Just So There’s No Misunderstanding–Mortgage Rules & FAQ’s

Title:  Just So There’s No Misunderstanding

By: Karen Deis, Publisher, MortgageCurrentcy.com

Before I get started with the updates for December, what I’ve noticed over the last few months is that Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA and USDA have issued quite a few clarifications and updates in the form of FAQ’s and enhancements to cover the “grey areas,” so underwriters and LO’s have a clearer picture of exactly what a rule change means in plain language (just so there is no misunderstanding).

You’ll find three of them here this month from Fannie, including the new FAQ started on 11-19-12 where they answer DU 9.0 questions. Fannie has also created a comparison chart between DU 8.3 and DU 9.0 to illustrate the differences between the two.  You’ll find it in this issue.

If there is one article I would recommend that you read this month, it’s the one where Fannie makes some big underwriting clarifications in Announcement SEL 2012-13.

Here are some of the highlights, because these affect your files in process right now.

  • If you are refinancing a loan, the property taxes are 60 days past due and you are paying the back taxes by including them in the loan amount, it triggers a mandatory escrow account.
  • Fannie went on to talk about “their indication of borrowed funds.” The trigger here is that if there is a large deposit that exceeds 25% of total monthly qualifying income, additional backup documentation is needed.
  • Retirement funds used for cash reserves may be discounted by up to 40%, depending on the volatility of the type of retirement account.
  • Additionally Fannie indicated that you no longer have to get a letter or back-up documents that say the collection poses no threat to their first lien position.  This will make it easier on you and your borrowers.
  • You’ll find five more updates in this announcement, including the treatment of capital gains or losses – you no longer have to count them, even if they are reoccurring. And Fannie says you no longer have to count the Treatment of Capital losses as a liability (or income), even if the losses are reoccurring.

Let’s talk about the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.  The latest warning is their findings when it comes to deceptive advertising practices.  They are relying on Reg Z advertising rules, which cover mortgage companies, and the Mortgage Acts & Practices rules, which apply not only to mortgage companies, but to real estate agents and builders as well.

My personal observation is that CFPB is asking their examiners to review ALL types of advertising and then to create a section in their examination manual for everyone to follow.  That’s why, for right now, they are sending out warning letters instead of fines.

MAP has been around since 2011, and you’ll find attached to this newsletter the article and Mortgage Talking Points™ article for your real estate agents and builders and what they need to do to follow the rules. In addition, you’ll find a REG Z video training course, with examples of mortgage ads that don’t meet federal rules.

Other updates this month

  • A joint venture between FHFA and CFPB to monitor the mortgage market
  • HARP program extension
  • Updates to the Fannie Appraisal messaging system
  • No increase in loan amounts for Fannie/Freddie
  • HUD and NMLS team up to collect data when you order a case number
  • VA updates to form 26-8937
  • FHA Extends Anti-Flipping Rules

In recapping this year, we wrote 114 updates – or about 10 per month.  In addition, we posted 136 most frequently asked questions that we hoped would help you get more of your loans approved.  Oh, and I also wanted to mention the “marketing component” of your subscription to MC – the automatic Tweets, Facebook posts, Mortgage Talking Points™ and charts and checklists.  www.MortgageCurrentcy.com

I hope that 2013 is your best year ever in the mortgage industry – and remember, getting a loan approved and closed these days… is rocket science.