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Fannie Launches Policy to Facilitate Mortgage Insurance Validation

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Fannie Mae is widening its interaction with insurers of mortgages it owns or securitizes as part of an effort to improve the accuracy of insurance coverage information. Fannie-owned and -guaranteed mortgages with loan-to-value ratios higher than 80% -- indicating less than 20% down payment provided by the borrower at the time of closing -- require mortgage insurance. The company is moving to improve the quality and accuracy of loan-level mortgage insurance coverage data. To do this, Fannie may at some point have to validate mortgage insurance policies and other information. The GSE issued a servicing policy update (download here) requiring seller/servicers to instruct each mortgage insurer it partners with to provide Fannie with any information it may request concerning the mortgage and insurance policy. "These instructions do not relieve seller/servicers of their obligations…to report mortgage insurance coverage terms completely and accurately to Fannie Mae, nor do they imply that the mortgage insurer rather than the seller/servicer will be the initial source of this data," Fannie said. "Rather, these instructions will facilitate Fannie Mae's ability to validate such terms directly with the mortgage insurer." Fannie said it might require information about the origination, servicing and coverage of mortgage insurance policies -- including any cancellation or rescission of coverage and the reasons and supporting documentation for such actions. Seller/servicers must notify their current mortgage insurers -- and begin notifying any new mortgage insurers -- of the policy no later than Oct. 1, 2010. The policy will also apply to new Fannie-approved seller/servicers as they begin doing business with mortgage insurers after the effective date. Providing insurers with written instructions at the outset of their relationships with Fannie-approved seller/servicers will ensure mortgage insurers' cooperation and the streamlining of data delivery, the company said. Write to Diana Golobay.

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