Is there a nomination in your future?

Written By: Glenn Michaels, Op-Ed Writer

Very often while teaching underwriting courses I am often asked by students if the course will lead them to obtaining a CHUMS number or “DE” designation. I always say “no”.

My classes always state that an employer must nominate an employee to be a FHA DE underwriter. Employers must take the position and must believe that you have the capabilities and talent to underwrite for them. The FHA no longer approves FHA underwriters.

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I also always state in my classes, to read mortgagee letters as they change the underwriting guidelines, change policies and procedures set forth by HUD. Unfortunately, we never know when a mortgagee letter will be issued and what will be changed. Very often a mortgagee letter issued years ago that has not been replaced is still in effect.

Mortgagee Letter 96 – 10, dated February 22, 1996 in part discusses the fact that your employer must nominate a new underwriter either by regular mail or electronically and the FHA (HUD) will issue an underwriter a CHUMS number providing the underwriter is able to clear CAIVRS.

The FHA no longer approves DE underwriters. Your employer is the entity that approves the underwriter. The nominated DE underwriter is not allowed to underwrite a FHA loan file until the underwriter receives from HUD a CHUMS number.

My training courses explain what is expected by HUD from each registered DE underwriter. We go over the required forms, how to complete the required forms, the underwriting philosophy, rules and regulations that a DE underwriter should know.

In the courses we often state that your employer must nominate the underwriter. We also state that once an underwriter obtains a CHUMS number that the number belongs to the underwriter, not to the employer. If an underwriter changes his employer for whatever reason the employer should move his CHUMS number to the new employer in the FHA/HUD data base.

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Underwriters need constant training as the rules change and new underwriters need training how to underwrite a FHA case which my courses do. Remember, FHA/HUD does not approve DE underwriters and they also do not have any mandatory education, training, or certifications. The employer is on the hook if the new DE underwriter does not do a professional underwriting job.

Our courses and the underwriting nomination should do the trick for new DE underwriters. To view a list of courses offered by FHA Online University go

To review HUD Mortgagee Letter 96 – 10 and others go to the FHA Connection or to access mortgagee letters.

About The Author

Glenn Michaels - As an op-ed writer, Glenn Michaels is a mortgage underwriting instructor for CampusUnderwriter ( As a BBA & FHA DE Underwriter, Glenn is a Pace University graduate who also graduated from New York University’s School of Mortgage Finance. Glenn has conducted numerous training classes and has worked in the mortgage banking industry for 38 years. 


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