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Answers to Questions from Our Webinar “Revisiting the GFE: How to Resolve Common Findings”

  • Friday, October 1, 2010

We want to thank everyone who attended our webinar “Revisiting the GFE: How to Resolve Common Findings.” (This is the third GFE webinar in a series.) As promised, below you will find answers to the questions asked during the webinar.

Question 1 – On purchase transactions, since the seller chooses the title company, are title charges still held to that 10% tolerance?

  • Answer – Yes.  Fees disclosed in Blocks #4 or #5 are bound by 10% tolerance. If a settlement service provider list is provided to the borrower at the time of initial GFE disclosure, and the borrower chooses a settlement agent not disclosed on the service provider list, the actual charges at settlement may be listed under Fees That Can Change.

Question 2 – Regarding Important Date #1: Does a new GFE need to be issued when a rate lock is extended?

  • Answer – A new GFE will need to be issued with the Important Dates Section updated to reflect correct lock information.

Question 3 – Is a credit report provider required to be on the settlement service list? If yes, what if you don’t charge your borrower a credit report fee ever? Do you still have to list a company on your list?

  • Answer – A settlement service provider list must be provided for any service the borrower may shop for. If the borrower is allowed to shop for a credit report provider, the list must be provided. If you do not ever charge a credit report, you are not required to show the credit report, or company, on the provider list.

Question 4 – Can origination ever change due to a changed circumstance?

  • Answer – Yes. HUD FAQs state that if the loan amount increases, and all, or a portion of, charges listed in Block 1 are disclosed as a percentage of the loan amount, those charges may increase.  The GFE must be re-issued within three business days of the discovery of information, allowing the increase in charges.  A supporting changed circumstance must also be documented and retained in the file.

Question 5 – Initial GFE went out with zero origination because the loan was priced with a rebate for a no cost loan to the borrower. The appraisal came in low which now reduces the amount of rebate. Does this qualify as a changed circumstance and could a new GFE be issued showing a discount cost?

  • Answer – A lower than estimated appraisal does not constitute a changed circumstance. Therefore, you are only allowed to collect the origination disclosed to the on the initial GFE.

Question 6 – What if the GFE is disclosed improperly? Is there a cure? Should the file be closed?

  • Answer – This depends on the violation. If it’s a fee violation with a tolerance, then you may be able to cure this on the final HUD1.  Some GFE violations cannot be cured, and you should check with your investor to see how they will want you to address these situations.

Question 7 – Regarding Important Date #2: Does this date need to be equal to the rate lock expiration if the rate is locked at the time of GFE issuance?

  • Answer – Question #2 is to document how long the charges listed on the GFE are available for.   The initial GFE must reflect a minimum of 10 business days from the date of the GFE. This date will not need to equal the rate lock dates.

Question 8 – Can you use a credit of a flat dollar in Block 2?

  • Answer – Yes, you can. However, if crediting YSP, it should be equal to the amount of premium being paid by the lender.

Question 9 – Then your credit to the borrower can always be changed?

  • Answer – Credit to the borrower can only change when a legitimate changed circumstance occurs (such as locking the loan).  A revised GFE must be issued within three business days of the discovery of information sufficient to support a changed circumstance.

Question 10 – For an FHA loan – if the UPFRONT MIP is underdisclosed–then does the Broker/Borrower have to pay for–i.e. cannot be cured?

  • Answer – This cannot be cured and the lender would need to make up the difference. The UFMIP would be a charge that should have been known at the time of initial disclosure of the GFE.   Incorrect disclosure is not a changed circumstance as defined by HUD.  UFMIP should be placed in block 3 and therefore subject to a 10% tolerance. You would be responsible for any amount above the 10% tolerance.

Question 11 – Can you talk about retail as it pertains to YSP?

  • Answer – In the case of a retail transaction, the credit or charge for the interest rate chosen may be included in Block 1 as part of Our Origination Charge. Box 1 in Block 2 must be marked reflecting the rate.

