Industry Briefs Dec. 9, 2021: Agencies Announce Dollar Thresholds for Exempt Consumer Credit/Lease Transactions

Agencies Announce Dollar Thresholds for Exempt Consumer Credit/Lease Transactions

The Federal Reserve Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the dollar thresholds used to determine whether certain consumer credit and lease transactions in 2022 are exempt from Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) and Regulation M (Consumer Leasing).

Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, the protections of Regulations Z and M generally will apply to consumer credit transactions and consumer leases of $61,000 or less in 2022.  However, private education loans and loans secured by real property (such as mortgages) are subject to Regulation Z regardless of the amount of the loan.

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Agencies Announce Threshold for Smaller Loan Exemption from Appraisal Requirements

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today announced that the 2022 threshold for exempting loans from special appraisal requirements for higher-priced mortgage loans will increase from $27,200 to $28,500.

The threshold amount will be effective January 1, and is based on the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, known as CPI-W, as of June 1.

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FHA Announces New Single-Family Title II, HECM Loan Limits for 2022

The Federal Housing Administration announced new loan limits for calendar year 2022 for its Single-Family Title II forward and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) insurance programs. The new loan limits are effective for FHA case numbers assigned on or after January 1.

FHA said due to robust increases in median housing prices and required changes to FHA’s floor and ceiling limits, which are tied to the FHFA’s increase in the conventional mortgage loan limit for 2022, the maximum loan limits for FHA forward mortgages will rise in 3,188 counties. In 45 counties, FHA’s loan limits will remain unchanged. By statute, the median home price for an MSA is based on the county within the MSA which has the highest median price.

Additionally, the FHA-insured HECM maximum claim amount will increase to $970,800 from $822,375 for calendar year 2022. FHA’s current HECM regulations do not allow the HECM limit to vary by MSA or county; instead, the single HECM limit applies to all HECMs regardless of where the property is located.

The Compliance Group Selects ACES Quality Management for Mortgage Compliance, Quality Control Audits

The Compliance Group, Carlsbad, Calif., selected ACES’ flagship platform ACES Quality Management & Control software to support delivery of its compliance and quality control services for mortgage origination and servicing platforms.  

ACES Quality Management & Control software enables mortgage QC providers to manage volume peaks and valleys that come with third-party reviews to ensure quality and compliance throughout their operations while providing the flexibility to scale as volumes change. With ACES Flexible Audit Technology, QC providers can configure the system to meet their specific needs to improve productivity and quality while controlling costs and risk.

First American Awarded Two Patents for AI

First American Financial Corp., Santa Ana, Calif., announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the company two patents for application of artificial intelligence and text-analysis methods to title production.

The patents, now part of the company’s portfolio that includes more than 30 active patents, allow First American to analyze and select relevant property description data, fueling more accurate automated title production. The patented AI-driven analysis helps accelerate the creation of the title commitment.

LoanLogics Acquires LoanBeam

LoanLogics, Jacksonville, Fla., a digital mortgage platform provider, announced its acquisition of LoanBeam, a provider of income calculation and verification technology endorsed by government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

LoanBeam’s products enable mortgage lenders to get upfront borrower income validation from any income source, cutting days out of the risk review process. Using patent-pending data pairing technology that leverages machine learning, LoanBeam interprets, sanitizes, categorizes and converts unstructured data points from any document type into an organized set of information.

VantageScore Solutions Releases Research on Credit ‘Scoreability’ of Consumers

VantageScore Solutions LLC, Stamford, Conn., released research ( that examined consumers who fail to meet the minimum scoring criteria required to receive a credit score from conventional credit scoring models, but who are newly scoreable with more modern and inclusive methodologies.

The research examines the size and characteristics of these consumer populations and examines socioeconomic factors such as income, race and other profile characteristics that contribute to a consumer’s likelihood of being “conventionally unscoreable.”

“Broadly speaking, the studied socioeconomic factors have a compounding effect on various consumers’ ability to receive a credit score from conventional models, limiting access to credit and economic opportunity,” said Silvio Tavares, president & CEO of VantageScore.

SitusAMC: Property Insurance Costs Poised to Rise from Climate Events

SitusAMC, New York, said homeowners and residential real estate investors can expect property insurance rates to rise following the growing number of natural disasters nationwide.

A new SitusAMC white paper, “Weathering the Storm: Burgeoning Insurance Costs for Real Estate,” found the impact of natural disasters on the residential property market has not been limited to California and Florida, where several high-profile disasters have taken place. It said in 2020, states hardest hit by natural disasters were Texas, Virginia and South Dakota. Winter storms in Texas, for example, accounted for 40% of the total losses in the U.S. property insurance market during the first half of 2021.

