August 30, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

USDA Cutting Mortgage Fees

USDA has announced that it will cut its loan fees for lenders, such as VHDA, that use the Single Family Housing Loan Guarantee Program.  These fee cuts will mean that borrowers will pay significantly less for their loan.  This program is one of VHDA’s key tools for serving homebuyers in rural areas, so the forthcoming cut in fees will help us to better serve unmet rural needs.

HARP Extended Into 2017; FHFA Plans New Refinance Program

FHFA has announced that it is extending the GSE HARP refinance program, which was set to expire at the end of September, until September 30, 2017 in order to bridge the gap until Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac release new refinance programs for high LTV borrowers later next year.  FHFA believes there continues to be a significant need to provide refinance alternatives for borrowers who are current on their mortgages but unable to refinance due to the LTV on their loan exceeding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac maximum limits.

FHA and FHFA Announce Changes to Loss Mitigation Programs

On August 25, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced changes to their loss mitigation requirements to streamline their processes and help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.  These changes are summarized in the update from NCSHA.  The new procedures, which must be fully implemented by December 1, 2016, will impact VHDA’s loan servicing department.  A number of the procedures are already in place.  Servicing is working with compliance staff to ensure that VHDA is in full compliance prior to the deadline.  Any FHA changes that require technology enhancements will be handled through the Black Knight Servicing system.

HUD Releases FY 2017 Fair Market Rents

On August 26, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Fair Market Rents (FMRs). FMRs are used to determine payment standards for a number of housing assistance programs, including the Housing Choice Voucher and the Project-Based Section 8 programs.  The notice from NCSHA provides a brief summary of the new process being used in releasing updated FMRs and the means for public housing agencies (PHAs) such as VHDA to provide comment.

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