Government proposes bid to grow FHA business

by MPA02 Sep 2015
Many banks have pulled back from offering riskier FHA-backed  loans – those for borrowers with credit scores as low as 580 and down payments as low as 3.5% -- after  determining the disputes that often resulted were not worth pursuing this sector of business.

However, in a bid to entice banks to once again offer these loans, the Federal Housing Administration is proposing new documents that allow room for errors, while still giving the government the ability to pursue damages in the event of significant mistakes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"In the end, we believe our efforts to expand access to credit for responsible borrowers are making a difference,” FHA Head Edward Golding said on a conference call.


According to the Wall Street Journal, suits brought by the Justice Department claiming underwriting errors have been numerous.

Some banks are wary of the proposal. Wells Fargo, the second largest FHA lender, has said it will dial back that business and become stricter with its underwriting.

“This will now force us to add back certain credit overlays on the FHA single-family program,” said Mike Heid, head of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, according to the Journal.

Mortgage lenders reported $113 billion in FHA mortgages in the first half of the year – a 66% year-over-year spike, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Despite this, only half of the top FHA lenders in 2013 still operate in that space due to the increase in penalties that have forced them to shy away.

For its part, Quicken Loans – the top FHA originator this year --, is reviewing the proposal.

“We haven’t seen [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] or the FHA take any real steps to improve the clarity or rules of the road under the FHA program,” CEO Bill Emerson said after the announcement of the proposal, according to the Wall Street Journal. 
 

COMMENTS

  • by SBHarkness | 9/2/2015 9:14:55 AM

    Quicken Loans is reviewing the proposal? You mean this Quicken mortgages: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/04/24/quicken-mortgages-fha-hud-lawsuit/26290987/ DETROIT — The U.S. Justice Department sued Quicken Loans on Thursday alleging the Detroit mortgage lending giant had improperly originated and underwrote mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

    The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleges that from September 2007 through December 2011, Quicken knowingly submitted, or caused the submission of, claims for hundreds of improperly underwritten FHA-insured mortgages.

  • by AbletoLoan | 9/2/2015 2:13:52 PM

    Maybe if the MIP for "life" of the mortgage would go away, it would make for sense for borrowers to utilize FHA. MIP for life is a total rip-off!!!

  • by KAS | 9/2/2015 4:27:08 PM

    yes the MIP for life and 11 years is a rip off for the consumer- and FHA isn't going to give up the MULA.

    The upfront MIP 1.75% was increased to help cover claims and to keep FHA solvent supposedly with the market crash----but the rest of us and the consumers had no gifted upfront and back door income to help them stay solvent.

    So not why not bring these percentages down if you want more players.
    What FHA has doing is making the rate more appealing than conventional - because lower rates is the only way for them get consumer and charge then with the Annual MI / UPFRONT/MI.

    If FHA wants to make riskier mortgages (it is their program) then do not make every other FHA consumer pay the bill for their program.
    It is not to help more consumers buy ----it is rather to make more mortgages, and thus retain more Upfront MI and monthly MI.

    TOO many claims - then rethink the program.

    Need conventional rate to be on par with FHA - Then could Conventional lower the pricing add on for FICO and LTV---? Just thinking...

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