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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FHA to accept private flood insurance for FHA-insured mortgages

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues HUD FHA Mortgages Flood Insurance Flood Disaster Protection Act National Flood Insurance Program

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

On November 21, FHA published a final rule in the Federal Register to allow homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages to obtain flood insurance policies that meet FHA requirements from private insurance providers. Specifically, the Acceptance of Private Flood Insurance for FHA-Insured Mortgages final rule updates agency regulations to give borrowers the option to purchase a comparable private insurance policy that conforms to FHA requirements in lieu of a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy for FHA-insured mortgages secured by properties located in FEMA-designated special flood hazard areas (SFHAs). Previously, only flood insurance obtained through the NFIP was accepted. The final rule applies to all FHA-insured single family Title II mortgages, including home equity conversion mortgages, and loans insured under FHA Title I programs. Lenders should refer to Mortgagee Letter 2022-18 for guidance on implementing the final rule’s requirements, which are effective December 21.

Concurrently, HUD issued a press release stating that beginning December 21, “FHA will require lenders to provide detailed flood insurance coverage information when electronically submitting mortgages for FHA insurance on properties in SFHAs.” According to HUD, “[t]his data collection is an objective included in HUD’s Climate Action Plan and will allow FHA to capture and analyze flood insurance information on mortgages in its portfolio at a more granular level than has been possible previously.”