|Location of Comparables in VA Appraisal Reports – Cir 26-17-14
Location of Comparables in VA Appraisal Reports June 2017|
It appears VA has seen an uptick in the requests for appraisal revisions and is hoping that better detailed explanations from the appraisers will help avoid this. This would certainly make sense if you have a property where a Staff Appraisal Reviewer (SAR) is questioning the use of the comparables that are many miles from the subject property. (Circular 26-17-14, Clarification of Locational Requirements of Comparable Sale Properties for VA Appraisals, May 29, 2017 )
|VA Clarification for Completion of the IRRRL Worksheet – Cir 26-17-12 (Effective July 2, 2017)
VA has clarified how the IRRRL Worksheet 26-8923 needs to be completed for all loan applications taken on or after July 2, 2017. Read the six “line item” changes when calculating the maximum loan amount and make sure your LOS is compliant.
|VA Requirements for the Closing Disclosure Form – Cir 26-17-11 (Effective July 2, 2017)
Specific details on how to complete a CD for VA loans. While this information is primarily helpful to closers, it’s also important for processors and originators who review their CDs carefully prior to closing to ensure that their borrower isn’t in for any unpleasant surprises regarding the amount of cash necessary to close.
|VA - Cursory Review Status in WebLGY- Circular 26-17-6 (Effective 2-14-2017)
Staff Appraisal Reviewer (SAR) is required to identify whether he or she completed a cursory review by selecting “yes” or “no” in the new drop-down box found on the Save/Issue NOV screen in WebLGY. Read the article to find out what our expert learned from her conversation with the VA Regional Loan Center! (VA-Circular 26-17-6, Cursory Review Status in WebLGY-Dated February 14, 2017-Effective Immediately)
|VA-Circular 26-17-2, Clarification and New Policy for Student Loan Debts and Obligations, January 23, 2017 [Updated Chart-Student Loan Repayment Rules – Effective 1-23-2017]
VA Clarification and New Policy for Student Loan Debts and Obligations February 2017|
Student loan debt can get confusing as each investor looks at it a little differently. VA issued their Student Loan Payment Policy in this update and there is some good news for Veteran borrowers. Subscribers: Discard your old “student loan repayment rules” chart and use the new one instead. (VA-Circular 26-17-2, Clarification and New Policy for Student Loan Debts and Obligations, January 23, 2017)
|VA - Electronic Filing of Condominium Association Documents, Circular 26-16-35, November 3, 2016
VA and Condos December 2016|
New Year and new idea to market? If the lender you work for will allow it, you may have just found a new ‘in’ with some Realtor partners. If VA loans are popular in your area, how happy would a Realtor be if their condo listing could be advertised as a VA-approved project? Very few projects are VA approved in comparison to FHA. Read through this update to find out how the new VA announcement can help you build a new segment of your business. (VA-Circular 26-16-35, Electronic Filing of Condominium Association Documents November 3, 2016)
|VA 2017 County Loan Limits - Circular 26-16-36 (Effective January 1, 2017)
VA 2017 Increase Loan Limits December 2016|
VA Lenders, this is an important announcement! Loan limits have increased, so read through this update to make sure that you understand what has changed, when these changes will take place and how it affects VA eligibility. (VA-Circular 26-16-36, 2017 Department of Veterans Affairs County Loan Limits, December 1, 2016 )
|VA Annual Increase in Construction Cost Index and Specially Adapted Housing (SAH), Special Housing Adaptations (SHA), and Temporary Residence Adaptations (TRA) Grants, Circular 26-16-27 – Effective October 1, 2016
VA has issued their annual grant increase for disabled veterans October 2016|
VA has issued their annual grant increase for disabled veterans. If you work with VA financing or seek to add that to your business offerings, make sure you are up to date on the present grant opportunities offered to disabled veterans.
|VA Funding Fee Clarification, Circular 26-16-21 (Effective 7-26-16) [Download UPDATED Chart - VA Guaranteed Loan Fee Structure – Effective 7-26-16]
The VA Funding Fee calculation can be confusing to even the most seasoned originator. In this article, VA publishes a Loan Fee Structure Chart for VA loans to assist you on Cash-Out Refinances, and we have modified it so it’s easier to understand. (VA Circular 26-16-21, Funding Fee Clarification, Dated July 26, 2016 - Effective Immediately [Updated Chart-VA Guaranteed Loan Fee Structure])
|VA Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loan Processing, July 19, 2016 - VA Circular 26-16-18 (Effective Immediately)
VA Updates PACE August 2016|
Clean energy is a hot topic, and it’s fully expected to stay on top as more and more homeowners take advantage of their State and municipal programs. For lenders, this means more complexity when a seller transfers property to a buyer with an encumbrance. Understanding how this works will save your referral sources a lot of deals! (VA Circular 26-16-18, Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Loan Processing, July 19, 2016 - Effective Immediately)
|VA, Credit Report and Automated Underwriting System (AUS) Fee Policy, Circular 26-14-36, Chg 1 (Effective June 28, 2016)
If you originate VA files you’ll want to read this important update. It includes TRID housekeeping issues and changes for credit report invoices!
|VA Policy Clarification for Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses (Effective June 1, 2016)
VA changes unreimbursed business expenses policy May 2016|
VA has made some big changes in their Unreimbursed Employee Business Expense policy. This may be great news for some of your clients, so be sure to read this important update. (VA Circular 26-16-10, Policy Clarification for Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses, April 7, 2016)
|FHA and VA -Is Trending Credit Coming to a Government Loan Near You?
