Pam Marron Home Lending

Erroneous Foreclosure Code still results in Loan Denial for Past Short Sellers in Freddie Mac Loan Prospector(LP) for Conventional Loans

October 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Loan originator is asking your assistance to share LP conventional mortgage “Caution” files of past short sellers that have passed the 4-year mark.

By Pam Marron   July 28, 2016
In August of 2014, Fannie Mae successfully implemented an automated system workaround that enabled lenders to correct conventional loan Refer/Ineligible findings when past short sale credit shows up as a foreclosure in the Desktop Underwriter or Originator. Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector automated underwriting system never implemented a correction, and past short sale credit still results in a Loan Prospector “Caution”, or loan denial, for those trying to obtain a new conventional mortgage after a shortsale. The problem does not occur for government FHA and VA loans. Freddie Mac’s Caution findings commonly lists in the reasons for denial under Credit Risk Comments: “13. Recent foreclosure/signif derog appears on credit report”.
A Freddie Mac “Caution” denial requires a manual underwrite to overcome this error.  Lenders that will do a manual underwrite on either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae conventional loan files are rare to find. The good news is that the credit repository(s) reporting the foreclosure is now able to be found and seen in raw data through credit reporting agencies.
This would not be of such great concern if the mortgage industry was not approaching the rollout of the new “Trended Credit Data” that will work with the Fannie Desktop automated system in Version 10.0 set to be implemented on September 24, 2016.
If there are any glitches in the DU 10.0 format, lenders will likely put their loans through the Freddie Mac Loan Prospector automated underwriting system. Because a work around was never implemented for Freddie Mac, past short sellers eligible for a new mortgage will receive an automated “Caution”, or a denial for a new mortgage.
When the problem of the “Caution” in Freddie Mac’s automated system is brought up, the response from Freddie Mac has been that their system has been corrected and problems are with individual files. This article was written to alert Freddie Mac that as more past short sellers become eligible to purchase a home again, we as lenders are experiencing the problem of the “Caution” denial of new conventional mortgages on all files that are conventional, and more often.
This is what we are finding. All files currently being entered into Loan Prospector for a conventional mortgage purchase where a past short sale exists in credit are receiving a “Caution”, even when the past short sale is past the four-year mark, the wait time required after a short sale for a new Freddie Mac conventional mortgage.
A few lenders have stated they have received an “Accept” for a past short seller on a conventional mortgage, but we have found that only loans submitted for an FHA or VA loan appear to receive an “Accept”. This is believed to be due to the fact that Total Scorecard, an additional credit mechanism found in both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allows the loan to receive an Approve or Accept respectively through both systems but verification of the short sale account must be backed up with documentation proving a short sale rather than a foreclosure. Additionally, it was checked to see if the problem was due to specific credit reporting agencies. Thus far, multiple credit agency reports for the same borrower have resulted in the same denial.
Unfortunately, Freddie Mac Loan Prospector does not designate which account it is classified as a foreclosure. However, the repository(s) that reports the short sale as a foreclosure can be visually found in raw data of the three repositories, Experian, Trans Union and Equifax in the credit report. Lenders who want to specifically see this to distinguish the problem need to make sure they contact their credit reporting agency and ask for the MOP (method of payment) and a horizontal payment history grid to be available on their report. A screen shot of raw data may ultimately be needed if where the foreclosure code exists is not evident on the visual credit report.
Because of the concern that mortgage traffic will increase in Freddie Mac Loan Prospector if a problem arises in Version 10.0 of the Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter with the introduction of Trended Data Credit, we are proactively and respectfully bringing this known problem of short sale credit that shows up as a foreclosure on conventional loans only again to Freddie Mac’s attention. If you are a loan originator or lender that encounters a “Caution” denial in the Freddie Mac Loan Prospector automated underwriting system for past short sellers trying to obtain a conventional mortgage, please contact Pam Marron at 727-375-8986 or email pam.m.marron@gmail.com.
To best prepare, make sure that you run past short seller files through both Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter/Originator and Freddie Mac’s Loan Prospector automated underwriting systems upfront. Don’t wait until the final submission to underwriting.
Stay tuned!

What Could Drive Another Mortgage Crisis?

