Inquiries

The lender should examine inquiries to determine whether they represent potential sources of undisclosed credit. If new debt was obtained, the lender may need to correct the loan application and resubmit it.

Trended Credit Data

Lenders are not required to analyze trended credit data in the credit report. For more information, see B3-2-03, Risk Factors Evaluated by DU.

Omitted Accounts

Supporting documentation is required when a credit report liability with a balance greater than zero is omitted from the loan application.

Possible Non-applicant Debts

The DU Underwriting Findings report will list any debts that are identified as “possible non-applicant debts” on the credit report. The possible non-applicant accounts will be included in the credit risk assessment and, if the debts are on the loan application, DU will include them in the DTI ratio. If the debts do not belong to the borrower, the lender may provide supporting documentation, remove the debts from the loan application, and resubmit the loan casefile to DU in order for the DTI ratio to be updated to exclude the non-applicant debts. See B3-2-10, Accuracy of DU Data, DU Tolerances, and Errors in the Credit Report, for additional information about non-applicant debts.

Authorized User Tradelines

DU takes credit report tradelines designated as authorized user tradelines into consideration as part of the DU credit risk assessment. However the lender must review credit report tradelines in which the applicant has been designated as an authorized user in order to ensure the tradelines are an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history. If the lender believes the authorized user tradelines are not an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history, the lender should evaluate the borrower's credit history without the benefit of these tradelines and use prudent underwriting judgment when making its final underwriting decision. In order to assist the lender in its review of authorized user tradelines, DU issues a message providing the name of the creditor and account number for each authorized user tradeline identified.

When ensuring tradelines are an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history, as a general guide, if the borrower has several authorized user accounts but only has a few accounts of his/her own, the lender should establish:

  • the relationship of the borrower to the owner of the account,

  • if the borrower uses the account, and

  • if the borrower makes the payments on the account.

If the authorized user tradeline belongs to another borrower on the mortgage loan, no additional investigation is needed. On the other hand, if the borrower has several tradelines in good standing and only a minor number of authorized user accounts, the lender could make the determination that:

  • the authorized user accounts had minimal, if any, impact on the borrower's overall credit profile; and

  • the information reported on the credit report is an accurate reflection of the borrower's credit history.

The lender is not required to review an authorized user tradelines that belongs to the borrower's spouse when the spouse is not on the mortgage transaction.

For manual underwriting consideration of authorized users of credit, see B3-5.3-06, Authorized Users of Credit.

Disputed Credit Report Tradelines

When the credit report contains tradelines disputed by the borrower, DU will first assess the risk of the loan casefile using all tradelines, including those disputed. If DU issues an Approve recommendation using the disputed tradelines, no further documentation or action is necessary. DU will issue a message specific to this scenario.

If DU does not issue an Approve recommendation when including the disputed tradelines, DU will re-assess the risk without using the disputed tradelines. If DU is then able to issue an Approve recommendation, the lender must investigate the tradelines to determine whether the borrower is responsible for the accounts or if the account information is accurate or complete.

  • If the borrower is not responsible for the disputed accounts, the lender must obtain supporting documentation and may deliver the loan as a DU loan. No further action is necessary regarding the disputed tradelines.

  • If the borrower is responsible for the disputed account, the lender must investigate the information, including determining the aspect of the tradeline that is being disputed. If the borrower is able to provide documentation to disprove any adverse information (such as canceled checks), the lender may deliver the loan as a DU loan.

  • If the borrower is responsible for the disputed account and the account and tradeline information is accurate and complete, the loan is not eligible for delivery as a DU loan. The lender may manually underwrite the loan if the transaction is eligible for manual underwriting.

The monthly payments for the disputed tradelines must be included in the debt-to-income ratio if the accounts belong to the borrower.

Note: Tradelines reported as medical debt are not shown in the disreputed tradeline message. Therefore, lenders are not required to investigate disputed medical tradelines.

Examples

The following scenarios are examples of when a loan receiving an Approve/Eligible recommendation with the disputed tradeline(s) excluded from DU's risk assessment would be eligible for delivery as a DU loan:

  • A borrower’s account was referred for collection by the creditor. Subsequently, the borrower paid off the account, but the pay-off was not reported on the tradeline. The borrower requested that a dispute be placed on the tradeline. The tradeline information was accurate, but because it did not reflect that the borrower paid off the account, it may be considered incomplete. The borrower must provide documentation that the account was paid in full.

  • A borrower and his son have the same name (Sr. and Jr.). The borrower’s credit report contains a tradeline that actually belongs to the son. The tradeline is reported as disputed. The borrower can provide confirmation that he is not obligated on the account.

  • The servicer of a disputed loan indicates a late payment in January of the previous year. The borrower can provide documentation (such as canceled checks or bank statements) that indicate that the payment was made on time.

