Legal Issues

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Legal Issues.

February 5, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Mortgage Shopping Firm Loses Patent Lawsuit

A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently upheld rulings that went against Mortgage Grader, a loan shopping website that has filed a number of patent-related lawsuits. The court upheld a ruling by a lower court that found that Mortgage Grader’s claims related to the “abstract idea” of anonymous loan shopping and that the patents obtained by the firm didn’t include an “inventive concept.” Mortgage Grader filed a lawsuit in January 2013 against Costco Wholesale and ...


February 5, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Court Rules Bankruptcy Attempt to Lessen Fannie Payments Unjust

Fannie Mae won an appeal in which an apartment building that filed for bankruptcy to reduce payments it owed to Fannie did not act in good faith. According to a recent court ruling, the judge reversed the decision and said the bankruptcy court erred in allowing the plan in the first place. After missing one monthly payment of approximately $55,000 in December 2009, four months later the Memphis-based apartment company filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. The bankruptcy prevented Fannie from being able to foreclose on the apartment building. The apartment, Village Green, argued against the ruling, but the...


February 5, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Fairholme Pushes for Government to Release Documents

The case of Fairholme Fund v. The United States will continue to linger in the courts as the battle for getting the government to release the bulk of the documents pertaining to the preferred stock purchase agreements between the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Treasury plays out with a motion filed this week. “We are now in a struggle with the defendants, both the Department of Treasury and FHFA, over claims of the deliberative process privilege they sought to keep from having to produce thousands and thousands of documents, even in redacted form,” Charles Cooper, attorney with Cooper & Kirk, the law firm representing the shareholder plaintiffs, told Inside The GSEs.


February 5, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Originators/Sellers Win Big in U.S. Appeals Court, Judges Agree Claims Accrue When a Loan Is Sold

A federal appeals court in Denver unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling that a claim of damage related to an originator/seller’s misrepresentation accrues when the loan is sold. Ruling in six cases involving plaintiffs Lehman Brothers Holdings and Aurora Commercial Corp. versus Universal American Mortgage Co. and Standard Pacific Mortgage, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected plaintiffs’ contentions that their claims were really “indemnification” claims that did not accrue until they bought the loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The overarching issue in this complicated case is...


February 5, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Morgan Stanley Settles RMBS Claims With FDIC, Claims Against Deutsche Bank Given Green Light

Legacy RMBS-related legal action continued this week in both Washington, DC, and in New York City as the fallout from the financial crisis continues. In the nation’s capital, Morgan Stanley agreed to a second settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., this time for $62.95 million, to resolve RMBS-related claims stemming from the failure of three financial institutions in the wake of the collapse of the mortgage market. The institutions are...


February 4, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Rhode Island Supreme Court Allows Super Priority Lien to Extinguish First-Lien Mortgage, Paralleling Ruling in Nevada

A recent ruling by the Rhode Island Supreme Court has increased concerns that state courts will allow liens for homeowner associations and related entities to supersede first-lien mortgages. In late December, the R.I. Supreme Court ruled that a condo foreclosure sale conducted pursuant to the R.I. Condominium Act can extinguish a prior-recorded first mortgage if the lender fails to redeem the mortgage within 30 days of the foreclosure. The decision reversed a ruling by a lower court, which found that the borrower’s mortgage survived the condo association’s lien foreclosure sale. The Mortgage Bankers Association said...


February 4, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Wells Fargo in Record Settlement with FHA and DOJ, First Tennessee to Resolve Discrimination Complaint

Wells Fargo has agreed in principle to a $1.2 billion settlement to resolve FHA-related civil claims brought by the federal government while First Tennessee Bank has agreed to subsidize interest-rate reductions on home mortgages as part of a $1.9 million settlement agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Wells Fargo settlement was disclosed in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If finalized, the settlement would be the largest for FHA. So far, the FHA has collected...


February 4, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lower, Sustained Interest Rates Causing Headaches In the Bulk MSR Market; A Pullback by PE Firms?

