June 25, 2017

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Articles Published in: October 2013

FHA and HUD Update Loss Mitigation Instructions for Lenders

Borrowers who get into financial trouble may have difficulty paying their monthly FHA mortgages. In all cases, the FHA encourages borrowers to get in touch with the lender as soon as possible to make arrangements to avoid going into delinquency and default on an FHA loan. Borrowers who do this have the most options, and find many more doors open to them. Borrowers who wait until it’s too late to prevent going into default may have few choices. What is the lender’s responsibility when a borrower starts missing payments and is in danger of foreclosure? The FHA and HUD have issued updated guidance telling lenders what must be done and what the acceptable course of action is for the financial institution in such cases. These updates were published in FHA | more...

 

FHA Loan Mortgage Insurance: A Reader Question

A reader asks, “Veterans are not required to purchase mortgage insurance with a VA loan. Is there a way that a veteran can be exempt from the mortgage insurance premium? The mortgage insurance is very high.” The short answer to this reader question is “no”. FHA loans are not designed the same way that VA home loans are–FHA loans require a Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP), where VA home loans do not. Veterans should consider their options between VA home loans and FHA mortgages carefully. In some cases a veteran or currently serving military member could choose an FHA loan over a VA mortgage, for a variety of reasons. But a borrower faced with these choices should make the most informed decision possible. FHA home loans do have certain similar features | more...

 

FHA Loans, Verifiable Income, and VA Benefits

Some veterans and currently serving military members may choose to pursue an FHA home loan instead of a VA mortgage for any number of reasons. If a borrower is eligible for VA benefits, can he or she count those benefits as income for the purposes of qualifying for an FHA insured mortgage loan? According to the FHA loan rulebook, military pay and some benefits may be counted as verifiable income as long as it meets the right criteria. Chapter Four of HUD 4155.1 says, “Military personnel receive base pay, and are often entitled to additional forms of pay, such as

 

FHA Loans and Trust Income

FHA home loan applications require the borrower to list income and job details so that the lender can accurately determine a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. For this purpose, FHA loan rules say that only income that is likely to continue can be used–the borrower’s wages, tips, bonuses and other earnings may be counted if they meet FHA criteria for “stable and reliable” and “likely to continue”. One source of income for some borrowers involves a trust fund–can trust income be used as verifiable income for an FHA mortgage loan? The answer is yes, but only if the trust income meets FHA loan minimum standards as described in HUD 4155.1, which includes the following guidance to lenders when reviewing trust fund income listed on a borrower’s application, found in a section called | more...

 

FHA Back to Work Program Counseling–Where To Find It

Ever since we posted about the FHA’s Back to Work program for borrowers who have experienced “Economic Events” or financial hardship and lowered credit ratings as a result of the recession, we’ve gotten a number of important questions about the program. According to one of our original posts on the new FHA program, “Back To Work, according to FHA Mortgagee Letter 2013-26, lets lenders evaluate these Economic Events to see if the borrower may still be a good credit risk for an FHA loan. “FHA recognizes the hardships faced by these borrowers, and realizes that their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage. To that end, FHA is allowing for the consideration of borrowers who have experienced an Economic Event and can | more...

 

FHA Loan Applications: What Borrowers Need To Have Ready

When you’re getting ready to fill out an FHA loan application, knowing in advance what documentation you’ll need to get the process moving forward can be a big help. There are individual lender requirements that you’ll need to get directly from your loan officer, but the FHA loan rulebook (HUD 4155.1) lists some things the FHA requires as part of the process the lender uses to verify your employment, income, and credit data. The list of documentation includes (but may not be limited to) the following list found HUD 4155.1 Chapter One Section B: general mortgage credit analysis documents evidence of Social Security Number verification of deposit verification of employment (VOE) alternative employment documentation appraisal documentation. FHA loan rules in Chapter One say, “Lenders must obtain the most recent documents | more...

 

FHA Special Forbearance For Unemployed Borrowers Extended

Earlier this year, the FHA indefinitely extended its special forbearance programs for unemployed borrowers. In a mortgagee letter titled, “Extension of Unemployment Special Forbearance” the agency has created an open-ended policy as described below: “The policies in Mortgagee Letter 2011-23, (Unemployment Special Forbearance: Temporary Program Changes and Clarifications) relating to special forbearances for unemployed borrowers are hereby extended until amended, superseded, or rescinded.” The policies mentioned above also include a reference to an earlier Mortgagee Letter. “In ML-2000-05, FHA provided mortgagees with additional guidance concerning the Loss Mitigation Program that all mortgagees must follow, when applicable, to reduce FHA insurance losses in those circumstances, as determined by the mortgagee, where delinquent mortgagors might be able to find an alternative to foreclosure.” “ML 2002-17 amended ML 2000-05 to allow mortgagees to | more...

 

FHA Updates Guidance For Superstorm Sandy Repairs Under 203(k) Loan Program

Just as the government shutdown crisis was unfolding, the FHA was preparing an update to policies that affect borrowers who need to apply for FHA 203(k) mortgages as part of their recovery from Super Storm Sandy. Unfortunately, that press release likely got overlooked by many because of the government shutdown issue. That update, as described in FHA Mortgagee Letter 2013-36, titled, “Eligible Properties in Presidentially Declared Major Disaster Area Super Storm Sandy for 203(k) insured mortgages” describes some very important updates. These updates specifically pertain to those seeking FHA 203(k) loans in areas affected by Sandy–they do not apply to other borrowers outside this area. According to the mortgagee letter, “Handbook 4240.4 Section 1-4 currently states that, homes that have been demolished, or will be razed as part of the | more...

 

FHA Loan Questions: Are FHA Loans Available For Condo Units?

When you think about your choices for buying a home using an FHA mortgage, it’s easy to forget that all types of properties can be considered for purchase–not just a typical house in the suburbs. The FHA does allow loans for condo units, and there’s a section of the FHA loan rulebook (HUD 4155.1) that discusses the requirements for this type of purchase. According to HUD 4155.1 Chapter Four Section B, “FHA must approve condominium projects before a mortgage on an individual condominium unit can be insured”. But what does the FHA define as a “condo”? How are they different than other types of housing? According to FHA loan rules: “A condominium is a multi-unit project that