HUD: FHA INFO #20-85: Updates to FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1

Investor Update
November 18, 2020 

Source: HUD

Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published an update to Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook). This update includes revisions and additional clarifications to various FHA policies and programs throughout the SF Handbook since its last update on January 2, 2020, as well as the incorporation of changes previously announced in the Mortgagee Letters included in the Handbook Transmittal, which can be found on the Housing Handbooks page on hud.gov.

FHA encourages Mortgagees and other interested stakeholders in FHA transactions to review and familiarize themselves with the changes in this update as outlined in the Handbook Transmittal. Additionally, a separate redline version of the SF Handbook has been posted on its Handbook Information Page.

As a quick reference, following are some Key Changes included in each Handbook section:

Section I — Doing Business with FHA

• Clarification of the application and eligibility financial requirement for the covered audit period by stating a Mortgagee’s audited financial statements must cover the most recent fiscal year. For companies operating fewer than 12 months, the audited financial statements must cover all months of operation.

• Clarification and alignment with 24 C.F.R. § 202.5(m)(1) of the Post-Approval reporting requirement for a Mortgagee that experiences an operating loss of 20 percent or greater of its net worth.

• Clarification of the notification requirements for a Mortgagee that ceases operations to submit a change request in the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP) for voluntary withdrawal of FHA approval.

Section II — Origination Through Post-Closing/Endorsement

• Clarification of the definition of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) located on a single family residential property. A one-unit property with an ADU will be treated as a one-unit property; however, an ADU located on any property with two or more units must be considered as an additional unit.

• Instructions for addressing situations where, during the application process, it is discovered that an existing debt or obligation secured by a Mortgage is not listed on the credit report and not considered by the Automated Underwriting System (AUS).

• Adding Form HUD-9991 and other Required Condominium Documents to the Case Binder Stacking Order.

Section III — Servicing and Loss Mitigation

• Incorporation of guidance on enhancements to FHA’s Claims Without Conveyance of Title (CWCOT) Procedures

• Incorporation of guidance on Loss Mitigation Options for Borrowers affected by the COVID-19 National Emergency.

Section IV — Claims and Disposition

• Incorporation of guidance on use of FHA Catalyst for Supplemental, Loss Mitigation Home Retention, and Reconveyance claims submissions.

Section V — Quality Control, Oversight and Compliance

• Clarification of the existing requirement for conducting field reviews of appraisals on early payment default (EPD) mortgages by requiring Mortgagees to perform field reviews on all (100 percent) of the EPDs underwritten by the Mortgagee.

• Incorporation of FHA’s Defect Taxonomy Appendix 7.0 into the Title II Loan Review section of Mortgagee Monitoring.

The effective dates for the various SF Handbook sections are as follows:

• SF Handbook changes that are incorporated to reflect a ML (as identified in Section II of the Transmittal) have an effective date as previously announced in the respective ML. Changes identified in Sections I.A, V.A, and V.E.4.b must be implemented immediately.

• Changes identified in Section II.A may be implemented immediately; however, implementation is mandatory for mortgages with case numbers assigned on or after February 16, 2021.

• All other changes may be implemented immediately; however, implementation is mandatory not later than February 16, 2021.

As mentioned, all interested parties in FHA transactions are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the policy and program updates and clarifications as outlined in the PDF version of SF Handbook that published today. The online version of the SF Handbook is currently being updated and will be available soon.

Quick Links:
• Review the November 18, 2020 SF Handbook Transmittal at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh

• Access the SF Handbook online and/or portable document format (PDF) on the Housing Handbooks page on HUDClips at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/handbooks/hsgh

• View the redline version of the SF Handbook at: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/handbook_4000-1

Resources
Contact the FHA Resource Center:
• Visit our online knowledge base to obtain answers to frequently asked questions 24/7 at:
www.hud.gov/answers.
• E-mail the FHA Resource Center at: answers@hud.gov. Emails and phone messages will be responded to during normal hours of operation, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (Eastern), Monday through Friday on all non-Federal holidays.
• Call 1-800-CALL-FHA (1-800-225-5342). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may reach this number by calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Alan Jaffa

Alan Jaffa is the chief executive officer for Safeguard, steering the company as the mortgage field services industry leader. He also serves on the board of advisors for SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Alan joined Safeguard in 1995, learning the business from the ground up. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2002, and was named CEO in May 2010. His hands-on experience has given him unique insights as a leader to innovate, improve and strengthen Safeguard’s processes to assure that the company adheres to the highest standards of quality and customer service.