The ongoing decline in interest rates is wreaking havoc on the sale of “bulk” mortgage servicing portfolios, causing investors to pull back on pricing, and sending some bidders to the exits, at least for a little while. Servicing advisors who play in the space confirmed to Inside Mortgage Finance that pricing isn’t what it used to be, and is off peaks seen a year ago when bids – in retrospect – were too aggressive and later resulted in write-downs. Mark Garland, president of MountainView Servicing Group, Denver, admitted...


January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Onboarding Phases Down to Three, FHA Reminds Lenders to Register

On Jan. 21, 2016, the FHA issued a reminder to lenders to register for one of the three remaining phases of Electronic Appraisal Delivery (EAD) Onboarding, before the electronic appraisal submission requirements become mandatory on June 27, 2016. The remaining onboarding phases are the following: Feb. 15-April 15 (registration closes on Feb. 14); March 15-May 15 (registration closes March 14); and April 15-June 15 (registration closes on April 14). All appraisals for FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 27, 2016, must be submitted to FHA through the ...


January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Extends Due-and-Payable Notifications for Problem HECMs

The FHA has given lenders and servicers an additional extension through April 17, 2016, to submit due-and-payable notices when Home Equity Conversion Mortgage borrowers fall behind on their property tax or insurance payments. The extended deadline also provides FHA lenders and servicers an opportunity to pursue loss mitigation before initiating foreclosureThe latest deadline extension was the second such extension. In April 2015, the FHA announced a policy change providing HECM lenders and servicers an additional 60 days in which to initiate foreclosure proceedings against any troubled HECM borrower with a case number issued prior to Aug. 4, 2014, with a non-borrowing spouse. Lenders and servicers are required to comply with reasonable-diligence timeframes for such HECMs. Debenture interest will not be curtailed during this period. The April policy allows mortgagees full discretion as to when to use the extension.


January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Private Flood Insurance Can Be FHA’s Ally During Emergencies

The FHA flood insurance requirements could make it difficult or more risky for lenders to originate FHA loans in states with significant flood risk or where flood maps may not accurately reflect the current flood risks, the Mortgage Bankers Association warned. Testifying during a recent hearing on private flood insurance, Steven Bradshaw, executive vice president of Standard Mortgage and MBA representative, warned that FHA’s current requirement for lenders to secure flood insurance on properties only if it is located within a high flood-risk zone has had some unexpected adverse impact, particularly in the wake of hurricane-related catastrophes. Bradshaw noted that many homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina were not located in special flood-hazard areas (SFHA) and therefore were not required to have flood insurance. “Sadly, these borrowers were often uninsured and the ...


January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA, USDA Issue 2016 Guidelines For Post-Bankruptcy Lending

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service have issued 2016 guidelines for lending to borrowers who have gone through a bankruptcy, foreclosure or a short sale. Under VA guidelines, borrowers emerging from a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy may apply for a VA loan two years after the bankruptcy discharge. Borrowers with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may qualify for a new VA loan if they have made at least 12 months of payments and the lender concludes that they have reestablished satisfactory credit. Before the bankruptcy-tainted borrower applies for a VA loan, however, the trustee or the bankruptcy judge must approve the new loan. The lender may put in a good word on behalf of the borrower provided the latter has met all requirements for a new loan. Borrowers may apply for a VA loan two years after a foreclosure or a short sale. In the case of ...


January 29, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Guide to Understanding Interim Qualified Mortgage Rule

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance to help VA lenders understand better the agency’s interim final rule on a borrower’s ability to repay and qualified mortgages. The guidance was published in a frequently asked questions (FAQs) format to clarify and explain both the VA’s ATR and QM standards. The VA interim final rule became effective on May 9, 2014, the date it was published in the Federal Register. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 requires residential mortgage lenders to make a reasonable and good faith determination that the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan according to its terms. The statute directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to develop and implement an ATR/QM rule. Under the CFPB’s final rule, a qualified mortgage is a category of loans that have certain, more stable features that ...


