HUD: FHA Booms In Hard Times

by Peter G. Miller
July 17th, 2008

For the last two weeks of June the FHA again did virtually nothing to help stranded homeowners with toxic loans.

The latest figures from HUD show that despite big claims for the period from June 16 through June 30 the FHA refinanced just 198 delinquent conventional mortgages. This is down 22 percent from the first 15 days of the month when 254 delinquent conventional borrowers were helped.

Given the incredible need for assistance by those hoping to avoid foreclosure, and given the fancy news releases and conference calls, it seems remarkable that HUD continues to have so little impact where it is most needed.

Here’s what HUD also says:

Due to the spectacular rise in activity, especially since March, it is necessary to re-estimate business activity for fiscal year 2008. It is now projected that there will be at about two million single family applications and roughly one million insurance endorsements — substantially higher than the estimates made last September.

A review of the activity for the fiscal year to date indicates that FHA received 1,364,876 applications — 158.4 percent higher than this time last year. While purchase cases and HECM’s were up, the biggest advance was in refinancing actions, especially in conventional to FHA conversions (282%).

FHA insurance endorsements were recorded at 757,700 to date — 99.8 percent over last year. It is also noteworthy that minority households almost doubled what they were, a year ago.

354,926 purchase money mortgages were endorsed so far this fiscal year — 80.1 percent over the total, a year ago (197,095). Also, 318,903 refinanced mortgages have been insured, accounting for 42.1 percent of the total endorsements. Most of these refinances were conventional mortgage conversion to FHA. In addition, 112,991 (35.4%) of the total number of refinances were cash out transactions.

A breakdown of the refinanced cases are as follows: 74,932 FHA to FHA refinances, 240,805 conventional conversions to FHA and 3,166 delinquent conversions to FHA.

Also, the conventional conversions were 235.6 percent higher than the 71,748 recorded a year ago. There were 83,871 HECM’s insured, to date — accounting for 11.1 percent of the total endorsements. Most of these were original HECM transactions, with a very small number in the refinanced category — virtually all of the HECM’s were adjustable rate instruments.

Section 203k (4,123) and Section 234c (26,871) activity were more than double the volume, at this time last year. Lender Insurance cases totaled 522,106 — 156.2 percent over last year and made up 68.9 percent of the total cases processed this year.

Automated Underwriting procedures handled 60.8 percent of the cases insured. That is, 409,525 cases were accepted and insured using the FHA Score Card.

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