What is an FHA Case Number?
What is an FHA Case Number and Why is it Important?
Many have heard this terminology, but many are unsure of why FHA case numbers are issued and how important they are to closing on an FHA loan.
FHA Case Number Basics
An FHA Case Number is a unique 10-digit number assigned to a loan through Case Number Assignment on FHA Connection. A loan assigned a number is called a case.
This unique case number is required for every FHA loan and it is assigned whenever someone applies for an FHA refinance or an FHA loan to purchase a home.
The first three numbers in the FHA case number are state or area specific while the last 3 digits represent the Section(s) of the Act under which insurance was issued for each home, but are seldom the Sections of the Act themselves. The case number can be seen at the top of each page on the FHA appraisal that was completed .
The buyer applying for an FHA loan and the property the buyer is contracted to purchase are assigned an FHA case number. The FHA case number can be transferred from one borrower to another but cannot be transferred from the property.
Let’s clarify with the following example:
Buyer #1 applies for FHA financing after his contract is accepted on Property #1 and is then assigned an FHA case number. If Buyer #1 decides to not purchase the property, they would then need to apply for a new case number when purchasing Property #2.
However, if another buyer wants to purchase Property #1, they would only need to have the case number for that property transferred to them.
On a side note, provided different lenders are involved, this can also cause delays with getting the case numbers transferred from the previous lender to the current one handling the financing.
If, after six months, the loan has not closed the case number will be cancelled. In addition, when FHA institutes changes to the program, such as increases to mortgage insurance, the changes would only take effect on FHA case numbers assigned on or after the date of the announced program changes.
All case numbers assigned before that date would still be underwritten within program guidelines prior to the changes, as long as those loans close within six months.
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FHA Streamline Loans: When Are They Available?
January 4, 2012 - If you've recently applied for an FHA insured mortgages and are now paying on an FHA mortgage, you are also able to submit an application for FHA Streamline Refinancing loans after a specified waiting period.
Streamline Refinancing features reduced paperwork and underwriting requirements for qualified borrowers, and can much easier to obtain compared to other refinancing options including cash-out refinancing loans and similar transactions.
For qualified borrowers, now could be the best time to consider refinancing an FHA guaranteed mortgage. Streamline Refinancing offers many benefits including lower monthly payment, lower interest rates, or both-- with some exceptions.
For example, are you refinancing from an adjustable rate mortgage to an FHA fixed-rate loan? Interest rates on the refinanced mortgage could be higher than the original variable rates.
Some borrowers with recently purchased homes wonder how soon after purchasing a home with an FHA mortgage can a home owner apply for streamline refinancing?
Recently updated FHA guidelines establish a timetable for how soon after purchasing a home the borrower can be considered for an FHA Streamline loan. The new rules require borrowers to wait a minimum amount of time--the "seasoning period"--and make a minimum number of payments before an FHA Streamline Loan application is submitted.
FHA Mortgagee Letter 2011-11 states, "On the date of FHA case number assignment.The mortgagor must have made at least six payments on the FHA-insured mortgage that is being refinanced."
FHA rules also add a six-month requirement on top of the six payment rule. "At least six full months must have passed since the first payment due date of the refinanced mortgage, and.at least 210 days have passed from the closing date of the mortgage being refinanced."
The new FHA Streamline Refinancing rules also spell out when to file an application for a streamline loan. "...if the FHA case number on the mortgage being refinanced was closed on or before December 1, and if mortgagor's first payment on that mortgage was due on January 1, the mortgagee may request assignment of an FHA case number for the refinancing mortgage no earlier than July 1."
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