Be sure to check out the Fannie Mae version article about “trending credit” that you will find in this issue. FHA and VA have said nothing about implementing Trending Credit, so the industry is still unsure as to which way they will go. This article contains thoughts on the highly impactful topic of Trending Credit relating to FHA and VA lending. Fannie Mae wasn’t completely clear in the original announcement whether or not government lending would be affected. While I was 99% sure it wouldn’t, it wasn’t until a later version of the Release Notes clarified that point that I realized many industry folks may have been wondering the same thing I was.
|VA Policy Clarification for Non-Borrowers on Title Documents, Circular 26-16-01, January 14, 2016
VA Policy Clarification for NonBorrowers on Title Documents February 2016|
Who can or cannot be on the title and note can cause some distress during the mortgage process, especially when one person cannot (or chooses not to) be on the loan application. While this may make sense to lenders, it may be a security or estate planning issue for your clients. To determine who may be on the title, VA is issuing policy clarification for this issue. People commonly wish to add non-borrowers to the title of their home post-closing for various reasons. But this is not possible on a home with a VA-guaranteed loan. (Circular 26-16-01, Policy Clarification for Non-Borrowers on Title Documents, January 14, 2016)
|VA Qualified Mortgage Interim Final Rule - Circular 26-16-03; Frequently Asked Questions, January 20, 2016
As part of Dodd-Frank, the CFPB mandated the QM/ATR as of May 2014. Each agency is expected to update their guidelines to reflect the new requirements. The agencies are still working on that, but in this update, VA has written FAQs regarding complying with QM. Make sure you understand these new clarifications, and more importantly make sure your risk and policy makers have a copy of this article as well. (Circular 26-16-03, Department of Veterans Affairs Qualified Mortgage Interim Final Rule; Frequently Asked Questions, January 20, 2016 )
|VA County Loan Limits, Circular 26-15-31, 2016 (Effective 1-1-2016)
2016 VA Loan Limits January 2016|
It doesn’t appear that any of the counties saw decreases for 2016. Some counties had increases, and a separate list was created to quickly identify those. While not many counties were affected, it may be possible that your origination counties were, so take a look at counties surrounding you to stay up to date. We have also given you a couple of tips in the LO Interpretation Section to help you grow your business, as VA loans are becoming more and more popular. (Circular 26-15-31, 2016 Department of Veterans Affairs County Loan Limits, December 17, 2015)
|VA Regarding Determinations of Spousal Status When Processing Applications - Circular 26-15-29 (Effective November 5, 2015)
VA Regarding Determinations of Spousal December 2015|
With their ruling on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. Accordingly, VA may now recognize all same-sex marriages without regard to a Veteran’s state of residence. (Circular 26-15-29, Regarding Determinations of Spousal Status When Processing Applications for VA-Guaranteed Home Loans, November 5, 2015)
|VA New Appraisal Review Requirements and Instructions Regarding Department of Veterans Affairs Appraisal Management Service for the Lender Appraisal Processing Program, Circular 26-15-12. (Effective 10-1-2015)
VA is teaming up with CoreLogic and their LoanSafe Appraisal Manager (LSAM) product to automate the previous manual reviews required of VA appraisals. This new system should carefully be reviewed by all internal underwriting staff and management to ensure that personnel are properly trained so that processing issues are avoided. (VA Circular 26-15-12, New Appraisal Review Requirements and Instructions Regarding Department of Veterans Affairs Appraisal Management Service for the Lender Appraisal Processing Program and the Servicer Appraisal Processing Program Staff Appraisal Reviewers, June 12, 2015)
|VA Determinations of Spousal Status when Processing Applications (Circ. 26-15-10) dated May 19, 2015
VA Regarding Determinations of Spousal Status June 2015|
The agencies seem to be lining up to eliminate any hint of discrimination. In this latest release from VA, they address how to properly handle applicants where the “spouse” is in a “same sex” marriage. Traditionally same sex spouse applications needed to go to the VA for determination. Now lenders may close these loans on an automatic basis when certain criteria are met. (Circular 26-15-10, Regarding Determinations of Spousal Status when Processing Applications for VA - Guaranteed Home Loans, May 19, 2015)
|VA Examples of HUD-1 Itemization Requirements, Circular 26-15-6 (Effective May 1, 2015)
This Circular clarifies (VA) requirements regarding the (HUD)-1 documentation and itemization requirements, effective for all loans closed on or after May 1, 2015. The only new requirement here is that line 802 now has to be itemized. But what this does is slam the door on lenders who were trying to sneak in unallowable fees and say that the lender credit ‘covered’ those items. (Circular 26-15-6, Department of Veterans Affairs HUD-1 Itemization Requirements, April 13, 2015)
|VA Agreement of Sales Contract to Be Provided to Fee Appraiser, Circular 26-14-29 (Effective January 27, 2015)
VA has updated when a lender must provide the contract addendums to an appraiser, for consideration of the impact of that addendum on the value for a home appraisal. The lender is responsible for providing all contract addendums and subsequent addendums if they are deemed to have a potential impact on the value of the property. (VA Circular 26-14-29 - Agreement of Sales Contract to Be Provided to Fee Appraiser, January 27, 2015)
|VA Loan Limits - DU for Government Loans Release Notes – Effective 1-1-15 – DU to be updated 1-17-15
Fannie Mae will be making updates to the DU for Government software that will incorporate the VA Loan Limits. While the loan limits have been in effect since January 1, 2015, Fannie is incorporating them effective January 17, 2015. Download 2015 county loan limits chart. (DU for Government Loans Release Notes – January 2015 Release)
|VA Announces 2015 Loan Limits – Decreases in Certain High Cost Counties – Circular 26-14-39 (Effective January 1, 2015)
Right now, the current special authority that was granted to VA is set to expire on December 31, 2014. This will eliminate the higher loan limits (those that exceeded conventional limits) in some high cost areas. The primary impact is on areas that currently have a limit exceeding $625,500. Their limit will be reduced to the $625,500 threshold.
|VA New Credit Report and AUS Fee Policy Circular 26-14-36 (Effective November 13, 2014)
The bottom financial line here is that you may never charge a Veteran borrower more than $100 total for credit report and AUS fees combined. Checking these fees will now be a standard practice when VA file audits a file.
|VA Annual Increase in Construction Cost Index and Specially Adapted Housing (SAH), Special Housing Adaptations (SHA), and Temporary Residence Adaptations (TRA) Grants (Effective 10-1-2014)
Special Adapted Housing Grant Money November 2014|
These grants require coordination by the Veteran with special personnel at the VA Regional Center. VA offers three different types of grants to help build or modify a home for a qualifying disabled veteran. Read the article because we explain each type of grant and the corresponding Section numbers so you can better understand each grant amount listed above.
