Legal Issues

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

September 30, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Roundup

Fannie Mae Names Small Pool Winning Bidder. The Community Loan Fund of New Jersey, Inc., an affiliate of New Jersey Community Capital, a non-profit community development financial institution, is the winning bidder of Fannie Mae’s fifth Community Impact Pool of non-performing loans. The transaction is expected to close on Nov. 22, 2016, and includes 120 loans secured by properties located in the Miami area with an unpaid principal balance of approximately $20.3 million. In collaboration with Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and The Williams Capital Group, L.P., Fannie Mae began marketing this Community Impact Pool to potential bidders on Aug. 10, 2016.


September 30, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Frustrated Judge Orders Treasury, FHFA to Produce Additional Docs

Federal Claims Court Judge Margaret Sweeney appears to be annoyed with the government’s executive privilege pleas and ordered the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency to turn over another heap of documents in a prominent GSE shareholder case. Some see this as a possible legal coup for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders in the Fairholme Funds Inc. v. United States, et al. net worth sweep case. The agencies have attempted to keep the documents, containing various memos, emails, presentations and other communications, tucked away under executive privilege. But last week, Sweeney, once again, made it mandatory that the government agencies produce more documents, close to 60 this time, for the plaintiff’s attorneys.


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

PACE Guidance Not Reassuring, Too Many Uncertainties, Pitfalls

New FHA guidance for dealing with mortgages with a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) obligation went into effect last week but uncertainty lingers and its full impact remains to be seen, according to an industry attorney. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued guidance specifically allowing properties encumbered by a PACE lien to be eligible for FHA mortgage financing for both purchase and refinance loans. The department of Veterans Affairs has issued similar guidance. According to Erika Sonstroem, an attorney with the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, the PACE industry is touting the guidance in its pitches to lenders as posing no risk to mortgage investors. PACE is a program that lends money to homeowners for home-energy savings projects. It is treated much like a tax lien on a property and is included in the ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

VA Issues Clarifying Guidance for Manufactured, Mobile Properties

VA Home Loan Guaranty has issued clarification regarding title requirements for manufactured or mobile homes conveyed to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Effective immediately, VA is requiring proof of noteholders’ compliance with the agency’s requirements for guaranteed mobile-home financing. Foreclosure title packages that do not include the required documents will be rejected, the agency warned. Under federal law, a manufactured home must be permanently affixed and classified as real property in the state where it is located. VA will not guarantee financing if the property does not meet the criteria. To ensure that a guaranty claim is fully payable and that the holder has the option to convey the manufactured home to VA, servicers must ensure that home loans with a VA guarantee meet federal requirements. Under the clarified VA guidelines, servicers may submit the ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Poised to Collect Huge FCA Settlement Funds from Lenders

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is set to receive more than $140 million in settlements with three individual lenders in connection with defective loans they originated with FHA insurance. Freedom Mortgage Corp., M&T Bank, and Land Home Financial Services all reached separate agreements this year with the Department of Justice on behalf of the HUD Inspector General to resolve the allegations. On April 15, Freedom agreed to pay $113 million, in response to charges that “it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination, underwriting, property appraisal and quality of certain single-family mortgages insured by FHA.” The disputed forward loans were insured by FHA between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2011, which resulted in claims submitted to HUD on or before June 15, 2015. HUD incurred substantial losses when it paid claims on the ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Streamline Refi Segment Causing Problems for VA, Ginnie Investors

The Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a change to its existing streamline refinancing policy to address a problem that is giving VA and Ginnie Mae the fits. Under the VA’s qualified-mortgage rule, a VA borrower must wait six months and show six months’ worth of mortgage payments before they can refinance into an IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan) and take advantage of the lower rate. However, it seems not all VA lenders are adhering to the rule and that a good number are refinancing veterans into IRRRLs even before the mandatory seasoning period ends for fear interest rates might rise and the borrower might not benefit from the lower rate. “I’ve redone the numbers in 20 different directions on how much a borrower would save if they had to wait two more months and the rate went up a quarter of a point because they lost those two months ...


