to the government shutdown. SSA has limited tolerance for minor mistakes in names, birth dates and social security numbers, so lenders are reminded of the importance for accuracy in these three data elements when requesting a case number.
Q: Can the Social Security Number validation be run again?
A: Lenders do have the opportunity to make the necessary corrections and a second attempt to validate with SSA will occur. Any changes made to the borrower's name, birth date and SSN at any time prior to insurance endorsement will trigger a validation request with SSA. If the revised data passes validation, the Case Warning for SSN Validation will be removed.
If the failure was caused by the government shutdown, the Case Warning for SSN Validation will not be able to be removed until the government reopens. FHA will ensure that the validation process takes place and lenders will be advised of the results in FHAC as soon as possible upon the reopening of the government.
Q: Can I continue to process the loan without the Social Security Number validation?
A: Lenders may continue processing loans without receiving validation of the borrower’s name and SSN, but FHA will not endorse loans without this validation. For the Lender Insurance program, lenders will not be able to insure the loans for which this validation has not been received.
Q: What happens if I cannot validate the borrower’s SSN?
A: The lender may submit a request for insurance endorsement if confident that the Case Warning was received in error as a result of a system shutdown. The lender must provide conclusive documentation to verify the SSN such as a valid SSN card issued by the SSA, or an original document issued by a federal or state government agency, which contains the name of the individual and the SSN of the individual, along with other identifying information of the individual in the case binder to support the validity of the borrower’s name and SSN to the applicable Homeownership Center (HOC).
Lenders may not endorse any loans with Case Warnings for SSN Validation and FHA will require the lender to submit the case binder for endorsement along with conclusive documentation to verify the SSN such as a valid SSN card issued by the SSA, or an original document issued by a federal or state government agency, which contains the name of the individual and the SSN of the individual, along with other identifying information of the individual in the case binder to support the validity of the borrower’s name and SSN to the applicable Homeownership Center (HOC).
If upon review, FHA believes the documentation provided complies with HUD’s regulations and the loan meets all other FHA requirements, the HOC will endorse the mortgage for insurance.
September 26, 2013
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is expected to receive a cash infusion of about $1 billion from the Treasury Department next week, but the situation may not be as dire as it seems.
The agency, which has made strides this year to shore up its books, is receiving the money based on a December report showing that it would run a deficit of about $940 million in its reserve funds to cover expected mortgage losses.
That long-term forecast likely understated the speed of the housing recovery — fewer claims and defaults and faster price increases — making it quite possible that the FHA is actually generating profits on the book of the loans it has guaranteed since 2009.
David Stevens, head of the Mortgage Bankers Association and former chief of the FHA, said the new report in December should show that the agency is on much better footing because of a rooted housing market recovery combined with a series of in-house policy changes.
"It's not as bad as it looks," he said.
The agency, which propped up the mortgage finance market during the financial crisis, is running a deficit in its reserve account because of bad mortgages from 2006 to 2008.
Under current law, the FHA is obligated to take the money it needs from the Treasury to shore up its reserve account.
Congress does not need to approve the bailout.
Beyond that, it also must ensure that it has another 2 percent in capital reserves.
Once FHA's ship is righted, Treasury can take back the money it borrowed and more, up to the exact amounts the agency needs in those two reserve accounts, Stevens said.
Stevens argues that the reserves were hit hard by a reverse mortgage program that has since been changed. He said that while the program represents a small percentage of the $1 trillion portfolio, it had an outsized effect on cash reserves.
This would be the first time since the agency was created in 1934 that it would need help from the federal government.
President Obama included $943 million infusion in his fiscal 2014 budget for the agency with the expectation that it would fall short of cash.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1091-housing/324907-fha-will-get-cash-infusion-but-outlook-is-good#ixzz2hGR1Zwdw
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March 19, 2013
The New 2013 FHA MIP Schedule
Beginning April 1, 2013 -- some FHA-backed homeowners will pay as much as 1.55 percent for annual FHA mortgage insurance, and will pay the FHA MIP for the life of their loan. For others, FHA mortgage insurance terms won't change.