|New VA-Required Termite Treatment Forms for New and Proposed Construction – Cir 26-14-33 (Effective 1-1-15) [Download Chart/Checklist, Termite Protection Builder’s Guarantee ] AND [New Construction Termite Service Record Forms ]
Use this for new construction only. A copy of the forms is provided so you can verify that your builder and/or the pest control company has provided you with the right form. The form titles haven’t changed, but the content has, so when received, be sure to look over carefully because addition docs are required if box 1 is checked.
|VA Reduction in Validity Period for Proposed Construction - Circular 26-14-28 (Effective October 1, 2014)
VA Reduction in Validity Period for Proposed Construction October 2014|
Reducing the validity period is understandable in our current market, but it’s really nice that VA allows a Veteran who’s in the middle of purchasing home to use the NOV beyond the 6 months period to avoid additional appraisal costs. This greatly reduces the impact of this change.
|VA Appraisal of Proposed or Under Construction Properties from Model Homes: Circular 26-14-23. (Effective 9-5-2014)
Effective 9-5-14, VA allows “Proposed or Under Construction” properties to be appraised using an existing model home, in lieu of construction exhibits. However, there are 4 conditions that must be met.
|VA Making Home Affordable Circular 26-14-22 – Effective September 2, 2014
VA Refinances September 2014|
Because these two programs will be almost exclusively offered by loan servicers, I won’t go into much detail. Just know that if a veteran client contacts you inquiring about options to either refinance or seek a loan modification and they are seriously delinquent on the mortgage, you can direct them to their loan servicer for more relief information.
|VA Now Requires the Market Conditions Addendum to the VA Appraisal - Circular 26-14-21 (effective 9-2-2014)
I’m sure you are familiar with this form, as it’s been required for quite some time on all of our conventional appraisals (copy of form attached). It offers a more in-depth look at the neighborhood value trends, comparables, and sales prices, and specifically asks if REO sales are part of the value analysis.
|Updates to the HUD (92900-A) & VA (26-1802a) Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application – VA Clarifies Marriage Recognition
VA and SameSex Marriage September 2014|
The HUD/VA Addendum to the Uniform Residential Loan Application (HUD Form 92900A / VA Form 1802a) has been updated by VA to clarify the recognition of marriages. Loans involving same-sex spouses must be underwritten by your Regional VA office, so allow for extra processing time. A copy of the borrowers’ marriage license will be necessary to determine VA’s recognition status.
|VA Announced Its Qualified Mortgage Interim Rule - Federal Register, Vol 79, Number 90, May 9, 2014
This is the interim rule, and VA says that they hope to have a final rule ready by early August 2014. Specifically there are cries to eliminate IRRRLs that do not leave borrowers in a better financial position, rather than making certain IRRRLs rebuttable presumption QMs. From what I read, the hope is that VA might adopt a net tangible benefit requirement, similar to FHA’s.
|VA Policy Clarification on Unallowable Fees – Cir 26-14-10 Dated 5-7-14 [Download Chart/Checklist - VA Borrower Fee and Expense Matrix (Updated 6-6-14)]
This VA circular is a clarification regarding the treatment of unallowable fees when the lender charges less than 1% of the loan amount on purchase and cash-out refinance transactions, or less than 1% of the payoff amount of an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance (IRRRL) transaction. The attached matrix should be helpful during the processing and closing of a VA transaction.
|DU for Government Loans Release Notes – VA Bankruptcy, VA Loan limits, VA Credit Risk Assessment [Effective 5-17-14] FHA/VA Social Security Number Verifications [Effective 5-3-2014 ]
Consider re-running any active VA application files that are in your pipeline that got a Refer recommendation (only casefiles created on or after October 19, 2013) just on the off chance that whatever they are changing about the “risk assessment” will get you out of manual underwriting or resurrect your deal. You can’t re-run them until after May 17, but it might be interesting to see if anything comes of it.
|VA Energy Efficient Mortgages [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, VA Energy Efficient Mortgages - The Easy Way to Finance Home Improvements]
VA and EEM program April 2014|
Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) are loans that include funds to cover the cost of making energy efficiency improvements to a dwelling. This article provides you with the details on this great Veteran Benefit and provides a Mortgage Talking Points for distribution to your Realtor partners.
|VA Repair Inspection Processing Procedures – Cir. 26-14-8 dated March 24, 2014
The use of Forms 442 or 1004D Part B is NOT required by VA. It is an option “officially” granted by this Circular. If by chance the practice of using letterhead for inspection reports is common in your area, DO NOT require an appraiser to use these Fannie/Freddie forms because ‘VA said so’. Underwriters and/or investors may require use of the forms, but technically VA does not.
|VA Revises Loan Limits for 2014 – Cir. 26-14-6 (Effective Loans Closed After 2-28-2014)
Compare the old and new lists and share any changes with your Realtor partners. Review your leads and contact borrowers who might be affected by this change. Work with your processor on anything in the pipeline that might benefit. Some borrowers may not have to bring in as much down payment as initially thought if they exceed the $417,000 or other previous limit.
|VA Appraisal Requirements on Foreclosed Properties – Cir. 26-14-5 (Effective 2-25-14) [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, VA Minimum Property Standards Guide: Is That Listing Ready for a VA Buyer? )]
Veterans buying foreclosed homes March 2014|
While the seller or the veteran may pay for the repairs and repair escrows can be established (especially necessary on REO properties where nothing can really be done until after closing), there will probably be a super-tight window on how long it can take for those repairs to be completed. VA won’t guaranty the loan until the repairs are complete.
|VA Mandatory Electronic Delivery of Loan Files, Circular 26-13-29 Effective 1-1-14
Each VA Regional Loan Office audits a certain percentage of all loan files, although my experience is that if their volume is slow they audit EVERY file to keep folks busy. If you are one of the last holdouts on digitalized files for VA audits, you are officially being forced into the technology age.