The following scenario is an example of when a loan receiving an Approve/Eligible recommendation with the disputed tradeline(s) excluded from DU’s risk assessment would not be eligible for delivery as a DU loan:

  • The credit report indicates a disputed tradeline on the borrower’s mortgage being refinanced. The tradeline indicates a 60–day late payment in January of the previous year. The borrower cannot provide any documentation to support that the payment was made on time.

DU Debt Comparison

DU compares the balances and payments of the debts on the credit report with the debts on the loan application. If material differences are found, the lender must confirm that all debts from the credit report are included on the loan application and provide documentation to support the use of payments and balances lower than those on the credit report. If the debt affects the debt-to-income ratio by more than the allowable tolerances, the lender must add the debt to the loan application and resubmit the loan. Otherwise, the lender is expected to provide documentation that supports the omission from the loan application. See B3-6-02, Debt-to-Income Ratios, and B3-2-10, Accuracy of DU Data, DU Tolerances, and Errors in the Credit Report, for additional information.)

Contradictory, Derogatory, or Erroneous Information

Lenders are obligated to take action when contradictory, derogatory, or erroneous information would justify additional investigation or would provide grounds for a decision that is different from the recommendation DU delivers. For example, if the credit report reflects a previous foreclosure but the information was not accurately mapped to DU, the lender must consider this when making its final underwriting decision.

Duplicate Public Records

Items that typically appear in the Public Records section of the credit report (judgments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and tax liens) are often duplicated because the credit agencies may not attempt to merge items of this severe nature. As a result, these items may also appear in more than one verification message in the Underwriting Findings report. If it is clear from the credit report data that the items are duplicates (identical account numbers, date filed, and dollar amounts), the lender can disregard the duplicates and document the item once. However, if it is unclear from the credit report whether any of the items are duplicated, the lender should treat each item individually and obtain the required documentation for each item, as indicated in the verification messages.

Judgments and Liens

Open judgments and all outstanding liens that are in the Public Records section of the credit report will be identified in the Underwriting Findings report, and must be paid off at or prior to closing. Documentation of the satisfaction of these liabilities, along with verification of funds sufficient to satisfy these obligations, must also be maintained in the permanent loan file.

Mortgage Delinquencies

DU applies the following guidelines to the processing of loans with mortgage delinquencies:

  • If any borrower’s credit report contains a mortgage tradeline that is 60 or more days past due when the account was last reported by the creditor and the account was reported within the 12 months prior to the credit report date, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.

  • If there is a mortgage that is disclosed on the loan application but not reported on the credit report, or the mortgage is on the credit report with an outstanding balance but the payment history has not been reported in the last six months, DU will issue a message requiring the lender to confirm that the account is not two or more payments past due as of the date of the application and that it has not been past due by two or more payments in the last 12 months. If the lender determines that the borrower does have a mortgage that is past due by two or more payments or has been past due by two or more payments in the last 12 months, then the loan casefile is not eligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.

  • Borrowers may not bring past-due mortgage accounts current prior to closing in order to circumvent Fannie Mae’s policy regarding past-due mortgages. However, the lender may apply some discretion with regard to the application of this policy if it determines and documents that the past-due account status was not the fault of the borrower—for example, if the servicer misapplied or lost the borrower’s payment.

  • Loan casefiles will receive an Ineligible recommendation due to excessive prior mortgage delinquency if the borrower has a mortgage tradeline on his or her credit report that has one or more 60-, 90-, 120-, or 150-day delinquency reported within the 12 months prior to the credit report date.

The above policies will apply to all mortgage tradelines, including first liens, second liens, home improvement loans, HELOCs, and manufactured home loans.

Past-Due, Collection, and Charge-Off of Non-Mortgage Accounts

Accounts that are reported as past due (not reported as collection accounts) must be brought current.

  • For one-unit, principal residence properties, borrowers are not required to pay off outstanding collections or non-mortgage charge-offs—regardless of the amount.

    Note: If the lender marks the collection account Paid By Close in the online loan application, DU will issue a message in the DU Underwriting Findings report stating that the collection must be paid.

  • For two- to four-unit owner-occupied and second home properties, collections and non-mortgage charge-offs totaling more than $5,000 must be paid in full prior to or at closing.

  • For investment properties, individual collection and non-mortgage charge-off accounts equal to or greater than $250 and accounts that total more than $1,000 must be paid in full prior to or at closing.