September 23, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Judge Orders Government to Produce More Documents In GSE Shareholder Case, Shows Signs of Annoyance

In a potential legal coup for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders, Federal Claims Court Judge Margaret Sweeney ordered the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency to turn over another large batch of documents in relation to the Fairholme Funds Inc. v. United States, et al. net worth sweep case. Sweeney this week forced the government agencies to produce more documents, close to 60 this time, for the plaintiff’s attorneys. The agencies have attempted to keep the various memos, emails, presentations and other communications hidden under executive privilege. Shareholders say...


September 19, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

Even Under Trump, Would the CFPB Be Invincible? If businessman Donald Trump wins the White House in November, the CFPB would be in the Republican’s crosshairs for sure. But the bureau’s recent consumer fraud case against Wells Fargo for opening up roughly two million deposit and credit card accounts without authorization has caused such outrage nationwide that it may very well give the controversial regulator a “shield” of sorts. At least that’s what we’ve been…


September 19, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Goes After Another For-Profit College with Bridgepoint

First it was Corinthian Colleges, then ITT Educational Services. Now, Bridgepoint Education Inc. has been taken to task by the CFPB over alleged misconduct. Last week, the bureau brought a $31.5 million enforcement action against the for-profit post-secondary education company based in San Diego, accusing it of deceiving students into taking out private student loans that cost more than advertised....


September 19, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Enforcement Roundup: Congress Eyes Wells Fargo After Bank Busted Over Account Scam

Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf will be on what is expected to be a very hot seat before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee tomorrow when he is expected to explain what went wrong at his institution that enabled employees to open more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. CFPB Director Richard Cordray is also scheduled to testify, as is Comptroller of the Currency Tom Curry and ...


September 19, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

TRID Was ‘A Beast’ at First, Now ‘A Paper Tiger,’ Experts Say

It’s been almost a year now since the CFPB’s integrated disclosure rule went into effect, and industry participants across the credit spectrum appear increasingly comfortable with the new disclosure regime. But when it first came out, the rule took all the oxygen from the room and caused more fear and anxiety that, in retrospect, appears to be have been justified, according to a handful of experts in the non-prime mortgage origination space. Speaking during ...


September 19, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Life Under TRID: TRID 2.0 Raises Plenty of Issues In Minds of Industry Commenters

Industry trade groups have yet to weigh in on the CFPB’s TRID clarifying rulemaking, but the grassroots rank-and-file have, and many of them are raising more concerns and questions. For instance, Ross Miller, president of Miller Home Mortgage in Metairie, LA, complained that there are no exceptions for the three-day waiting period when there is an emergency. “I had a client whose father was quickly scheduled for open heart surgery,” he said in a comment letter. “The client was ...


September 16, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Amend Compaint to Dismiss, Add Charges

Plaintiffs in a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholder case challenging the GSEs’ quarterly earnings sweep dropped some of the charges in their original complaint to bypass the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s motion to consolidate all of the cases. The pair, Gary Hindes and David Jacobs, is looking to dismiss counts that allege derivative breach of contract and other similar claims and instead allege “unjust enrichment” against the Treasury Department. The plaintiffs bought the class action suit focusing on Delaware and Virginia corporate law on behalf of themselves and other stockholders. Court documents in David Jacobs and Gary Hindes v. The Federal Housing Finance Agency...


September 16, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Judge Rules to Dismiss GSE Shareholder Case in KY

A GSE investor in Kentucky lost her case last week when the court dismissed claims that the government damaged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by implementing the net worth sweep of the GSEs’ profits. Arnetia Robinson alleged that her investments in Fannie and Freddie were “materially damaged” when the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Treasury Department amended the existing preferred stock purchase agreement in 2012. According to court records, Robinson was seeking declaratory and injunctive relief that would prevent enforcement of portions of the PSPA. She contended that the sweep violates the Housing and Economic Recovery Act and said the Treasury acted “arbitrarily and capriciously.”


