With Refinance Booming, VA Loan Volume Hits 18-Year High

VA loan volume hit an 18-year high in the fiscal year that ended in September, according to data recently released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The significant increase — both historical and year-over-year — is another sign that military borrowers are moving away from the tighter conventional lending space and toward the VA loan program’s more flexible credit and income requirements. Loan volume jumped 51 percent from FY11 to FY12, spurred in large part by a boom in refinance loans.

VA loan growth

Record-low interest rates have made the VA’s Streamline and Cash-Out refinance programs increasingly attractive. In some cases VA-approved lenders are able to process Streamlines without an appraisal, which continues to help qualified underwater homeowners take advantage of low rates.

Here’s a look at how VA loan volume has changed in the last five years alone:

FY12: 539,884
FY11: 357,592
FY10: 314,011
FY09: 325,690
FY08: 179,670
FY07: 133,313

The continued growth of the VA loan program comes as consumers continue to face tighter lending requirements in the wake of the subprime mortgage meltdown. Generally, VA lenders are looking for a credit score of at least 620, and the program offers financial benefits such as $0 down, no private mortgage insurance and higher allowable debt-to-income ratios.

Flexible requirements

Many military borrowers can struggle to hit the credit and/or down payment requirements necessary to secure conventional or even FHA financing. The average credit score on an FHA denial in May was 669, according to the National Association of Realtors. More than half the conventional loans issued in August went to borrowers with at least a 740 score.

Every state experienced at least a 25 percent increase in loan volume. Some military-dense states posted big gains in particular, including Hawaii (89 percent), Virginia (69 percent) and California (65 percent).

Mortgage News You Should Read – 2009-05-01

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Update on H.R. 1728: Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act

H.R. 1728 has left the House Financial Services Community and is headed to the floor of the House of Representatives, next week. Several in the mortgage industry are cautioning the impacts it will have on the mortgage lending:

In testimony Thursday before the committee, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) chairman David Kittle said a risk retention provision could make it impossible for many lenders to compete, among other faults.

Legislative sponsors and H.R. 1728 proponents are focusing on fixing current events, maybe not considering future consequences:

HR1728 would also ban yield spread premiums and other “abusive compensation structures” that create conflicts of interest, protect tenants who rent homes that go into foreclosure and encourage the market to revert back to originating fixed-rate, fully documented loans.

Get more coverage at HousingWire.com

Is NAR Entering the Mortgage Business?

The XBroker starts the conversation on NAR’s new relationship with the Federal Credit Union.

Jay Thompson wrote about the NAR’s foray into the world of controlled finances over a year ago…Eric Stegemann brought the topic up while at RE BarCamp-Phoenix, indicating it was his understanding that after a few delays, its a go. Fascinating implications.

The largest trade organization in the United States, with all its lobbyist power, is for all practical purposes a lender.  Yes, yes, NAR and the Realtors (INSERT COPYRIGHT SYMBOL HERE) Federal Credit Union (RFCU) are separate and apart in all the right places

Weigh-in over at The XBroker.

Senate Kills Cramdown Legislation

Looks like Federal judges are out of the loan modification business. What do you think? Is this going to help or hurt the pace of cleaning up the housing market?

Comment over at the Mortgage Insider.

Lenders Slowing the Mortgage Market with Mortgage Rates

Dan Green is doing an interesting market metric lately–number of rate sheets issued per day by lenders. This seems to be a pretty good indicator of volatility in the mortgage market:

“Calm” is a relative term. For the second straight period, lenders issued just one rate sheet per day more times than they issued multiples.  This is in stark contrast to 6 months ago when lenders issued at least three rate sheets per day, on average.

And, he asks a clever question: Are lenders using this control for profit-taking and to slow the market to minimize resources?

Comment over at The Mortgage Reports.

What Does Google Tell Your Customers about Your Reputation?

Wow! This is such an important topic for mortgage and real estate professionals. No matter how nice and professional you are to your prospects–they are going to Google you.

Find out what you should be doing over at AgentGenius.com.

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