FHA issues underwriting guidelines on prior forbearances
On September 10, FHA released Mortgagee Letter 2020-30, which discusses FHA’s underwriting guidelines for mortgages involving borrowers who were previously granted a forbearance. The letter notes that FHA is “expanding its underwriting guidelines” to address situations in which borrowers are seeking new FHA insured financing after being granted a forbearance, due to either a Presidentially Declared major disaster or some other hardship, including the Covid-19 pandemic. The letter specifies that a borrower will be eligible for a new FHA insured mortgage after being granted a forbearance if, among other things, (i) the borrower continued to make regularly scheduled payments and the forbearance plan is terminated; or (ii) for cash-out refinances, the borrower has completed the forbearance and has subsequently made 12 consecutive monthly payments; or (iii) for purchases and no cash-out refinances, the borrower has completed the forbearance and has subsequently made at least three consecutive monthly payments; or (iv) for “Credit Qualifying Streamline” refinances, the borrower has completed the forbearance and has subsequently made less than three consecutive monthly payments; and (v) for all “Streamline refinance” transactions, the borrower has made at least six payments on the FHA insured mortgage being refinanced.
FHA requires the new underwriting guidelines be implemented for all case numbers assigned on or after November 9.