Have The Regulators Seen Their Shadows?

Have the Regulators Seen their Shadow?

Karen Deis, Publisher, www.MortgageCurrentcy.com – View free video blog on home page.

Well, it seems like the agencies have “seen their shadow” and crawled back into a hole—because there were only a few updates within the last 30 days!

As part of the continuing mini-series of breaking apart the various rules from the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau, we are dissecting each topic that is important to loan originators, and writing about one every month—until they go into effect in 2014.

Part two of the mini-series talks about the Qualified Mortgage Rule and the five tiers of loan amount thresholds when it comes to the maximum amount of income that can be earned for each tier.  There are five different loan amount tiers to be aware of:

Greater than $100,000

$60,000 to $100,000

$20,000 to $60,000

$12,500 to $20,000

And less than $12,500

The maximum income earned on each tier is inclusive of fees and points that are NOT included in your commission.  It also states that those maximum commissions will be adjusted based on the CPI for inflation at the first of every year.

Loan Officer Compensation Rule defines the term “loan originator” in part two of the mini-series.  While it’s not new, it basically says that anyone who quotes rates, assists the consumer in filling out a loan application, or negotiates loan terms and issues approval letters is a loan originator.   SO, if processors, underwriters or assistants do any of these things, they must be licensed.

Something new that doesn’t affect you but we wanted you to know about is that if a seller finances residential property that they own, and provides financing for 4 or more properties within a 12-month time period, they are considered a “loan originator.”

So, if a builder is providing self-financing to home buyers AFTER the home has been completed, a builder would be considered a “loan originator.” However, if they are providing construction loan financing only, they would not have to be licensed.

Just a couple of update from FHA!

There will be a new 92900 form with the new MIP disclosures, but the form won’t go into effect until June 3.  HUD said they are not going to provide a copy of the new form until the changes go into effect, but check with your LOS systems to make sure they are working on the updated version.

And, there was a strange email from HUD.  On March 2, they sent an email with a link to a new TOTAL Scorecard update.  The link took everyone to an OLD update.  We searched the websites, contacted the HUD officials, and the mystery continues—no one knows where to find the March 2 update.   So watch for it in the future.

And, there has been nothing from VA in quite a while—it’s probably one of the most stable loan programs available today.

Remember, getting a loan approved and closed these days IS rocket science.

 

 

 

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.

What Do NMLS, FHA Condos, HARP & USDA have in common?

Title:  What do NMLS, FHA Condos, HARP and USDA have in common? 

By: Karen Deis, Publisher, MortgageCurrentcy.com

What do NMLS, FHA Condos, HARP and USDA have in common?

All of them have had rule changes within the last 30 days!

So, let’s start by talking about what’s supposed to happen when NMLS updates their website on October 22…

They are updating their “credit flags” and “credit scoring thresholds” within the reporting features.  So what does this mean to you? When it’s time to renew your license,  if you have at least one derogatory credit issue or change from the previous year, or you have a decrease in your credit score, your state’s licensing board will be notified and they will determine whether or not your license will be renewed.

They have also added some additional questions when you reapply. The most significant one is where they ask you if you have had any local, state or federal displinary actions taken against you.  If you answer yes, you must explain what it is – and again, the state will decided whether to renew your license.

One thing you can do right now is check your credit, and remember that NMLS uses Vantage scores, not Fico scores.  SO within this article, we’ve include a link where you can order your Vantage credit score.

Next, Fannie and Freddie have made it easier for consumers to qualify for HARP  Refi’s.  You’ll find two separate articles, but they are pretty much in sync with each other now—including the biggie that if the new monthly payment changes less than 20% over the old monthly payment, they are reducing the documentation for income and assets.

For example, if a borrower has at least 12 months’ PITI in cash reserves, there is no need to verify income.

They have also made it easier to remove a borrower. And if you are refi’ng a rental property, they have eliminated Form 1007.

Here’s what you need to know – the DU System has not yet been updated, and underwriters have been advised to disregard DU messages and use these new requirements.

