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Ginnie Mae Tightens Issuer Requirements as FHA Interest Surges

Citing "recent industry and market conditions," Ginnie Mae said last week that it was tightening requirements for new issuers as interest in Federal Housing Administration-endorsed mortgage origination surges; more than a few FHA lenders have begun touting their status as an "FHA issuer" as a point of competitive differentiation in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The result has been a flood of applicants looking to gain similar status and competitive standing, HW sources have said recently. In particular, Ginnie Mae executive vice president Michael Frenz said that the agency was doubling its minimum net worth requirement for issuers in the single family MBS and HMBS programs, effective October of next year. Frenz also said that all new issuers will now be subject to a one-year probationary period, starting on first issuance or upon the acquisition of a Ginnie Mae servicing portfolio. "During this time, Ginnie Mae will closely evaluate performance metrics, including, but not limited to loan level insurance statistics, delinquency levels and early payment defaults," he said. "Delinquencies and insurance rates must remain beneath our established thresholds." Ginnie Mae will conduct an onsite review six months into the probation period, and any new issuer would be required to clear any deficiencies identified by the end of the twelve-month period. For more information, visit http://www.ginniemae.gov.

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