IMA Prime Times: February 15, 2018 Iowa Mortgage Association

February 2018


President's Message

Association Updates

Industry News


Gear Up for Spring By Showing Your IMA!
Happy February! Six more weeks until spring; that is what I keep telling myself with every inch of snow that shows up outside my door when I walk out in the morning. While it is beautiful, it makes travel difficult. We are getting closer to our Spring Conference in Cedar Rapids. You should have received the information both in emails and in your mailbox. I look forward to seeing everyone and handing out many awards! If you have not yet signed up, please do so soon. We also have our third annual Mortgage Boot Camp coming up April 12-13. If you are new to this industry, this is a great event to attend. 

We have a fun Facebook event going on right now. Show your IMA! Take a photo of you with anything from the IMA and tag us on Facebook. Any member who posts by March 23 will be eligible for a $100 Amazon gift card to be drawn at the IMA Spring Conference on March 27. Who doesn’t love free gifts? I can’t wait to see your posts!

Marcy Wagner
TitleCore National


IMA Spring Conference is March 27
The Iowa Mortgage Association (IMA) Spring Conference will be held on March 27 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. Sessions include consumer trends, mortgage compliance, peer-to-peer networking, eClosings, and how the world belongs to "encouragers" and how to be one. 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. Learn more or register.

IMA Accepting Applications for President's Club and Winner's Circle Awards
The Iowa Mortgage Association (IMA) is accepting applications for Winner's Circle and President’s Club Awards. The awards will be presented at the IMA Spring Conference on March 27. As an ongoing recognition program, the clubs recognize outstanding mortgage loan production for 2017. Originators must submit their entry forms and be able to produce verification of the volume in written form to the selection committee. Applications are due Feb. 28. Download an application form.


NFIP Caught in Federal Budget Debate
The authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue flood insurance policies is caught up in the federal budget debate. When President Donald Trump signed a short-term extension to fund the government through March 23, 2018, the extension included another short-term re-authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Should Congress fail to finalize a budget bill before March 23, FEMA will experience a lack in funding, causing a lapse in flood insurance availability. During a lapse FEMA lacks authority to:

  • Issue new policies.
  • Issue increased coverage on existing policies.
  • Issue renewal policies until Congress reauthorizes it.

FEMA issued guidance in December to write-your-own insurers about how to proceed with operations in the event of a shutdown. FEMA’s guidance (Memo W-17069) can be found here

This is not the first time the NFIP has experienced a lapse in funding. During the 2010 lapse, the regulatory agencies issued guidance to banks addressing the lapse. Should another lapse occur, that guidance remains valid and may be useful to banks with upcoming closings secured by a property subject to the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement.

Finally, it should be noted if a lapse occurs in NFIP funding, only flood insurance policies issued by FEMA are impacted; borrowers may have private flood insurance options.

CFPB Requests No Second Quarter Funding
On Jan. 17, in a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Mick Mulvaney requested zero dollars for the CFPB’s quarterly operating funds. Each fiscal quarter, as required by law, the CFPB formally requests that the Federal Reserve transfer a specified amount of money to the CFPB so it can perform the functions outlined in its budget. In his letter, Mulvaney stated that the prior director maintained a “reserve fund” for the CFPB, and the money in this fund is sufficient to cover the CFPB’s expenses for the second quarter. This will be the first time in the history of the CFPB that its director has requested no additional amount to fund quarterly operations. 

The CFPB also announced its plan to publish a series of Requests for Information (RFIs) in the Federal Register seeking public input on the way the CFPB is performing its statutory obligations. These RFIs will request “comment on enforcement, supervision, rulemaking, market monitoring, and education activities.” The first RFI will seek information regarding the CFPB’s Civil Investigative Demand processes and procedures.

35 Loan Officers and 5 Realtors Receive IFA Preferred Partner Designation
The Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) recently announced that a total of 40 lenders and Realtors have earned IFA’s 2018 Preferred Partner designation. IFA Preferred Partners are experts for Iowa home buyers seeking assistance with the homeownership process and are expertly trained in IFA mortgage and down payment assistance programs. All IFA Participating Lenders serve as a trusted resource for home buyers in their area. IFA Preferred Partners have received additional in-depth training and have committed to meeting various requirements including assisting a minimum number of home buyers through IFA programs each year. A listing of the Preferred Partners is available here.

USDA RD Direct Home Loan Program Increases Maximum Loan to $235,612 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) USDA Rural Development’s (RD’s) direct home loan program may now be used for eligible mortgage loans up to $235,612. The new loan limit, an increase of $15,080 from the previous limit, went into effect Jan. 7, 2018. The USDA RD direct home loan program may be a good option for applicants that lenders are unable to assist through their own or other mortgage programs. Homes eligible for a USDA direct home loan must be located in a rural area and/or a community of generally less than 20,000 residents. The typical household income limit for a family of four using the program is $51,100. However, income limits vary by county and household size, so applicants are encouraged to contact USDA RD staff for limits in their specific area. More than $8 million is currently available through USDA RD’s direct home loan program to assist qualifying families and individuals with home purchases in rural Iowa. For more information about USDA RD’s direct home loan program please call 515-284-4444, email or visit

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