So, it’s important that YOU know what the changes are, just in case the underwriter doesn’t know what has been updated or is asking for documents that may appear on the findings, but are not needed due to these changes.

Oh, and I just wanted to mention again that you’ll find a couple of mortgage talking points for consumers about this topic.

Let’s switch to FHA, where they have changed the Condo approval process, making it easier to get them approved.

The biggest changes are the homeowner’s association dues and investor ownership percentages.  Those have been real deal-killers in the past.

And if you’ve wondered what the old condo approval rules were—and how they have changed—we not only created a handy chart for you to refer to, but also provided a Mortgage Talking PointsTM for your real estate agents.

One last bit of news from USDA…last month, they made an announcement that they would be eliminating some cities and changing income limits on others.

How they make that determination is based upon census information, but they found there was a flaw in the data because the 2010 census no longer asked for income information, which was the method used by Rural Housing to determine eligibility.  They claim they will have it all worked out by the end of March, 2013.  Makes me wonder how they plan to do THAT!

One of the reasons I write about the rules and regulations and interpret them in plain language for you, is that I realize that getting a loan approved and closed these days, is rocket science!

(Read these articles for just $1. www.MortgageCurrentcy.com)

What you don’t know–can cost you a commission!

What You Don’t Know—Can Cost You a Commission!

By: Karen Deis, Publisher, MortgageCurrentcy.com

Before I get started on the mortgage rule and regulation updates from the last 30 days, I wanted to mention that there is a free article for you this month about the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s proposed no point, no fee rules, with an example of how it would work in real life!  http://www.mortgagecurrentcy.com/free-article-list.php

Okay, so a couple of FHA updates for you.

FHA has a little-known area in their appraisal section in regard to what they call unique properties.  HUD has given guidelines when it comes to log homes, extra small homes, lower than normal ceiling heights, and so on.

If a property has excess land, you’ll find guidelines on how to get an FHA loan.  Also covered are commercial use of property and homes that have been moved to a new foundation.  You’ll find a Mortgage Talking Points ™article to email and share with your real estate agents with all the details.

There is a new HUD Mortgagee letter regarding documentation required to verify social security income.  Basically, they are now in line with Fannie and Freddie that if the award letter has no expiration date, the lender is to consider that the income is likely to continue.  This is great news for everyone, and loan officers and Underwriters finally have something to cover their backsides with specific documentations.  Keep this 12-15 Mortgagee Letter handy until they get the Handbook updated.

Oh, one last thing – it really doesn’t need an article written about it, but is important nevertheless – FHA updated their Total Scorecard Users Guide.  It’s been updated on the website, including the video training class called FHA Total Score Card – 8 Deal Killers.  If you are a subscriber, it’s included.  If not, you can access it for $9. http://www.mortgagecurrentcy.com/video_training/course_list.php  

Now, on to a big announcement for some of you in high-cost areas.  VA has increased quite a few loan limits, so take advantage!  Comb those “VA jumbo” past contacts and see if there are any Veterans you can help out with purchases and refinances. The higher amounts are for purchase contracts and refis between August 6 and December 31, 2012. 

If there is one article that you need to read in this issue, it’s Fannie’s announcement 2012-07 with a ton of updates that will go into effect with the release of DU 9.0 on October 20, 2012.

The biggest change here:  FNMA is retiring the Comprehensive Risk Assessment Worksheet that it created years ago to assist lenders in assessing risk on a manually underwritten loan.  Now FNMA is moving many of these tips and risk awareness/parameters to their Eligibility Matrix, which include DTI and minimum credit score flexibility restrictions.

You’ll also want to read the latest HARP 2.0 FAQ’s that came out on August 16.  They did not highlight the changes in bold this time around, so we had to go back to the previous one to find out what was changed and what was added.  There were a total of 5 updates.

One of the questions has to do with subordinated financing, which will be updated when DU 9.0 is live on Oct 20th.  The other biggie has to do with reps and warranties – which is a huge gift Fannie is giving to lenders and underwriters.