|VA Loan Limits for 2014 – Cir. 26-13-28 – Effective 1-1-14
VA County Loan Limits for 2014 January 2014|
This is a good-news, bad-news situation depending on your origination area. Some areas had increases and some had decreases. You must compare the 2013 Loan Limit List with the 2014 Loan Limit List to determine what changes have taken place. Remember, if a county previously listed in 2013 is no longer on the list for 2014, its limit has dropped to $417,000.
|VA No Longer Requires Connection to Public Sewer or Water – Circular 26-13-24 (Effective November 8, 2013) [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, FHA/VA Special Considerations when Financing Rural Properties] AND [Download Checklist, FHA/VA Existing Property Condition Screening Checklist]
VA Rule Change WaterSeptic Updates December 2013|
No longer will you be playing the dreaded ‘wait game’ to see if an underwriter comes back with an expensive and mandatory public utility connection condition on your VA approval. Download the “Special Considerations When Financing Rural Properties” (FHA and VA) Mortgage Talking Points™ (which has been updated), along with the “FHA/VA Property Conditional Screening Checklist.” Now may be a great time to get them out to your Realtor partners.
|VA Outlines Interim Process for Determining Spousal Income Qualifications in Jurisdictions that Recognize Same-Sex Marriages – Circular 26-13-18 (effective Sept. 26, 2013) [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, VA Offers Home Loan Benefits to Same-Sex Married Couples]
VA and SameSex Marriage October 2013|
VA has specific language in Title 38 that defines a spouse as someone of the opposite sex. In the past, VA would only guarantee the Veteran’s portion of the loan (one half) if the Veteran had a spouse of the same sex. By presidential directive, this portion of the law is no longer to be enforced. This means that legal marriages must be recognized and benefits extended to veterans and their families who have earned them. Get the word out to your real estate agents with the Mortgage Talking Points™ article created for you.
|VA Annual Increase in Construction Cost Index and Specially Adapted Housing (SAH),
Special Housing Adaptations (SHA), and Temporary Residence Adaptations (TRA) Grants – Circular 26-13-21 (effective Oct. 1, 2013) [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, VA Specially Adapted Housing Grants - Taking Care of Our Heroes]
VA and Disabled Veterans October 2013|
The SAH grant is really the only program that you would be involved in. Do not expect this to be a fast process, as your veteran borrower works through all the steps with their VA grant coordinator. These grant funds can be used with any type of loan. The veteran does not have to use a VA loan to receive these funds.
|VA Now Offers SAR Training Online – Circular 26-13-14, VA Staff Appraisal Reviewer (Effective 9-8-2013)
What a great improvement over travel and face-to-face training. So many more underwriters can complete their SAR training and make VA loans a much easier process for their company under the Lender Appraisal Processing Program (LAPP). Link provided to register for online classes.
|VA VIP Administrative User Designation – VA Cir. 26-13-4 [Effective March 12, 2013]
If you do VA loans and want to really make your life suck in the coming months, ignore this Circular. If you are not familiar with all the new rules regarding VA VIP portal access and maintenance, read this article and get up to speed so you won’t be locked out of the VIP Portal.
|VA Loan Analysis Form 26-6393 - Updated – Charts/Checklists: VA Loan Analysis Form 26-6393.
The only revision of the form was the OMB website. But if your loan origination system is slow to update this form and you have an investor who insists you use it, we\'ve attached a copy of the new form for you.
|Veterans Admin Security Updates to Access Portal. Information Portal Access and Reactivation of Users – VA Cir. 26-13-1 & Cir. 26-13-2. – (Effective Jan 4, 2013)
Seriously, super ugly. I understand what VA is doing and why from a security standpoint, but I think they’ve underestimated the chaos they will create with the lenders. Hopefully you are one of the lucky ones and have SAR’s within your company. At least you can continue to work online in the portal. For those of you who aren’t SAPP or LAPP lenders…it’s going to be tough until you get your access back. (Circular 26-13-1, Veterans Information Portal (VIP) Work Procedures During User Reactivation Process and Circular 26-13-2, Veterans Information Portal (VIP) Pin Reset and User Reactivation Process, January 4, 2013.)
|VA Loan Limits for 2013 – Cir 26-12-12 (Effective January 1, 2013)
VA Loan Limits 2013 January 2013|
Remember that VA is completely different from FHA when it comes to determining what limits are used. VA uses the loan closing date to determine the effective limits so everything is now under the new limits, even though the case number was ordered last year. (Circular 26-12-12, 2013 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Loan Limits, December 13, 2012)
|VA Updates Form 26-8937 – Verification of VA Benefits (Effective December 1, 2012)
Take a careful look at your COE before sending this form in to your Regional Loan Center. You may not even need it! VA updated form 26-8937, Verification of VA Benefits, this month. The only changes made are some extra verbiage in section 4 and a new website referral in the “Respondent Burden” section. A copy of the new form is included.
|Increased VA Loan Limits for Many Areas from Aug 6 – Dec 31, 2012 – Cir. 26-12-7 [Download Chart/Checklist, VA Loan Limits 8-6-12 to 12-31-12]
VA County Loan Limits September 2012|
The signing of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 restored a calculation method for maximum guaranty limits for VA loans. In 2013 when new limits are announced, a loan may use the higher 2012 limit (if one applies) if there is proof of a pre-approval based on a sales contract executed on or before December 31, 2012. (Circular 26-12-7, Maximum Guaranty for Loans Closed August 6, 2012 to December 31, 2012)
|VA Credit Policy Updates – Paystub Relief, Social Security Disability, and More VA Cir. 26-12-6 (Effective 8-2-12)
Yeah! VA has seen the error (maybe) of their outdated ways and is moving forward. The message here is, don’t jump the gun and think that just because VA announced these changes, you can actually USE them anytime soon. Verify with investors and underwriters. (Circular 26-12-06, Credit Policy Updates, August 2, 2012)
|FHA & VA – Special Considerations for Financing Rural Homes. [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, FHA & VA – What You Need to Know About Financing for Rural Homes]
FHA VA Financing for CountryRural Area May 2012|
Financing rural properties can be daunting. Mortgage Talking Points provides you and your Realtor with a great tool for those rural property loans. We’ve provided you with a synopsis of the actual FHA and VA requirements.