September 16, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Federal Court Appoints Lead Master To Sift Through UBS Loans for Breaches

A federal district court judge in Manhattan has named a lead master to review 9,342 mortgages for material breaches following a put-back trial against UBS Real Estate Securities. The trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York will determine whether UBS breached certain representations and warranties and may have to repurchase the defective loans originally pooled in three trusts. U.S. Bank, the trustee for all three pools, is seeking more than $2 billion in damages, court filings show. U.S. Bank sued...


September 16, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Judges in Kentucky and Virginia Dismiss Two Separate GSE Shareholder Cases

Individual investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stock lost separate legal battles to inspect the corporate records of Freddie and prove that the Treasury sweep of the government-sponsored enterprises’ profits is damaging and unjust. In the case of Arnetia Joyce Robinson v. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al., the shareholder plaintiff argued that her investments were materially damaged when FHFA and the Treasury Department implemented the net worth sweep back in 2012. Robinson argued...


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Tennessee Lender Agrees to $70 million Settlement to Resolve Alleged FHA Violations. Franklin American Mortgage of Franklin, TN, has agreed to pay the federal government $70 million to resolve allegations of failing to comply with FHA requirements. Specifically, the direct endorsement lender allegedly engaged in improper underwriting of FHA loans between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2012, which later resulted in submission of claims and substantial losses to the FHA insurance fund. Franklin entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General. As part of the settlement, Franklin acknowledged “it engaged in certain conduct in connection with its origination, underwriting, and quality control of certain single-family residential mortgage loans insured by FHA.” The settlement was neither an admission of ...


September 9, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae MBS Issuance Up in August as Upward Trend Continues

Ginnie Mae issued $46.5 billion of single-family mortgage-backed securities in August, up slightly from July, according to an analysis of Ginnie data. Single-family MBS monthly issuance in August was the highest monthly volume so far this year. Total issuance also was up 12.3 percent from the same month last year., Strong purchase and refinance originations in the second quarter helped push production in the third quarter. Although purchase loans with private mortgage insurance outpaced gains in FHA and VA loans in the second quarter, deliveries to Ginnie so far appear to indicate a strong third quarter. Meanwhile, VA volume has been fueled largely by refinance activity over the past few years and does not appear to be letting up. PennyMac and Freedom Mortgage battled for first place with $4.35 billion and $4.34 billion, respectively, in MBS issuance in August. Despite cutting back on its ... [1 chart]


September 9, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

9th Circuit Revives NCUA Claim against Nomura; RBS Settles Insurer’s Claim; UBS Partially Off the Hook

The National Credit Union Administration gets another chance to recover MBS losses incurred by a now-defunct federal credit union, while The Royal Bank of Scotland and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance announce a confidential settlement agreement to resolve the latter’s MBS claims. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has vacated a 2015 order by the Central District of California dismissing NCUA’s claims on behalf of failed Western Corporate FCU, which the agency placed in conservatorship in March 2009 and later in liquidation. The agency is acting as liquidating agent for Wescorp against Nomura Home Equity Loan, Inc. The NCUA filed...


September 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Fair Housing Groups Accuse BofA of Continuing to Neglect Foreclosed Properties in Certain Communities

Fair housing groups continue to press allegations that Bank of America has neglected foreclosed homes and created eyesores in African-American and Latino communities in more than 200 cities. The National Fair Housing Alliance, along with nine local fair housing organizations, filed an amended federal complaint against BofA last week. In the complaint they added a number of neighborhoods in six additional cities where investigations revealed foreclosed homes that have not been properly maintained. This brings...