January 29, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Busy Time for MBS Litigation Marked by Settlements, Set-Asides, Dismissal, Court Win

Federal courts and a state attorney general have been busy this past week churning out decisions and announcing settlements on a number of cases involving legacy non-agency MBS, Wall Street financial institutions and pension funds. A hearing on a proposed $272 million cash settlement of two class-action lawsuits against Goldman Sachs involving legacy MBS will be held on April 13, 2016, at 10 a.m. in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Attorneys for the plaintiffs, NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund and the Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit, sent out...


January 28, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA’s Membership Rule Banning Captive Insurers From FHLBanks Could Face Legislative and Legal Opposition

A battle on the legislative or even legal front may be brewing that challenges the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s recent decision to exclude certain types of insurance companies from membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank system. The biggest impact of the final rule would be to force a number of real estate investment trusts that have formed captives to gain access to the FHLBanks to give up low-cost FHLBank advances. “The impact on mortgage liquidity and credit access should be...


January 28, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Much at Stake for Industry as Court Sets Date for Oral Arguments in Dispute Between PHH and CFPB

The mortgage industry’s continued use of marketing services agreements and other affiliated business arrangements hangs in the balance in a long-running dispute between PHH Corp. and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will be the subject of oral arguments April 12, 2016, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. “The PHH appeal is one of the most important Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act opinions to be decided by the courts in decades,” legal expert Phillip Schulman told Inside Mortgage Finance this week. “It will determine whether Section 8(c)(2) of the act merely clarifies the Section 8(a) anti-kickback provisions of the statute, as CFPB Director Richard Cordray claims, or whether it creates a safe harbor that exempts payments from a RESPA violation if those payments are for goods provided or services rendered, as the plain language of the act and several previous circuit courts have held.” Further, “This appeal will have...


January 25, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Vendor Update

Credit Plus Offers Reps-and-Warrants Coverage to Help Lenders Cope with CFPB, OCC Expectations. Credit Plus, a Salisbury, MD-based third-party verifications specialist for mortgage professionals, has come out with representations-and warranties-insurance coverage for all of its services, responding to the CFPB’s and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s expectation that lenders are now ultimately responsible for practicing effective third-party risk management. The insurance coverage allows customers to better defend their companies against the negative financial consequences of a possible loan default and the resulting repurchase requests, the company said. “While we are confident in the quality of our verification services, we are also a strong proponent of best practices,” said Greg Holmes, national director of sales and marketing at ...


January 25, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB News in Brief

PHH, CFPB Have a Court Date. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case of PHH Corp. v. CFPB on April 12 at 9:30 am ET. Analysts at Compass Point Research & Trading said in a client note that “the oral argument date is consistent with our expectations and supports our 4Q16 estimate for a decision.” The crux of the dispute is the bureau’s assertion that PHH violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act by illegally referring borrowers to mortgage insurance companies in exchange for kickbacks. Back in January 2014, the CFPB initiated an administrative proceeding against PHH. Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot subsequently held that PHH’s referrals of ...


January 25, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

OIG Sees Room to Improve CFPB’s Victim Identification Process

The CFPB Office of Inspector General found the victim identification process associated with payouts from the bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund is generally effective but could be improved. “During our audit of the CPF, we noted an opportunity to enhance the victim identification process,” the OIG said in a new report. Specifically, the OIG found that the Office of the Chief Financial Officer has not documented the roles and responsibilities of the Office of Technology and Innovation (T&I) in the victim identification process. “The victim identification process is data dependent and in some instances requires the involvement of T&I to produce preliminary lists of eligible victims,” the report added. The OIG attributed the absence of documented roles and responsibilities for T&I ...


January 25, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

HMDA Rule Adds to Regulatory Burden, Privacy Concerns

Credit union representatives are urging the CFPB to address the increased regulatory burden associated with complying with the bureau’s new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act regulation, as well as related privacy issues the new rule raises. “The final rule added a significant number of new data points to the reporting requirements established in Regulation C, while modifying almost all the existing data points,” said Alexander Monterrubio, regulatory affairs counsel for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, in a recent comment letter to the CFPB. While some of the data points were specifically mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, many of them were added at the bureau’s discretion, and that will prove to be problematic. “These discretionary data points have swelled the ...