Prior Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, Preforeclosure Sales, and Charge-Off of Mortgage Accounts

Per the requirements of B3-5.3-07, Significant Derogatory Credit Events — Waiting Periods and Re-establishing Credit, an amount of time must elapse (the “waiting period”) after a significant derogatory credit event before the borrower is eligible for a new loan salable to Fannie Mae. The waiting period commences on the completion, discharge, or dismissal date (as applicable) of the derogatory credit event and ends on the disbursement date of the new loan. Because DU does not have the disbursement date of the subject loan, DU uses the date of the credit report to measure whether or not the applicable waiting period has been met. However, because the credit report date may not result in an accurate calculation of the waiting period (it is earlier than the disbursement date), the lender may use the disbursement date to confirm that the waiting period has been met. See the table below for additional information.

Event Measurement of Waiting Period
Bankruptcy

Foreclosure

  • If the completion, discharge, or dismissal dates (as applicable) reflected in the credit report are complete and appear to comply with the applicable waiting period requirements, DU will issue a recommendation, but the lender must still confirm that the waiting period has been met and may base its determination on the disbursement date of the new loan.

  • If the completion, discharge, or dismissal dates (as applicable) reflected in the credit report are complete, but do not appear to comply with the applicable waiting period requirements, a Refer with Caution recommendation will be issued. DU uses the date of the credit report to determine whether or not the applicable waiting period has been met. The lender may obtain an updated credit report and resubmit the loan casefile to DU after the required time has elapsed or manually underwrite the loan using the disbursement date to confirm that the waiting period has been met.

  • If the completion, discharge, or dismissal dates (as applicable) reflected in the credit report are incomplete, the lender must confirm that the waiting period has been met and may base its determination on the disbursement date of the new loan.

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure

Preforeclosure Sale

Mortgage Charge-Off

  • DU will determine if the date of the event was within the applicable waiting period. However, the recommendation will not be changed and the lender must confirm the waiting period requirement has been met, and may base its determination on the disbursement date of the new loan.

Note: See B3-5.3-07, Significant Derogatory Credit Events — Waiting Periods and Re-establishing Credit, for additional information regarding significant derogatory events. DU is not able to identify whether the borrower’s derogatory credit event(s) was the result of extenuating circumstances. See below for information on how to treat extenuating circumstances and B3-5.3-08, Extenuating Circumstances for Derogatory Credit, for additional information.

Bankruptcy

DU applies the following guidelines to prior bankruptcies:

  • If a Chapter 13 bankruptcy was discharged within the last two years, dismissed within the last four years, or filed but neither discharged nor dismissed within the last four years, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.

  • If a non-Chapter 13 bankruptcy was filed, discharged, or dismissed within the last four years, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.

  • DU will not take bankruptcy information in the public record section of the credit report into account if the bankruptcy is dated more than seven years prior to the credit report date.

  • DU will not take tradeline accounts that are reported with a bankruptcy status code or manner of payment (MOP) code of “7” into account if there is at least one bankruptcy reported in a public record within seven years of the credit report date. In this scenario, DU assumes the date filed and the date discharged in the public record are more accurate than the dates in the tradeline; i.e., specific filed and discharged dates do not exist in the tradeline.

  • DU will use tradeline accounts that are reported with a bankruptcy status code or MOP code of “7” if there is not a bankruptcy reported in a public record within seven years of the credit report date. In this scenario, the lender will need to verify the actual filed and discharged dates to determine that the bankruptcy meets the DU bankruptcy policy.

  • DU is not able to determine if multiple filings have occurred due to the manner in which bankruptcies are reported to the credit report. DU will issue a message when it appears that there may have been multiple bankruptcy filings. This message will list each of the bankruptcies seen on the credit report, and will instruct lenders to ensure the loan casefile meets the criteria for underwriting loan casefiles with multiple bankruptcies.

Underwriting when Extenuating Circumstances Exist

  • Loan casefiles that receive a Refer with Caution recommendation due to a bankruptcy action that was caused by extenuating circumstances may be manually underwritten if the lender has the appropriate documentation that the event occurred, the applicable minimum time period has elapsed, and the loan meets all requirements of this Selling Guide that pertain to manually underwritten loans.

Foreclosure

DU applies the following guidelines to prior foreclosures:

  • Mortgage accounts, including first liens, second liens, home improvement loans, HELOCs, and manufactured home loans, will be identified as a foreclosure if there is an MOP code of “8,” or a Remarks Code that indicates a foreclosure is present in the credit report data and associated to the tradeline.

  • If a foreclosure was reported within the seven-year period prior to the credit report date, the loan casefile will receive a Refer with Caution recommendation and will be ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae.

  • If the filed date and the satisfied date of the foreclosure are both unknown, but it appears that the foreclosure occurred within the seven-year period prior to the credit report date, the lender must confirm that the foreclosure did not occur within the most recent seven-year period.