Jennifer Rasmussen, Vice President and Head of Thought Leadership and Publications for SitusAMC Insights, said the rise in the number and severity of hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and other events tied to climate change has created significant risk for insurance companies, which will lead to a rise in insurance premiums and reductions in coverage for property owners.

“Many insurers and reinsurers have already seen their 2020 financials severely downgraded. As the intensity and scope of future catastrophes grow, insurance rates for property owners will likely rise significantly in the near future,” Rasmussen said.

Accurate Group Acquires eMerge Property Solutions

Accurate Group, Cleveland, Ohio a provider of technology-driven real estate appraisal, title data, analytics, and e-closing platforms, acquired eMerge Property Solutions, a provider in supplying broker price opinions and other alternative valuation platforms. The acquisition will allow Accurate Group to further leverage its property inspection technology.

This is the second acquisition for Accurate Group this year. The company acquired Coast to Coast Title & Escrow in May.

NewPoint Real Estate Capital Launches Bridge Lending Program

New Point Real Estate Capital, Plano, Texas, launched a multifamily bridge lending program, providing customizable and flexible bridge lending platforms.

NewPoint’s Proprietary Lending team will work closely with NewPoint’s originators and mortgage broker partners to tailor bridge loans that provide short-term interim financing for acquisition, refinance or recapitalization of multifamily investments.

NewPoint is targeting loans of $5 million to $50 million with terms up to five years, focusing on light to moderate transitional multifamily properties throughout the U.S.

Embrace Home Loans Partners with Long Island Keller Williams Offices

Embrace Home Loans, Middleton, R.I., entered into an advertising agreement with Keller Williams Core in Long Island, N.Y., to help its real estate agents better attract and serve local homebuyers. The Core offices in Long Island include Garden City, Woodbury, Franklin Square and Ozone Park.

Through the agreement, Embrace will provide co-marketing strategies designed to educate Keller William Core’s agents and help them promote their businesses to consumers. Embrace will also serve as the event sponsor of Keller Williams Core group’s internal sales meetings, training events and webinars. Keller Williams Core will display Embrace’s advertising materials in its offices, at open houses, through direct mail and email campaigns, and on its website and social media.

Fannie Mae: Economic Pessimism Hits 10-Year High, but Consumer Sentiment Toward Housing Remains Flat

The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index decreased by 0.8 point to 74.7 in November, as consumers expressed not only disparate views of homebuying and home-selling conditions but also their greatest economic pessimism in 10 years. Overall, four of the index’s six components decreased month over month.

In November, 74% of respondents reported that it’s a good time to sell a home, compared to the 29% of consumers who reported that it’s a good time to buy. Consumers also continued to report strong expectations that mortgage rates will increase over the next 12 months, and they expressed even greater pessimism about the direction of the economy, with 70% saying it’s on the wrong track. Year over year, the full index is down 5.3 points.

“The HPSI experienced some shuffling among its underlying components in November, but the overall index once again stayed relatively flat,” said Mark Palim, Fannie Mae Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “While consumers expressed even greater concern regarding the direction of the economy, with the share of respondents expressing pessimism hitting a 10-year high, overall housing sentiment remained stable. Consumers’ concerns for their personal job situation have eased and respondents also reported feeling better about their income level compared to a year ago, with both of those components now nearing their pre-COVID levels.”

OpenClose Launches Mobile Assist Native Mobile App Platform

OpenClose, West Palm Beach Fla., launched its native mobile app platform, Mobile Assist, which adds features and functionality to make originators more successful with a real-time omnichannel device platform that helps originators deliver service and guidance to their borrowers and referral partners in a secure, seamless and collaborative experience.

Mobile Assist allows originators to generate product and pricing scenarios, run AUS, lock loans, view conditions, receive real-time notifications, communicate easily and have greater visibility into all aspects of the loan manufacturing process. Originators can invite borrowers into a secure environment at any stage of the application process; upload or photo capture documentation; eSign documents; automatically verify employment, income and assets; view progression of their loan; action loan conditions; and collaborate with staff and affinity partners to efficiently complete the transaction.

Sales Boomerang Adds ‘Previous Alerts’

Sales Boomerang, Washington, D.C., released a new feature that lets lenders view a history of Sales Boomerang alerts that have previously triggered for each contact in their monitored database. The ‘Previous Alerts’ feature empowers mortgage advisors with historical context that makes customer outreach hyper-relevant whenever a new Sales Boomerang alert is triggered.

Sales Boomerang monitors a lender’s database and alerts loan originators when a borrower or prospect is ready for a loan. “Defensive” alerts trigger when a borrower takes an action, such as applying for a mortgage with another lender, paying off a loan early or listing their home for sale. “Offensive” alerts enable originators to present opportunities to borrowers once they meet certain criteria, such as attaining a target loan-to-value ratio or credit score, or when market conditions make it possible for the borrower to get more favorable rates or terms than their current loan.