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Ginnie Mae mandates LTV calculated at loan origination

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Ginnie Mae clarified its loan-to-value requirement, insisting it be calculated at the time of origination. Ted Tozer, president of the government agency, issued the clarification and said mortgage-backed securities issuers can use the appraised value, estimated value or purchase price of a property to calculate the LTV. If Ginnie is insuring or guaranteeing the loan and it doesn't require an appraisal, issuers may enter "0" in the data field for the loan-to-value, Tozer said. Such instances include Federal Housing Administration streamlined refinancings and Veterans Affairs interest-rate reduction loans. If the issuers fails to enter a value in the LTV data field, the pool won't be valid for backing from Ginnie Mae. In October, the company made previously optional data fields mandatory, including loan purpose, credit score and the LTV ratio. The changes are effective Feb. 1. In late November, Ginnie Mae doubled the net worth requirement for its multifamily program, changed how that figure is calculated and adopted new capital requirements for issuers. Tozer said then that the changes were made to ensure the agency's program requirements "align with the rapidly changing housing finance market." The firm guarantees timely payment of principal and interest on federally insured loans to investors of mortgage-backed securities. For 2010, issuance of Ginnie-backed MBS declined for the first time in four years, dropping 1.4% to $413 billion. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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