October 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Continued Policy That Damages Credit of Responsible Homeowners and the Apathetic Reason Nothing is Done

By Pam Marron
For National Mortgage Professional Magazine | Sept. 2016 Issue
There is no refinance available for as many as 6.4 million negative equity homeowners who have a conventional first mortgage not backed by government sponsored enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) that is “underwater”, where more is owed on the mortgage than the home is worth. Many of these mortgages are interest only loans that are now resetting to fully amortized payments with increases seen as high as 400%+. Simply, because these loans have negative equity, there is no refinance available to reduce initial higher interest rates from years ago. The only option for affected homeowners is a modification or a short sale and both require the homeowner to be delinquent on their mortgage first.
These homeowners struggle to “stay put” in negative equity homes awaiting home values to return. If this problem is not taken seriously, the result will be a new wave of short sales that will have a negative impact on the housing industry. It is already happening.
And this time it is affecting the elderly.
Caps placed on the maximum loan-to-value of non-GSE 1st mortgages and the combined loan to value when 2nd mortgages and HELOCs exist are what holds back a refinance for these specific negative equity loans. Compound this with the interest only reset of many of these loans, and the problem is disastrous.
For too long, there has been a lack of attention to a refinance where none exists for negative equity homeowners. Many believe these homeowners “did it to themselves” and massive press about short sellers labeling them as “strategic defaulters” (or those able to make payments but refuse to) was overshadowed by the fact that negative equity homeowners who worked with banks to short sell homes were told by their own lenders that they could not get approved for the short sale until they were delinquent on their mortgage first. This policy continues to this day for most lenders.
But since 2013, reports have proven that 1”ruthless” or “strategic” default during the 2007-09 recession were relatively rare. In a 22015 follow up of this study, job loss and adverse financial shocks in addition to divorce, large medical expenses and other severe income loss attributed greatly to mortgage default. Most importantly in this report… While household-level employment and financial shocks are important drivers of mortgage default, analysis shows that financially distressed households do not default. More than 80% of unemployed households with less than 1 month of mortgage payments in savings are current on their mortgage payments.
Disdain of reasons for why negative equity occurred is often the primary focus of apathetic attention to a refinance solution. Instead, focus should be on a sustainable refinance for those on time with their mortgage payment to assist them to “stay put” longer.
There is no argument of “moral hazard” or “strategic default” for a refinance option that allows responsible homeowners breathing room to stay put. When homeowners are not struggling to make their payments, they keep up homes which increases the value of our communities.
We can continue to think that the negative equity problem has gone away in the United States but it has not.  More calls are coming in from elderly with no chance of increase in their income. Many of them did a refinance or a second mortgage to help other family members but are now stuck themselves. The reason for a refinance should not matter. And we shouldn’t require affected homeowners to be delinquent on their mortgage first causing a destruction of good credit that results in negative unintended consequences for future credit.
Instead, we should be questioning how we can stabilize areas where negative equity still exists.
There are solutions available with existing mortgage programs now. A white paper entitled “Urgent Attention Needed: Two Problems and Solutions That Exist for Responsible Homeowners Who Have Negative Equity in Their Homes” that provides U.S. and Florida data showing how many negative equity homeowners can be helped is at http://housingcrisisstories.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Urgent.pdf.

1 Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default | August 2013 |Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta | http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/gerardi-kerkenhoff-ohanian-willen-strategic-default.pdf 2  Can’t Pay or Won’t Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default | Sept. 21, 2015 | https://www.bostonfed.org/publications/research-department-working-paper/2015/cant-pay-or-wont-payunemployment-negative-equity-and-strategic-default.aspx

Feds Plan to Sue Moody’s Over Pre-2008 Securities Ratings

October 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

, as published on National Mortgage Professional.com

Friday, October 21, 2016 – 15:07

Moody’s Corp. has announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to bring a civil complaint that charges the company with violating the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act for its rating of residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations in the period before the 2008 financial crash.

According to a Bloomberg report, Moody’s revealed that it was informed of the DOJ’s plans in a September 29 letter from the department. Moody’s added that an unspecified number of state attorneys general may pursue similar claims, adding that the governmental probes into the case “remains ongoing and may expand to include additional theories.”
The DOJ offered no public comment on the report. Last year, another credit ratings agency, S&P, paid $1.5 billion to settle federal charges accusing it of improper ratings prior to the 2008 crash. S&P added that it accepted the settlement rather than deal with the “delay, uncertainty, inconvenience, and expense” of litigation.

Yellen Raises the Possibility of a “High-Pressure” Economy

October 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

from National Mortgage Professional Magazine, Friday, October 14, 2016

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen took a dramatic departure from her usual talking points to wonder aloud if a “high-pressure” economy would be able to erase the lingering economic wreckage created by the 2008 crash.