|VA Appraisals – No More Wiggle Room – Cir 26-11-21 – Policy Changes Affecting Value Adjustments and Photographs – 12-15-11
VA is now saying that the appraiser is the best authority on the value of the home and the SAR (Staff Appraiser Reviewer) no longer has the option to issue the NOV 5% higher or lower than the appraised value, as they have been allowed in the past. I’m confused because issuing a NOV no longer makes any sense. Why not just give the Veteran a copy of the appraisal and call it good? Interior pictures are now required too. (Circular 26-11-21, Policy Changes Affecting Value Adjustments And Photographs, December 15, 2011)
|DU for Government Release Notes – FHA and VA Updates- February 18, 2012 [Chart/Checklists, FHA and VA Loan Limits for 2012]
Fannie Mae has announced that they will update DU for Government Loans to reflect the new 2012 FHA and VA loan limits, BUT not until the weekend of February 18, 2012. Manually check every VA and FHA loan file for loan limit compliance. DO NOT accept DU findings as valid until you have done this. (Fannie Mae – DU For Government Release Notes February 2012 Release – Dated 12-20-11)
|VA Loan Limits for 2012 [Download Chart/Checklist, VA County Loan Limits (Effective Jan 1, 2012)]
No Circular. No “official” announcements. Just “boom.” They quietly post a document (that you have to dig to find) to say, “Here are our loan limits for 2012.” The really crappy thing going on here is that some of the county limits dropped and DU for Government Loans won’t be updated until the weekend of February 18, 2012. This gives us lots of fabulous opportunities to close unsalable AND uninsurable VA loans.
|Final VA Funding Fee Changes. The Madness Has Stopped – VA Cir 26-11-19 (Effective November 21, 2011) [Download Chart/Checklist - VA Funding Fee Chart (as of 11-22-11)]
I propose we take a moment to breathe deeply and savor this moment. It’s finally over. We finally have fees that are effective through September 30, 2016. The fee structure has changed 4 times in 54 days. How’s that for government efficiency? (VA Circular 26-11-19: Funding Fee Update as of November 22, 2011)
|VA “Warns” Us about the Future VA Funding Fee Changes - Cir 26-11-17
VA Funding Fees November 2011|
VA released this Circular with no actual changes announced. It predicts that the VA Funding Fee reductions scheduled to take place on November 18, 2011 will be withdrawn through upcoming legislation (surprise, surprise) and the changes listed in the Funding Fee Table will NOT go into effect.
|VA Extends Homebuyer Assistance Program Until 1-1-13 – Cir 26-08-14. [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, Homebuyer Assistance Programs for VA Loans]
VA Homebuyer Assistance November 2011|
It is VA’s practice to issue Circulars and include an automatic rescission on those directives. This forces them to go back and revisit the Circular, and either allow the policy to expire or extend the rescission date to keep the policy in place. So this one remains the same. (See previous article - VA Accepts Homebuyer Assistance Program; HAP, DAP, HPA. What\'s Allowable for Veterans? (Circular 26-08-14, Change 2, October 28, 2011, VA Acceptance of Homebuyer Assistance Programs)
|DU for Government Release Notes – VA Approvals About to Get Tougher – FHA Message Updates – FHA & VA Loan Limit Changes (Effective December 17, 2011)
The big update here is that the risk assessment is going to get tougher on VA loans submitted under the updated version. So on Friday December 16 you could have an Approve/Eligible that switches to a Refer/Eligible on Monday December 19 when you adjust something in the loan and rerun it through DU. Check every VA loan with a credit score under 680 and try to get it buttoned up before the new version hits. Just sayin’….
|VA COE Processing Moved to Atlanta Regional Loan Center – Cir 26-11-13: (Effective 9-9-11) [Download Chart/Checklist: Form 26-1880 Request for Certificate of Eligibility. ]
Effective October 1, 2011 COEs will be processed by the Atlanta RLC instead of the Winston-Salem Eligibility Center. Download Form 26-1880 Request for COE in charts section. It may be a while before your LOS is updated to include the revised form. (VA Circular 26-11-13 Transfer of Certificate of Eligibility (COE) Processing to Atlanta Regional Loan Center (RLC), September 9, 2011)
|VA Funding Fee Changes - And It’s Not over Yet! – Cir. 26-11-15 & Cir. 26-11-12 [Download Charts/Checklist: VA Funding Fees – As of October 1, 2011 & On or After November 18, 2011]
VA Funding Fee October 2011|
We have a political ‘situation’ that is messing with the mortgage business. . The first Circular (triggered by the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act) lowered the funding fees--Circular 26-11-12. We knew it would be quickly rescinded. Then Circular 26-11-15 (triggered by the Veterans Health Facilities Act Capital Improvement Act – Circular copy attached) was issued and that put everything back to the previous fee structure but only until November 18, 2011. Right now, everything is set to move AGAIN to the lower fee structure on that day…..sort of. [Download Charts/Checklist: VA Funding Fees – As of October 1, 2011 & On or After November 18, 2011] (VA Circular 26-11-15 Updated Funding Fee Changes, October 6, 2011 and VA Circular 26-11-12 Funding Fee Changes Effective October 1, 2011, September 8, 2011)
|VA New Information Included on Certificates of Eligibility- Cir. 26-11-11 (Effective 9-11-11)
Effective September 11, 2011 Certificates of Eligibility (COEs) will have a new field entitled “Funding Fee”. The exemptions status of the Veteran will be displayed in this field. There are 3 status options. This new COE format is no guarantee that won’t still have to use form 26-8937 to verify exemption status and disability income. (VA Circular 26-11-11 Funding Fee Exemption Status and Verification of Income on Certificate of Eligibility, September 8, 2011)
|VA Adopts Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) Circular 26-11-14 (Effective January 1, 2012)
VA is the last to jump on the UAD bandwagon but it was inevitable. With all of this electronic data collection and uniform codes it’s going to be an interesting future. Link here to read a recent article on the subject. (VA Circular 26-11-14 Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD), September 26, 2011)
|VA Loan Limits-No Changes through December 31, 2011 – Why Are We Talking About Loan Limits in September? [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, Loan Limit Changes in October 2011? What's Going On? What's the Difference between FHA & VA?]
