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Correspondent

Renovation Lending

Specialty Lending

Rural Housing

 
 

News & Announcements

2018      [click to view]

July

Update – HomeStyle Product Guide
The Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation documentation requirements have been updated. This update eliminates the requirement of the Construction Contract, Construction Loan Agreement, Construction Loan Rider to Security Instrument and Investor Rider to Security Instrument documents. Model Renovation Loan documents are available through Fannie Mae. For more information, click here. For more information, click here.

Cash Out Refinance Increase for Freddie Mac IMAGINSM Transactions
The maximum loan-to-value (LTV), total LTV and high total LTV has been increased from 80% to 85% for Freddie Mac cash out transactions only. For more information and details on the eligibility requirements, as well as a list of ineligible transactions, click here.

Update – Ginnie Mae Seasoning Requirements
Effective immediately, Sellers that have subject properties with existing Conventional financing are not subject to the Ginnie Mae seasoning requirements for FHA and VA cash out refinance transactions. The Seller must determine and validate that the loan being paid off is Conventional using certain methods. For more information, click here.

Information on Property Inspection Waivers (PIW) After a Disaster
Fannie Mae has provided clarity regarding Property Inspection Waivers (PIW) offered on a property after a disaster. If Fannie Mae receives an acceptable appraisal on a property, it also becomes eligible for a PIW on a future transaction. For more information, click here.

Update – FHA and VA ARM Change Dates
The revised online Seller Guide provides updates for the FHA and VA 3/1 and 5/1 ARMs. The Seller must deliver the loan with the annual rate change date that was agreed to at the time of commitment. The Seller must also refer to the commitment confirmation and ARM change dates for the appropriate interest rate change date. For more information regarding the specific ARM change dates, click here.

Update – Servicing Contact Information for Flow MSR/Co-Issue Sellers
The contact information for Servicing has changed. Flow MSR/Co-Issue Sellers must ensure that borrower “Goodbye” letters reflect the new contact information for loans that will be serviced by Freedom Mortgage Corporation. To access the new information sheet, click here.

Reminder – Policy Change: Freddie Mac Bulletin 2017-28
Freddie Mac previously expanded their requirements for qualifying borrowers for a mortgage when the borrower’s qualifying income will commence after the Note date. For additional details, click here.

Update – Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD)
IMPORTANT: Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) requirements have changed. The closed loan file must contain a complete UCD feedback certification and successful UCD responses from both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Freedom Mortgage cannot purchase the loan until this requirement is met. This update is effective with all Conventional loans delivered for purchase on and after July 18, 2018. Click here.

TRID 2.0 and Disclosure Job Aid – Renovation Lending Sellers
Renovation Lending has provided a Job Aid to guide Sellers on TRID 2.0 Loan Estimate (LE) and Closing Disclosure (CD) renovation costs, fees and reserves, specifically for Fannie Mae HomeStyle Conforming, High Balance Fixed Rate and ARMs, and FHA 203(k) Fixed Rate and ARMs. Compliance with the new TILA-RESPA amendments is mandatory for loan applications received on or after October 1, 2018. Click here.

Announcing – Policy Change for Uninsured Government Loans
Effective for all government loans (FHA, VA and Rural Housing) in the pipeline that are not insured as of July 25, 2018 and forward—Sellers must deliver the “Insurance Certificate” in accordance with Section 565.05(a) of the Seller Guide. For more information, click here.

June

Announcing Tax Transcript and Second Appraisal Requirements Updates
The tax transcript policy on non-taxable income and retired borrowers has changed. In addition, there has been an update for second appraisals. Rather than always using the second appraisal, the most reliable appraisal must be selected instead. For more information, click here.

Update – Conventional Product Guides
Effective immediately, the existing Conventional product guides have been renamed Fannie Mae product guides. They have been updated to accommodate Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter only. All references to Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor have been removed from these product guides.

Update – Eligibility of Certain Rural Areas
On June 4, 2018, the area maps for the Rural Development Single Family House (SFH) and Multi-Family Housing programs were updated to the USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site at eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov. For more info, click here.