According to a Reuters report, Yellen used a speech today before an economics conference to outline potential solutions to the continued problems that have prevented a complete recovery from the last recession. Yellen stated whether a fix could be achieved “by temporarily running a ‘high-pressure economy,’ with robust aggregate demand and a tight labor market. One can certainly identify plausible ways in which this might occur. Increased business sales would almost certainly raise the productive capacity of the economy by encouraging additional capital spending, especially if accompanied by reduced uncertainty about future prospects. In addition, a tight labor market might draw in potential workers who would otherwise sit on the sidelines and encourage job-to-job transitions that could also lead to more efficient—and, hence, more productive—job matches. Finally, albeit more speculatively, strong demand could potentially yield significant productivity.”

Yellen did not speculate on what this scenario would mean for the housing market, which has seen home prices rising far ahead of wages. Nor did she address what has become the new guessing game in economic political circles: when will the Fed start to raise interest rates with greater regularity? Instead, her comments pointed to a new toolbox that central bankers would be able to use in the event that the 2008 situation were to happen again.

“If strong economic conditions can partially reverse supply-side damage after it has occurred, then policymakers may want to aim at being more accommodative during recoveries than would be called for under the traditional view that supply is largely independent of demand,” Yellen said, adding that it would “make it even more important for policymakers to act quickly and aggressively in response to a recession, because doing so would help to reduce the depth and persistence of the downturn.”

Even if Refinancing Looks Like a No-Brainer…

October 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

from MortgageNewsDaily.com, Sep 28 2016, 12:27PM

Why are so many people holding on to mortgages with high interest rates?  Sentiment? Inertia?

Apparently not.  In the current issue of CoreLogic’s MarketPulse, Principal Economist Molly Boesel drills down into the universe of borrowers who are standing fast with their old loans, even though it looks on paper like a refinance would be a smart move.  She finds that many of these borrowers haven’t refinanced either because they can’t or it really isn’t worth it.

Looking at the mortgages that were outstanding at the end of May, Boesel found that 41 percent of them representing 31 percent of unpaid principal balance (UPB) had mortgage rates greater than 4.38 percent, roughly 100 basis points higher than the current rates at that juncture and a point at which refinancing makes financial sense.  Eighteen percent of all mortgages (representing 17 percent of UPB) have rates between 4.38 and 5.0 percent, and 23 percent have rates over 5 percent.  Why wouldn’t these borrowers refinance?

First she found that a lot of them are currently seriously delinquent on their existing loans. While only about 2 percent of low interest rate mortgages (under 5 percent) are seriously delinquent, 12 percent of those with rates above 7 percent are 90 or more days past due and would be unlikely to qualify for a new mortgage.

Even current mortgages with high rates present a difficult credit profile.  Between 30 and 50 percent of loans with rates over 5 percent have at some point had a 30-day delinquency.  The incidence rises with the rate.  Only about 11 percent of those with rates below 5 percent have at some point been 30 days overdue.  Those “ever late” borrowers may not be able to qualify for a low enough rate to make refinancing attractive.

Boesel also removed mortgages in private-label securities from the list of refinanceable borrowers because they would not be eligible for HARP loans that are reserved for refinancing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.

After taking the currently delinquent, ever delinquent, and private label loans out of the mix she found that the share of loans with interest rates greater than 5 percent had fallen to 13 percent of those outstanding and to 7 percent of UPB.  And that latter number is the final piece of the puzzle.

Small outstanding balances may not be worth refinancing as the resulting savings would be low. The figure above shows the average UPB of outstanding mortgages that have never been delinquent and are not in private pools by their interest rate.  Those borrowers with rates above 5% have very low UPB; those above 7 percent have average balances of $53,000.

While mortgages rates are near historic loans, Boesel concludes, there may not be many borrowers left who have the incentive or are eligible to refinance.


Wages Lag Home Prices; Affordability Suffers

October 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

from Mortgage News Daily, Sep 29 2016, 12:57PM

The lack of housing affordability is rising among the 414 U.S. counties tracked by ATTOM Data Solutions.  ATTOM, the new parent company of RealtyTrac, said on Thursday that 24 percent of those counties were less affordable than their historic averages in the third quarter of 2016, up from 22 percent in the second quarter and 19 percent a year earlier.  It was the highest share for this metric since the third quarter of 2009 when 47 percent of markets had fallen below their historic affordability averages.

ATTOM reports that 101 of the 414 counties had an affordability index below 100 in the third quarter of 2016, meaning that buying a median-priced home in that county was less affordable than the historic average for that county going back to the first quarter of 2005.

ATTOM’s affordability index is based on the percentage of average wages (taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) that is needed to make monthly house payments on a median priced home (as determined from publicly recorded sales deeds.) That payment is composed of principle, interest on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 3 percent downpayment and including property taxes, and insurance.

