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 Reverse Mortgage Basics
Basically you may not need a whole new appraisal. If your loan was already approved, then you could get a 30 day extension on the original appraisal or they could order an appraisal update, using the same case case number. An appraisal update is a short form signed by the appraiser indicating that the property has not lost value since the date of the original appraisal. If it has it becomes a bit more involved. We'll assume your house is the still same value. The appraiser will charge to fill out and sign the form but it shouldn't be unduly expensive.
Of course, your lender may have some investor stipulation overlaying FHA requirements and needing a brand new appraisal which may be your hold up.
Getting a case number doesn't take long. It's all done electronically over the internet. There is no person to person interaction. Your lender just needs whatever person authorized to access the FHA system to do so. Input a few pages of info, case number given.
I will add that sometimes the FHA system is off line, tied up in knots, electronically fried or otherwise unavailable sometimes for a few days at a stretch.