Update – VA Loan Level Price Adjustment (LLPA)
VA LLPA values for traditional Correspondent and Freedom First transactions have changed (effective with new Best Efforts locks, new Mandatory Commitments and undelivered existing commitments rolled as of June 6, 2018.). Adjustments will be reflected on the rate sheet on the date they are effective and no longer preceded by an announcement. To learn more, please contact your Regional Manager.

Update – VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs)
In response to the newly enacted Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, the Department of Veteran Affairs has revised policies for IRRRL loans. The updated policy will be effective on loan applications taken on or after May 25, 2018. For more info, click here.

Update – TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)
A recent update to TRID, effective June 1, 2018, addresses a “black hole”—which gave creditors the ability to reset fee tolerances and pass on increased closing costs to consumers. The four-specific business day timing requirement has been eliminated. Creditors are allowed to reset fee tolerances using a Closing Disclosure (CD) when the revised CD is issued within the 3 general business days. For more info, click here.

Announcing – Down Payment Assistance Programs & FHA/VA Combined Loan-to-Value (CLTV) Maximums
Down Payment Assistance Programs are now eligible for traditional Correspondent FHA Fixed Rate and Adjustable Rate High Balance transactions. Freedom First FHA and VA Fixed and Adjustable Rate High Balance products have been updated as well. The updates are effective with Best Efforts locks and Mandatory Commitments taken on or after June 11, 2018.

New Income Limits for USDA GRH
The USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan program has increased income limits. Check USDA’s eligibility website at eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov to check limits for your area.

Update – USDA Rate Sheet
The Correspondent Lending announcement, CA 18-044, issued on May 15, 2018, has been revised to remove the "USDA" reference on the first four Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs). The amendment also adds a FICO score adjustment associated with the USDA Streamline Assist loan. These changes are applicable for USDA loans sold to Freedom Mortgage Corporation via the Mandatory platform and effective with commitment taken on or after June 18, 2018.

Please note that all USDA Best Effort loans will continue to be locked and delivered through our Rural Housing channel and are not impacted by these changes. For more info, click here.

Announcing – Integrated Mortgage Insurance (IMAGIN℠) Enhancements
The Loan Level Price Adjustment(s) LLPAs include an increase and decrease for several existing LLPAs and the addition of a Cash-out LLPA for high FICO and low loan-to-value ratio loans. For more info, click here.

Update – Exclusionary List
The Freedom Mortgage Exclusionary List has been updated. Please refer to the posted list in AllRegs for complete details.

Update – HomeStyle Product Guide
The Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation documentation requirements have been updated, effective immediately, in accordance with Fannie Mae Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2018-05. Construction Contract (Form 3734), Construction Loan Agreement (Form 3735), Construction Loan Rider (Form 3737) and Investor Rider (Form 3738) are no longer required. For more info, click here.

Announcement – Property Inspection Waivers (PIWs)
Fannie Mae has offered new information to clarify issues that may arise regarding Property Inspection Waivers (PIWs) after a disaster occurs relating to the properties in the disaster area. For more info, click here.

May

Update – Two Unit Second Homes
May 16, 2018
The two-unit second home property type for eligible conventional loan transactions (utilizing Desktop Underwriter) has been removed.

Update – Universal Loan Identifier (ULI) Documentation
May 15, 2018
Documentation requirements for the Universal Loan Identifier (ULI) have changed. Sellers who provide the ULI electronically during loan registration are not required to provide a ULI form. Sellers who do not provide the ULI electronically during loan registration must document the ULI by using the: Freedom Mortgage Corporation ULI form, Demographic Information Addendum, or Universal Residential Loan Application (URLA), when approved for use by the CFPB - anticipated for July 01, 2019..

