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Feds issue questions and answers for Topdot borrowers

Federal officials have compiled a series of questions and answers for borrowers who went to Jericho-based lender Topdot, which on Monday was stripped of its license to make loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

On its Web site, the FHA advises consumers in the midst of loan modification talks with the lender to work out changes with the new servicer, Virginia-based LoanCare Servicing Center, the same company that’s now handling the portfolio of Lend America, the Melville-based lenders whose licenses were also revoked late last year. Federal officials ordered Topdot’s $181 million loan portfolio to be transferred to LoanCare, which is expected to contact borrowers.

Already-approved loans will still go through the FHA, the online posting said, but those in the pipeline will have to explore options with different lenders.

The agency had accused the company, also known as Premium Capital Funding, of violating FHA standards many times in approving loans.

Topdot has said it disagrees with the FHA and has beefed up “quality control” in making loans.

FHA has been cracking down on lenders with high default and claims rates. Since runaway lending led to the subprime market crash in August 2007, FHA has been the only viable alternative for those who can’t get prime loans. But the increase in FHA loans has caused the agency’s cash reserves to fall way under the mandated level because it has been paying out more claims on insured loans.

Last week, FHA rewrote policies in an effort to toughen standards for borrowing, including requiring people with less than a 580 credit score to put at least 10 percent down instead of the usual 3.5 percent minimum.

For more questions and answers, click here.

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