And, if you are doing Rural Housing loans, we sent an email to subscribers a couple of weeks ago that the money for refi’s is all gone for the fiscal year ending October 1st.

And if you have a purchase transaction sitting there waiting for a loan commitment for USDA, it has to have a conditional commitment by Sept 30 or new annual and guarantee fees go into effect.  If the files aren’t committed by then, you must redisclose.

Call your local USDA office and find out their backlog. You may also want to warn your clients and real estate agents that there is a good possibility that they may have to pay a higher fee.

One last thing – we have posted the latest NMLS list of licensing and continuing ed requirements, by state.  Check out the document and see what’s required in your state.

Remember, “Getting a loan approved and closed IS rocket science.” You can read all the articles for just $1.  Click Here to Access. http://www.mortgagecurrentcy.com/subscription_options.php

 

What’s with All the HUD Emails?

What’s With All the HUD Emails?

Karen Deis, Publisher, www.MortgageCurrentcy.com

I don’t know what’s happening at FHA lately, but they seem to be back-pedaling A LOT lately, and worse yet, modifying some of the mortgagee letters by sending an “email” instead of a “formal notice.”

Here are a couple of things HUD has updated that will affect your origination business right now.

First, FHA has delayed the $1,000 collection, disputed account, identity theft rule (ML 2012-3) from last month until July 1st (which means Case Numbers issued after that July 1st date—not the loan app date). Go through your files and search for the deals that you killed because of this rule—and get them closed. What we expect is a modified version of this rule down the road. So stay tuned.

Another email from HUD clarified that reducing the term of a mortgage on a streamline refi will also meet the net tangible benefit test. The big deal here is that previously it did not apply to streamlines, and now it does.

So, in yet another email, HUD gave step-by-step details on how to cancel case numbers on streamline refis and special instructions for streamlines that require an appraisal. HUD has updated the streamline refi worksheet that you should have started to use on April 6, and an updated FHA TOTAL Scorecard Guide came out on March 15.

Okay, enough about FHA and on to HARP 2.0. Fannie just updated their FAQ on March 15 and updated five of the questions. The biggie here is the addition of question 59, where Fannie says you can add a non-occupant borrower to the refi plus and DU refi plus loans. What are some of the reasons you would want to do this? One reason would be that on a manually underwritten loan, where the payment increases more than 20%, you might need additional income to qualify. Another reason would be to add a child, spouse, brother, or sister who has limited credit to help them establish a mortgage credit history.

The other questions that were updated are: Can you refi if the loan is in a trial modification period?

Does a DU refi plus loan for a property located in a condo project, have to have a condo project review?

How do you use DU to find the standardized address if DU gives you a property mismatch warning?

Which types of transactions are eligible for a DU Refi Plus field work waiver? By knowing which types of loans qualify for waivers—and there are five types—you will not only save your borrowers the appraisal fee, but you’ll be their mortgage hero.

In this issue, you’ll find the very first ever Mortgage Talking Points for consumers: What You Need to Know about HARP: Home Affordable Refinance Program. (By the way, there are a couple of training classes on the http://www.mortgagecurrentcy.com.) This article makes it easy for consumers to understand these different topics: • Determining if your home qualifies • What you will need to apply • What is the “unknown” • What are the benefits. So how can you use it? Facebook post, blog about it, an email and snail mail.

In this issue, you’ll find a couple more Mortgage Talking Points for your real estate agents. The first one is called Manufactured Housing: Quick FHA Financing Facts. There are certain areas of the country where you’ll find manufactured housing, and FHA will finance these types of homes if they meet the 11 conditions. Real estate agents need to know this if they are listing this type of home.

The second is called Mortgage Credit Certifications: A Blast from the Past. Freddie updated how they will use the tax credit to help borrowers qualify for a higher loan amount. So if you are in an area where it’s offered, it’s another way to get the word out on how it works.

And to wrap up what you need to know this month, Freddie has renamed chapter 26 from “Cash and Other Equity” to “Borrower Funds.” The big change here is that cash-out proceeds from a refi cannot be used as cash reserves on Freddie loans.

