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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

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  • Ginnie Mae extends temporary relief from delinquency threshold requirement through July 2021

    Federal Issues

    On December 7, Ginnie Mae issued APM 20-17 extending the temporary exclusions announced in APM 20-06 (previously covered here) for issues in calculating delinquency ratios.  Specifically, Ginnie Mae will continue to exclude any delinquencies occurring on or after April 2020 when calculating the ratio. Ginnie Mae will provide this exclusion automatically through July 31, 2021 to issuers who were compliance with the delinquency rate thresholds as demonstrated by their April 2020 investor accounting report, reflecting March 2020 servicing data. 

    Federal Issues Covid-19 Ginnie Mae Debt Collection

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  • LIBOR-based loans will not be eligible for Ginnie Mae pooling

    Federal Issues

    On September 21, Ginnie Mae issued All Participant Memorandum 20-12, which states that Ginnie Mae will stop accepting the delivery of single-family forward adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loans, dated on or after January 1, 2021, with any interest term based on LIBOR, for securitization in any pool. Additionally, any adjustable rate reverse mortgages (HECMs) will be ineligible for securitization into any HMBS pool that relies on LIBOR if not securitized as of January 1, 2021, “without regard to their date of origination or the date in which the corresponding FHA case number was assigned.” Participations associated with HECM loans backing HMBS will continue to be eligible without restriction, so long as the issuance date is on or before December 1.

    Federal Issues Ginnie Mae Mortgages Securities LIBOR

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  • Ginnie Mae issues APM on treatment of mortgage delinquency ratios for issuers

    Federal Issues

    On May 14, Ginnie Mae issued APM 20-06 on the treatment of mortgage delinquency ratios for users affected by Covid-19. Under the Mortgage Backed Securities Guide, an issuer that fails to maintain delinquency rates below certain specified threshold levels may be subject to sanctions. Recognizing that Covid-19 related hardships may cause issuers to experience delinquency rates that exceed the maximum thresholds, effective immediately, Ginnie Mae will exclude any new issuer delinquencies occurring on or after April 2020 when calculating the delinquency ratios. This exclusion will automatically apply to issuers that had delinquency rates below the applicable thresholds as reflected by their April 2020 investor accounting report, reflecting March 2020 servicing data. Issuers that were not compliant with these provisions as of their April 2020 report must contact their Account Executive to determine their eligibility for this exclusion. The exemptions and delinquent loan exclusions automatically expire on December 31, 2020, unless rescinded earlier or extended by Ginnie Mae, or the end of the national emergency, whichever comes earlier.

    Federal Issues Covid-19 Ginnie Mae Mortgages

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  • Ginnie Mae announces changes to its Pass-Through Assistance Program in response to Covid-19

    Federal Issues

    On April 10, Ginnie Mae issued APM 20-03, announcing that Ginnie Mae has revised and expanded the Issuer assistance programs in Chapter 34 of the Mortgage Backed Securities Guide (MBS Guide), including the Pass-Through Assistance Program (PTAP). PTAP/C19—the PTAP that is specifically authorized for use in response to the Covid-19 national emergency—is available for Issuers that apply for assistance through an executed request and repayment agreement, and subject to a Master Supervisory Agreement, which will govern the terms of the assistance. The PTAP funds will carry a fixed interest rate for all Issuers requesting assistance in that month, to be posted on Ginnie Mae’s website on the second business day of each month.  Funds may only be used to cover shortfalls in required principal and interest payments, and may not be used for any other fees or operational costs of the servicer.  In addition, Issuers may only request assistance once in any given month. While neither a request for assistance nor the provision of assistance under the program will constitute a basis for default under the Ginnie Mae Guarantee Agreement, any breach of the Master Supervisory Agreement or related Request and Repayment Agreements will constitute an event of default under the Master Supervisory Agreement and related Request and Repayment Agreements, the MBS Guide and the Guaranty Agreement. The APM provides additional information for third-party financers and issuers on topics including use of the PTAP/C19 funds and the deadline for seeking PTAP/C19 assistance.

    Federal Issues Covid-19 Ginnie Mae Mortgage-Backed Securities Mortgages

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  • Ginnie Mae extends audited financial statement deadline

    Federal Issues

    On March 25, Ginnie Mae announced that it will extend the deadline for the submission of Annual Audited Financial Statements to April 30 for lenders with a fiscal year end of December. Ginnie Mae encourages lenders to complete their Audited Annual Financial Statements—if they are able—within 90 days of the end of the lender’s fiscal year.

