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FHA Multifamily Mortgagees Face Stiffer Requirements

Multifamily Credit Watch being implemented by FHA

July 7, 2010

By staff

Apartment lenders who originate loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration face tougher approval requirements based on their experience. The housing agency also plans to suspend or terminate approval for lenders whose originations perform badly.

The changes were announced today and detailed in Mortgagee Letter 2010-21.

The new requirements are expected to increase the quality of lenders and underwriters.

FHA will now require lenders and underwriters to obtain separate approvals for complex programs. Such programs include new construction, projects requiring substantial renovation and Low-Income-Housing-Tax-Credit loans.

New and existing multifamily lenders and underwriters will require additional screening of their qualifications to participate in the specialty insurance programs. The agency hopes to implement the stiffer requirements within the next few months.

In addition, lenders will be rated on a point system based on loan performance, underwriting performance and claims paid. Mortgagees who perform poorly compared with their peers could face probation, suspension or termination from the multifamily insurance program.

"The new system will enhance FHA's ability to discover and take timely action against lenders that pose unnecessary and unmanageable risk to the insurance fund," the statement said. "It is anticipated that the multifamily Credit Watch system will be published as a proposed rule for comment in late summer with final publication scheduled by the end of the calendar year."

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