January 25, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

TRID Non-Compliance Risk is Modest for Investors: Fitch

Investors in non-agency U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities are unlikely to face much in the way of risk stemming from lender non-compliance with the new requirements of the CFPB’s integrated disclosure rule known as TRID, according to analysts at Fitch Ratings. “Although the frequency of non-compliance issues will likely be elevated initially as lenders implement the new changes, those non-compliance issues are not likely to translate into higher risk for bondholders,” the analysts said in a recent report. Their initial due diligence sampling of prime jumbo mortgages in the secondary market has revealed a high level of compliance issues thus far. However, most of them appear to be good-faith errors. The ratings service is continuing its discussions with market participants on ...


January 25, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Attorneys Highlight Take-Aways, Limits of TRID ‘Clarifying’ Letter

The recent letter from CFPB Director Richard Cordray to the Mortgage Bankers Association clarifying certain aspects of the bureau’s integrated disclosure rule has some important take-aways – and certain limitations – the industry should be mindful of, according to some top industry attorneys. In a recent online blog posting, attorneys Donald Lampe and Leonard Chanin of Morrison & Foerster LLP identified a handful of key take-aways for mortgage market participants related to the TRID rule. First, “If mortgage loan originators and others involved in the origination, financing and sales of mortgage loans are not familiar with the benefits of [specific] Know Before You Owe disclosure cure provisions, now is the time to assess them,” the attorneys began. They then noted that Cordray’s ...


January 22, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Shareholders Adamant Treasury Sweep is Illegal in DE, VA

After the Federal Housing Finance Agency filed a motion in November to dismiss a case introduced by two GSE shareholders over the summer, the shareholders have opposed the motion to dismiss and are demanding a jury trial. The original complaint stated that with Fannie chartered under Delaware law and Freddie under Virginia’s jurisdiction, the preferred stock of a corporation cannot be given a cumulative dividend right equal to all the net worth of the corporation “in perpetuity.” In a nutshell, shareholders David Jacobs and Gary Hindes argue that the net worth sweep in which Treasury takes the bulk of the GSEs’ profits is illegal under state law.


January 22, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Goldman Sachs Agrees to a Record Settlement, Claims Against BNYM Given the Green Light

Goldman Sachs last week announced it has agreed to a $5.1 billion settlement, the largest regulatory penalty in the firm’s history, concluding an investigation brought by the Residential MBS Working Group of the U.S. Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The agreement in principle is poised to resolve actual and potential civil claims by the U.S. Department of Justice, the New York and Illinois attorneys general, the National Credit Union Administration (as conservator for several failed credit unions) and the Federal Home Loan Banks of Chicago and Seattle. At issue are...


January 21, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

New Jersey Remains Hardest Hit When It Comes to Foreclosure Timeline, Inventory

The number of foreclosed properties and length of time it takes to foreclose is trending downward, but average time to foreclose is taking nearly three years or more in some states. RealtyTrac recently released its 2015 foreclosure report and noted that it took more than 1,000 days to foreclose in six states in the fourth quarter, with New Jersey leading the way at 1,180 days. That number is...


January 21, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Underwater Homeowners to Be Provided Relief in Goldman Sachs’ $5.1 Billion Settlement Pact with Agencies, State AGs

Part of the $5.1 billion settlement amount Goldman Sachs agreed to in principle with the federal government last week will be used to provide relief for homeowners who owe more than the current appraised value of their homes. The agreement would resolve an ongoing investigation by the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group of the U.S. Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which President Obama established in 2009 to pursue those who played a role in causing the financial crisis. The tentative agreement would resolve...


