HUD has announced in their Annual Report to Congress Regarding Financial Status of the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund Fiscal Year 2012, their plan to revise the cancellation of FHA mortgage insurance premiums. This is set to go in effect on new FHA insured mortgages sometime in 2013.
From HUD’s report:
Under a policy change made in 2001, FHA has been cancelling required mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) on loans for which the outstanding principal balance reaches less than 78% of the original principal balance. However, FHA remains responsible for insuring 100% of the unpaid principal balance of a loan for the entire life of the loan, such loan life often extending far beyond the cessation of the MIP payments. As written, the timing of MIP cancellation is directly tied to the contract mortgage rate, not the actual loan LTV. The current policy was put in place at a time when it was assumed that home price values would not decline, but today we know that LTV measured by appraised value in a declining market can mean that the actual LTVs are far lower than amortized mortgage LTV, resulting in higher losses for FHA on defaulted loans. Analyses conducted by FHA’s Office of Risk Management projects lost revenue by approximately $10 billion in the 2010-2012 vintages as a result of the current cancellation policy. The same analyses also suggest that 10%-12% of all claims losses will occur after MIP cancellation. Therefore, beginning with new loans endorsed after the policy change becomes effective later in FY 2013, FHA will once again collect premiums on FHA loans for the entire period during which they are insured, permitting FHA to retain significant revenue that is currently being forfeited prematurely.
With FHA running out of funds, they are having to take measures to protect this mortgage program. You can also expect to see mortgage insurance premiums (upfront and annual) to increase in addition to FHA mortgage premiums remaining on the life of the loan.
What does this impact you?
If you currently have an FHA mortgage, your mortgage insurance premium that you pay monthly is still set to drop off (cancel) once your principal balance reaches 78% of the loan to value and a minimum of 60 mortgage payments have been made.
However, if you currently have an FHA mortgage in the mid-to-high 4% range and you have been considering an FHA streamlined refinance, you need to act quickly.
If you are considering buying a home and you are planning on using FHA for financing, be prepared to have the FHA mortgage insurance remain on the loan until you either sell the home or can refinance to a conventional mortgage.
If you are interested in buying or refinancing a home anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you!