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Volume 25 - Number 19

September 15, 2014

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Mortgage Lenders Need to Get With The TRID Now, Antonakes Urges

CFPB Deputy Director Steve Antonakes told attendees at the North Carolina Bankers Association’s mortgage conference last week that lenders need to start prepping for the bureau’s impending TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, known in bureau-speak these days as the “TRID.” While the use of the TRID’s new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms is not required until August 2015, “mortgage lenders should already be working on the new rule and getting ready now,” Antonakes urged. “Significant changes to business operations and technology platforms will require close collaboration with third-party service providers. “While many mortgage institutions are already deep into implementing these changes, we want to make sure that everyone understands the need to be focusing on August 2015 now,” Antonakes emphasized...

“Treacherous,” Complex TRID Generates Host of Concerns

The CFPB’s integrated disclosure rule will be “treacherous” for mortgage lenders and will likely be as challenging to comply with as its massive size and complexity suggests, according to top industry experts. Speaking to attendees of an Inside Mortgage Finance webinar last week on the CFPB’s TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule – known as “TRID” – Rod Alba, senior regulatory counsel for the American Bankers Association, rattled off a number of concerns that mortgage lenders still have with the new rule, which is set to take effect Aug. 1, 2015. “The regulation is enormously voluminous in length. The sheer size of this rule, we think, makes this regulation treacherous for banks in terms of liability, in terms of enforcement, in terms of understanding ...

More Rules Coming From CFPB by Year’s End, Cordray Tells Senators

If lenders think they have a full plate of regulations to digest, just wait. More appetizers and main courses are on the way, courtesy of the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. For the real estate finance industry, there is more to follow all the mortgage-related rules that took effect in January of this year, or the integrated disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which takes effect in August of 2015. “This summer, we also issued a proposed rule to implement changes Congress made to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in appearance before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee ...

CFPB Issues Final Rule for ‘Larger Participants’ in Remittances Sector

Late last week, the CFPB issued one of its “larger participants” final rules, this one asserting the bureau’s regulatory authority over larger nonbank providers of international money transfers, otherwise known as remittances. The CFPB said the new rule – largely unchanged from the proposed rule released in January – will help ensure that such providers are complying with the bureau’s existing protections for consumers sending money abroad. Under the final rule, as of Dec. 1, 2014, examiners from the bureau will be able to scrutinize larger nonbank international money transfer providers for compliance with the bureau’s original remittances rule, which was issued back in October 2013. At the top of the list are tougher disclosures. Under federal law, remittance transfer providers generally ...

Top 3 Money Transfer Providers Generate Most Consumer Gripes

Long-time leaders in the money transfer space Western Union and MoneyGram – along with relative newcomer PayPal – are collectively responsible for a huge 62 percent of the complaints consumers filed with the CFPB about their wire transfer transactions over the last year, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside the CFPB. Western Union had the dubious distinction of leading the way with 356 cumulative gripes from the second quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2014. The biggest belly-ache about the company fit into the “fraud or scam” category, with 160 such citations, followed by “money not available as promised,” which was cited by 56 consumers. MoneyGram came in with the second-largest number of consumer grievances (215), with ...

CFPB Warns Credit Card Issuers About Interest-Rate Promos

The CFPB recently warned credit card companies of the risk of engaging in deceptive and/or abusive acts and practices in connection with solicitations that offer a promotional annual percentage rate (APR) on a particular transaction – such as convenience checks, deferred interest/promotional interest rate purchases, and balance transfers – over a defined period of time. The bureau said it is concerned that some companies are luring consumers with offers of reduced or zero interest for a specific purchase or balances transferred from another credit card, and then hitting them with surprise interest charges. In CFPB Bulletin 2014-02, the bureau states that it has observed that some card issuers do not adequately convey in their marketing materials that a consumer who accepts such ...

Lender Reps See Potential and Concern in Use of Mobile Tech

Smaller financial institutions told the CFPB they see some positive possibilities for facilitating the banking needs of certain economically vulnerable segments of society through the use of mobile technologies. However, there are certain limitations with current capabilities, as well as unique security and fraud concerns. “The increased availability and use of not only mobile phones but mobile devices across a wide spectrum of sizes, weights and portability, as well as the continuing expansion of the mobile banking functions and capabilities of those devices, offer opportunity to expand bank services to current banking customers as well as those who are termed unbanked or underbanked,” the American Bankers Association said. While mobile banking offers potential for financial inclusion, it is not a ...