Update – Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD)
May 15, 2018
Currently, both loan delivery systems for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) that check for a successful UCD XML file submission issue a "warning" edit if required data is missing. Effective June 25, 2018, the warning edit will switch to a critical/fatal severity edit and will not be accepted in the GSE’s delivery systems. In addition, the Borrower Closing Disclosure PDF must be embedded in the UCD XML file. For more details, click here.

Update – USDA Rate Sheet
May 15, 2018
We have updated the traditional Correspondent Lending and Freedom Mortgage Rural Housing rate sheet to include USDA pricing and appropriate Loan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) for Mandatory Commitments. USDA pricing and LLPAs for Best Efforts locks are not impacted by this enhancement and will continue to be locked and delivered through our Rural Housing channel. (Effective with Mandatory Commitments taken on and after June 4, 2018.)

Fannie Mae Lender-Sourced Contributions Update
May 7, 2018 – SEL-2018-03
Fannie Mae has issued a clarification regarding lender-sourced contributions to fund closing costs and prepaid fees. These contributions are permitted when certain requirements are met. For more info, click here.

Announcing – Fannie May HomeStyle Policy Improvement
May 7, 2018
Fannie Mae HomeStyle Consultant requirements have been improved. A Consultant will not be required for a HomeStyle transaction unless hard costs exceed $50,000 or any structural repairs are being done. Previously, the Consultant was required when hard costs exceeded $35,000 or any structural repairs were being done. The associated online guides have been updated.

April

Revised Exclusionary List
For complete details on the update, please refer to the newly posted list in AllRegs.

New Closing Disclosure (CD) Conditions
In response to feedback we have received, Correspondent Lending and Renovation Lending will replace the current CD conditions with 10 new conditions that will specifically identify errors and enable separate common issues to be resolved. This change applies to all loans and is effective immediately.

Announcing - HomePossible® and HomePossible® Advantage from Freddie Mac
We are pleased to announce the expansion of our Freddie Mac product suite to include HomePossible® and HomePossible® Advantage. The HomePossible® Advantage program has the additional flexibility of higher loan-to-value (LTV) and total LTV (TLTV) ratio limits. To be eligible, the loan must be a fixed-rate mortgage transaction, purchase or no cash-out refinance of a primary residence and must comply with all HomePossible® Mortgage requirements. Secondary financing is permitted but it must be an Affordable Second and must not be a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). For more details, click here

Enhancements for FHA Freedom First Non-Delegated Loan Transactions
The Specialty Lending Website portal for FHA Freedom First Non-Delegated Loan has undergone several improvements. The new functionality will add a list of new loan statuses, eliminate manual workarounds, enable sellers to register and upload documents and include an option to upload the Non-Delegated credit package with the option to lock. Sellers can view tracking items and upload conditions as needed. They may also be able to move the loan into Underwriting without locking the loan.

Update - Servicing Recast Policy
Effective immediately, the minimum required principal curtailment to request a recast on a conventional loan has been reduced from 20% to 10%, with a minimum of $5,000 principal curtailment. There is a $250 processing fee for each recast and it is only available with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac fixed- or adjustable-rate conventional loan that is current.

March

Reminder – VA IRRRL Seasonings Change In Effect
April 2, 2018 is the last day to lock Best Efforts or commit mandatory loan transactions for IRRRL under the current six month seasoning and 210-day requirements. For transactions going forward, the first payment due date of the new finance loan is to occur no earlier than 300 days after the first payment due date for the VA mortgage being refinanced.

Now Available - Fannie Mae’s Updated Selling Guide
Fannie Mae’s revised Selling Guide increases the age of documentation for loans securing properties impacted by disaster from 120 days to 180 days. The property securing the mortgage loan must be in a FEMA-declared disaster area and eligible for Individual Assistance. In addition, other documentation such as credit reports and verifications of income may be required. Appraisal on the home must be dated no more than 180 days before the Note date.

Signature Requirements for Mortgages to Inter Vivos Revocable Trusts have also been revised to include a new block titled Optional Limitation on Trust Liability. The new content more clearly describes the non-recourse option and applies to all trusts whose trustee(s) are required to sign the Note.

