IMA Prime Times e-Newsletter: December 2017 Iowa Mortgage Association

December 2017


President's Message
Association Updates
Industry News


Happy holidays from the IMA!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The Iowa Mortgage Association (IMA) board met last week and heard the education and convention committees have been working on a very exciting spring conference for you. Make sure to mark your calendars for March 27, 2018, so you can be in Cedar Rapids at the Marriott for the event. You won’t want to miss it! I wish you all Happy Holidays, and I hope you are able to spend time with the people that mean the most to you.

Marcy A. Wagner
TitleCore National



Watch the mail for your IMA membership renewal
Be on the lookout for your Iowa Mortgage Association (IMA) membership renewal for 2018. Renewal forms were mailed in early December and are also available on the IMA website. The IMA is planning another great year and making significant strides to improve the mortgage industry. We encourage to you join forces with your fellow mortgage professionals and take advantage of all the IMA has to offer.

Save the date: Spring Conference is March 27
The Iowa Mortgage Association (IMA) Spring Conference will be held on March 27 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. The conference will include sessions on consumer behavior, a compliance update, eClosings and more. The IMA President’s Club and Winners Circle Awards will also be presented. The cost for attending is $175 for members and $350 for nonmembers. Those rates go up to $195 for members and $370 for nonmembers after March 21. Click here to learn more or to register.



FFIEC updates website 
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s (FFIEC’s), Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) websites have recently been updated to reflect adjustments to two 2017 Census Data fields: the Estimated MSA/MD non-MSA/MD Median Family Income and Estimated Tract Median Family Income. As a result, these data fields have been updated in the 2017 Census Data Products and Geocoding System.

New URLA includes ‘language preference’
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that it will include a “language preference question” on its updated Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA). The question will allow borrowers to specify if they wish to communicate in a language other than English and identify their preferred language. The new URLA form, which FHFA plans to issue in late 2017, will go into effect beginning in July 2019 and will be mandatory for loans made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac beginning in February 2020. Read the question text.

In response to numerous concerns raised by industry groups about the legal risks that such a question would pose for lenders, the FHFA included additional disclosure language intended to inform borrowers that their loan transaction is likely to be conducted in English and that communications may not be available in their language of choice. The text also states that the language designation is for information-collection purposes only, and is not intended to create an expectation that the lender will proceed with the transaction in the borrower’s specified language. In addition, the text includes information on the language services available to borrowers and directs them to various language access resources.

FHFA increases 2018 conforming loan limits 
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will raise the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased in 2018 from $424,000 to $453,100. The announcement marks the second time the FHFA has increased the baseline loan limit since 2006. The first increase was for 2017. In high-cost areas, such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., the maximum loan limit will be $679,650, which is 150 percent of $453,100. Meanwhile, limits will rise in all but 71 counties in the country. Read more.   

USDA RD guaranteed home loan program offers new single-close loan option
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development’s (RD) guaranteed home loan program has expanded by adding a new combination construction-to-permanent loan, also called a single-close loan, to allow approved lenders to close a new construction loan and receive a loan note guarantee before construction begins. 

Through this single-close loan option, annual fees and loan interest begin accruing the month after closing. Lenders may establish escrow/reserve accounts for payments, along with real estate taxes and the homeowner’s insurance due during construction, if eligible. Initial principle and interest payments may be postponed for up to one year, if necessary, during construction. When the home is completed, loans may be modified and re-amortized to obtain full payment within the remaining loan term.

Last year 2,100 rural Iowa families and individuals purchased homes by accessing more than $230 million in USDA Rural Development guaranteed loans.

For more information about USDA Rural Development’s guaranteed home loan program please call (515) 284-4667, send an email to or visit

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