Thursday, March 25, 2021

UWM Renewals - Reviewers Asking Lenders to Locate Items in QC Plans

We have seen an uptick of inquiries from our customers who engage with several national wholesalers. At the root of the inquiry is the reviewer asking the customer to locate items in the QC Plan. To forestall this we wanted to show you what a standard response looks like.

More than this, though, is an understanding of the terms. Our plans are all delivered in Word format. This means you can easily search them for a particular phrase. The problem is that the reviewers aren't using standard QC nomenclature. Key phrases include: 

  • Independence - does the plan show that reviewers are not involved in underwriting or production?
  • Completion - are loans reviewed within 90 days of closing?
  • Selection - does the plan require a 10% sampling
  • Schedule - does the plan require reporting results to management within 90 days
  • Scope - does the plan review all origination documents, underwriting, and closing documents?

They want to know who your QC person is and provide a resume. If you are using a 3rd party, you need to show that in the plan. The Plan itself shows independence here:

On the matter of timing the plan is clear:

Reporting results to management:

Sample size is addressed here:

Scope is addressed here:

Of course, if you ever have a problem with any of our products, we welcome the opportunity to fix it and make it right. We want you out there doing business, not worrying about whether your policies and procedures are updated!

#QCPlans #LenderAnnualReview #Compliance Audit

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The New QM - Ability to Repay Requires understanding HPML Requirements

QM - What Changed?

  • Abandon Appendix Q 
  • Rate Threshold Determination for QM Status: 2.25%
  • Seasoned QM for performing loans > 36 months
  • 4 month either/or GSE status patch - use either old or new guidelines

What didn't change

  • Compensation limits
  • Loan type constraints
  • Transaction exemptions
  • Qualifying rate

At the core of the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rules is the issue of the borrower's ability to repay. One of the most significant effects of the Trump Administration's housing policy efforts was shepherding the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) out of the business of providing government guarantees. The vast majority of QMs were made by virtue of an automatic waiver of QM rules for loans guaranteed by the government like Fannie and Freddie, but also FHA, VA, USDA. 

The deregulators conceived of a much simpler test for a qualified mortgage. Instead of a 43% DTI measurement, along with a myriad of guidelines for what could be used, they chose an agnostic indicator for QM status: the rate. If it's less than 2.25% over the Average Prime Offered Rate (APOR), it qualifies for presumption of rebuttable status. And it's so simple...

Sadly, nothing's that simple. It was a quick fix and the rate trigger crossed over some other regulations which add a layer of complexity, most notably the HPML Rules. 

Can't read the spreadsheet - link here

Qualified Mortgage Guidelines 3/1/2021

Table of Qualified Mortgage Guidelines

Current APOR see FFIEC (Based on Loan Type)

Rate Spread Calculator

General Qualified Mortgage - With HPML Kicker (below) - < than


Calculate Based on

Exempt :HELOC Reverse, Bridge, Construction, Land

Fully Indexed Rate (Balloons use balloon term, not payment)

ARMs Less than 5 Years use Worst case- highest possible rate

Prohibited Neg Am or I/O or terms >30 years

Points and Fees Limits: See HPML

HPML General Thresholds

1st mortgage


Non Agency (Jumbo)




HPML and Low Balance QM Thresholds

HMPL Appraisal Exemption


Appraisal Exemption Rule Link

Required on HPML 1.) Escrow 2.) 2 appraisals for flips (lender must pay)

Points, Fees and Rate Thresholds

Loan Amount >

Max Fee

QM Threshold

Mobile Home

2nd Lien


























Required ATR Standard Guidelines - Must consider

1. Income - current or reasonably expected income or assets .

Can consider seasonal or bonus income, rental income, commissions, interest payments, dividends, retirement benefits, trust income, public assistance payments, alimony, child support, and other sources of income. can also consider future income if verified it is using reasonably reliable third-party records. Further, can use assets like a savings account, amounts vested in a retirement account, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, and amounts available to the consumer from a trust fund.

2. Current employment status - if used

including full-time, part-time, seasonal, irregular, military, and self-employment.

3. monthly mortgage payment

calculate monthly mortgage payment using the introductory or fully indexed interest rate, whichever is higher, and monthly, fully amortizing payments

4. Payments on 2nd and other loans on home

5. Taxes and Insurance

property taxes, fees and special assessments, condo, coop, HOA, ground rent or lease, homeowners, flood and mortgage insurance premiums

6. Current debts, alimony, and child-support obligations.

include student loans, auto loans, revolving debt, and existing mortgages not being paid off at or before consummation. Can exclude an obligation is likely to be paid off soon

7. Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio or residual income.

The monthly DTI ratio or residual income must be calculated using the total of all of the mortgage and non-mortgage obligations listed above, compared to total monthly income.

8. "Consider" but non-prescribe particular credit history.

Credit history might include information about number and age of credit lines, payment history, judgments, collections, bankruptcies, and nontraditional credit references, such as rental payment history or utility payments.

Secondary marketing should have these changes well in hand, as there are different thresholds depending on whether the product offered is an ARM or Fixed rate. 

We have also updated free sample Ability to Repay policy 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

What to do when a Regulator asks for a Business Plan or Org Chart

Vague Company Licensing Requirements can Cause Confusion

With the surge in the mortgage demand, we see many new companies throwing their hat in the ring to become a licensed provider. For the uninitiated, prepare to spend some time gathering and uploading documents. For new and experienced alike, some of the requirements, and the vague way the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System describes them in their requirement templates, can cause confusion. We get many of these calls every day. Here we provide a primer on answering the less obvious requests:

Provide a Copy of Your Business Plan...

A business plan is a great idea. The SBA definition of a business plan, and what most people think of as a business plan - including agencies like Fannie/Freddie and others - allows you to memorialize how you will do business; the ways and means including LOS selection, pricing, startup costs, volume projections, staffing as well as unique business propositions, marketing strategies, and other relevant elements. It looks like this:

This is a sample of a table of contents of an SBA-Style Business Plan

But... THIS IS NOT what the regulator wants. The regulator wants an answer to specific questions about how you will do business. We recommend that you write a 1 pager and simply answer the questions in a Q&A format. In this way, there can be no question as to the narrative. For Example:

NMLS Requirement for a Business Plan which is quite vague

NMLS Requirement for a Business Plan which is quite vague

For the business plan requirement, we recommend that you simply draft a memorandum answering the questions:

  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • What products will you offer?
  • Who will you market these products to?
  • How will you operate - e.g.; branch processing, centralized? Manager? Loan Originators? Processors? Whom will they report to?

Organizational Chart Requirement

Once again, an organizational chart makes a great tool to ensure that all of a company's responsibilities get assigned to an individual and who reports to whom. Microsoft includes a good organizational chart template in Word, which we use in our products, too, as below.

Sample Organizational Chart for a Mortgage Business

However, for a small company, an organization "Chart" where you draw lines between functions doesn't really apply.

This is the text from the NMLS requirement for an Organizational Chart

Again, instead of a policy, draft a memorandum to Identify who, within your organization, is in charge of:

  • Compliance - reports to?
  • Production Sales - reports to?
  • Processing, Operations - reports to?
  • Financial Control - reports to?

If these are all the same person, then state that. 

If you have any questions about licensing, or if you just want to hand it off to someone else to manage, please let me know. does include the business plan in the Complete Broker, Correspondent, Lender and Compliance Packages. 

#mortgagelicensing #mortgagecompliance #mortgagebroker