Definitions for Use in the 203(k) Program

Definitions for Use in the 203(k) Program

A. Insurance of Advances. This refers to insurance of the 203(k) mortgage prior to the rehabilitation period. A mortgage that is a first lien on the property is eligible to be endorsed for insurance following mortgage loan closing, disbursement of the mortgage proceeds, and establishment of the Rehabilitation Escrow Account.

The mortgage amount may include funds for the purchase of the property or the refinance of existing indebtedness, the costs incidental to closing the transaction, and the completion of the proposed rehabilitation. The mortgage proceeds allocated for the rehabilitation will be escrowed at closing in a Rehabilitation Escrow Account.

B. Rehabilitation Escrow Account. When the loan is closed, the proceeds designated for the rehabilitation or improvement, including the contingency reserve, are to be placed in an interest bearing escrow account insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This account is not an escrow for the paying of real estate taxes, insurance premiums, delinquent notes, ground rents or assessments, and is not to be treated as such. The net income earned by the Rehabilitation Escrow Account must be paid to the mortgagor. The method of such payment is subject to agreement between mortgagor and mortgagee. The lender (or its agent) will release escrowed funds upon completion of the proposed rehabilitation in accordance with the Work Write-Up and the Draw Request (Form HUD-9746,A).

C. Inspections. Performed by HUD-approved consultants/inspectors or HUD-accepted staff of the DE lender. The consultant is to use the architectural exhibits in order to make a determination of compliance or non-compliance. When the inspection is scheduled with a payment, the inspector is to indicate whether or not the work has been completed. Also, the inspector is to use the Draw Request form (Form HUD-9746-A). The first draw must not be scheduled until the lender has determined that the applicable building permits have been issued.

D. Holdback. A ten (10) percent holdback is required on each release from the Rehabilitation Escrow Account. The total of all holdbacks may be released only after a final inspection of the rehabilitation and issuance of the Final Release Notice. The lender (or its agent) may retain the holdback for a maximum of 35 calendar days, or the time period required by law to file a lien, whichever is longer, to ensure that no liens are placed on the property.

E. Contingency Reserve. At the discretion of the HUD Field Office, the cost estimate may include a contingency reserve if the existing construction is less than 30 years old, or the nature of the work is complex or extensive. For properties older than 30 years, the cost estimate must include a contingency reserve of a minimum of ten (10) percent of the cost of rehabilitation; however, the contingency reserve may not exceed twenty (20) percent where major remodeling is contemplated. If the utilities were not turned on for inspection, a minimum fifteen (15) percent is required. If the scope of work is well defined and uncomplicated, and the rehabilitation cost is less than $7500, the lender may waive the requirement for a contingency reserve.

The contingency reserve account can be used by the borrower to make additional improvements to the dwelling. A Request for Change Letter must be submitted with the applicable cost estimates. However, the change can only be accepted when the lender determines: (1) It is unlikely that any deficiency that may affect the health and safety of the property will be discovered; and (2) the mortgage will not exceed the appraised value of the property less the statutory investment requirement. If the mortgage exceeds the appraised value less the statutory investment, then the contingency reserve must be paid down on the mortgage principal. If a borrower feels that the contingency reserve will not be used and he wishes to avoid having the reserve applied to reduce the mortgage balance after issuance of the Final Release Notice, the borrower may place his own funds into the contingency reserve account. In this case, if monies are remaining in the account after the Final Release Notice is issued, the monies may be released back to the borrower.

If the mortgage is at the maximum mortgage limit for the area or for the particular type of transaction, but a contingency reserve is necessary, the contingency reserve must be placed into an escrow account from other funds of the borrower at closing. Under these circumstances, if the contingency reserve is not used, the remaining funds in the escrow account will be released to the borrower after the Final Release Notice has been issued.

F. Mortgage Payment Reserve. Funds not to exceed the amount of six (6) mortgage payments (including the mortgage insurance premium) can be included in the cost of rehabilitation to assist a mortgagor when the property is not habitable during rehabilitation. The number of mortgage payments cannot exceed the completion time frame required in the Rehabilitation Loan Agreement. The lender must make the monthly mortgage payments directly from the interest bearing reserve account. Monies remaining in the reserve account after the Final Release Notice must be applied to the mortgage principal.

G. Approval of Non-Profit Agencies. A non-profit agency, before it can be approved as an eligible mortgagor and obtain the same mortgage amount as available to owner-occupants on Section 203(k) mortgages, must demonstrate its experience as a housing provider to HUD and meet all other requirements described in HUD Handbook 4155.1 REV-4, paragraphs 1-5. It must also be able to provide satisfactory evidence that it has the financial capacity to purchase the properties.

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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