How does a lender obtain Unconditional Direct Endorsement approval?

After a mortgagee is approved, they can apply for additional supplemental authorities. FHA’s Direct Endorsement (DE) program permits a mortgagee to underwrite Title II Single Family Mortgages without FHA’s prior review and submit them directly for FHA insurance endorsement.

The mortgagee must submit a written application for Unconditional DE authority to the Jurisdictional Homeownership Center (HOC) for the state where the Mortgagee’s home office is located.

The Mortgagee’s DE application must contain a letter signed by a corporate officer requesting entry into the test case phase that contains the home office 10-digit FHA Lender ID and all underwriters’ names and four-character FHA-assigned identification numbers.

If the mortgagee meets the requirements for conditional authority and submits the required documentation, they will receive a test case phase approval letter as well as reference materials and a list of the specific requirements that must be met to obtain unconditional DE authority.  The mortgagee must participate in an in-person or telephone entrance conference with the HOC before it will be eligible to submit test cases.

During the test case phase, test cases must be submitted to FHA for review. The mortgagee must receive a minimum of 15 Firm Commitments for forward mortgage authority or 5 Firm Commitments for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) authority within a period of 12 consecutive months following the date of the entrance conference.

After the mortgagee successfully completes the required test cases, FHA will grant the approval for unconditional DE authority. The mortgagee will receive an approval letter and may begin submitting mortgages to FHA for endorsement without prior review by FHA.

To locate the jurisdictional HOC, select the state the corporate office is in from the FHA Homeownership Centers web page at

Handbook 4000.1 I.A.1 is available at