Calculating FHA Collections Mortgage Guidelines

Gustan Cho Associates

This BLOG On Calculating FHA Collections Mortgage Guidelines  Was UPDATED And PUBLISHED On April 12th, 2020

How does the calculation of the Mortgage Guidelines for the FHA collection look like?

Calculating FHA Collections By Mortgage Underwriters

Borrowers can qualify for FHA Loans with outstanding collection accounts.

  • HUD, the parent of FHA, does not require you to pay off the outstanding unpaid collection account balances in order to qualify for FHA Home Loans
  • However, FHA will count a percentage of any outstanding non-medical collection account balances
  • FHA requires mortgage underwriters to use it towards calculating borrower monthly debt to income ratios

Calculating FHA Collections by mortgage underwriters is categorized into three different categories:

  1. Non-Medical Collection Accounts
  2. Medical Collection Accounts
  3. Charge Off Accounts


Judgments and Tax Liens are calculated separately:

  • We can briefly discuss on how mortgage underwriters calculate judgments and tax liens

In this article, we will discuss and cover Calculating FHA Collections Mortgage Guidelines.

Calculating FHA Collections On Non-Medical Collection Accounts

Borrowers do not have to pay off outstanding collection accounts in order to qualify for an FHA loan under HUD mortgage lending guidelines.

If outstanding unpaid collection accounts on non-medical collection accounts is greater than $2,000, the following rules apply:

  • then 5% of the outstanding collection balances of all of the unpaid debts will be used in calculating month debt to income ratios
  • this holds true even though you do not have to pay anything to any creditors

Case Scenario On How Mortgage Underwriters Calculate Hypothetical Monthly Debt On Outstanding Collections

For example, if the total balances add up to $10,000 for all of your creditors and/or collection agencies:

  • Then FHA will require 5% of the outstanding unpaid $10,000, or $500, to be used in calculating the borrower’s debt to income ratio
  • The $500 per month does not need to be paid but will count as a monthly expense for borrowers

Any outstanding unpaid collection account balances under $2,000 that are non-medical collection accounts do not count in calculations of the borrower’s debt to income ratios.

Calculating FHA Collections And Credit Disputes During Mortgage Process

Which means calculating FHA collections and credit disputes during the mortgage process

Mortgage borrowers cannot have credit disputes on any charge off accounts and non-medical collection accounts if the total of the outstanding collection account balances of all of your collection accounts is greater than $1,000.

  • Borrowers need to retract all non-medical credit disputes with outstanding collection account balances as well as all charge off credit disputes before they are able to proceed with the mortgage application and mortgage approval process
  • A pre-approval letter should never be issued if there are a lot of credit disputes on a borrower’s credit report
  • This is because once the credit disputes are retracted, the borrowers credit scores will drop
  • How much will it drop?
  • That depends on the type of credit disputed item but it can drop significantly
  • If a home buyer barely qualifies for a 3.5% down payment home purchase FHA Loan with the minimum 580 credit score required and needs to retract credit disputes, chances are that the borrower may no longer qualify
  • They may no longer qualify for an FHA loan with 3.5% down payment
  • This is because HUD requires the 580 FICO minimum
  • The mortgage loan officer will help borrowers in boosting credit scores back up after they retract credit disputes

Credit disputes on non-medical collection items with zero credit outstanding balance or paid off collection accounts are exempt and credit disputes are allowed. Medical Collection accounts with outstanding balances are exempt from credit disputes and you can have credit disputes on medical collection accounts.

Calculating Medical Collections And Charge Off Accounts Mortgage Guidelines

The great news is that FHA does not care about medical collection accounts with outstanding unpaid balances and charge off accounts:

  • They are not calculated in debt to income calculations of borrowers
  • Most charge off accounts will have a balance reporting on the borrower’s credit report
  • However, that is ignored
  • Will not be used for debt to income ratio calculations
  • As mentioned earlier, borrowers cannot have credit disputes on any charge off accounts

Borrowers need to have the credit disputes on all charge off accounts for your mortgage loan approval process to proceed.

Calculating FHA Collections And Judgments And Tax Liens

Borrowers can have outstanding judgments and tax liens and still qualify for FHA Loans:

  • However, the judgments and/or tax liens either needs to be paid off prior closing
  • Or a written payment agreement needs to be made between the judgment creditor and/or IRS and the borrower and at least three months of payments need to have been made
  • You cannot make advanced payments of the three months of payments required

It needs to be seasoned for at least three months.

Why Am I Told That I Do Not Qualify For FHA Loan Because I Have Collection Accounts

Why Am I Told That I Do Not Qualify For FHA Loan Because I Have Collection Accounts

Unfortunately, most mortgage lenders will have additional requirements in addition to the minimum FHA Guidelines On Collection Accounts called FHA Investor Overlays.

  • Most banks will require that you pay off all of your outstanding unpaid collection accounts in order for you to qualify with their institution even though it is not a FHA Guideline to pay off your outstanding collection accounts
  • Also, by paying off your older collection accounts will drop your credit scores
  • This is because it re-activated your aged dormant collection accounts and re-activates it like it is a recent activity

If you are told that you do not qualify for an FHA loan due to your mortgage lender overlays, please contact us at Gustan Cho Associates at 262-716-8151 or text us for a faster response. Or email us at . My staff and I are available 7 days a week, evenings, weekends, and holidays to take your calls and answer any questions you may have.

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