Historic Milestones for Women’s Independence: Fair Housing Act & H.R. 5050

In the year 2018 we have observed milestones for the history of women’s social and economic independence. It marks the anniversary of two important pieces of legislation that helped women achieve economic growth through business ownership as well as homeownership—two interrelated tools that are pivotal for personal wealth building.

The Fair Housing Act, an act that tackled discrimination in the housing sector, has been in effect for 50 years, while the H.R. 5050 Women’s Business Ownership Act, which made it possible for women to take out a loan without a man’s signature, has been helping more women become entrepreneurs for 30 years.

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Financial Services Committee Confirms Brian Montgomery as FHA Commissioner

Chairman Jeb Hensarling of the House Financial Services Committee released an official statement confirming the dual appointment of Brian Montgomery as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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The Gender Gap: Women as Mortgage Consumers

In the last 200 years, women’s voice and role in society has evolved quite substantially in the United States and around the world. The mortgage industry is no exception. As first-time homebuyers, women face patterns of discrimination. These discriminatory lending patterns, in violation of many regulations including those promulgated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), limit women from becoming homeowners and result in fair lending violations, regulatory actions and litigation against lenders.

As regulatory requirements in the mortgage industry have tightened, lenders are taking note that discrimination is having an adverse effect on the mortgage industry and our economy as a whole. In some cases, programs are being established to target specific categories of women in the market that are faced with discriminatory obstacles. Yet, there is much more that needs to be done.
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Reducing Losses on FHA Defaulted Loans

Servicing FHA Loans continues to be challenging and, in many instances, includes high losses on default liquidated loans. While FHA delinquencies have greatly improved compared to post crisis delinquency, there are still over 7.8 million outstanding FHA insured loans with delinquency rates that rose as high as 11.25 percent according to the FHA Single Family Loan Performance Trends report published by HUD this past January.

When working with FHA Loans in default, there are many key time frames that must be met in order to minimize losses, beginning as soon as the date the loan was last contractually current, and continuing throughout the claim filing process. In many cases just missing the start of a foreclosure action by one day can result in increased losses of thousands of dollars. Failure to meet all time frames will not only result in interest curtailments, but ultimately the curtailment of advances as well. These losses can be further exacerbated depending on the type of pool, the Servicer’s ability to limit interest rate spreads, and time required to resolve. Additionally, if there was a missed time frame, FHA will only pay debenture interest to the point of the interest curtailment. After the interest curtailment, HUD will no longer pay debenture interest on the Unpaid Principle Balance.

To put things in perspective, if an FHA loan has an Unpaid Principle Balance of $150,000 with an interest rate of 3.5 percent, and you miss the first legal action for foreclosure, and it takes an additional 24 months to convey, the Servicer stands to lose $10,500 in interest alone. In addition to interest curtailments, the Servicer must fully comply with the allowable fee schedule for all legal actions and property preservation expenses. Overhead costs as well as any fees or costs associated with clearing title issues are not reimbursable or recoverable through a claim to HUD.

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Increase Your Sales as a Renovation Realtor

Recently, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that the highest home buying demand in years is being stifled by tight inventory. In this article, I will demonstrate how you can increase your available inventory by embracing homes in need of renovation.

If you are already using renovation loans as a tool to sell more of your listings or to find homes for your prospective buyers, congratulations, you are reaping the benefits of these creative and game-changing loan programs. If not, 2017 may be your year to explore adding a renovation loan strategy to your business plan and increase inventory and sales.

Before we discuss an implementation strategy for using renovation loans, let’s first define what a renovation loan is and the specific loan programs that are available.

What is a renovation loan?

A renovation loan, simply, is a loan that is based on the “after-improved value” of a property where the improvements will be made after the closing. The after-improved value is established by the appraiser, who is given the plans and specifications for all repairs, improvements and additions to the property. Virtually any improvements a buyer could need or want to make are allowed, as long as it is attached to the property and adds value.

The loan-to-value is based on the lesser of the after-improved appraised value or the acquisition cost plus the amount of the renovations. At closing, the funds for planned improvements are deposited into an escrow account that will be disbursed upon inspection of and completion of the work. The project period is typically limited to six months or less.

The two most commonly used renovation loan programs are the FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage and the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage. Both programs offer fixed-rate financing with terms up to 30 years.
When determining which program is best for your clients, you should look at their credit profile and required loan amount first. The FHA program typically has lower credit score requirements and the Fannie Mae program offers high balance loans.

As with non-renovation loans, FHA requires a 3.5 percent down payment and Fannie Mae requires a 5 percent down payment, making renovation financing a viable option for the first-time homebuyer.
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First Tennessee Bank Reaches Second Lending Settlement

In June 2015, First Tennessee Bank reached a $212.5 million settlement for knowingly underwriting and originating mortgage loans not complying with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lending requirements. First Tennessee Bank recognized that from January 2006 to October 2008 it originated and underwrote mortgage loans insured by the FHA which did not satisfy the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) underwriting requirements. Continue reading

Quicken Loans Suing the DOJ and HUD

Quicken Loans—the largest Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage lender in the U.S.—sued the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday. Quicken Loans claims this was its only choice  after  the DOJ told the company it must publicly admit to information  that was false, as well as pay a large sum of money, or it would have to face legal action.

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HUD Secretary Castro's Testimony before the House Financial Services Committee Ignites Opposition

Earlier this week, we blogged about the upcoming House Financial Services Committee hearing featuring U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro. The hearing, titled The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Administration, was directed towards the financial status of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the condition of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF), and recent initiatives to promote affordable housing.

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HUD Secretary Castro’s Testimony before the House Financial Services Committee Ignites Opposition

Earlier this week, we blogged about the upcoming House Financial Services Committee hearing featuring U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro. The hearing, titled The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Administration, was directed towards the financial status of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the condition of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF), and recent initiatives to promote affordable housing.

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