Under Alan’s leadership, Safeguard has grown significantly with strategies that have included new and expanded services, technology investments that deliver higher quality and greater efficiency to clients, and strategic acquisitions. He takes a team approach to process improvement, involving staff at all levels of the organization to address issues, brainstorm solutions, and identify new and better ways to serve clients.

In 2008, Alan was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business in its annual “40-Under-40” profile of young leaders. He also was named a NEO Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® finalist in 2013.

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Chief Operating Officer

Michael Greenbaum

Michael Greenbaum is the chief operating officer for Safeguard. Mike has been instrumental in aligning operations to become more efficient, effective, and compliant with our ever-changing industry requirements. Mike has a proven track record of excellence, partnership and collaboration at Safeguard. Under Mike’s leadership, all operational departments of Safeguard have reviewed, updated and enhanced their business processes to maximize efficiency and improve quality control.

Mike joined Safeguard in July 2010 as vice president of REO and has continued to take on additional duties and responsibilities within the organization, including the role of vice president of operations in 2013 and then COO in 2015.

Mike built his business career in supply-chain management, operations, finance and marketing. He has held senior management and executive positions with Erico, a manufacturing company in Solon, Ohio; Accel, Inc., a packaging company in Lewis Center, Ohio; and McMaster-Carr, an industrial supply company in Aurora, Ohio.

Before entering the business world, Mike served in the U.S. Army, Ordinance Branch, and specialized in supply chain management. He is a distinguished graduate of West Point (U.S. Military Academy), where he majored in quantitative economics.

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CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

George Mehok

George Mehok is the chief information officer for Safeguard. He is responsible for all strategic technology decisions, new systems deployments and data center operations supporting a national network of more than 10,000 mobile workers.

George has more than 20 years of leadership experience dedicated to high-growth companies in the mobile telecommunications and financial services industries, spanning startups to global industry leaders.

George played a senior role in the formation of Verizon Wireless, leading the IT product development and strategic planning team. He led the integration planning for the Verizon merger including: GTE, Vodafone-AirTouch, Bell Atlantic Mobile and PrimeCo.

As chief information officer at Revol Wireless, a VC-backed CDMA wireless communications network operator, George’s team implemented an integrated technology infrastructure and award-winning business intelligence platform.

George holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Eastern Michigan University and an M.B.A. from The Ohio State University. He is a board member of Akron University’s School of Business Center for Information Technology, in addition to an advisory board member for OHTec.

In 2013, George won the Crain’s Cleveland Business CIO of the Year award for his team’s work in completing a major acquisition and technology transformation at Safeguard. In 2015, George’s team was recognized by InformationWeek’s annual Elite 100 ranking of the most innovative U.S.-based users of business technology. The mobile inspection technology developed at Safeguard was selected as InformationWeek’s “One of the top 20 ideas to steal in 2015”.

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General Counsel and Executive Vice President

Linda Erkkila, Esq.

Linda Erkkila is the general counsel and executive vice president for Safeguard, with oversight responsibilities for the legal, human resources, training, compliance and audit departments. Linda’s broad scope of oversight covers regulatory issues that impact Safeguard’s operations, pro-active risk mitigation, enterprise strategic planning, human capital and training initiatives, compliance and audit services, litigation and claims management, and counsel related to mergers, acquisition and joint ventures.

Linda’s oversight of the legal department along with multiple compliance and human capital focused departments assures that Safeguard’s strategic initiatives align with its resources, leverage opportunities across the company, and contemplate compliance mandates. Her practice spans almost 20 years, and Linda’s experience, both as outside and in-house counsel, covers a wide range of corporate matters, including regulatory disclosure, corporate governance compliance, risk assessment, executive compensation, litigation management, and merger and acquisition activity. Her experience at a former Fortune 500 financial institution during the subprime crisis helped develop Linda’s pro-active approach to change management during periods of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Linda previously served as vice president and attorney for National City Corporation, as securities and corporate governance counsel for Agilysys Inc., and as an associate at Thompson Hine LLP. She earned her JD at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Linda holds a degree in economics from Miami University and an MBA. In 2017, Linda was named as both a “Woman of Influence” by HousingWire and as a “Leading Lady” by MReport.

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Chief Financial Officer

Joe Iafigliola

Joe Iafigliola is the Chief Financial Officer for Safeguard. Joe is responsible for the Control, Quality Assurance, Business Development, Accounting & Information Security departments, and is a Managing Director of SCG Partners, a middle-market private equity fund focused on diversifying and expanding Safeguard Properties’ business model into complimentary markets.