  • Foreclosure laws vary by state and the time it takes to complete the process may vary by state. DU assumes that the date the foreclosure was reported in the tradeline is the date of the foreclosure sale or liquidation. The lender must confirm that all foreclosures are satisfied.

  • Mortgage accounts that are identified as a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or preforeclosure sale will not be identified as a foreclosure.

Underwriting when Inaccurate Foreclosure Information Exists

  • When DU identifies a foreclosure on a credit report tradeline and the foreclosure information on that tradeline is inaccurate, the lender may instruct DU to disregard the foreclosure information on the credit report in the eligibility assessment. This is done by entering “Confirmed CR FC Incorrect” in the Explanation field for question c. in the Declarations section of the online loan application and resubmitting the loan casefile to DU. When the loan casefile is resubmitted to DU, the foreclosure information on the credit report tradeline will not be used in the eligibility assessment.

  • If the lender enters “Confirmed CR FC Incorrect,” the lender must then document the foreclosure was completed seven or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or that the account was not subject to foreclosure and the loan complies with all other applicable requirements.

Underwriting when Extenuating Circumstances Exist

  • When DU identifies a foreclosure on a credit report tradeline and that foreclosure was due to extenuating circumstances, the lender may instruct DU to disregard the foreclosure information on the credit report in the eligibility assessment. This is done by entering “Confirmed CR FC EC” in the Explanation field for question c. in the Declarations section of the online loan application and resubmitting the loan casefile to DU. When the loan casefile is resubmitted to DU, the foreclosure information on the credit report tradeline will not be used in the eligibility assessment.

  • If the lender enters “Confirmed CR FC EC,” the lender must then document that the foreclosure was due to extenuating circumstances, the foreclosure was completed three or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, and the loan complies with all other requirements specific to a foreclosure due to extenuating circumstances.

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure

DU applies the following guidelines to prior DILs:

  • DU will determine if a mortgage tradeline is a DIL by using specific Remarks Codes that are present in the credit report data and associated to the tradeline.

  • When DU identifies a DIL, the lender must document that the event was completed four or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan when the lender confirms that the mortgage loan meets the applicable time frames and eligibility requirements for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure due to extenuating circumstances.

Preforeclosure Sales or Short Sales

  • DU will determine if a mortgage tradeline is a PFS by using specific Remarks Codes that are present in the credit report data and associated to the tradeline.

  • When DU identifies a PFS, the lender must document that the event was completed four or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan when the lender confirms that the mortgage loan meets the applicable time frames and eligibility requirements for a preforeclosure sale due to extenuating circumstances.

Charge-Off of Mortgage Accounts

  • Mortgage accounts, including first liens, second liens, home improvements loans, HELOCs, and manufactured home loans, will be identified as a charge-off if there is an MOP code of “9” (collection or charge-off) and there is no information indicating the account may also be subject to a foreclosure (MOP code “8” or foreclosure Remarks Code), a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL Remarks Code), or a preforeclosure sale (PFS Remarks Code).

  • When DU identifies a charge-off on a mortgage tradeline, the lender must document that the event was completed four or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan, or two or more years from the disbursement date of the new loan when the lender confirms that the mortgage loan meets the applicable time frames and eligibility requirements for a charge-off due to extenuating circumstances.

Related Announcements

The table below provides references to the Announcements and Release Notes that have been issued that are related to this topic.

Announcements and Release Notes Issue Date
Announcement SEL-2017-06 July 25, 2017
Announcement SEL-2016–08 October 24, 2016
Announcement SEL-2016–04 May 31, 2016
Announcement SEL-2015–12 November 3, 2015
Announcement SEL-2015–03 March 31, 2015
Announcement SEL-2015–01 January 27, 2015
Announcement SEL-2014–10 July 29, 2014
DU Version 9.1 June 17, 2014
Announcement SEL-2014–03 April 15, 2014
Announcement SEL-2013–07 September 24, 2013
Announcement SEL-2013–04 May 28, 2013
Announcement SEL-2012-13 November 13, 2012
Announcement SEL-2012–07 August 21, 2012
DU Version 9.0 July 24, 2012
Announcement SEL-2012–04 May 15, 2012
Announcement SEL-2011–11 October 25, 2011
Announcement SEL-2011–04 May 24, 2011
Announcement SEL-2011–01 January 27, 2011
Announcement SEL-2010–13 September 20, 2010
DU Version 8.2 September 20, 2010
Announcement SEL-2010–11 August 13, 2010
Announcement SEL-2010–08 June 23, 2010
Announcement SEL-2010–06 April 30, 2010
Announcement SEL-2010–05 April 14, 2010
Announcement SEL-2010–02 March 2, 2010
Announcement 09-32 October 30, 2009
DU Version 8.0 September 22, 2009
DU Version 7.1 October 31, 2008