FHAVA Loan Limit Changes September 2011|
The Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 provided a temporary increase in VA loan limits for loans closed January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2011. Please note that VA does not have a maximum loan amount. Loan limit refers to the maximum loan a lender could make and still receive a 25% guaranty from VA, assuming the veteran has full entitlement.
|Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and Wait Periods – New Challenges [Download Mortgage Talking Points™ flyer, FHA/VA Derogatory Credit Chart & Charts/Checklist - FHA/VA Reference Chart for Loan Originators]
Mortgage Talking Points flyer June 2011|
A whole new twist has come into play and being interpreted by FHA/VA when it comes to a mortgage included in a bankruptcy. I don’t want to mention any names here (Bank of America) but there seem to be a lot of situations where the mortgage has been included in the bankruptcy, the bankruptcy has been discharged, but the lender has yet to complete the foreclosure process.
|VA Prior Loan Validations No Longer Necessary for Interest Rate Reduction Refinances – VA Cir 26-11-08 [Download Charts/Checklist - VA IRRRL Tip Sheet]
Now that the VA has gone “high tech” with WebLGY on their web portal, a prior VA loan is validated automatically when you request a case number. It’s been doing this for quite a while, but VA just got around to dropping the requirement of printing out the PLV for the file. (VA Circular 26-11-08, Elimination of the Prior Loan Validation Requirement, May 20, 2011)
|DU For Government Loans Release Notes (Effective 6-18-11)
DU for Government Loans is for FHA and VA lending, is updated infrequently and is not tracked by a “Version” number. We just always call it “DU for Government Loans” and we usually have no idea when it was last updated. Well, the weekend of June 18th, DU will be updated to incorporate FHA and VA guidance issued back from March of 2009. (I wasn’t kidding about the infrequent updates.) (DU For Government Release Notes, April 21, 2011)
|VA Service Members Civil Relief Act – Cir 26-11-3
The purpose of the Act is to allow the service member to devote their full attention to duty and relieve stress on their family in times of deployment. While this Circular doesn’t directly affect your origination business, it is great information to share with any financially struggling clients currently serving in the military. (VA Circular 26-11-3, Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), January 26, 2011)
|VA Guidance for Implementing New SAH (Specially Adapted Housing) Regulations – (Effective December 22, 2010) – VA Circular 26-10-15 [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, VA Specially Adapted Housing Grants Taking Care of Our Heroes]
VA SAH January 2011|
This grant program offers a great service to disabled Veterans in need of specialized housing due to their disability. The grant funds are used to modify an existing home or build a new home. The application and grant process are performed by the Veteran directly with VA. Your part is to simply originate a regular VA loan once everything has a green light. (VA Circular 26-10-15, Guidance for Implementing New Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Regulations, December 22, 2010)
|VA Renewal Fees Are Due January 31, 2011
Company owners/Lenders – This one does not affect loan officers—but wanted to make sure as a lender or company owner, that you don’t miss this deadline. (VA 26-7, Revised, Chapter 1: The Lender )
|VA 2011 Loan Limits (Effective January 1, 2011) [Download Charts/Checklist: 2011 VA Loan Limits for High-Cost Counties
VA Loan Limits December 2010|
Limits have gone higher in MANY counties and down in a few. Double-check your origination area for changes and let your Realtor know.
|VA Transfer of the Appraisal System (TAS) Functions to WebLGY – VA Cir. 26-10-14 (Effective December 6, 2010). [Download Charts/Checklists: VA Instructions for Using TAS Functions That Have Been Migrated to WebLGY.]
How you order VA appraisals has changed. Make sure your processing and underwriting staff is informed of this change. There will be much confusion and time wasted trying to figure out what the heck is going on. [ Charts/Checklists: VA Instructions for Using TAS Functions That Have Been Migrated to WebLGY.] (VA Circular 26-10-14, Transfer of TAS Functions to WebLGY, December 2, 2010)
|Veteran’s Benefits Act of 2010 – Funding Fee Waiver to Include More Veterans (Effective 10-13-10)
You will have to ASK on EVERY VA file from now on “Are you ENTITLED to receive service-connected disability?” not “Are you RECEIVING service-connected disability?” You can no longer rely on bank statement electronic deposits labeled “VA Disability” to tip you off when you forgot to ask during the loan application. (VA Circular 26-10-13, The Veterans Benefits Act of 2010)
|FHA/VA Derogatory Credit Rules - [Download Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer, FHA/VA Derogatory Credit Chart and FHA/VA Derogatory Credit Chart (expanded version for loan officers).]
Mortgage Talking PointsTM September 2010|
Don\'t be surprised if you learn a thing or two. Included is a Derogatory Credit Chart for FHA and VA loans AND as a bonus, you get a Mortgage Talking PointsTM flyer on the subject for your Realtors. Keep in mind that the Realtor version contains the primary items of interest to them, while the full chart for you, goes into much more detail.
|VA Clarifies Itemization of Credits/Title Charges on HUD-1 – VA Cir. 26-10-9 (Effective October 1, 2010)
VA is very strict about what a veteran borrower can and can’t pay, and the new HUD-1 and GFE can make it impossible for VA to tell who paid what. Clarifies how a couple of charges should be shown on the HUD-1. (VA Circular 26-10-9, Itemization of Credits and Title Service Charges, July 30, 2010)
|VA Extends Expansion of Ownership Interests Allowable for Specially Adapted Housing – Cir. 26-08-5
VA recognized that there are more choices being utilized by today’s veterans when it came to property ownership and estate planning. Therefore they announce the acceptance of 2 more types of ownership interests. (Expansion of the Types of Ownership Interests Permissible Under the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant Program, Circular 26-08-5, Change 2.)
