The Department of Housing and Urban Development is requiring that all automated underwriting systems be linked to the Federal Housing Administration's TOTAL Scorecard by May 1 if they want to continue processing FHA single-family loans."The Total Mortgage Scorecard will replace the existing proprietary scorecards offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for use on mortgages to be insured by FHA," a HUD mortgagee letter says. (TOTAL stands for technology open to approved lenders.) HUD has been developing its underwriting scorecard for the past five years, and Fannie and individual lenders have been testing it in their AU systems for the past six months. HUD has already issued a technical bulletin and an interim final rule that sets the ground rules for TOTAL Scorecard. The mortgagee letter puts all AU system providers on notice that May 1 is the deadline for connecting to TOTAL Scorecard, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Tim Doyle. Lenders can still manually underwrite FHA loans, but any FHA loans going through AU systems have to be scored by TOTAL.

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