January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Radian Asserts Compliance as PMIERS Became Effective

Radian Guaranty became the first among seven private mortgage insurers to declare compliance with the regulatory capital standards under the Private Mortgage Insurer Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs). Radian met its PMIERs goals after receiving $325 million in cash and marketable securities from its parent Radian Group in exchange for a surplus note. In addition, the parent firm contributed $50 million to an exclusive affiliated reinsurer of Radian Guaranty. Radian Group expects the capital cushion to increase based in part on expected future financial performance at its MI subsidiary. Monies from other sources, including a profit commission of about $8 million based on performance to date, and $8.5 million in prepaid supplemental ceding commission also contributed to the MI’s capital. Hence, Radian Guaranty is not expected to require any additional capital contributions in order to ...


January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Posts 2016 State Foreclosure Timeframes Following Review

The Department of Veterans Affairs has posted a chart on its web site showing the revised maximum allowable foreclosure timeframes for each state in 2016. State foreclosure timeframes are used in calculating the maximum interest payable on a foreclosure of a VA loan. They are subject to annual reviews and revised as needed. The chart reflects maximum allowable foreclosure periods that include the 210 calendar days for unpaid interest as well as foreclosure periods without the 210 days. Specifically, the chart shows timeframes the VA has determined to be “reasonable and customary” for all states, following an annual review of amounts allowed by other government-related home loan programs, such as FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The chart also lists the maximum amounts that will be paid on a claim processed in the ...


January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Borrowers Emerging from Two-Year Bankruptcy May Obtain FHA Loan

Reading about prospective homebuyers’ experiences in trying to obtain a new FHA loan after emerging from a Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy reveals a great lack of understanding of FHA bankruptcy guidelines. Potential homebuyers apparently are concerned because they have been hearing different required waiting periods. The waiting periods in these stories vary from two to three years, and some were told to start counting from the sheriff sale date rather than from the bankruptcy discharge date. According to the FHA’s 2016 guidelines for bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not disqualify a borrower from seeking FHA financing after hardship if, at the time of case-number assignment, at least two years have elapsed since the date of the bankruptcy discharge. During the two-year period, the borrower must have re-established good credit by making ...


January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Non-Borrower Spouse Issue Arises, VA Explains Use of Loan Guaranty

The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a clarification for non-borrower spouses on VA title documents, which apparently has created some confusion when lenders try to foreclose on VA-backed properties. VA is aware that lenders occasionally make loans to veterans who wish to use their home loan benefit to purchase a home and include their spouse in ownership, but the spouse does not wish to be on the mortgage loan. Including the spouse on the deed but not on the mortgage note can create a problem if the VA loan goes into foreclosure because the non-borrowing spouse’s ownership in the property could defeat the foreclosure action, the VA explained. “Delaying or preventing a foreclosure increases foreclosure claim cost to the government and the veteran,” the agency said. According to the VA guidance, when a loan is originated that includes a ...


January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Quicken Loans to Request Change Of Venue for DOJ’s FCA Lawsuit

Quicken Loan attempt to have a governmen false-claim lawsuit against the lender moved from Washington, DC, to a federal court in Detroit will not necessarily secure a win, according to a mortgage industry attorney. “I think it was more the device Quicken needed in order to become the plaintiff instead of the defendant,” said one attorney who preferred to remain anonymous because his firm handles other legal matters for Quicken Loans. He said it does not matter whether the case is tried in Washington or Detroit but what matters is its actual substance. At the same time, there is no reason why those defenses could not be raised in a DC court, the attorney added. Last month, a federal judge in Detroit dismissed Quicken’s preemptive lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Justice Department for failure to state a claim. Ultimately, the court ...