|VA Offers Some Temporary Leniency on Condo - VA Cir. 26-09-19 (Effective May 17, 2010) [Download Condo Comparison Chart Updated]
Increase Potential Buyer Seller Pool June 2010|
We just got done telling you for the last 5 months that the only way we could do a VA loan on a condo was if the project was on the VA approved list. This change is a big deal for the next 6 months and will open up the number of properties available to veteran buyers. Download Condo Comparison Chart Updated (Rescission of VA Acceptance of HUD/FHA Condominium Approvals, Circular 26-09-19, Change 1, May 17, 2010)
|VA Updated Home Buyer Assistance Program Dates – Cir 26-08-14
The original Circular 26-08-14 (attached to this article) was issued in August of 2008 and explained what is and isn’t acceptable to VA when it comes to Homebuyer Assistance Programs (HAPs). In a nutshell, VA accepts government HAPs but private HAPs have to be submitted to VA for approval. (Circular 26-08-14, Change 1, April 23, 2010, VA Acceptance of Homebuyer Assistance Programs)
|VA - Temporary Reduction in the Validity Period on Value and Master Certificates of Reasonable Value for Proposed Construction Cases (Extended to 1-1-12)
VA uses Circulars to update old circulars. This forces them to go back and revisit the Circular and either allow the policy to expire or extend the rescission date to keep the policy in place. So in this case, VA extended this rescission to January 1, 2012. (VA Circular 26-08-4, Change 1, March 16, 2010)
|VA Regional Loan Center Appraisal Fees and Timeliness Requirements – [Includes Website Link & RLC Rules (All 10 Regions) Provided.]
YEESSSSS! VA finally published Appraisal fees & turn around time requirements on a consolidated webpage. Before, it could take some digging to get this information. These lists give you the allowed appraisal fees and turn-around times by RLC. They are attached for every Regional Loan Center (RLC) & link to consolidated page provided.
|VA Issues Cir. 26-10-01: Impact of New RESPA Rule on Fees. Sec 8 “Borrowers Fees & Charges” Included. (Effective May 1, 2010)
VA kept their 1% origination cap and clarified that they want the “Our Origination Charge” to be itemized at settlement on the HUD-1using one of the two methods. They do not allow you to combine methods. Sec 8 “Borrowers Fees & Charges” Included. (Circular 26-10-01, Impact of New Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA) Rule on Fees and Charges for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Loans)
|VA No Longer Accepting HUD/FHA Condominium Approvals – Cir. 26-09-19 [Link For List of VA Approved Condos] (Effective December 7, 2009)
Simply put, if you want to do a VA loan on a condominium project, the project MUST be listed on VAs approved list. (Link Provided to get list of VA approved condos!) (Circular 26-09-19, Rescission of VA Acceptance of HUD/FHA Condominium Approvals, November 30, 2009)
|VA Loans and Their Deal-Saving Secrets – Seller Concessions! [Includes Mortgage Talking PointsTM What You Need to Know About Seller Concessions & VA Loans]
LittleKnown Facts About VA Loans Seller Concessions January 2010|
VA is a popular loan option again, so refresh your Realtors memory on how these guidelines can benefit their VA borrower with the attached Quick Fact- VA allows sellers to pay off debt for buyers. It is also a little known fact, that the 4% limitation on seller concessions does not include closing costs. [Mortgage Talking PointsTM for your Real estate agents included!]
|VA Changes to the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Program, Public Law 110-289 - Fact Sheet Included (Effective October 1, 2009)
VA provides these grant programs so that eligible veterans can purchase, build or remodel homes that will accommodate their special needs. Print out the Specially Adapted Housing and Special Housing Adaptation Fact Sheets that I’ve attached to this article. (VA Circular 26-09-16)
|VA Centralizes LAPP and SAPP Programs (Effective September 1, 2009)
Owners, managers, and underwriters take heed. If you are thinking about streamlining your VA lending process by participating in the LAPP or SAPP Programs (which I highly recommend) it will work a little different than before. (Circular 26-09-13, August 24, 2009 and Circular 26-09-13 Change 1, August 28, 2009 )
|VA Market Conditions Addendum to Appraisal – Higher Preparation Fee Allowed (Effective August 1, 2009)
VA has determined that the impact of the Market Conditions Addendum requirement for every VA appraisal report warrants the increased fee across the board. (VA Circular 26-09-11: Market Conditions Addendum to VA Appraisal - Preparation Fee)
|Suspension of Master Certificate of Reasonable Value Issuance (Effective May 22, 2009)
Since VA recognized that there was potential disservice to the veteran, they have discontinued the practice of issuing MCRVs until further notice. (VA Circular 26-09-8, Effective May 22, 2009)
|VA Reporting of Paid-in-Full Loan Speeds UP COEs - (Effective May 1, 2009)
Here’s hoping that this change makes the process of getting the Veteran’s eligibility restored faster and easier. More often than not, when a Veteran has a previous VA loan it is still showing on his Certificate of Eligibility (COE) even after it has been paid. (VA Circular 26-09-7, May 1, 2009)
|VA Relaxes Rules - Sale of New Construction Properties Owned by Lenders - (Effective March 31, 2009)
Great way to help clear out some of the new construction inventory on the market right now. VA has taken a more cautious approach by requiring the appraisal be reviewed by one of their own appraisers…but hey…who can blame them. This is 100% financing we are talking about. (Circular 26-09-6, March 31, 2009)
|VA Change to the Certificate of Eligibility - Eliminating Birth Date on COE
No big dealio here - but it\'s a privacy issue that VA wants to eliminate from the COE! (VA Circular 26-09-2, March 12, 2009)
|VA Requires Sales Contract to be provided to Appraisers
Geez, folks. it’s an embarrassment that VA had to even issue this letter. So apparently some lunkheads out there thought that the details contained in a sales contract were not important to an appraiser. (VA Circular 26-09-3, March 27, 2009)
|VA Market Conditions Addendum to Appraisal - 1004MC (Effective April 1, 2009)
No longer can the appraiser simply check the Neighborhood Market Condition box as Stable, Declining, etc. It’s like your math teacher asking you to “show your work” for your homework answers. (VA Circular 26-09-4, March 27, 2009)
|VA New Appraisal Requirements on Foreclosed Properties (Effective March 31, 2009)
Biggest thing to remember here is that if you are the lender/owner on a foreclosed property your SAR (Staff Appraisal Reviewer) can’t issue the Notice of Value (NOV). This will slow down your processing time. Plan for it. (Circular 26-09-5, March 31, 2009)
|VA Clarifies Entitlement Calculations and Updates Loan Limit List - VA Guaranty Calculation Examples Included (Effective 2-18-09)
Entitlement calculations can be tricky when a veteran has used a portion of his entitlement but would like to purchase another home using his remaining entitlement. The “examples” form that is included (and can also be found in Charts & Checklists) will really help you get a grasp on the concept. (Circular 26-08-19, Change 1, February 18, 2009)
|Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About VA Underwriting - At a Glance (VA Underwriting Matrix, Tables, Tip Sheets and VA County Loan Limits 2009)
Originators who have previously avoided VA loans because of fee limitations, extra paperwork, or fear of the unknown are reconsidering the product. Whether you are new or just want a refresher course on basic underwriting guidelines, I’ve put together some great resources; including a handy VA Matrix with 3 different programs—Purchase-Interest-Rate Reduction-Cash Out Refis!
