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Volume 26 - Number 13

June 29, 2015

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Will SCOTUS Disparate Impact Ruling Make CFPB More Assertive?

The U.S. Supreme Court last week validated the disparate-impact legal theory as it relates to housing discrimination in the case of Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. And while the immediate effect of the ruling has more to do with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s enforcement of the Fair Housing Act’s restrictions on disparate impact, there are definitely implications for the CFPB’s enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s prohibitions against disparate impact. The crux of this case was whether disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, where a plaintiff alleges discrimination based on the disparate impact that a defendant’s “facially neutral” practice has upon members of ...

Bureau Publishes Thousands of Consumer Complaint Narratives

The CFPB, much to the lending industry’s consternation, last week “went live” with the online publishing of more than 7,700 consumer complaint narratives addressing mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards, debt collection and other issues. Under its new final policy statement, the bureau is extending its existing practice of disclosing data on consumer complaints “to include narratives for which opt-in consumer consent is obtained and a robust personal information scrubbing standard and methodology has been applied.” The purposes of the database include providing consumers with timely and understandable information about financial products and services, and improving the functioning, transparency and efficiency of markets for such products and services. The CFPB said that adding additional information to the database, and hearing narratives ...

CFPB Proposes to Delay TRID Effective Date, Questions Remain

The CFPB last week formally proposed amending its integrated mortgage disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act – the so-called TRID – to move the rule’s effective date to October 3, 2015, which would give the industry a two-month delay. Although the TILA-RESPA final rule was published on December 31, 2013, and received widespread public and Congressional attention, the bureau said it “recently discovered that it inadvertently had not submitted the rule report to Congress as required.” The bureau’s oversight came despite having 18 months to anticipate and plan for the submission. “Immediately upon discovering its error, the bureau submitted the rule report to both Houses of Congress and the Government Accountability Office on ...

Marketing in Spanish? Disclose, Service in Spanish, Experts Say

Here’s a fair lending regulatory compliance tip from the American Bankers Association’s 2015 regulatory compliance conference in Washington, DC: If you are advertising or marketing mortgage products in Spanish, you would be well advised to provide all requisite disclosures and servicing in Spanish. “As you think about how to reach people, advertising and marketing in Spanish is a good way to get to Spanish-speaking population,” said Andrew Sandler, chairman and executive partner at the BuckleySandler law firm, during a breakout session on fair lending. “But one thing regulators are intent on is, if you’re selling me in my language, then you need to be servicing me in my language too. So lenders should be careful to think about that,” the ...

Dual Tracking Still a Problem Among Mortgage Servicers: CFPB

The CFPB’s latest supervisory report finds illegal mortgage servicing practices are still continuing in at least corners of the marketplace. According to the report, the bureau’s examiners found at least one servicer that sent notices of intent to foreclose to borrowers already approved for trial modifications. “This dual-tracking could mislead consumers to believe the servicer had abandoned the trial modification,” the CFPB said. Bureau examiners also found at least one servicer that, because of a system error, sent notices to borrowers who were current on their loans, saying that foreclosure would be imminent. There are also still problems with illegal runarounds with loss mitigation applications, according to the report. For example, examiners found at least one servicer requesting additional documents ...

Most Private Student Loan Co-Signer Release Apps Rejected

The overwhelming majority of private student loan borrowers who apply for a co-signer release were rejected, according to a recent report from the CFPB’s student loan ombudsman. “Many private student lenders advertise options to release a cosigner from a private student loan,” the report began. “However, an analysis of industry responses to the CFPB’s information request found that the lenders and servicers surveyed granted very few releases – of those borrowers that applied for co-signer release, 90 percent were rejected.” The CFPB also said that consumers have little information on the specific borrower criteria needed to obtain a co-signer release. “Consumers reported being confused about their eligibility for obtaining a co-signer release as well as not understanding why they had been ...