September 8, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

U.S. Court Applies Landmark SCOTUS Decision in Latest Ruling on FHAct’s Disparate-Impact Provision

A federal court in Texas has dismissed a disparate-impact lawsuit against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, finding, after years of litigation, that the plaintiff had failed to show sufficient reason for a charge of unlawful discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. The recent decision in The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. v. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, et al., is the latest in a series of decisions applying the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that found disparate impact is a cognizable claim under the FHAct. The court’s Aug. 26 decision basically reaffirms...


September 5, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

CFPB Proposes Changes to FOIA Procedures, Treatment of Information; Would Expand Disclosure of Confidential Supervisory Information to State AGs. The CFPB has proposed amendments to the procedures used by the public to obtain information from the bureau under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, and in legal proceedings.... Bank of America Close to Fulfilling Settlement Obligations. Bank of America has conditionally fulfilled more than 91 percent of its obligation to provide $7 billion worth of consumer relief under the terms of its historic mortgage settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and six states, according to Eric Green, the independent monitor of the agreement...


September 5, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Trade Groups Bash CFPB’s Controversial Arbitration Proposal

The American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association and The Financial Services Roundtable told the CFPB its controversial arbitration proposed rule “is not in the public interest, is not for the protection of consumers, and is not consistent with the CFPB’s March 2015 empirical study of arbitration,” as their attorneys at Ballard Spahr succinctly summarized their joint comment letter. Further, the groups urged the bureau to withdraw its proposal and to refrain from re-issuing another unless it is consistent with the statutory requirements of Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Act. “First, the proposed rule is not ‘in the public interest,’ nor does it meet the requirement to provide for consumer protection, because it would inflict serious financial harm on consumers ...


September 5, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Brings $4M Action Against Wells Fargo Over Student Loans

The CFPB recently brought a $4 million enforcement action against Wells Fargo, alleging the bank engaged in illegal private student loan servicing practices that increased costs and unfairly penalized certain student loan borrowers. “Wells Fargo hit borrowers with illegal fees and deprived others of critical information needed to effectively manage their student loan accounts,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. The bureau said it identified breakdowns throughout Wells Fargo’s servicing process, such as failing to provide important payment information to consumers, charging consumers illegal fees, and failing to update inaccurate credit report information. One of the CFPB’s charges against the company was that it processed payments in a way that maximized fees for many consumers. “Specifically, if a borrower made a ...


September 5, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Enforcement Roundup: CFPB Brings $32.25M Action Against First Nat’l Bank of Omaha

The CFPB recently brought a $32.25 million enforcement action against First National Bank of Omaha, alleging deceptive marketing and illegal billing of add-on credit card products that it claimed harmed hundreds of thousands of borrowers. According to the CFPB, from 2002 until at least 2012, First National Bank of Omaha offered add-on debt cancellation products with its credit card, including products dubbed “Secure Credit” and “Payment Protection.” The bureau said the bank promoted these products as providing a monthly payment to the cardholder’s account in the event of certain hardships, such as involuntary unemployment, hospitalization or disability. Cardholders were charged a monthly fee for the products. First National Bank of Omaha also offered credit monitoring products, including “Privacy Guard” and ...


September 2, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

Former Freddie CFO Loses Appeal and Ex Fannie CEO Settles Case

One former GSE executive lost his severance package case and another settled in a long-standing civil fraud lawsuit. Both cases came to a conclusion last week. Anthony Piszel, former chief financial officer at Freddie Mac, appealed a judgment from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims dismissing his complaint that Freddie owed him payment for his “golden parachute” compensation after he was terminated without cause at the start of the conservatorship. The question came down to whether or not a government prohibition on making golden parachute payments to terminated Freddie employees was illegal or not. Piszel was terminated two weeks after...


September 2, 2016 - Inside The GSEs

IU's Pagliara Loses Argument to Inspect Freddie Mac's Records

A high profile shareholder’s request to access Freddie Mac’s corporate records was shot down in a case dismissal last week as a federal court ruled that all shareholder rights were transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency during the conservatorship. In Timothy J. Pagliara v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, plaintiff Tim Pagliara, chief executive of CapWealth Advisors and the executive director of Investors Unite, a GSE shareholders group, filed a lawsuit in court in March to gain access to Freddie’s records, as an individual stockholder. He owns approximately 346,000 shares of Freddie’s junior preferred stock, according to court documents.