|Changes to VA Loan Summary Sheet (Form 26-0286) - More Info Required if Cash Out Refinance!
Looks like VA is keeping “track”! With the announcement VA made last year increasing the LTV from 90% to 100% on cash-out refinance loans, it must be dawning on them that tracking the types of loans being refinanced, could be helpful if they start experiencing higher claims. (Changes to VA Loan Summary Sheet Form 26-0286; Circular 16-09-01, dated 2-2-09; VA Loan Summary Sheet; Form 26-0286)
|VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs) - Refinance Worksheets (Rate Reduction & Streamline) and Helpful Hints Included
VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs) or VA Streamlined Refinances, are a gift from the loan gods. They are the ultimate reward for those of us who originate VA loans. With home values falling right along with interest rates, it’s their time to shine! Download the handy worksheets and VA IRRRL Fact Sheet.
|Veteran's Benefit Improvement Act - Higher Loan Amounts for 2009 Plus 100% Cash-out Refinances! Too Good to be True?
VA has two refinance types. The previous rules limited regular refinance loans to 90% of the appraised value. Now 100% refis have been introduced. Download VA Guaranty Calculation Examples & 2008 VA County Loan Limit Charts for loans closed until December 31, 2008 (VA Circular 26-08-19: Implementation of Loan Guaranty Provisions of Public Law 110-389, October 16, 2008)
|VA Form Simplifications and Eliminations - Processing Changes
Mostly minor stuff, but you\'ve got to know it. It\'s very nice having them all in one place at the least, as a reminder of when a certification is necessary. I\'d put this form in all VA loan packages, and have the areas signed as needed. I actually like this one. (VA Circular 26-08-17, September 5, 2008)
|Will Congress Reinstate the VA ARM or Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage Program?
ARM Loan applications taken before 10-1-08 will be eligible for guarantee if closed within a reasonable amount of time. Extension of the program must be approved by Congress. (VA Circular 26-08-15, September 4, 2008)
|VA Accepts Homebuyer Assistance Programs; HAP, DAP, HPA, What's Allowable for Veteran Loans?
Have you noticed that VA loves to create and use their own acronyms? I swear their HAP is what we have all been calling downpayment assistance programs (DPAs or DAPs) all along. But in all fairness, VA doesn’t require a downpayment – so HAP it is! If you use any of these HAP-type programs for your FHA homebuyers, why not VA? If you don’t use them, maybe you could start. (Circular 26-08-14, August 19, 2008)
|How to Get the Certificate of Eligibility And/Or Find the DD214 Form
VA loans are gaining popularity again with the elimination of most other 100% purchase mortgage products. For those of you who are wading into the waters of VA lending for the first time or haven\'t been doing them lately, here are some great tips to help our veteran get a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and/or their DD214 - Report of Separation. Written By: Tracey Rumsey, CMI, DRIE, SWBC Mortgage Co. & MortgageCurrentcy.com Advisory Board member. Read more on how easy it is to become a VA-Approved Lender.
|VA Guaranty Increased; VA Loan Amounts to $729,750; VA Jumbo Loans Should Be More Desirable to Lenders! (VA Jumbo Loan Limits Expire 12-31-08)
If you originate VA loans, stay on top of your lenders. It\'s up to them, but pricing should be reasonable. You may want to call your reps. You need to get this product out to your veterans! (H.R.3221.ENR Sec.2201. TEMPORARY INCREASE IN MAXIMUM LOAN GUARANTY AMOUNT FOR CERTAIN HOUSING LOANS GUARANTEED BY THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS; VA Circular 26-08-11, July 30, 2008)
|Financing for Co-Ops Now Allowed by VA
If you live in a market that has co-ops and veterans, this one is for you! In fact, you may want to talk to your employer or lender about following through with this, because it\'s an entirely new and untapped market.
|Adapted Housing Loans for Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities
Those of you who work with veterans should be aware of the Special Adapted Housing and make it known to veteran clients who may qualify. It also affects us as US citizens in this time of war when we have so many veterans who are coming home disabled.
|Read This Only if You Originate in Minnesota. Stated-income on VA streamlined refi's now allowed!
|Expiration Dates for VA New Construction Appraisals Change. Covers both NOVs and Master CRVs.
|Model Home Appraisals - Technical Correction.
|Easier Appraisals for New Construction Using Model Homes.
|VA Allows 100% Loans in Declining Markets, Appraisal Guidelines