CFPB Weighs In on ECOA Loan Guarantor Discrimination Case

The CFPB and the U.S. Solicitor General recently submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, a case that will likely decide whether the Equal Credit Opportunity Act applies to loan guarantors, and may affect the bureau’s enforcement of a related regulation. As the government brief noted, ECOA makes it unlawful for “any creditor to discriminate against any applicant, with respect to any aspect of a credit transaction,” on the basis of prohibited characteristics including gender and marital status. “Since 1985, regulations promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the CFPB have provided that, for certain purposes, the ‘applicants’ protected from discrimination under the act include guarantors ...

Experts Advise on How Best to Deal With Shifting Fair Lending Issues

Regulators such as the CFPB are still paying attention to fair lending issues these days, but their focal point is shifting more towards greater emphasis on access to credit. “What we’re seeing is a pendulum swing from the focus of concerns being loan pricing, to the focus of concerns being loan access,” said Jeffrey Naimon, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the BuckleySandler law firm, during a webinar last week sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, an affiliated publication. Many wonder why it appears that access to credit remains so tight, seven years after the last financial crisis. Naimon said the CFPB ability-to-repay rule’s qualified mortgage standard could be one of the reasons. “Basically, lenders only want to make ...

National Poll Finds Opposition to CFPB Monitoring, Restrictions

A new U.S. Consumer Coalition/Zogby Analytics poll found that a majority of Americans oppose the CFPB’s monitoring of Americans’ credit card purchases. According to the poll, which sponsors claim is the first national survey about the recent operations of the government agency, 55 percent of respondents believe the CFPB’s data collection program is similar or worse than the controversial NSA monitoring program. Further, only 20 percent of those polled believed that the CFPB should be able to collect and review Americans’ credit card statements without their knowledge. The poll also found that the majority of Americans oppose the bureau’s ongoing efforts to restrict access to certain consumer financial products. Nearly 70 percent of those polled said they believed that the ...

Consumer Complaints About Bank Accounts Fall by Double Digits

The complaints that consumers submitted to the CFPB about their bank accounts fell substantially, quarter to quarter and year over year, the latest analysis by Inside the CFPB reveals. Among all companies, consumer gripes were down 19.1 percent in the first quarter versus the fourth quarter, and off 13.7 percent from the same period the year before. Not surprisingly, a similar trend was obvious among the top three lenders. For instance, Wells Fargo saw consumer criticisms fall 11.1 percent QoQ and 28.4 percent YoY. For Bank of America, the drop-offs were 21.3 percent and 22.2 percent, respectively. JPMorgan Chase had declines of 11.3 percent on a quarterly basis and 16.3 percent on a yearly basis, while fourth-ranked U.S. Bancorp had ...

Worth Noting

CFPB is Investigating Bankrate. Bankrate revealed recently that the CFPB has issued civil investigative demands to the company and certain employees in an effort to seek documents and answer questions relating to Bankrate’s quality control process for its online mortgage interest rate tables. The company has cooperated in responding to the CIDs, Bankrate said in a Form 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “The company received a communication from the CFPB inviting the company to respond to the CFPB’s identified issues in the form of a notice of opportunity to respond and advise during which the CFPB identified potential claims it might bring against the company,” the filing said. Bankrate said it has submitted a response that it ...

Vendor Update/Looking Ahead

DocMagic Says It Will be Ready for TRID, Delay or No Delay. Industry vendor DocMagic, Inc., based in Torrance, CA, announced recently that the CFPB’s proposed delay in implementing the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule will have no bearing on its plans to be ready to meet the bureau’s originally planned Aug. 1 due date. “The CFPB only stated that they will be issuing a ‘proposed amendment’ to delay the rule to Oct. 1, which means it could possibly finalize a shorter time period,” said Rich Horn, TRID legal advisor to DocMagic and former senior counsel and special advisor at the CFPB. Horn led the production of the 1,888 page final TRID rule and the design and consumer testing of ...

Poll

A lot has been written about the ‘Millennial Generation’ being key to the future of the housing/mortgage market, but how much of your mortgage workforce includes Millennials – those born roughly between the years 1980 to 1999?

Less than 10 percent
11 to 30 percent
Greater than 30 percent
It’s so small we can’t even measure it.
We’re tired of reading about how important Millennials are…

vote to see results
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