Waters’ Bill Would Task CFPB With Multiple Credit-Reporting Reforms

The CFPB would have a handful of new oversight responsibilities for the credit-reporting sector under a discussion draft of possible legislation entitled the “Fair Credit Reporting Improvement Act of 2014,” circulated last week by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. Among the draft’s provisions is a directive for the bureau to set standards for validating the accuracy and predictive value of credit score algorithms, formulas, models, programs, and mechanisms…

Rep. Maloney Urges CFPB to Act On Overdraft Fees, Despite Trends

In what looks like an example of a minority party member of Congress trying to outflank the majority party, Rep. Carol Maloney, D-NY, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, wrote CFPB Director Richard Cordray last week and urged the agency take specific steps to address certain checking account overdraft practices. Some of her suggestions are included in legislation she introduced last year that has not been taken up by committee. Maloney’s recommendations come despite indications that most bank customers overall pay little or nothing for their monthly banking services. Referencing a related study issued by the bureau in July, Maloney said the agency’s report provides “indisputable evidence” that consumers who have not opted in to overdraft protection are ...

Is a Uniform Code for the Debt- Buying Industry In the Works?

The CFPB is reviewing the debt collection practices of debt buyers as part of its broader expected rulemaking on debt collection. According to Alan Kaplinsky, a practice leader with the Ballard Spahr law firm in Philadelphia, those practices could become the subject of a uniform state debt-buying code if the newly authorized Study Committee on the Transfer and Recording of Consumer Debt concludes that a uniform code will produce significant benefits to the public. The new panel was authorized this summer by the non-partisan Uniform Law Commission. The ULC noted that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2013 issued a “best practices” document that expressed concern about safety, soundness and consumer protection issues involved with such sales ...

OIG Auditing CFPB’s Contract Management, Hiring Processes

The CFPB’s Office of Inspector General has a handful of ongoing reviews and audits underway with a projected fourth-quarter completion date, most notably audits of the bureau’s contract management and hiring processes. The OIG said its audit of the CFPB’s contract management process is a follow-up to the evaluation of the bureau’s contract solicitation and selection process. The OIG’s focus this time around will include the CFPB’s compliance with applicable rules established by what’s known as the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and the effectiveness of the bureau’s internal controls related to contract management. On a related note, the OIG is also evaluating the bureau’s hiring process, including its administration of recruitment and selection incentives to recruit new employees. This review was ...

Hanna Files Motion to Dismiss CFPB Enforcement Action

Last week, the law firm of Fredrick J. Hanna & Associates filed a motion to dismiss the enforcement action brought by the CFPB against it back in July. The bureau accused the firm and its three principal partners – Frederick Hanna, Joseph Cooling and Robert Winter – of operating a debt-collection lawsuit mill that used illegal tactics to intimidate consumers into paying debts they may not owe. Between 2009 and 2013, the firm filed more than 350,000 debt-collection lawsuits in Georgia alone, according to the CFPB. The bureau further alleged the defendants collected millions of dollars each year through these lawsuits, often from consumers who may not actually have owed the debts. But in its motion to dismiss, Hanna & Associates argued ...

Legislative Update/Worth Noting/Looking Ahead

Industry Tries to Rustle Up Support for QM Points-and-Fees Legislation. The Mortgage Action Alliance, the grassroots advocacy group of the Mortgage Bankers Association, recently issued a “call to action” to its members to get on the telephone and call their Senators and urge them to pass legislation that would make key changes to the way points and fees are calculated under the qualified mortgage definition in the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule. S. 1577, the Mortgage Choice Act of 2013, introduced last year by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, exempts any affiliated title charges and escrow charges for taxes and insurance from the QM cap on points and fees. Manchin’s bill is a legislative companion to H.R. 3211, the Mortgage Choice Act, which ...

Poll

Over the next six months we plan to hire this many more additional loan officers:

1 to 10 (We're being careful.)
11 to 30 (We're optimistic.)
More than 30 (We're in a growth mode as the banks get out.)
We're cutting back. (Are you nuts? It's ugly out there.)

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