USDA: Handbook Updates: Loss Claim and Loss Mitigation

USDA: Handbook Updates: Loss Claim and Loss Mitigation

Investor Update
January 27, 2020

Source: USDA

The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) published a final rule on December 26th, 2019, implementing changes to the Single Family Housing Guaranteed loan program (SFHGLP) regulation to streamline the loss claim process for lenders who have acquired title to property through voluntary liquidation or foreclosure; clarify that lenders must comply with applicable laws, and better align loss mitigation policies with the mortgage industry. The effective date of these changes is April 24th, 2020. In order to prepare for these changes, the Agency has published advanced copies of new 3555 Handbook Chapters 18 and 19 on our training and resource website. These advanced copies are posted to assist in preparation for the April 24th effective date and should not be considered current guidance.

Changes include:

Loss Claim Process:

The previous Chapters 19 and 20 in HB-1-3555, have been combined into one newly revised Chapter 19, Loss Claims – Collecting on the Guarantee. The chapter revisions include:

• Elimination of the nine-month marketing period.

• Elimination of estimated net recovery calculation.

• Streamlined process for valuation of REO property.

• Use of Veterans Administration’s Net Value Factor for calculation of property preservation costs.

• Lenders will be required to submit a complete loss claim package within 60 days of the foreclosure, acquisition or possession date of the security property.

• Lenders will be required to submit loss claims electronically.

This new process will eliminate the need for REO disposition plans and implements a streamlined approach in processing timely loss claim payments to lenders. The change in the regulation is outlined in 7 CFR 3555.354 and 3555.356.

Loss Mitigation Process:

 HB-1-3555, Chapter 18, Servicing Non-Performing Loans – Accounts with Repayment Problems, has been revised with the following:

• Greater emphasis on payment reduction as the primary driver of loss mitigation.

• Requirements on the Modified Interest Rate has been updated to match the waiver issued in April 2018.

• Mortgage Recovery Advance (MRA) option will be available as a stand-alone option.

Furthermore, 7 CFR 3555.51(b)(1) is revised to clarify that in addition to complying with Agency laws and guidance, lenders must comply with applicable federal, state and local laws including Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Truth in Lending Acts (TILA).

Questions regarding this announcement may be directed to Richard Kane at Richard.Kane@usda.gov or by telephone at (202) 720-0320.

Thank you for your support of the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program!

Help Resources

Policy Questions
Customer Service Center
Phone: 866-550-5887
Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division
Phone: 202-720-1452

USDA ITS Service Desk Support Center
For e-Authentication assistance
Email: eAuthHelpDesk@ftc.usda.gov
Phone: 800-457-3642, option 1 (USDA e-Authentication Issues)

Rural Development Help Desk
For GUS system, outage or functionality assistance
Email: RD.HD@STL.USDA.GOV

Phone: 800-457-3642, option 2 (USDA Applications); then option 2 (Rural Development)