Mortgage bankers originated $26.4 billion of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed loans in November, an 8.2% jump from the prior month, but delinquencies jumped as well.

Included in that figure is $1.7 billion of FHA-insured reverse mortgages, whose production rose 31% month-over-month.

The November report shows the agency approved its first FHA 'short refinancing' loan. Lenders have submitted another 40 short refi loans for FHA mortgage insurance.

The Treasury Department and FHA designed the FHA short program to refinance underwater conventional loans into new FHA-insured loans — after the investor or GSE writes down the principal amount of the mortgage to a 97.75% loan-to-value ratio.

But Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac — and their regulator — are reluctant to take the hit and refinance borrowers who are current, which means the new program will likely suffer from low volumes unless things change.

In November, nearly 50% of FHA endorsements involved purchase mortgage transactions. First-time homebuyers comprised 73% of all FHA borrowers.

But there was bad news too: FHA reported a large increase in seriously delinquent loans in November.

The percentage of government-insured loans that are 90 days or more past due jumped to 8.7%, compared to 8% in October. Nearly 589,000 FHA loans were seriously delinquent as of Nov. 30.

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.