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FHA DailyRecent FHA activity

March 13, 2009

By staff

A net branch company is recruiting mortgage brokers by focusing on streamline refinances of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, while a tour has been launched to help loan officers boost their FHA productivity. Also on the market is an FHA book and a new certification for government underwriters.Flagship Financial Services recently announced an FHA streamline program for mortgage brokers who want keep ownership of their branch while benefiting from the marketing power of a large company. The program includes direct mail pieces, scrubbed mailing lists and scripts with proven conversion rates higher than 20 percent.

Flagship said that 5 million FHA mortgages currently outstanding present a big opportunity for streamlined refinances.

Originators looking for help generating more FHA business can look to Mortgage Success Source, which said during February that a host of motivational speakers and trainers will participate in the FHA Success Tour. Mortgage Success claims the system will enable loan officers to generate and close more FHA business. The tour runs through this year and costs $199.

An FHA audit and assessment guide for FHA Lenders and their certified public accountants was released last month by Banker’s Advisory, a statement said. The Massachusetts firm noted that audited financials and compliance reports must be submitted through HUD’s Lender Assessment Sub-System within 90 days of the lender’s fiscal yearend or face the loss of their mortgagee approval for at least one year.

The 230-page book includes a quick reference guide, 80 pages of LASS data-entry instructions and time-saving tips for CPAs, Bankers Advisory said.

An automated FHA fee analysis is now included in PredProtect, a Feb. 24 press release from Interthinx said. The enhancement to the regulatory compliance solution alerts loan processors when fees exceed HUD’s limitations.

Warnings are issued when tax-service fees or loan origination fees surpass 1 percent, as required by HUD Mortgagee Letter ML 2006-04, Interthinx said. Alerts are also issued upon violations of the ML 94-16 “Tiered Pricing Rule” — which caps fees at 2 percent over customary lender fees in a geographic area.

In prepared testimony before the House Financial Services Committee last month, Mortgage Bankers Association President and Chief Executive Officer John A. Courson said the HOPE for Homeowners program “contains statutory obstacles that prevent its optimal use.”

He said pending legislation that eliminates the maximum 31 percent debt-to-income ratio will help. Other improvements from the bill would include a reduction in lender liability on late endorsements and lower annual FHA premiums. While the bill pushes the maximum loan-to-value to 93 percent, Courson called for 96.5 percent.

Residential Finance Corp. is looking to align itself with recently passed economic legislation. The Columbus, Ohio, firm issued a recent news release outlining a new FHA loan limit of $729,750 in high-cost areas, a new home-equity conversion mortgage limit of $625,500 and other homeowner programs under the legislation.

AllRegs introduced last month a certification for government mortgage underwriters. The designation ensures that underwriters have the core skill sets required to underwrite FHA loans. Qualified candidates will have at least two years’ government mortgage experience and complete 12 hours of education.

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