Back-end issues such as occupancy fraud, delayed foreclosures, and deferred maintenance pose risks
Just how both agencies will continue to address this momentous challenge remains to be seen. While the increasing losses from HECMs are troubling, it should be noted that $73 billion of the $1.2 trillion of the insurance in-force in FHA’s MMI fund are HECMs. That is 6% of all loans insured by FHA are HECM loans according to a report last month from the Congressional Research Service. The problem is that even that small cohort of HECM loans can have a significant impact on the overall fund.
While most may agree the most problematic issues in the HECM warranted correction, many are concerned that future policy changes are based on actuarial reviews. Reviews that have historically shown significant volatility and wild swings in their valuation of the program.
Larger issues may be lurking in the back end of the HECM portfolio which could be significantly contributing to continued insurance claims. Issues such as delayed foreclosures and conveyances to FHA, deteriorating property conditions and occupancy fraud in cases where the last borrower has died or moved. These require timely remedies. [download transcript]