Joe has been in a wide variety of roles in finance, supply chain management, information systems development, and sales and marketing. His career includes senior positions with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Newell/Rubbermaid, and Procter and Gamble.

Joe has an MBA from The Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University’s Honors Accounting program.

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AVP, Operations

Jennifer Jozity

Jennifer Jozity is the assistant vice president of operations, overseeing inspections, REO and property preservation for Safeguard. Jen ensures quality work is performed in the field and internally, to meet and exceed our clients’ expectations. Jen has demonstrated the ability to deliver consistent results in order audit and order management.  She will build upon these strengths in order to deliver this level of excellence in both REO and property preservation operations.

Jen joined Safeguard in 1997 and was promoted to director of inspections operations in 2009 and assistant vice president of inspections operations in 2012.

She graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in business.

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AVP, Finance

Jennifer Anspach

Jennifer Anspach is the assistant vice president of finance for Safeguard. She is responsible for the company’s national workforce of approximately 1,000 employees. She manages recruitment strategies, employee relations, training, personnel policies, retention, payroll and benefits programs. Additionally, Jennifer has oversight of the accounts receivable and loss functions formerly within the accounting department.

Jennifer joined the company in April 2009 as a manager of accounting and finance and a year later was promoted to director. She was named AVP of human capital in 2014. Prior to joining Safeguard, she held several management positions at OfficeMax and InkStop in both operations and finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of Youngstown State University. She was named a Crain’s Cleveland Business Archer Award finalist for HR Executive of the Year in 2017.

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AVP, Application Architecture

Rick Moran

Rick Moran is the assistant vice president of application architecture for Safeguard. Rick is responsible for evolving the Safeguard IT systems. He leads the design of Safeguard’s enterprise application architecture. This includes Safeguard’s real-time integration with other systems, vendors and clients; the future upgrade roadmap for systems; and standards designed to meet availability, security, performance and goals.

Rick has been with Safeguard since 2011. During that time, he has led the system upgrades necessary to support Safeguard’s growth. In addition, Rick’s team has designed and implemented several innovative systems.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Rick was director of enterprise architecture at Revol Wireless, a privately held CDMA Wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana, and operated his own consulting firm providing services to the manufacturing, telecommunications, and energy sectors.

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AVP, Technology Infrastructure and Cloud Services

Steve Machovina

Steve Machovina is the assistant vice president of technology infrastructure and cloud services for Safeguard. He is responsible for the overall management and design of Safeguard’s hybrid cloud infrastructure. He manages all technology engineering staff who support data centers, telecommunications, network, servers, storage, service monitoring, and disaster recovery.

Steve joined Safeguard in November 2013 as director of information technology operations.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was vice president of information technology at Revol Wireless, a privately held wireless provider in Ohio and Indiana. He also held management positions with Northcoast PCS and Corecomm Communications, and spent nine years as a Coast Guard officer and pilot.

Steve holds a BBA in management information systems from Kent State University in Ohio and an MBA from Wayne State University in Michigan.

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AVP, Business Development

Tim Rath

Tim Rath is the AVP of business development for Safeguard. He is responsible for developing innovative growth strategies for Safeguard and developing and overseeing potential partnerships, mergers and acquisitions.

Tim joined Safeguard in 2011 as project director and has filled numerous roles within Vendor Management, most recently serving as director of vendor management, a role he assumed in 2011.

Prior to Safeguard, Tim worked as director of supply chain at PartsSource Inc. in Aurora, Ohio, a provider of medical replacement parts, procurement solutions and healthcare supply chain management technology services. He also has held sales positions with Rexel, ComDoc, and Pier Associates, all based in Ohio.

Tim holds a degree in marketing and sales from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. He also earned his FAA Certified Commercial UAS (Drone) Pilot license in 2017.

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Assistant Vice president of Application Development

Steve Goberish

Steve Goberish, is the assistant vice president of application development for Safeguard. He is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of Safeguard’s vendor systems ensuring high-availability, security and scalability while advancing the vendor products’ capabilities and enhancing the vendor experience.

Prior to joining Safeguard, Steve was a senior technical architect and development manager at First American Title Insurance, a publicly held title insurance provider based in southern California, in addition to managing and developing applications in multiple sectors from insurance to VOIP.

Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University in Ohio.