FHA Connection Gives Lenders the Ability to Perform Tasks on the Internet

Washington -- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today unveiled an interactive computer system that will give lenders the direct online information they need to process a loan for FHA mortgage insurance.

The new technology, called FHA Connection, gives lenders the ability to perform a number of tasks on the Internet, such as reassign an appraiser, verify a borrower's credit through an interactive voice-response system, and add, change, or terminate an underwriter.

"This is FHA's most important advance in technology since 1985," said Assistant Secretary/FHA Commissioner Nicolas P. Retsinas. "This system moves FHA to the forefront of electronic commerce. It will provide our lenders with easy and direct online access to the information they need for loan processing, and put it in a format that is easy to read and understand."

Retsinas said the new system "fits with President Clinton's mandate to develop and implement strategies to make the Federal government more efficient, more responsive to customers, and less costly to taxpayers."

To access FHA Connection, lenders need to obtain authorized identification from FHA. Once HUD reviews and approves the lender's request for an FHA Application Coordinator ID -- which lets a lender update user information and execute authorized functions -- a letter verifying the authorization will be sent to the lender's chief executive officer. Lenders will be given final approval to access FHA Connection after the CEO reviews and approves the letter.

FHA Connection will be implemented in three phases. First- phase functions are available to lenders. These include: underwriter registry; loan data; appraiser reassignment; authorization to access the Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS); case query; and lender/sponsor transfer.

Phase two, which will be completed by July 28, adds case number assignment; insurance request; inspector assignment; case cancellation; refinance authorization; and reverse mortgage insurance. The third phase will be implemented by October 20 and will allow lenders to access FHA's approval lists, including appraisers, condominiums, inspectors, and mortgage limits.

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