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Volume 27 - Number 21

October 17, 2016

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PHH Ruling Seen as a Big Threat To CFPB Enforcement Actions

The CFPB took a whipping last week in the long-awaited court ruling in its dispute with PHH Mortgage – so much so, in fact, that not only are its future enforcement actions likely to be curtailed, but even past actions might be challenged by the affected industry participants. “The ramifications of this case go far beyond restricting the CFPB’s reach, clarifying the interpretation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and resolving the question of how statutes of limitation apply to the CFPB’s enforcement actions,” said Craig Nazzaro, of counsel with the Baker Donelson law firm in Atlanta, in a review of the case. As he sees it, this case makes clear that the bureau has exceeded its bounds and that ...

Court Declares CFPB Leadership Structure Unconstitutional

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit brought the powerful CFPB down to earth in its legal wrangling with PHH Mortgage, ruling that two aspects of the bureau’s structure – the dismissal of the director of the agency only for cause, and the single directorship as opposed to a multi-member bipartisan commission – were unconstitutional. “As an independent agency with just a single director, the CFPB represents a sharp break from historical practice, lacks the critical internal check on arbitrary decision-making, and poses a far greater threat to individual liberty than does a multi-member independent agency,” wrote Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh on behalf of the court. “All of that raises grave constitutional doubts about the CFPB’s ...

PHH Wins Big Showdown With CFPB, Agency Likely to Appeal

PHH Mortgage – and the rest of the mortgage industry, for that matter – came out with a clear and decisive win against the CFPB last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the $109 million disgorgement order imposed on the lender by the director of the bureau, Richard Cordray. PHH argued that the CFPB incorrectly interpreted RESPA Section 8 to bar so-called captive reinsurance arrangements involving mortgage lenders such as PHH, their affiliated reinsurers and private mortgage insurers. The lender also asserted that, in any event, the CFPB departed from the consistent prior interpretations issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and that the bureau then retroactively applied its new interpretation of ...

Life Under TRID: As TRID 2.0 Deadline Approaches, Support Emerges From Industry

With the public comment period about to close on the CFPB’s TRID clarifying proposed rule, a few industry voices of support have emerged among the comment letters submitted so far by rank-and-file industry representatives. For instance, Debbie Ingle, executive director of mortgage and real estate lending for Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, commended the bureau for issuing the proposed amendments to clarify the federal mortgage disclosure requirements under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. “The proposed amendments are beneficial and will provide mortgage lenders with clarification and improved guidance,” said Ingle. “The amendments serve as a good first step to help mortgage lenders resolve the complex implications of the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) ...

Former TRID Architect Shares His Perspective on Rule’s Anniversary

Earlier this month, the CFPB’s controversial TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule – TRID – turned one year old. In an email exchange with Inside the CFPB, former bureau official and TRID architect Richard Horn, who now heads his own law firm in Washington, DC, addressed the progress the industry has made in adopting the rule, and the challenges that remain. Horn began by saying he thinks the industry has generally done a great job with the extremely difficult task of implementing TRID. Also, “I am very pleased that some of the recent industry surveys of consumers after TRID have shown that consumers are experiencing the intended benefits,” he said. “There are challenges still, but it’s a good sign that the CFPB issued the ...

Impact of TRID on Industry Won’t Be Known for Years, Attorney Says

One year into the TRID rule, the mortgage industry has gotten used to the new disclosure landscape. But until consistent legal precedents are established by the courts, true certainty will be elusive, and that likely means years will have to transpire before the rule’s full impact will be known. “I think the industry as a whole has met the challenge and settled into the TRID process, which everyone knows was radically different than what it replaced,” said Donald Lampe, a partner in the financial services group in the Washington, DC, office of the Morrison & Foerster law firm. “And so I see the industry settling in to the use of these new forms and the changes that these disclosures imposed ...

Lenders Are Adapting to TRID Regime, But at a Big Cost

Now that mortgage lenders have had a year to digest the CFPB’s controversial TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule, smaller financial institutions have learned to cope to a certain degree, but there are still challenges and costs. That’s the perspective of Ron Haynie, senior vice president of mortgage finance policy and executive vice president of mortgage services for the Independent Community Bankers of America. “I guess the good news is the market didn’t seize up and mortgage closings didn’t come to a screeching halt or average turn times didn’t get out to 60 days plus,” he told Inside the CFPB recently. “While things slowed down in the beginning, average turn times seemed to have settled around 46 days. And while that’s still ...

Supporters, Opponents of Dodd-Frank Put Out Dueling Claims

The White House Council of Economic Advisers put out a report recently downplaying the negative effects that the Dodd-Frank Act has had on community banks. “Economic evidence finds that community banks remain strong across a range of measures, from lending growth to geographic reach, including their performance since financial reform passed in 2010,” the report stated. The Obama administration report also asserts that access to community banks remains robust and their services have continued to grow in the years since Dodd-Frank has taken effect, “though this trend has not been uniform across community banks, with mid-sized and larger community banks seeing stronger growth than the smallest ones,” it conceded. “At the same time, though, many community banks – especially the smallest ...

Industry Opposed to Proposal to Add Survey to Complaint Database

Back in August, the CFPB proposed to dump the current “dispute” function in the consumer complaint closing process and replace it with a short survey – an idea that went over like a lead balloon with the mortgage industry. Through the proposed survey, a customer would have the opportunity to state, using a one- to five-point scale, whether he agreed or disagreed with the following three statements regarding the company’s response to, and handling of, his complaint. They are: “The company addressed all of my issues,” “I understood the company’s response,” and “The company did what it said it would do.” The customer would also be given the opportunity to provide a narrative description to explain the rating. The Consumer Bankers ...

TRID News in Brief

Comments on TRID 2.0 Are Due Tuesday. Representatives of the mortgage industry have until 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, to submit their comments to the CFPB regarding its TRID 2.0 clarifying proposed rule.... CFPB Issues Revised TRID Guide to CD, LE Forms. The CFPB recently published an updated guide to the TRID loan estimate and closing disclosure forms, which was last revised in July 2015.... Bureau Releases Updated TRID Compliance Guide for Small Entities. Earlier this month, the CFPB put out a revised small entity compliance guide for the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, which was last updated in July 2015....

Other News in Brief

MBA Presses CFPB to Review PACE Lending. Earlier this year, the Mortgage Bankers Association wrote to the CFPB to express its concerns about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) lending programs, one of which has to do with a borrower’s ability to repay the financing.... CFPB Brings $28.5 Million Enforcement Action Against Navy Fed. Last week, the CFPB and Navy Federal Credit Union, the largest CU in the U.S., signed a consent order requiring the institution to pay roughly $23 million in redress to victims harmed by its allegedly improper debt collection actions, along with a civil money penalty of $5.5 million to the bureau.... CFPB Announces Senior Leadership Changes. The CFPB recently announced some senior leadership changes at the bureau, such as John Coleman, who will serve as deputy general counsel for litigation and oversight in the legal division....


After the November elections, how long will it take for a new Congress and White House to pass GSE reform legislation?

I’m confident a bill will be passed the first year.


2 to 3 years. GSE reform is complicated.


Sadly it won’t happen in a Clinton or Trump first term.


Not in my lifetime.


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