    Federal Issues Ginnie Mae Mortgages Mortgage Lenders Covid-19

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  • FHFA updates Fannie, Freddie seller/servicer eligibility

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On January 31, the FHFA proposed updated minimum financial requirements for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs) single-family mortgage sellers and servicers. The updates are designed to provide transparency and consistency of capital and liquidity requirements for sellers and servicers with different business models. A key improvement to the 2015 minimum financial requirements (covered by InfoBytes here), FHFA stated, is that the updated standards will establish financial requirements for servicing Ginnie Mae mortgages. FHFA further noted that the new minimum liquidity standards will only be applied to non-depository institutions—depository institutions will continue to rely on their existing regulatory standards to meet the GSEs’ capital and liquidity requirements. FHFA will accept comments on the proposal for 60 days, and anticipates finalizing the requirements in the second quarter of 2020, with an expected effective date six months after finalization.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance FHFA Fannie Mae Freddie Mac GSE Ginnie Mae Mortgages Mortgage Servicing

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  • VA consolidates and clarifies IRRRL guidance

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On August 8, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued Circular 26-19-22, which consolidates and clarifies guidance related to Section 309 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law No. 115-174, and updates guidance regarding loan seasoning requirements based on the “Protecting Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2019,” Public Law No. 116-33. (Covered by InfoBytes here and here.) The Circular states that a lender (broker or agent included), a servicer, or issuer of an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) must, among other things:

    • Recoup Fees. Certify that certain fees and costs of the loan will be recouped on or before 36 months after the loan note date;
    • Net Tangible Benefit. Establish that when the previous loan had a fixed interest rate (i) the new fixed interest rate is at least 0.5 percent lower, or (ii) if the new loan has an adjustable rate, that the rate is at least 2 percent lower than the previous loan. In each instance, the lower rate cannot be produced solely from discount points except in certain circumstances;
    • Loan Seasoning. Follow a seasoning requirement for all VA-guaranteed loans. A loan cannot be refinanced until (i) the date on which the borrower has made at least six consecutive monthly payments on the loan being refinanced, and (ii) the date that is 210 days after the first payment due date of the loan being refinanced; and
    • Disclosure. Present a comparison of the refinance loan to the original loan within two business days from the initial loan application and again at closing that includes information about the overall cost of refinance. The Circular offers a sample comparison statement in Exhibit C.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Issues Ginnie Mae Refinance IRRRL EGRRCPA

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  • Ginnie Mae announces new VA refinance loan eligibility requirements

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On August 1, Ginnie Mae issued All Participants Memorandum APM 19-05 announcing changes to the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) pooling eligibility requirements for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) refinance loans. In order to establish requirements that positively impact the performance of Ginnie Mae securities and implement the “Protecting Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2019,” (covered by InfoBytes here) APM 19-05 announces changes applicable to all VA-guaranteed refinance loans and establishes new criteria for VA cash-out refinance loans with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios above 90 percent.

    Effective with MBS guaranteed on or after August 1, a refinance loan is only eligible for Ginnie Mae securities if the date on the refinance loan is on, or after, the later of (i) “the date on which the borrower has made at least six consecutive monthly payments on the loan being refinanced”; and (ii) “the date that is 210 days after the first payment due date of the loan being refinanced.” Additionally, effective with MBS guaranteed on or after November 1, “High LTV VA Cash-Out Refinance Loans”—defined as a VA refinance loan with a LTV ratio that exceeds 90 percent at the time of origination and where the borrower converts any amount of home equity into cash—are, with certain exceptions, ineligible for Ginnie Mae I Single Issuer Pools and Ginnie Mae II Multiple Issuer Pools.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Ginnie Mae MBS Department of Veterans Affairs Securities Refinance Mortgages

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  • Ginnie Mae seeks feedback on plan to stress test non-bank issuers

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On July 23, Ginnie Mae published a Request for Input (RFI) seeking feedback on its plan to monitor and support the sustainability of the Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market, by developing a stress test framework for its non-bank issuer base. The RFI notes that, after reviewing two approaches to the stress test framework, Ginnie Mae elected to adopt a framework that forecasts an issuer’s financial performance over the next eight quarters under a base and adverse scenario. The framework would provide the following outputs: (i) a balance sheet, income statement and cashflow statement; (ii) a “Projected Issuer Risk Grade” (Ginnie Mae’s proprietary risk rating method); (iii) projected issuer compliance with Ginnie Mae and Government Sponsored Enterprise net worth, liquidity and capitalization requirements; (iv) projected compliance with common warehouse covenants; and (v) projected risk of insolvency. The RFI provides significant details on the framework, including details regarding the various structural components that will form its basis. The RFI lists four specific topics that responders may provide input on and requests that responders expand on the topics as appropriate to address related questions or implications. Comments must be submitted by August 31.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Ginnie Mae MBS Stress Test RFI

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  • Ginnie Mae VA loan eligibility requirements amended

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

    On July 25, President Trump signed the “Protecting Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2019,” Public Law No. 116-33, which amends the National Housing Act to revise Ginnie Mae loan seasoning requirements for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) housing loans. Section 306(g)(1) now requires that, in order to be eligible for Ginnie Mae securities, the date of the VA refinance loan must be the later of (i) “the date on which the borrower has made at least six consecutive monthly payments on the loan being refinanced; and” (ii) “the date that is 210 days after the first payment due date of the loan being refinanced.” The amendment is effective immediately.

    Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Federal Legislation Ginnie Mae Department of Veterans Affairs Mortgages Refinance

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