“The improving affordability trend we noted in our second quarter report reversed course in the third quarter as home price appreciation accelerated in the majority of markets and wage growth slowed in the majority of local markets as well as nationwide, where average weekly wages declined in the first quarter of this year following 13 consecutive quarters with year-over-year increases,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “This unhealthy combination resulted in worsening affordability in 63 percent of markets despite mortgage rates that are down 45 basis points from a year ago.

Counties that were less affordable than their historic averages in Q3 included Harris County (Houston), Kings County (Brooklyn); Dallas County; Bexar County (San Antonio); and Alameda County in the San Francisco metro area.

Counties still affordable by historic standards included Los Angeles County, Cook County (Chicago); Maricopa County (Phoenix); Miami-Dade County; and Queens County, New York.

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The Problem with Credit Report Disputes

October 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By Pam Marron

Written for National Mortgage Professional Magazine, September 26, 2016

Many past short-sellers attempting to purchase a home are told that their short sale credit shows up as a foreclosure in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac automated underwriting systems. Many of these affected consumers then dispute this credit or employ a credit repair company to do so. Thus, it is not uncommon to see a credit dispute on past short sale credit.

The problem with credit disputes is that they are often a temporary fix. When a credit account is disputed, the creditor is given a 30-day timeframe to respond to the dispute. If the creditor does not respond, the disputed information is taken off the credit. However, the comment “account in dispute” appears on that credit line. Dispute comments make the affected account invisible to both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac automated underwriting systems (AUS) causing the findings to be inaccurate. This is why underwriters require that dispute comments must be deleted from the credit report before an accurate response can be provided through the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac automated underwriting systems.

When the dispute is lifted, the past negative credit appears again.

Your borrower can request that the dispute is deleted from their account themselves but the timeframe to get this done start to finish can take up to 50 days. Often, there is a signed purchase contract that is time sensitive. Instead of having the luxury of time, a costly Rapid Rescore must be done to get the dispute comments deleted quickly. And loan originators, YOU must pay for this Rapid Rescore.

It gets worse. On a Rapid Rescore, deleting dispute comments from a negative credit account usually results in a lower credit score.

If There is Time for Borrower to Handle Deleting Dispute Comments Directly with Creditor and Credit Bureaus

  1. Loan Originators: Check every credit report for dispute comments prior to application. If dispute comments exist, start working to delete these remarks immediately and allow for a closing date that gives enough time.
  2. Make sure your borrower has the name and account number of the disputed account creditor. Have the borrower contact the creditor directly to request deletion of dispute remarks. Depending on the dispute comments, deletion can take 24 hours to 30 days.
  3. Make sure that your borrower states and puts in writing if necessary that no other parties can provide a new dispute notice.
  4. Have your borrower contact the creditor 5 days later to insure the dispute has been taken off and have them retrieve a letter with contact information for verification purposes.
    • This letter can be used to send to the credit bureau to order a *Rapid Rescore, where corrected information is merged into a new credit report at a cost and produced within 2-5 days. The timeframe of getting this correction on a new credit report without using Rapid Rescore is 30-45 days after the creditor initiates the deletion.
  5. Once the creditor has confirmed that the dispute comments have been removed, have your borrower contact the live agent at the Dispute Department for each of the 3 credit bureaus and ask them to remove the dispute comments. Ask each credit bureau if a request to delete a dispute must be requested in writing or if this can be done over the phone. (This can vary depending on the status of the dispute.) If a letter is needed, the borrower will have retrieved this from the creditor.
    • TransUnion: 800-916-8800
    • Experian: 800-493-1058
    • Equifax: 877-322-8228
  6. Pull a new credit report 35 days after the borrower has requested that the dispute comments be deleted by the creditor. If dispute comments still show up, wait another 10 days and repull credit.
  7. When the new credit report with deleted dispute comment comes in, check the credit score, make sure the loan still fits within program guidelines and run through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac automated underwriting system.

Retrieving the Credit Report with a 2-5 Day *Rapid Rescore Through a Credit Reporting Agency

A new credit report can commonly be updated in 2-5 business days using *Rapid Rescore. You, the loan originator will have to pay for this.

  1. Each credit reporting agency (CRA) has a link to 1) TransUnion, 2) Equifax and 3) Experian for each account on the credit report that allows you to see “which bureau” specifically has the dispute comment noted.
  2. Complete the generic form for your CRA to order the deletion of dispute remarks for only those bureaus that show the dispute through a *Rapid Rescore for each borrower connected to the dispute account and who is on the new mortgage.
  3. When the new credit report is done, follow step 7 above.