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Mortgagee Letters from the FHA


What is a Mortgagee Letter?

Mortgagee letters are created by the FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, and released through the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.  These letters contain information pertaining to:

  • FHA procedures
  • FHA policies
  • FHA operations
  • Any changes that have been made within the Administration

The purpose of the mortgagee letters is to keep lenders up to date on how the FHA is operating and how operations may effect lending practices.

Can Home Buyers Benefit From Mortgagee Letters?

Though they may be a little tedious to decipher at times, mortgagee letters offer home buyers a wealth of information on the climate of the lending market, current regulations and policies, as well as any new changes that are under way.

With this type of insight, home buyers can approach lenders with more assurance and a better understanding of the lending market in general. Mortgagee letters can also shed light on opportunities that you may not have known were available and help you to be among the first to take advantage of new home programs.

For example, a recent Mortgagee letter released on May 29, 2009, outlines how the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit can be used and eligibility requirements for receiving the tax credit. If you are one of those first-time homeowners this is extremely valuable information.

Below are more examples of the Mortgagee Letters that have already been issued this year:

  • Lifeline Initiative's Impact on FHA's Foreclosure Time Frames
  • Tier Ranking Scores - Incentive Round 34
  • HOPE for Homeowners Origination and Servicing Guidance Supplement
  • Co-branded Outreach Materials
  • Annual Renewal Of FHA Approval

Where Can You Find Mortgagee Letters with FHA News?

Mortgagee letters are available to the general public online at both the and FHA websites. Although the FHA started issuing mortgagee letters in 1934, the online records only date back to 1976. The FHA has deemed earlier letters obsolete.

Mortgagee letters are given a numerical designation (document number) that begins with the last two digits of the year the letter was issued, followed by a second number that's based on when during that year the mortgagee letter was created. However, this second number represents the order in which letters were released throughout the year, not the actual date.  For example, the mortgagee letter referenced earlier was the 15th mortgagee letter for 2009, so its document number is 09-15.

You can search for specific mortgagee letters by their document number, by year, by title of the mortgagee letter or by using the keyword search option.