Update to Freedom Mortgage Exclusionary List
Please note that we have updated the Freedom Mortgage Exclusionary List. Please refer to the posted list in ALLRegs for complete details and contact your Regional Manager with any questions.

Collateral process streamlined for reverse bailee process
Effective immediately for Sellers registering loan warehouse with Bank of America and Wells Fargo, Freedom Mortgage will no longer require the use of the Warehouse Bank Notification Form and will not use the reverse bailee process. Sellers must provide new shipping instructions for collateral (including Rural Housing) to Deutsche Bank, the acting custodian for these two warehouse banks: Deutsche Bank National Trust Comp, Attn: Team Freedom/ Correspondent Lend, 1761 E. Saint Andrew Place, Document Custody, Santa Ana CA 92705-4934. Telephone: 714-247-6045.

Enhancements to Fannie Mae HomeStyle program
Recent changes to the Homestyle Renovation mortgage allow a borrower to purchase a property or refinance an existing loan – and include funds in the loan amount to cover repairs, remodeling, renovations or energy improvements to the property. (Effective with Desktop Underwriter new loan casefiles submitted on or after the weekend of March 17, 2018.)

Fannie Mae Selling Guide Updates
Effective immediately, Sellers must ensure that the most current version of IRS Form 4506-T is executed at application and closing. The form must be fully completed prior to the borrower’s signature, with the ‘read attestation clause’ box marked. 2017 tax return transcripts are required for loans closing on or after June 15, 2018. For more info, [Click Here]

IRS Form 4506-T and tax transcripts update
Effective immediately, Sellers must ensure that the most current version of IRS Form 4506-T is executed at application and closing. The form must be fully completed prior to the borrower’s signature, with the ‘read attestation clause’ box marked. 2017 tax return transcripts are required for loans closing on or after June 15, 2018. For more info, [Click Here]

Desktop Underwriter/Desktop Originator Version 10.2 Updates
For new loan casefiles submitted to DU on or after March 17, 2018, please note changes regarding: 1.) The HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage program [CA18-025], 2). Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) messaging changes for properties with a recent appraisal and investment properties, 3.) Condominium project eligibility review messaging, as well as other updates to DU Version 10.2. Contact your Regional Manager with questions.

Annual Seller recertification processing April 2018
Sellers approved prior to July 1, 2017, must complete the full recertification process; required recertification documentation is detailed in Comergence and must be uploaded to Comergence directly. Sellers approved after June 30, 2017, and whose fiscal year was after June 30, 2017, must submit annual audited financial statements and most recent interim financial statements (signed by CEO or CFO) and upload directly to Comergence.

Freddie Mac’s New Integrated Mortgage Insurance℠ (IMAGIN℠) Available Now
IMAGIN℠ is another form of front-end mortgage insurance and will complement Borrower-Paid Mortgage Insurance (BPMI) and Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI). IMAGIN℠ offers a more streamlined underwriting process and potentially lower costs, along with greater eligibility for buyers. Effective with Freddie Mac Only best efforts locks and mandatory commitments taken on and after March 12, 2018. To learn more, please contact your Freedom Mortgage Corporation Correspondent and Renovation Lending Regional Manager.

Reminder – Closing Disclosure USDA MIC# Rules
All USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed loan transactions require the USDA Mortgage Insurance Certificate (MIC #) number appear in the "Loan Information" section on Page 1 of the Closing Disclosure, per CFPB requirements. The agency guarantee is required for the loan to be eligible for sale to Freedom Mortgage Corporation, so the MIC# is a required field.

February

Reminder – Closing Disclosure USDA MIC# Rules
We’re pleased to announce that as a result of your feedback, Sellers will receive a single purchase advice for all commitments being purchased, as well as the loan level pricing breakdown. Revised advice includes the addition of Commitment Number(s), Loan Status, Commitment Par Rate and Trade Date, along with the removal of fields that did not assist your review and approval of the advices.

