Advanced Search

Volume 25 - Number 23

November 10, 2014

Subscribers to Inside the CFPB have full access to all its stories and data online. Visitors may become subscribers for full access or may purchase individual articles and data.

Industry Wants Lighter HMDA Burden, Groups Tells CFPB

Now that the mortgage lending industry has had about three months to comb through the details of the CFPB’s proposed expansion of reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, it has found more cause to dislike it than upon first glance. “While we support the purpose of HMDA – to provide information on the availability of credit in the home mortgage market – we are concerned that the proposal to markedly increase HMDA data reporting and coverage goes beyond the law’s purposes in some areas and will unduly harm competition and increase costs in others,” a handful of leading industry groups told the bureau in a joint comment letter last week. “At the same time, we do not believe that the ...

Consumer Advocates Want CFPB To Demand More in HMDA Rule

Consumer advocacy groups say the CFPB isn’t going far enough to expand mortgage industry reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The California Reinvestment Coalition and 41 other state organizations suggested a handful of changes to the proposal, each of which would likely add to the reporting burden for companies. Among the changes the California groups want is requiring loan modification data to be reported by banks and servicers, along with disaggregating the overly broad “Asian” race category to allow for more accurate reporting. They also would like to see the CFPB capture more information about languages spoken during a loan transaction, and have companies disclose if a borrower is going to own a property with somebody who is ...

Bureau IDs Unfair, Deceptive Student Loan Servicer Practices

CFPB examiners have identified a number of unfair or deceptive acts or practices on the part of an unspecified number of bank and nonbank servicers of federal and private student loans, according to the latest supervisory highlights report released recently by the bureau. One problematic practice involved “one or more supervised entities” allocating partial payments in a way that maximizes late fees. CFPB examiners have reviewed how servicers allocate payments when a borrower pays less than the total amount due on all of the loans in the borrower’s account, according to the report. “Examiners found that partial payments were being allocated proportionally ... among all the loans, resulting in all of the loans in a borrower’s account becoming delinquent,” said ...

Mortgage Servicer Compliance Mixed, Supervisory Report Shows

In the first half of 2014, CFPB examiners conducted targeted reviews for compliance with the bureau’s new mortgage servicing rules and found mixed results, according to the agency’s latest supervisory highlight report. For example, the new rules require servicers to maintain policies and procedures to achieve specific objectives in areas such as loss mitigation, servicing transfers and service provider oversight. “In reviewing this area, examiners found that the policies and procedures at several servicers appeared to be reasonably designed to meet the specific objectives laid out in the rule,” said the new report. For instance, some servicers’ policies and procedures clearly outlined the ways in which they access and provide timely and accurate information. “These policies and procedures included specific ...

Empowered GOP Likely to Raise Pressure on CFPB Come January

The consensus among political observers is that last week’s big Republican wave on Election Day will result in a lot more political bluster from critics of the CFPB on Capitol Hill. However, it’s unlikely to have enough short-term intensity or long-term staying power to effect any big changes that could get past the veto pen of a strongly supportive President Barack Obama. “While there may be a push for the elimination of the CFPB, such a change is highly unlikely given the [Obama] administration’s support for the bureau,” the American Bankers Association said in a post-election analysis. “Expect increased scrutiny in the Senate on the CFPB’s proposals and a continued push to change the structure of the CFPB from a ...

CFPB Faces Major Management Challenges, Inspector General Says

The CFPB has a handful of significant managerial hurdles to overcome that threaten to hamper the bureau’s accomplishment of its strategic objectives, according to a new report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General. The first major challenge is improving the operational efficiency of its supervisory program for depository and non-depository institutions. The OIG started by saying the bureau has made significant progress towards developing and implementing its program in this regard. Still, more can be done. The OIG said the bureau’s management will focus on this as the agency works to “clear a considerable number of draft examination reports that have yet to be issued, improve its reporting timeliness, ensure the timely recording of data in its tracking system, ...