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

Mortgage Company President Charged with Defrauding Ginnie Mae. Robert Pena, president and founder of the now-defunct Mortgage Security Inc., was charged in federal district court in Boston for allegedly bilking Ginnie Mae out of nearly $3 million. MSI was an approved participant in the Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities program, pooling eligible single-family mortgages and selling the securitized products to investors. The firm also serviced the underlying loans. In 2011, Pena allegedly began diverting borrower payments and huge loan-payoff amounts into secret accounts, which he used to fund personal and business activities. Likewise, he is said to have funneled borrowers’ escrow funds and mortgage-insurance premiums into other personal accounts. In total, Pena pocketed $3 million due Ginnie Mae, which had to pay investors whose investments it had guaranteed, according to the ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Wait Time for Evaluating, Deploying Home-Retention Options Reduced

The FHA has announced new streamlined procedures to help delinquent homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. The agency is revising loss-mitigation procedures servicers use when evaluating and choosing the best home-retention options for delinquent borrowers by reducing waiting time for results. The new streamlined procedures are designed to enhance servicers’ ability to evaluate foreclosure-avoidance alternatives, especially for the FHA-Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP). Specifically, FHA will require servicers to convert successful three-month trial modifications into permanent modifications within 60 days instead of the average four to six months. Borrowers who have three missed mortgage payments would be able to opt for a partial claim to bring their arrearages current versus the previous four-month minimum. In addition, the FHA will eliminate the ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

FCC Issues TCPA ‘Exemption’ Rule, Lawyers Baffled by Rule’s Language

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a baffling final rule restricting the way servicers can collect on or service student loans, mortgages and other debts owed to the federal government. Specifically, the rule implements a key provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 amending the Telephone Consumer Protection Act to exclude robocalls from the TCPA consent requirement if they are made solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the federal government. The TCPA generally requires a caller to obtain “prior express consent” from the call recipient before making a telemarketing call or an auto-dial call to the recipient’s landline or cell phone. However, the mortgage industry raised concerns that TCPA’s consent requirement could create potential liability for important servicing calls that could help homeowners save their homes, which prompted Congress to pass the Budget Act amendment. Last month, the FCC specifically excluded the federal government from the TCPA’s consumer protections by ruling that the government is not a “person” subject to the TCPA. Here is where the FCC rule gets confusing. commission is authorized to adopt rules to “restrict or limit the number and duration” of any wireless calls to collect debt owed to the federal government.”


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HUD Urged to Pursue $21.5 Million In Uncollected Partial Claims

A new audit report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general recommended that the agency continue its efforts to collect millions of dollars in partial claims that came due during fiscal year 2015. According to a HUD IG report, the department left uncollected approximately 1,361 partial claims, worth about $21.5 million. The IG discovered the oversight during an audit of HUD’s partial claim collections. The IG reviewed a statistical sample of 135 of 10,561 partial claims associated with FHA loans that terminated in FY 2015. “HUD had not collected 36 of the claims that should have been collected,” the report stated. “We used this result to project that a total of 1,361 partial claims were not collected.” The claims were never returned to the FHA mortgage insurance fund, as required by agency rules, to strengthen FHA solvency, the report said. A partial claim is a loss ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Lenders Need to Seek Legal Advice Before Using FHA’s DPA Programs

The Mortgage Bankers Association strongly urged the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the FHA to issue authoritative guidelines for lenders participating in state and local housing finance programs that rely on premium pricing to fund downpayment assistance. In a recent letter to members, the MBA recommended that FHA lenders “tread carefully” and seek legal advice until HUD provides more definitive guidance on downpayment assistance and premium pricing. Lenders should consider carefully whether and when to participate in DPA programs from housing finance agencies that rely on premium-pricing mechanisms, the letter said. The MBA said it would continue to press HUD for clarification on this contentious issue. The FHA and HUD’s inspector general are currently at odds over permissible sources of single-family downpayment assistance offered through housing finance agencies. Although the ...