FHA-insured homeowners pay mortgage insurance in two parts.
The first part is called "upfront mortgage insurance" (UFMIP) and it's a one-time payment that is made at closing. UFMIP is traditionally added to your loan size, and is not used in loan-to-value (LTV) calculations for an FHA loan.
The second part of FHA mortgage insurance is known as the annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP). Annual MIP is paid monthly as part of your regular mortgage payment.
Unlike upfront mortgage insurance premiums, annual MIP payments vary based on your loan term, your loan-to-value, and your loan size.
December 18, 2012
FHA to Tighten Up Mortgage Standards in 2013
As among the changes, borrowers with credit scores between 580 and 620 will face stricter underwriting standards. Such borrowers will face stricter limits on their debt-to-income ratio.
The FHA also will soon require a minimum down payment of 5 percent for high-cost mortgages that exceed $625,500.
FHA also plans to suspend its popular reverse-mortgage option, which allows those 62 years and older to take cash out of their homes in a big, upfront payment, The Wall Street Journal reports. FHA will be replacing it with the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage saver, which offers lower cash payments than the large upfront payment of the other program.
The changes are part of an effort to make up for a $16.3 billion deficit FHA faces. The FHA reverse-mortgage program alone accounts for $2.8 billion of those losses.
Last month, the FHA also announced it would increase insurance premiums.
March 11, 2012
The FHA plans to impose limits on the amount of money that home sellers can contribute at closing and to raise mortgage insurance premiums.
If you're considering buying a house with an FHA mortgage and expect the seller to help out with your closing costs, here's a heads-up: The Federal Housing Administration plans to impose significant restrictions on the amount of money that sellers can contribute at closing in the near future.
Traditionally the FHA has been uniquely generous in allowing home sellers — including builders marketing new construction — to sweeten the pot for purchasers by chipping in money to defray closing costs. The FHA now allows sellers to pay up to 6% of the price of the house toward their buyers' closing expenses. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, by comparison, cap contributions at 3%. The VA's ceiling is 4%.
Under newly proposed rules, the FHA cap would drop to the greater of 3% of the home price or $6,000. In sales involving houses priced at $100,000 or less, this wouldn't change anything ($6,000 equals 6% of $100,000). But on all sales above this threshold, the squeeze would get progressively tighter.
Nail down your FHA money and seller-contribution negotiations as soon as you can because later looks a lot more expensive.
March 9, 2012
The FHA is making more changes to its flagship FHA Streamline Refinance program.
Beginning mid-June 2012, certain current, FHA-backed homeowners will be able to refinance their existing FHA mortgage into a new one, without having to pay the government-backed group’s new, costly mortgage insurance premium schedule.
Earlier this week, the FHA rolled out its new MIP schedule.
Beginning April 9, 2012, new FHA mortgages are subject to a 1.75% upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) and an annual mortgage insurance premium of up to 1.25% for loan sizes up to, and including, $625,500; or 1.60% for loan sizes exceeding $625,500.
Upfront MIP is typically added to the loan size as a lump sum. Annual MIP is paid via 12 monthly installments. Both add to the long-term costs of homeownership.
However, the FHA’s new MIP schedules will not apply to all FHA-backed homeowners equally. Homeowners whose FHA mortgages were endorsed prior to June 1, 2009 will benefit from a different, less costly MIP schedule.
For these homeowners in search of a streamline, the MIP schedule is as follows :
Upfront MIP : 0.01% of the loan size
Annual MIP : 0.55% of the loan size, with no adjuster for loan sizes over $625,500
February 28, 2012
FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums Expected to Rise on April 1, 2012
The FHA will raise its mortgage insurance premiums April 1, 2012. All FHA mortgage applicants -- first-time buyers and repeat buyers -- will be subject to the new fees. (This information is based on an initial FHA announcement made February 27, 2012. It's unofficial until the FHA releases its mortgagee letter on the matter.)
