Mortgage Mix: FHA Requiring ‘Cyber Incident’ Reports; Homeowner Equity Hits New Record

Editor’s Note: The Mortgage Mix is RISMedia’s weekly highlight reel of need-to-know mortgage-industry happenings. Watch for it each Friday afternoon.

-Leadership at Fannie Mae is highlighting the use of AI as a possible way to “get out of repurchases altogether,according to National Mortgage News. At a Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) conference last week, executives further highlighted the impact of new tech, citing a recent study that found Freddie Mac’s data validation tools lowered loan defects by 40% and saved two to 12 hours of processing time per loan.

-At the same MBA conference, Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) leadership signaled it is moving toward allowing people who use VA loans to pay real estate agent buyer commissions. The VA plans to issue a “circular” temporarily suspending the long-standing ban while a formal rulemaking change plays out.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)) is making significant changes to its data breach reporting requirements effective immediately. Any FHA-approved mortgagee that experiences a “suspected Cyber Incident” must within 12 hours make a report to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and describe the incident in detail. The change comes after a string of ransomware attacks affecting a handful of prominent lenders over the last several months.

-A new report from ICE found that tappable equity in the United States reached a new record, at a staggering $11 trillion. The “Mortgage Monitor” report also found that borrowers have a total of $16.9 trillion in total equity—also a record—and that a large slice of that is held by homeowners in big West Coast metros.

-Fannie Mae is predicting that mortgage rates are likely to remain 7% for an extended period of time—through the end of this year. Fannie Mae Economist Doug Duncan noted that people are taking a “wait-and-see” approach to the market, which could break in 2025 assuming rates begin to decline.

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