MHARR has learned today that the expected final rule to implement improvements and reforms to the FHA Title I manufactured housing program mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) will not be published in the Federal Register until the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has completed a final review that could take several months. This represents a major shift from prior indications that publication of the final rule would take place within a much shorter time period.
Pending the publication of a final Title I rule, MHARR has learned that FHA plans to issue a “Title I Letter,” in the near future, to clarify aspects of the Mortgagee Letters it issued earlier in 2009 to implement elements of the HERA upgrades, as well as to address comments from the public regarding those documents.
MHARR’s sources were careful to note that notwithstanding the delay in the publication of the final Title I rule, the FHA Title I program is “fully” functional and has already processed some 500 loans since the issuance of the Mortgagee Letters, through its two currently-approved lenders, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage.
Significantly, though, it is unclear whether Ginnie Mae can or will take action to lift or modify its moratorium on the securitization of manufactured housing loans based on the upcoming FHA Title I Letter, or whether its attorneys will require that it wait for the publication of a final Title I rule.
Given the crucial importance of this matter to the industry, MHARR will follow developments closely and provide further updates as warranted.