On October 28, 2019, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced four landmark achievements: (1) proposed revisions to lenders’ loan-level lender certifications in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage transactions; (2) issuance of a revised Defect Taxonomy; (3) execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Department of Justice regarding False Claims Act (FCA) actions against lenders for alleged violations of FHA requirements; and (4) approval of a new FHA annual lender certification. This Legal Update discusses these four actions, which reflect HUD’s ongoing effort to clarify the types of penalties and remedies for deficiencies in FHA loans, to align potential penalties with the severity of the deficiencies and to draw back depository institutions and other lenders that have retreated from FHA in recent years in response to FCA actions resulting in treble damages against lenders.
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