January 15, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae Issuance Hits New High In Securitized VA, FHA, RHS Loans

Issuers of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities pushed a record $435.80 billion of government-insured loans through the program during 2015, according to a new Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis and ranking. Last year’s total Ginnie MBS issuance topped the previous record of $429.50 billion issued during 2009. The $435.80 billion total for 2015 includes securitization of FHA home-equity conversion mortgages and other single-family loans guaranteed by FHA, the VA, and the Department of Agriculture rural housing program from Ginnie pool-level MBS data that are not truncated. Production in 2015 hit its high-water mark in the third quarter with $128.23 billion in issuance, and then fell 18.0 percent in the final three months of the year. Purchase mortgages continued to account for most Ginnie business in 2015, 58.0 percent of the agency’s forward-mortgage securitizations. But a huge factor in the ... [ Charts ]


January 15, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Commerzbank Sues Four RMBS Trustees Over $1.9B In Losses, Credit Suisse Agrees to $110M Settlement

Legacy non-agency MBS issued before the financial market collapse in 2008 continue to spawn millions in lawsuits. In the Southern District of New York, Commerzbank AG, as an RMBS investor, recently sued Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Wells Fargo and the Bank of New York Mellon in their capacities as MBS trustees on deals that inflicted approximately $1.88 billion in losses on the German bank. Commerzbank claimed it suffered $750 million in losses related to BNYM’s alleged failures ...


January 15, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

IRS Allows MBS Trustee and Master Servicer to Enter Settlement with Investors Without Raising REMIC Issues

The Internal Revenue Service recently provided guidance to an MBS trustee and master servicer confirming that a settlement with investors was compliant with requirements for real estate mortgage investment conduits. While Private Letter Ruling 201601005 applies only to the unidentified parties that sought the guidance from the IRS, industry attorneys suggest that the letter could be useful when structuring settlements with MBS investors. The letter was released ...


January 14, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FTC Report Shows Use of Big Data Both Promising and Problematic

While mortgage lenders have been using traditional forms of data, like credit reports, to make their lending decisions, the Federal Trade Commission is concerned that “big data” will make it easier for banks to unfairly discriminate against certain segments of the population. Anytime big data is used to categorize consumers in ways that can result in certain populations being put at a disadvantage for things like a mortgage, it becomes a tool for exclusion, the FTC warned ...


January 11, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

In Brief: Enforcement Roundup

CFPB Brings $10 Million Enforcement Action Against Small-Dollar Lender Over Debt Collection Practices. The CFPB brought a $10 million enforcement action last month against EZCORP, Inc., a small-dollar lender based in Austin, TX, for allegedly engaging in illegal debt collection practices. The practices at issue included illegal visits to consumers at their homes and workplaces, empty threats of legal action, lying about consumers’ rights, and exposing consumers to bank fees through unlawful electronic withdrawals, according to…


January 11, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB May be Eyeballing Claims Of Discrimination at Clayton

The CFPB is apparently disturbed by recent press accounts of possibly discriminatory lending practices by Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, a lending arm for the mobile home builder Clayton Homes, both of which are part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Company. “The allegations of discrimination and predatory practices raised by the reporting are obviously very concerning to the bureau,” said Sam Gilford, a spokesman for the CFPB. Bureau officials would not comment further. In recent weeks, The Seattle Times and BuzzFeed used data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to claim that Vanderbilt Mortgage, a manufactured housing lender owned by Clayton, consistently originates loans with higher interest rates for minorities compared with interest rates on loans the company originates for white ...


January 11, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Investor Anxiety Over TRID Stems From Ambiguity Over Liability

Some private investors are skittish about purchasing loans in the new TRID environment because of the potentially huge, and largely unspecified, liability that purchasers face on the secondary market under the bureau’s new integrated disclosure rule, according to some top experts. “What we’re seeing now, unfortunately, is that private investors, securitizers and such, are being gun-shy,” said Richard Andreano, mortgage banking practice leader in the Washington, DC, office of the Ballard Spahr law firm, during a recent webinar sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, an affiliated publication. “Because what we have is the bureau made clear that there was some liability associated with the TRID rule, not only pre-existing Truth in Lending Act liability, but perhaps now some liability for Real ...