Changes to USDA Loan Level Price Adjustment (LLPA)
USDA Loan Level Price Adjustment (LLPA) changes for credit score have been announced – and are effective for all locks and re-locks on or after March 5, 2018. These include a new credit score tier between 680 to 719 and improved LLPA’s for credit scores between 620 and 659. For the full new credit score LLPA table click here [PDF].

January

Rural Housing – Doing Business with Freedom Mortgage
As one of the top Rural Housing lenders in the U.S, we offer the advantage of a team with extensive experience supporting originators using the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing (GRH) program. Freedom Mortgage also provides a job aid for smooth Loan Registration and File Submission [Click here]

USDA temporarily suspending IRS tax transcript requirements
(RH18-03 Delegated) Effective as of December 21, 2017, the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program has suspended requiring Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 4506-T for all adult household members – until further notice. Lenders must continue to perform their due diligence to review income and assets documentation obtained for the household.

USDA temporarily suspending IRS tax transcript requirements
(RH18-04 Non-Delegated) Effective as of December 21, 2017, the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program has suspended requiring Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 4506-T for all adult household members – until further notice. For non-delegated loans underwritten by Freedom Mortgage Rural Housing tax return(s) and tax transcript(s) covering at least the most recent one-year tax period will be required for any income source requiring tax returns, including, but not limited to, self-employed borrowers, commission employees, 1099, etc.

Update to USDA Job Aid – corrected Assignment of Mortgage Address
NOTE TO SELLERS: Freedom Mortgage Rural Housing has updated the Doing Business with Freedom Mortgage – Processing USDA Loans job aid with a corrected Assignment of Mortgage address, as follows:
Freedom Mortgage Corporation, a Corporation organized under the laws of New Jersey
907 Pleasant Valley Ave
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

2017      [click to view]

November

5/5 ARM Now Available for Fannie Mae Products
The Fannie Mae product suite of Freedom Mortgage Correspondent Lending has been expanded to include the Fannie Mae Conforming and Fannie Mae High Balance 5/5 Adjustable Rate Mortgage. Eligible properties include 1-4 unit primary residences, second homes and 1-4 unit investment properties.

September

Uniform Closing Dataset Requirements in Effect
Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) will require a successful submission of the Borrower’s Uniform Closing Dataset (UCD) XML for all loans delivered to them with Note dates on or after September 25, 2017. Freedom Mortgage Corporation requires the transfer/assignment of ownership of the UCD results. Please ensure the FNMA One-Time Relationship has been established with Freedom Mortgage Corporation via the FNMA Website. Please call your sales associate if you have questions

March

Correspondent Lending Re-Certification Process
The re-certification process for Correspondent Lending begins in April 2017. Notification will deliver from Comergence on April 15. The deadline to submit the required re-certification documentation is May 31, 2017.

February

Freedom Mortgage Correspondent Lending now allows the purchase of Higher Priced Mortgage Loans (HPML).
Freedom Mortgage Correspondent Lending now allows the purchase of HPML with all Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and VA loan products in accordance with Regulation Z, Section 1026.35. This change is effective with Best Efforts locks and Mandatory Commitments taken on and after February 15, 2017. For more detail, please review CA 17-021.

Freedom Mortgage Correspondent Lending now allows the purchase of Higher Priced Mortgage Loans (HPML).
Freedom Mortgage Correspondent Lending now allows the purchase of HPML with all Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and VA loan products in accordance with Regulation Z, Section 1026.35. This change is effective with Best Efforts locks and Mandatory Commitments taken on and after February 15, 2017. For more detail, please review CA 17-021.

January

Freedom Mortgage Correspondent Lending is pleased to announce recent changes to policy guidelines as follows:

  • Effective January 30, 2017, a PUD Questionnaire will no longer be required for attached PUD transactions (See CA 17-011 for details).
  • New Tax Transcript policies go in effect January 30, 2017, related to Current Year Tax Transcript Unavailability and IRS Rejection of Tax Transcripts (See CA 17-012 for details).