December 29, 2011
FHA Extends its Anti-Flipping Waiver Regulations through 2012
The waiver, which was initially issued in 2010 and set to expire this month, suspends regulations that prohibit the agency from insuring mortgages used to purchase homes that are bought and resold in less than 90 days. "This extension is intended to accelerate the resale of foreclosed properties in neighborhoods struggling to overcome the possible effects of abandonment and blight," said Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante. For more information go to: www.Hud.gov
October 1, 2011
New FHA Loan Limits:
Starting October 1, 2011, conforming loan limits were reduced. New Loan Limits dropped from $729,750 to $625,500.
Still great terms and rates for FHA loans:
Down payments as low as 3.5%
Low Interest Rates
Flexible qualifying guidelines
February 15, 2011
Yesterday HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 11-10, making it official that FHA annual mortgage insurance will increase another 0.25% basis points on case numbers issued on or after April 18, 2011. The annual mortgage insurance is included in the monthly mortgage payment. There is no change (at this time) to the upfront mortgage insurance which is paid for at closing (typically financed or may be paid as a closing cost). This is in line with the Obama Administration's plan for reforming mortgages which was revealed on Friday.
Here's how this will pencil out for a 30 year fixed mortgage based on a sales price of $400,000 with a minimum down payment of 3.5% (base loan amount of $386,000).
FHA mortgages with a case number issued prior to April 18, 2011:
386,000 x .90% = 3,474/12 months = $289.50.
FHA mortgages with a case number issued April 18, 2011 or later:
386,000 x 1.10% = 4,246/12 months = $353.83
Difference in monthly payment: $64.33.
This will also impact FHA 203k rehab loans.
Remember, FHA annual mortgage insurance remains on the loan for a minimum of 60 payments regardless of loan to value. Even if a home buyer is putting down 20% towards the purchase of their home, they will still have FHA mortgage insurance. FHA mortgage insurance will also remain on the home until the loan balance reaches 78% of the loan to value based on the original appraised value or purchase price of the home (which ever was less).
February 8, 2011
The FHA has extended its temporary waiver of its “anti-flipping rule.” The original waiver, which was passed as the direct result of C.A.R.’s leadership efforts, was set to expire at the end of last month, but now will be extended through the remainder of 2011. The ruling allows investors who acquire foreclosed properties at below-market value to be exempted from waiting the customary 90 days before reselling them. The 90-day waiting period originally was put in place to protect FHA borrowers against predatory practices of flipping where properties were quickly resold at inflated prices to unsuspecting borrowers. First-time buyers have responded overwhelmingly to the opportunity to buy “move-in ready” renovated homes with low down payments, prompting the extension.
January 4, 2011
FHA ISSUES GUIDANCE FOR REVERSE MORTGAGE BORROWERS AND LENDERS DEALING WITH OUTSTANDING PROPERTY TAX AND INSURANCE DEBTS:
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today released guidance to homeowners and lenders that use the reverse mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program and are dealing with outstanding property taxes and unpaid hazard insurance premiums. FHA’s guidance is intended to assist elderly borrowers who have neglected to pay these expenses and may face foreclosure.
FHA’s Mortgagee Letter applies to all HECM loans where the lender/servicer advanced corporate funds to satisfy an unpaid property charge on behalf of the borrower. It reminds lenders that foreclosure is to be a last resort when dealing with their elderly clients. It also includes sample letters that lenders may use to make certain borrowers understand that property tax and hazard insurance are required expenses that must be paid even though the homeowner owes nothing on their mortgage loan.
When a borrower fails to pay a property charge, the loan is deemed to be out of compliance with the provisions of the mortgage and FHA considers the loan to be delinquent. Lenders/servicers, however, must work with the borrower to try to bring the loan current at the earliest possible point. It is only after all loss mitigation strategies have been exhausted that the lender may submit a "due and payable" request to FHA.
Today’s Mortgagee Letter precisely defines the process and reporting requirements lender/servicers must follow to collect unpaid property charges from HECM borrowers. FHA is strongly encouraging HECM borrowers who have outstanding property charges to work closely with loan servicers and approved housing counselors who can provide free assistance to help them resolve the situation and avoid any foreclosure action.
For the full story http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/HUDNo.11-001
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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
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