January 11, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Life Under TRID: Cordray Issues ‘Clarifying’ Letter, Lenders Still Worry About Liability

CFPB Director Richard Cordray issued a letter to the mortgage industry over the holidays related to the TRID integrated disclosure rule, clarifying that the new rule includes a provision to “cure” certain mistakes, even after the fact. “The Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule provides for the issuance of a corrected closing disclosure, even after closing,” Cordray said in a letter to Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens. “This can be used, for example, to correct non-numerical clerical errors or as a component of curing any violations of the monetary tolerance limits, if they exist. “As a general matter, consistent with existing Truth in Lending Act principles, liability for statutory and class action damages would be assessed ...


January 8, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

CDO Dispute Between Lehman and BofA Prompts Industry Groups to Submit Briefs to Bankruptcy Court

A case in bankruptcy court regarding the priority of payment provisions for collateralized debt obligations could have broad ramifications for derivatives transactions at the heart of the structured finance industry, according to the Structured Finance Industry Group and other industry groups. In late December, SFIG filed an amicus brief in Lehman Brothers Special Financing v. Bank of America, which is being heard in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association filed a separate brief, making points similar to those raised by SFIG. LBSF is suing...


January 8, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Former Co-Head of MBS and ABS at RBS Pleads Guilty To Fraud, Agrees to Cooperate with RMBS Investigation

The Department of Justice announced in December that a structured finance supervisor at RBS Securities pleaded guilty to participating in a multi-million dollar securities fraud scheme and is cooperating with the government’s ongoing investigation. Adam Siegel was co-head of U.S. ABS, MBS and commercial MBS trading at RBS between 2008 and 2014. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Connecticut said Siegel admitted that he and others conspired to increase RBS’s profits on trades of residential MBS and collateralized loan obligations at the expense of customers. “His crime included...


January 7, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Marketplace Lending Faces an Unpredictable Future, But Regulatory Challenges Are Likely

It’s too soon to tell whether marketplace lending will disrupt traditional mortgage lending, but analysts such as Freddie Mac economist Sean Becketti predict that the alternative, Internet-based lending structure will have an impact. “Will marketplace lenders become an Uber-like disruptive force in consumer lending, or are they simply old-fashioned consumer lending dressed up for the Internet?” asked Becketti. “It's too soon to tell.” But the swift growth of the industry, coupled with its emphasis on Internet outreach and novel underwriting practices, has led...


January 7, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Quicken to Request Shifting FCA Case to Detroit After Dismissal of Its Lawsuit Against DOJ, HUD-OIG

Quicken Loans is considering its next move – possibly a change of litigation venue – following last week’s ruling by a Michigan federal district court dismissing the lender’s lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Justice Department for failure to state a claim. The lawsuit, which challenged the DOJ’s use of the False Claim Act and HUD’s use of statistical sampling in post-endorsement loan reviews, was filed in April 2015, a week before the DOJ sued Quicken for allegedly filing false claims on FHA mortgages and other violations. Quicken’s lawsuit claimed...


January 1, 2016 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Some Lenders Hold Off on Non-QMs in New York

Some lenders offering non-qualified mortgages see the product as a way to generate volume in a sector of the market that most competitors are avoiding. However, even some prominent non-QM lenders aren’t comfortable originating the loans in New York State. New York was the fourth-ranked state in terms of total originations in 2014, according to an analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data by Inside Mortgage Trends, an affiliated publication, accounting for 4.2 percent of ...


January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

VA Servicer Reminders. The new maximum allowable foreclosure timeframes published in the Federal Register on Dec. 4, 2015, will be effective for all loan terminations completed on or after Jan. 3, 2016. In addition, the new Net Value percentage (15.95 percent) took effect on Dec. 23, 2015. All Notices of Value issued on or after Dec. 23, must be calculated using the new percentage. Meanwhile, pre-approval requests to deviate from a regulation must be submitted through VALERI (VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface), the agency’s loan administration system. VA does not grant pre-approval on claim expenses or for additional time to foreclose. These items must be appealed ...


