FHA Back to Work Extenuating Circumstances Works, FHA Back to Work Program, Success Story, FHA Loans
This guidance is effective for all case numbers assigned on or after
October 15, 2013.
Documentation Requirements: Collection Accounts and Judgments
Applicable to Manually Underwritten Loans:
The lender must document reasons for approving a mortgage when the borrower has collection accounts or judgments.
Regardless of the amount of outstanding collection accounts or judgments, the lender must determine if the collection account or judgment was a result of:
the borrower’s disregard for financial obligations;
the borrower’s inability to manage debt; or
The borrower must provide a letter of explanation with supporting documentation for each outstanding collection account and judgment. The explanation and supporting documentation must be consistent with other credit information in the file.
Applicable to Loans Run Through TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard:
TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard Accept/Approve – There are no documentation or letter of explanation requirements for loans with collection accounts or judgments run through TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard receiving an “Accept/Approve” despite the presence of collection accounts or judgments. These accounts have been already taken into consideration in the borrower’s credit score. If TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard generates a “Refer,” the lender must manually underwrite the loan in accordance with the guidance above applicable to manually underwritten loans with collection accounts and judgments.
Collections – FHA does not require collection accounts to be paid off as a condition of mortgage approval. However, FHA does recognize that collection efforts by the creditor for unpaid collections could affect the borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage. To mitigate this risk, FHA is requiring a capacity analysis of collection accounts with an aggregate balance equal to or greater than $2,000, as described below.
If the total outstanding balance of all collection accounts for all borrowers is equal to or greater than $2,000, the lender must perform a capacity analysis as detailed below. Unless excluded under state law, collection accounts of a non-purchasing spouse in a community property state are included in the cumulative balance.
All medical collections and charge off accounts are excluded from this guidance and do not require resolution.
Capacity analysis includes any of the following actions:
At the time of or prior to closing, payment in full of the collection account (verification of acceptable source of funds required).
The borrower makes payment arrangements with the creditor. If the borrower has entered into a payment arrangement with the creditor, a credit report or letter from the creditor verifying the monthly payment is required. The monthly payment must be included in the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.
If evidence of a payment arrangement is not available, the lender must calculate the monthly payment using 5% of the outstanding balance of each collection, and include the monthly payment in the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.
TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard Accept/Approve/Refer – Regardless of the Accept/Approve/Refer recommendation by TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard, the lender must include the payment amount in the calculation of the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.
Judgments – FHA requires judgments to be paid off before the mortgage loan is eligible for FHA insurance. An exception to the payoff of a court ordered judgment may be made if the borrower has an agreement with the creditor to make regular and timely payments. The borrower must provide a copy of the agreement and evidence that payments were made on time in accordance with the agreement, and a minimum of three months of scheduled payments have been made prior to credit approval.
Borrowers are not allowed to prepay scheduled payments in order to meet the required minimum of three months of payments. Furthermore, lenders are instructed to include the payment amount in the agreement in the calculation of the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.
FHA requires judgments of a non-purchasing spouse in a community property state to be paid in full, or meet the exception guidance for judgments above, unless excluded by state law.
Disputed Derogatory Accounts Indicated on the Credit Report
If the credit report utilized by TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard indicates that the borrower is disputing derogatory credit accounts, the borrower must provide a letter of explanation and documentation supporting the basis of the dispute. The lender must analyze the documentation provided for consistency with other credit information in the file to determine if the derogatory credit account should be considered in the underwriting analysis.
Guidance for TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard Accept/Approve loans with disputed accounts.
Disputed Derogatory Credit Accounts greater than or equal to $1,000
If the cumulative outstanding balance of disputed derogatory credit accounts of all borrowers is equal to or greater than $1,000, the mortgage application must be downgraded to a “Refer” and a Direct Endorsement underwriter is required to manually underwrite the loan as described above.
Disputed Derogatory Credit Accounts less than $1,000
If the cumulative outstanding balance of disputed derogatory credit accounts of all borrowers is less than $1,000, a downgrade is not required.
Disputed medical accounts are excluded from the $1,000 limit and do not require documentation.
Disputed derogatory credit accounts resulting from identity theft, credit card theft, or unauthorized use are also excluded from the $1,000 limit. However, the lender must provide in the case binder a credit report, letter from the creditor, or other appropriate documentation to support the dispute, such as a police report disputing the fraudulent charges
Disputed derogatory credit accounts are defined as follows:
disputed charge-off accounts,
disputed collection accounts, and
disputed accounts with late payments in the last 24 months.
Disputed derogatory credit accounts of a non-purchasing spouse in a community property state are not included in the cumulative balance for determining if the mortgage application is downgraded to a “Refer”.
Non-derogatory disputed accounts are excluded from the $1,000 cumulative total.
Non-Derogatory Disputed Accounts and Disputed Accounts Not Indicated on the Credit Report.
Non-derogatory disputed accounts include the following types of accounts:
disputed accounts with zero balance,
disputed accounts with late payments aged 24 months or greater, and
disputed accounts that are current and paid as agreed.
If a borrower is disputing non-derogatory accounts, or is disputing accounts which are not indicated on the credit report as being disputed, the lender is not required to downgrade the application to a “Refer.” However, the lender must analyze the effect of the disputed accounts on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. If the dispute results in the borrower’s monthly debt payments utilized in computing the debt-to-income ratio being less than the amount indicated on the credit report, the borrower must provide documentation of the lower payments.
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I. ML 2013-25 (and 2013-24) – Collections, Judgments and Disputed Accounts
This guidance amends the TOTAL Scorecard User Guide (FHA’s guide for
using AUS) and is effective for all case numbers assigned on or after October
15, 2013. It applies to all FHA loans with the exception of non-credit
qualifying streamline refinance transactions.