Mortgage Complaints to CFPB Fall for Fifth Time in Six Quarters

Total mortgage-related complaints filed by borrowers with the CFPB dropped again in the third quarter of 2014, the fifth drop in the last six quarters, according to a new analysis by Inside the CFPB. Data contained in the CFPB’s consumer complaint database show that such consumer gripes fell 17.6 percent in the third quarter of the year, and were down 23.6 percent from the same period in 2013. Total mortgage complaints have been trending downward since they peaked at 15,239 in the first quarter of 2013. Third quarter 2014 grumblings came to 8,995. A closer inspection of the data reveals that consumer gripes about their home loans are down across the board [With two exclusive data charts] ...

CSBS Should Delay MCR Changes Pending CFPB Rules, Groups Say

Numerous mortgage banking trade groups from across the U.S. urged the Conference of State Bank Supervisors to hold off on making changes to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System mortgage call report (MCR) until after the CFPB’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rulemaking is final and the bureau’s integrated disclosures have been implemented. The MCR proposal, released Oct. 1, 2014, would expand the current data collected to create a new definition of “application,” and it would require reporting on the amount and count of closed loans classified as qualified mortgages under the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule. Further, the proposal would require additional nationwide and state-specific servicing reporting, along with additional fields to capture changes in loan amount between the time of application and ...

Sidestep Common Pitfalls to Avoid UDAAP Enforcement Actions

There are a host of legal land mines that mortgage lenders must avoid if they want to keep from becoming the target of a CFPB enforcement action under its unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) authority, according to top legal experts. Andrea Mitchell, a partner with the BuckleySandler law firm, told attendees at an Inside Mortgage Finance webinar last week that there are a number of representations lenders should stay away from in their marketing pitches. “Say what you mean and mean what you say,” Mitchell said. She then rattled off a list of potentially problematic terms to avoid, such as “free” or “no cost,” “best rates available,” “fastest” or “faster than…,” “improve/repair your credit” or “eliminate your ...

CFPB Asks Court to Permanently Bar Morgan Drexen from Debt Biz

Last month, the long-running dispute between the CFPB and Morgan Drexen, a debt settlement firm, took another turn – this time with the bureau filing a motion for summary judgment in which it seeks an injunction permanently barring the firm and its owner and CEO, Walter Ledda, from providing debt relief services in the future. The bureau also is pushing for $90.7 million from the defendants in restitution, as well as a civil money penalty in an unspecified amount. The CFPB said it brought this action to stop a nationwide debt settlement “scheme that preys on financially distressed consumers who are in debt.” Defendants Morgan Drexen and Ledda and the attorneys with whom they are affiliated promise consumers that they will ...

Castle & Cooke Mortgage Files For Dismissal in RESPA, TILA Dispute

Castle & Cooke Mortgage late last month filed a motion to dismiss a putative class-action brought by one of the aggrieved parties who had already been compensated under the terms of the settlement the lender reached late last year with the CFPB. In Luis Cabrales v. Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC, plaintiff Luis Cabrales contends that the lender improperly compensated its loan officers by giving them bonuses for putting customers in more expensive loans than what they qualified for. The plaintiff sued for violation of the Truth in Lending Act – a claim that Castle & Cooke is not challenging at this point. However, Cabrales also brought other causes of action: violation of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Practices ...

Worth Noting/The Week Ahead

Disparate Impact Theory of Legal Liability Struck Down. Last week, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dealt a heavy blow to the position of the Department of Housing and Urban Development – as well as the CFPB – that disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act. In American Insurance Association v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the judge struck down HUD’s disparate impact rule, determining that the Fair Housing Act prohibits “disparate treatment only.” In promulgating its disparate impact rule, the court said HUD exceeded its authority under the Administrative Procedures Act. “The ruling is in line with what we have long believed the law to be and consistent with what we argued in ...

Poll

What is it going to take to convince lenders to loosen the credit box (i.e., remove underwriting overlays)?

The recent rep and warranty changes announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency should go a long way in protecting lenders from future buybacks and help expand mortgage credit.
There won’t be any significant elimination of underwriting overlays until the government stops seeking huge mortgage-related penalties and settlements from lenders.
There shouldn’t be any expansion of the mortgage credit box since looser underwriting is what caused the recent mortgage crisis.

vote to see results
Housing Pulse