Question 12 – Can this be a changed circumstance if you are not aware at time of initial disclosure (in regards to the roof certs)?

  • Answer – If there is an unforeseen charge that occurs as part of the loan process, then this is an allowable changed circumstance. If you were unaware a roof inspection would be needed, you can issue a changed circumstance and disclose only the new fee associated with the roof inspection. Re-issue must be done within three business days from the discovery of the information.

Question 13 – What about short sale fees…mostly on the pc?

  • Answer – If the fees are listed on the purchase contract that the borrower will be required to pay, these should be listed on the GFE. If by the time of closing these fees are no longer applicable, then you do not have to disclose these on the HUD1. If the fees were discovered late in the process, this would be considered a changed circumstance and a new GFE would need to be disclosed.

Question 14 – We have seen where the borrower is going to pay for some of the sellers costs.

  • Answer – If these fees will be financed into the loan, they are required to be disclosed on the GFE. If the charges are outside the loan, they are not required to be disclosed on the GFE.

Question 15 – Would a GFE be re-issued when the loan amount changes…up or down?

  • Answer – If the loan amount changes and the charges increase beyond allowable tolerance levels, a new GFE reflecting the charges is required to be re-issued along with documentation supporting an acceptable changed circumstance.  The GFE and supporting documentation, along with any previously disclosed GFE’s, will need to be retained in the file.

Question 16 – Can you provide examples of page 44 #3? (New information particular to borrower or transaction that was not relied on in providing GFE)

  • Answer – Information unknown at the time of the initial GFE disclosure, i.e., inspection, flood insurance or borrower requested change which would affect loan attributes.

Question 17 – If the loan amount increases but no adjustments are made to the fees initially disclosed on the GFE, are we still required to redisclose?

  • Answer – Our opinion is that you would not need to redisclose unless the fees are affected. However, we suggest reviewing this with your investor to be sure you are following their policies.

Question 18 – A VOD or VOE is not something you can shop for– it’s a Change in Circumstance.

  • Answer – HUD recently posted their position on this in FAQ’s 4/02/10. If the charge for these items is known at the time of origination, these fees are to be placed in Block 3 which is subject to 10% variation.  The charges referenced are those charged by the 3rd party for services provided.

Question 19 – UPMIP does not have a 10% tolerance either.

  • Answer – HUD instructs charges for UFMIP be placed in Block 3. Charges listed in Block 3 are subject to a 10% tolerance variation.

Question 20 – Who issues the revised GFE on a wholesale brokered loan? The broker or wholesaler?

  • Answer – Both are allowed to re-disclose the GFE. Redisclosure must be done within three business days of the discovery of information resulting in a change to fees. RESPA strongly encourages timely communication between the lender and broker.

Question 21 – On a brokered loan – if floating at the time of issuance on GFE – you know there will be a rebate but not exact amount is known – do you not disclose the rebate in box 2 but include in box 1 and then re-disclose at lock with exact rebate?

  • Answer – This would be allowable as long as you redisclose correctly when the loan is locked.  Charges in Block 1 may not increase as a result of YSP, however, credit for the YSP in Block 2 may increase.

Question 22 – What section should tax prorates to a county by a purchaser go (property taxes)?

  • Answer – Taxes associated with the transfer of the property (Transfer taxes) should be placed in Block 8.

Question 23 – On an FHA purchase – if at closing there is a lump sum credit – what would be the correct way to disclose the TIL so we have a correct APR?

  • Answer – We would recommend using a loan fee worksheet to itemize a lump sum credit to break out and determine what fees will be credited. This will allow you to place the correct credited fees into the APR calculation.

Question 24 – Can a charge for tax transcripts and automated compliance review be included in box 3?

  • Answer – Yes, you could include these charges in section 3.

Question 25 – If a genuine error is made on the GFE, can you redisclose within three days of the issuing of the initial GFE?

  • Answer – If correction to an error results in an increase of fees beyond allowable tolerance levels, an acceptable changed circumstance must be documented allowing the increase in fees.  Typically, error on the part of disclosure of fees is not an acceptable changed circumstance which would allow an increase in fees subject to tolerance.