A. FHA does not necessarily require collection accounts to be paid off for
approval, but it is recognized that collection efforts by the creditor could
affect the borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage. To that end, FHA is
requiring lenders to follow these guidelines when collection accounts are
present with an aggregate balance equal to or greater than $2000. When
the loan is rated approve/eligible or accept/accept by TOTAL:
1. If the cumulative outstanding balance of all collections is LESS than
$2000, then no further consideration is required.
2. If the cumulative outstanding balance of all collections of ALL
borrowers is equal to or greater than $2000 the lender must include
monthly payments in the borrower’s debt to income ratio for accounts
that will remain open after closing. This means that you will need to
document payment arrangements with the creditor and count the
payment or use 5% of the outstanding balance.
Note 1: Collections accounts of a non-purchasing spouse in a community
property state are included in the cumulative balance.
Note 2: Medical collections and charge offs are excluded from this
guidance.B. Judgments – Loans for borrowers with outstanding judgments are
generally not acceptable unless the following documentation is obtained.
a. Judgment must be on the credit report that is linked to the TOTAL
Scorecard findings and the findings must be “approve/eligible” or
b. If the judgment will not be paid off and released prior to the
closing, evidence of a payment agreement may be considered. The
payment agreement must be in writing and provided at the time of
underwriting. Crescent will require evidence that 12 months
satisfactory payments have been made as scheduled. Borrowers
may not pre-pay scheduled payments in order to meet this
requirement. The monthly payment must be considered in the
borrower’s debt-to-income ratio for qualifying.
c. Any judgments that are discovered in the processing of the loan
that ARE NOT on the credit report linked to the TOTAL findings
require the loan to be manually downgraded to “refer” status.
Crescent does not approve loans that must be manually
d. A subordination agreement will be required for any judgment that
is also a lien against the borrower and/or the subject property.
C. Disputed Accounts – Because disputed accounts are not generally
considered in the borrower’s credit report FHA will now require loans of
borrowers who have derogatory disputed accounts with cumulative
balances of $1000 or more (excluding medical) to be downgraded to
“refer” findings and manually underwritten. As you are aware, Crescent
does not approve loans that require manual underwriting.
NOTE 1: Disputed derogatory credit account of a non-purchasing spouse
in a community property state are not included in the cumulative balance
for purposes of determining if the mortgage application must be
downgraded to a “refer.”
NOTE 2: Disputed medical collections are excluded from the $1000 limit
as are derogatory credit accounts resulting from identity theft, credit theft
unauthorized use, etc. However, documentation must be provided to
conclusively support the disputed status. Documentation might entail
police reports, letters from the creditor, etc.
II. ML 2013-26 – Back to Work-Extenuating Circumstances
The guidance provided in ML 13-26 requires loans to be manually
underwritten. For this reason Crescent cannot approve loans that need these
credit underwriting leniencies. III. ML 2013-29 – Application of Unused Funds from Escrow Account on
This guidance is effective with case numbers assigned on or after November
A. Unused funds from an escrow account that are not sent directly to the
borrower must be used for a purpose authorized by the borrower.
B. If the current servicer nets the escrow balance out of the payoff, it does not
change the way the new loan amount is calculated. You must still start
with the unpaid principal balance on the current loan, NOT the payoff
C. When the borrower has determined that they want the unused funds to be
applied to costs associated with the new FHA loan the lender is required
a. Obtain a written authorization from the borrower to apply the funds
from an existing mortgage for any purpose prior to using them. The
borrower’s written authorization must clearly state the purpose for
which the authorization is provided.
b. The credit must show on the HUD-1 when the funds are applied to
settlement charges or to the new escrow account.
IV. Reminder: Loan officers are not to sign the initial 92900a (addendum to the
loan application for sponsored originator cases. This includes lenders who
have their FHA approval, but have not completed the test case phase of the
A link to the FHA mortgagee letters is provided here > Mortgagee Letters.
Do you qualify for the Back to Work Program in Kentucky for home buyers with previous short sale or foreclosure less than 2 years?Back to Work Program, bad credit, Bankruptcy, FHA Back to work, foreclosure, job loss, Short Sales
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Joel Lobb (NMLS#57916)
Senior Loan Officer
American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.800 Stone Creek Pkwy, Ste 7,
The Federal Housing Authority has shortened the mandatory waiting periods for an Kentucky FHA-insured mortgage loan for those who have undergone foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, taken a short sale or declared bankruptcy during the economic recession.
Through its new program, Back to Work—Extenuating Circumstances, the waiting period for most borrowers is now just 12 months instead of the typical three, seven or 10 years. Both first-time and repeat home-buyers can apply. “Most people do not know this program has been released, and are only renting because
If you feel like you qualify for this and live in Kentucky, please call or email me with your questions and I would be glad to see if you qualify for the new Kentucky FHA Program for free.
Senior Loan Officer
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The good news is that most government-backed home loans – those purchased and securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – will be unaffected by a shutdown. Those companies pay for their operations out of the fees that they charge lenders.
The bad news is that loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Veteran’s Administration and the rural development loans of the United States Department of Agriculture, won’t be processed. If an application for an FHA-insured loan has not been approved by the time of the shutdown, it will have to wait until after the shutdown ends.
FHA-backed loans accounted for 45% of all mortgages used to purchase homes issued in 2012, according to the Federal Reserve. The FHA alone insures about 60,000 loans a month.
Senior Loan Officer
Key Financial Mortgage Co. (NMLS #1800)*
107 South Hurstbourne Parkway*
Louisville, KY 40222*