FHA issues 1st chapter of guidance for lenders

October 3, 2014

WASHINGTON (10/6/14)--The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has released the first chapter of its "Single Family Handbook," which is designed to be a "single, authoritative source of policy" to lenders on the agency's underwriting requirements.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who took office in July, said the handbook is meant to be a "definitive guide to doing business with the FHA." Three sections of the handbook were published for comment in late August, and this is the first finalized section (News Now Aug. 27).

According to the agency, the handbook uses clear, consistent and more direct language to explain the regulations, making it easier for lenders to understand and implement policy changes.

The 334-page first chapter of the handbook consists of guidance from origination of the loan through post-closing and endorsement. It will apply to loans starting June 15, 2015.

When completed, the handbook will consolidate 900 mortgagee letters and other policy guidance into a single document, Castro said in a September speech. Sections on servicing and appraisals will come later.

FHA Single Family Handbook 4000.1 (PDF)