So, why read Mortgage Currentcy?

Because getting a loan approved these days IS rocket science.

What Do NMLS & HUD Case Numbers Have In Common?

So effective April 1st, FHA is requiring that all lenders must enter the “NMLS Identifier” number when ordering a case number.

ML 2011-04, HUD has NOT made the distinction between brokers and bankers—the wording says “NMLS ID number”.

So here’s the rest of the story–On Oct 1, 2010, FIDC, OTS, OCC, Federal Reserve, Farm Credit and NCUA in a FINAL rule, stated that if a Loan Officer works for a bank, they must be REGISTERED using the NMLS system. It’s not required until the middle of this year, but the way I’m reading it, both licensed and registered LO’s must provide their ID number.

But, here’s the warning – guard your NMLS ID number like you would guard your social security number. If you are part of a loan origination team, don’t allow your number to be used unless YOU personally took the loan application. Don’t let anyone else use your ID number. There are still some of those “bad apples” around and they could be using your ID number for their “high risk” loans and while using their own ID’s for the “clean” applications.

If a processor is licensed (and many of them are) warn them not to give their ID’s to loan officers. There is no reason and LO should use a processors ID number!

More info can be found at www.Fha.gov or www.MortgageCurrentcy.com

Are FHA Loans Assumable? You Bet!

A great financing option that real estate agents need to know about ,if they are listing a home for sale, is if the home has an FHA mortgage that was originated after December 15, 1989.  Why?  Because the loan is assumable!  More Info and Mortgage Talking Points(tm) “FHA Assumptions=More Sales” can be found at www.MortgageCurrentcy.com 

Here are some of the rules:

Buyer must qualify based on credit–(Servicer may be more lenient about the score)

Loan Fees are lower–(Servicer will charge for processing–usually a flat fee)

Seller may pay buyer’s closing costs

Secondary financing and borrowed funds may be used by buyer (Must qualify for all payments)

Sellers will be released of liability

What’s prohibited:  If buyer purchasing to use as investment property or 2nd home (some exceptions heres), loan is NOT assumable

At the time the home is listed for sale, real estate agents should order an “FHA Assumption Package” from the company servicing the loan.  They will also be the ones processing the paperwork. Great info to share with real estate agents–especially on Face Book!

House Financial Services Committee Approves Bill

New legislation that will enable the government to finance $300 billion of troubled mortgages was just approved by the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. It includes a mandate to FHA to guarantee loans on properties that have declined in value since the mortgage was taken out.

OK, we’re talking about properties with “distressed” mortgages, presumably past due or in default already and insufficiently collateralized. Now, would any individual investor or taxpayer ever willingly finance that kind of debt? Who wants to be the first to whip out his or her checkbook?

Yet collectively that is exactly what we will be expected to do. Pay for someone else’s greed, lapse in judgment, bad luck, or whatever. According to Barney Frank (D-Mass), who supports the bill, it could cost us up to $6 billion. I’m inclined to agree with those who opposed it — we already have adequate means to deal with this problem — laws to punish fraudsters, market forces to drive poor decision-makers from the industry, credit consequenses to those who abuse the trust of their lenders, disclosure laws for investments, and bankruptcy protection for those who need and deserve it. How about spending money to enforce what we already have and shore up weaknesses? The system is not flawed when people and companies have to pay for bad decisions. That’s what provides the incentive to do the right thing in the long run. This legislation is flawed because it punishes the ones who exercised prudence and rewards those who played fast and loose with other people’s money.

Sounds like the old grasshopper and ant story, remember? The grasshopper spent his summer screwing around and having a good time — meanwhile the ant worked his tail off and made sure his savings were stored up and sufficient to keep him sheltered and fed. In the end, Mr. Ant took pity on his short-sighted neighbor and let him move in.

I don’t have a problem with that because Mr. Ant made his own choice. Unfortunately, we taxpayers won’t be allowed to make ours.