Question 26 – It is my understanding that retail originators have a choice of how they disclose a credit or discount and that it is not mandatory to include in the origination fee. Is that correct? Is it mandatory for the Settlement Service Provider List to have a signature line?

  • Answer – All originators, regardless of sales channel, are held to the same rules in regards to disclosing the GFE. All credits must be listed in Block 2 Box 2 and all discounts in Block 2 Box 3. Please note: You cannot have both a credit and a discount on the same transaction. You are also allowed to show the discount or premium in your origination charge or show no origination at all.

Question 27 – Subordination fee or Trust Review fee – Are they part of Administrative fees for lender?

  • Answer – Yes. These can be administrative fees by the lender.

Question 28 – Do we need to disclose all 3rd party fees, such as Credit Report or Flood Cert, even if the Lender is paying for them?

  • Answer – Yes.  All fees associated with the closing of the loan, whether paid for by the seller, buyer, or other third party, should be disclosed on the GFE.

Question 29 – If the appraisal is quoted at $450 but then that fee is only $350, but there is an inspection fee for $100 for a total of $450, should that be re-disclosed as 2 fees or can the total appraisal fee?

  • Answer – HUD does not provide specific direction on this type of scenario.  If there are two separate invoices for two services performed, you may be required to disclose the items separately.  The decrease in charges for the appraisal would not require re-disclosure of the GFE.  If the addition of the inspection fee increases charges above allowable tolerance levels, a GFE will need to be reissued and documentation supporting the changed circumstance will need to be retained in the file.

Question 30 – If there is no credit disclosed on the GFE, but at closing the lender decides to give a credit to the buyer’s fees, would that require a new GFE?

  • Answer – A redisclosed GFE would only be needed if the fees increase above the allowed tolerances and a changed circumstance is documented.

Question 31 – If the appraisal fee is shown as $750 on the GFE and the appraisal costs $450, but then an inspection is required that costs $100, should the GFE be redisclosed with 2 fees or can the inspection fee be considered part of the $750 appraisal fee previously disclosed?

  • Answer – HUD does not provide specific direction on this type of scenario. If there are two separate invoices for two services performed, you may be required to disclose the items separately. The decrease in charges for the appraisal would not require re-disclosure of the GFE.  If the addition of the inspection fee increases charges above allowable tolerance levels, a GFE will need to be reissued and documentation supporting the changed circumstance will need to be retained in the file.

Question 32 – If the borrower signs and dates the TIL that accompanies the GFE, could that signature and date be used to document disclosure to the borrower within the 3 days?  Or, does the borrower have to acknowledge receipt of the GFE separately?

  • Answer – The signed and dated TIL does not document provision/receipt of the GFE disclosure within three business days of application.  A separate acknowledgement will have to be provided.

Question 33 – So does “recalculate” mean that if the loan amount increases then the origination fee can increase if it was disclosed as a percentage?

  • Answer – If all, or a portion of, the Origination Charge disclosed in Block 1 was calculated as a percentage of the loan amount, and the loan amount increases, those charges may also increase. Please note: Your standard consistent company policy would need to reflect you charge origination as a percentage.

Question 34 – So you can reissue a GFE if settlement fees change? I thought they had to remain the same and could only increase 10%?

  • Answer – A GFE must be re-issued if there is an increase in fees outside of allowable tolerances, but an acceptable and documented changed circumstance must be established supporting the increase in fees. You can also issue a new GFE if the customer does not accept the GFE within 10 business days.

Question 35 – If a lender (not a broker) shows an SRP on the Settlement Statement, is this considered a RESPA violation, since, technically, a lender does not have to disclose the SRP?

  • Answer – This would not be a violation of RESPA.  SRP is typically not disclosed on a HUD settlement statement.

(MetaSource Mortgage makes reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the answers. MetaSource Mortgage makes no express or implied warranty of any kind respecting the information presented and assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. This online chat is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for proper professional or legal advice.)

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