Archive for March 2012

View FHA Mortgage Letters

March 31, 2012

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You can view all FHA Mortgagee Letters on-line at: http://ping.fm/Fptcy

Up-Dated Federal Housing Administration Maximum Loan Limits

March 31, 2012

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FHA has published Mortgagee Letter 2011-39 which provides a comprehensive update to the FHA’s single-family loan limits. Learn more…

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FHA EXTENDS WAIVER OF ANTI-FLIPPING REGULATIONS THROUGH 2012

March 31, 2012

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In an effort to continue stabilizing home values and improve conditions in communities experiencing high foreclosure activity, FHA Commissioner Carol J. Galante extended a temporary waiver on 12/28/11 of FHA’s anti-flipping regulations through 2012. Read FHA’s press release. Read the anti -flipping waiver.

HUD OFFERS MORE THAN $40 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR HOUSING COUNSELING
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that more than $40 million is available for a broad range of housing counseling programs to help families find and preserve housing. These grants will be awarded competitively to hundreds of HUD-approved counseling agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies across the nation that offer a variety of services including how to avoid foreclosure, how to avoid mortgage scams, how to purchase or rent a home, how to improve credit scores, and how to qualify for a reverse mortgage. Read the entire press release online.

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FHA Bill to Boost MIP Caps Moves Forward in House

March 28, 2012

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By Andrew Scoggin – March 27, 2012 – 6:09pm

A House committee voted unanimously to pass a bill that looks to give a boost to the Federal Housing Administration through increased mortgage insurance premium caps and other changes.

The FHA, under the bill, could charge up to 2.05% for its annual mortgage premium, up from a current 1.55% maximum. It also sets a minimum of 0.55% for the yearly payment.

Those premiums are set to rise by 10 basis points in April to 1.2% for new mortgages, or 1.25% for loans with a loan-to-value ratio above 95%. That increase stems from a December law that temporarily extended a payroll tax cut.

To read full article – http://www.housingwire.com/article/fha-bill-moves-along-house

Deutsche Bank to Pay $32.5 Million to Settle Mortgage Suit

March 28, 2012

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By Thom Weidlich – Mar 26, 2012 9:53 AM PT

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Germany’s biggest lender, agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle claims in U.S. litigation that it lied about the quality of home loans underlying securities it sold. The investors that sued, including the Massachusetts Bricklayers and Masons Trust Funds, filed a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement in federal court in Central Islip, New York, today.

“The proposed settlement will provide a substantial monetary benefit to the settlement class,” lawyers for the plaintiffs wrote in the filing. U.S. District Judge Leonard D. Wexler must approve the deal.

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Just In From HUD – The Facts On FHA

March 27, 2012

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I just got this from HUD –

Written by: FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante

The health of the FHA and management of its business have been frequent topics of discussion in the media and among our stakeholders in recent months. Certainly, these are important issues to the ongoing recovery of our economy, to the future of our housing finance system, and to American taxpayers. We welcome a robust and healthy discussion of ways to further strengthen FHA, but such an exchange is only possible when it is based upon accurate information. Today, we have posted Myths and Facts Regarding the FHA Single-Family Loan Guarantee Portfolio to address a range of questions and concerns regarding the FHA and the methods used to evaluate its health.

But any discussion of FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF) must start at the beginning: the health of the fund and state of the market in late 2008 to early 2009. Immediately prior to the Obama Administration taking office, FHA’s portfolio was beginning to experience significant stress as a result of economic conditions and a large volume of loans supported by seller-funded downpayments. When home prices fell and the recession deepened, these books began to default and claim at record rates. This Administration acted quickly and aggressively to avoid repeating those mistakes and to mitigate their effect on the fund, while still ensuring that FHA performs its mission of providing access to the housing market, particularly for underserved communities.

We have taken more steps since January 2009 to eliminate unnecessary credit risk and assure strong premium revenue flows than any Administration in FHA history, and those efforts continue.

To stabilize the MMIF and contribute to FHA’s ability to remain a strong and viable financing option for all credit worthy borrowers, we have instituted a series of premium increases for FHA products, including the recently announced changes to the annual and upfront premiums expected to add more than $1 billion in additional receipts for FHA beyond those anticipated in the President’s budget.

We have significantly increased oversight of lenders and enforcement of FHA requirements. With the landmark servicing settlement with the nation’s largest mortgage servicers and additional origination settlements with individual lenders and, FHA’s MMI Fund will be compensated over $900 million for losses resulting from violations of FHA requirements by servicers and originators of FHA-insured loans.

We will continue aggressive enforcement of our lender requirements to protect the Fund and American taxpayers from bad actors. But we will also clarify the rules of the road for FHA lending, as we have done through our recently published rule which outlines the process for requiring indemnification by participants in our Lender Insurance program for improperly originated loans and giving us a solid foundation for requiring repayment by lenders when those guidelines are violated.

To further decrease risk to the fund, we strengthened borrower qualification requirements to require higher downpayments for borrowers with low credit scores to ensure that FHA-insured mortgage financing is offered to individuals who can meet their mortgage obligations and truly experience the benefits of sustainable homeownership. In addition, HUD is now seeking to reduce allowable seller concessions in order to protect FHA and borrowers from the impacts of inflated appraisals.

We know that lowering costs for responsible FHA borrowers decreases their risk of default and ultimately reduces risk to the fund. Reduced upfront and annual premiums in FHA’s Streamline Refinance program will help more FHA borrowers to take advantage of low interest rates. Moreover, by eliminating those loans from the method FHA uses to compare the relative performance of approved lenders, we have removed an important barrier to lender uptake.

And finally, to better serve borrowers facing difficulties in meeting their mortgage obligations, we have made changes to our already robust mandatory loss mitigation requirements to provide additional opportunities for borrowers to remain in their homes.

This Administration has acted aggressively to strengthen and protect the mortgage insurance fund and put FHA on a sustainable path for the long term. Multiple independent analyses show that we are moving in the right direction and that the outlook for FHA and the fund is much better than it was in 2009 . There are still significant risks remaining — particularly if house prices continue to decline or underlying economic conditions worsen. And in determining the most appropriate actions for FHA we will continue to balance protection of the fund with the need to ensure the continued recovery of a fragile economy.

But it is clear that FHA programs remain vital to ensuring more Americans have the opportunity to realize or maintain the economic security of the middle class. And the work this Administration has done has established a strong foundation upon which we will construct an economy built to last.

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Significant Rule Change – FHA to deny mortgage backing for credit disputes above $1,000

March 27, 2012

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This was just posted on my Google+ page by Walid Muhammad http://ping.fm/llp0V

Beginning April 1, potential borrowers with ongoing credit disputes totaling more than $1,000 will not be able to get a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

The rule marks a significant belt-tightening at the FHA whereas the adminstration earlier held no such requirement that disputed credit accounts needed to be paid off.

After April 1, the borrower must either pay off the outstanding balance on these collections accounts or document a payment arrangement that the lender must then submit to the FHA before closing.
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