January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Joint Enforcement Actions Result In Huge Recoveries for FHA in 2015

Joint civil fraud initiatives have resulted in $558.5 million in recoveries and receivables to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in FY 2015, according to the HUD inspector general’s semiannual report to Congress. The amount includes civil settlements of $212.5 million from First Tennessee Bank, $29.6 million from Reverse Mortgage Solutions, and $1.8 million from three other settlements. The settlements resolved enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice on behalf of HUD in pursuit of civil remedies under a variety of statutes, including the False Claims Act, Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act, and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. Recoveries and receivables for other entities during the reporting period – April 1 to Sept. 30, 2015 – totaled $86.9 million and $268.2 million for the entire fiscal year. Some of the payments were made to the ...


January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lenders’ Mitigation Efforts Reduce Share of ‘Unacceptable’ Mortgages

The share of “unacceptable” ratings for defective FHA loans following a post-endorsement technical review has dropped from double- to single-digits in FY 2015 due to lenders’ mitigation efforts, according to the FHA’s latest loan-review results. FHA’s initial unacceptable rate has remained at 45 to 47 percent over the last four quarters, but lender submission of mitigating documentation has reduced that rate to 5 percent as of Oct. 31, 2015, the FHA report said. This means an overall mitigation rate of nearly 90 percent of the FHA-insured loan sample. The number of initially unacceptable findings and those findings subsequently mitigated are based on 6,415 FHA-insured mortgages that underwent post-endorsement technical reviews between April 1 and June 30, 2015. Of the total loans reviewed, 68.6 percent were purchase loans, 17.9 percent streamline refinance and ...


January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA to Propose Rule Changes on Fees, LDPs, Appraisers, Income

The Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to propose changes to rules under its Home Loan Guaranty program related to loan fees, appraisers, limited denial of participation and residual income. Three of the proposed rules are slated for publication in the first quarter of 2016, according to the VA’s semiannual regulatory agenda. Agenda items, however, usually do not follow their publication dates and most rulemakings take a while before they are finalized. One proposed rule would establish reasonable fees that VA lenders may charge in connection with the origination and servicing of VA loans. All proposed fees would be in line with those charged by private mortgage lenders, assuring the sustainability of the VA loan program, the agency noted. In addition, the VA plans to propose rule changes regarding limited denials of participation (LDPs). LDPs are VA-specific sanctions that the Loan Guaranty Service may ...


January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Loan Limits Stay Same in 2016, Guaranty Based on One-Unit Limit

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced its loan limits for 2016, which are the same as the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this year. Currently, the VA’s maximum guaranty amounts are indexed to the FHFA loan limits, which range from a base of $417,000 to a high-cost area limit of $625,500. The FHFA conforming loan limit will remain unchanged at $417,000 for single-family homes, effective Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2016. However, in 39 counties deemed “high cost,” the conforming loan limits will increase this year. VA loan limits are calculated based on the county median home values reported by FHA. The maximum guaranty amount for loans over $144,000 is 25 percent of the current VA county loan limit. Veterans with full entitlement available may borrow up to this limit and VA will guarantee 25 percent of the loan amount. In addition, the VA county limits ...


January 1, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FHA Urges Calendar-Year Lenders To Begin Recertification Early

Nearly 2,400 FHA lenders will receive electronic notifications on Jan. 1, 2016, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development instructing them to begin their recertification process or risk exclusion from the FHA program. HUD is encouraging the estimated 85 percent of FHA lenders that operate on a calendar-year basis, instead of a fiscal-year basis, to prepare their recertification packages for submission to the Lender Electronic Assessment Portal (LEAP). LEAP allows FHA lenders to complete annual recertification, among other things. The portal is accessible through FHA Connection, which provides lenders and business partners a path to HUD’s computer systems. Annual recertification can be a lengthy, time-consuming process for ...


Poll

A lot has been written lately regarding loan closing delays tied to the new TRID rule. What’s been the average delay at your lending shop, if at all? (Report in business days, not calendar.)

TRID has caused no delays whatsoever because we were prepared.

30%

1 to 4 days.

27%

5 to 10 days.

13%

11 to 15 days. It’s been a nightmare.

11%

We’re too embarrassed to tell you.

20%

Housing Pulse