August 26, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Moody’s Seeks Dismissal of Whistleblower FCA Claim, NY Court Reverses Ruling in Favor of MBS Trustee

Moody’s Investors Service has asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss the remaining claim in a lawsuit alleging manipulation of credit ratings leading up to the financial crisis. In its motion to dismiss, Moody’s said that plaintiff Ilya Eric Kolchinksy’s second amended complaint fails to show that the rating agency used its electronic “ratings delivery service” to issue false ratings on MBS that later turned bad. In 2012, Kolchinsky, a former managing director at Moody’s, filed...


August 25, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSEs Introduce a New Loan Dispute Appeal Process Prior to Third-Party Arbitrator

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac introduced a new impasse and management escalation process this week as a middleman between the normal loan dispute appeal process and the final independent dispute resolution (IDR) process for seller/servicers. The government-sponsored enterprises said they hope to resolve as many disputes as possible before any IDR process begins. The GSEs introduced...


August 22, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

Does TRID Definition of Application Trigger HMDA Reporting? Maybe

One mortgage lender recently inquired of Michael Goldhirsh, director of legal and regulatory compliance for the Lenders Compliance Group, as to whether the definition of “application” in the CFPB’s TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (TRID) triggers or otherwise affects reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. In a recent blog posting, he replied: “The short answer is that receipt of some or all of the six pieces of TRID application information does not necessarily trigger an application for purposes of HMDA reporting.” Goldhirsh went on to explain that Regulation C defines an application for HMDA reporting purposes as an oral or written request for a home purchase loan, a home improvement loan, or a refinancing that is made in accordance with ...


August 22, 2016 - Inside the CFPB

New Requirements in NY Pose Challenges for Servicers

New legal requirements enacted in the state of New York in the wake of the financial crisis pose particular compliance challenges for mortgage servicers, according to a new report by analysts at S&P Global Ratings. The S&P team recently reviewed a series of laws the state legislature passed in June that attempts to address several issues related to “zombie” foreclosures, which refers to the phenomenon of a servicer initiating foreclosure on a vacant property but not going so far as to actually take title. Urban community activists complain such properties languish unsold for a prolonged period of time, contributing to neighborhood blight in communities least able to handle it – hence, state lawmakers decided to act. One resulting requirement “imposes conditions ...


August 19, 2016 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Retroactivity Concerns Over Civil Penalty Hikes

With federal civil monetary penalties set to rise significantly over the next couple of months, mortgage industry stakeholders are getting increasingly concerned about retroactivity in some of the interim final rules adopted by federal agencies to implement the revised penalty amounts, according to industry attorneys. Although application of the adjusted civil penalty amounts to violations that occurred prior to the passage of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment ...


August 19, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

Recent Homeowners Association Super Lien Rulings in Nevada Favor Mortgage Industry

Recent rulings in Nevada favor the mortgage industry when it comes to super-liens imposed by homeowners associations on loans in foreclosure. Twenty-two states have super-lien laws that allow HOAs to take priority over first mortgages and foreclose the property to collect up to six months of unpaid fees. In 2014, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that an HOA could extinguish a senior mortgage. But the Ninth Circuit Court recently ruled that an HOA foreclosure sale extinguishing the first deed of trust is unconstitutional. In the case of Bourne Valley Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, the court ruled that Bourne Valley seeking to purchase the property at an HOA foreclosure sale violated the first-lien holder’s due process rights. Attorneys at Bradley ...


August 19, 2016 - Inside MBS & ABS

NY Court Okays JPMorgan’s $4.5 Billion Settlement; Three Banks to Face MBS Suits; MBS Trader Settles

A New York State Supreme Court judge recently signed off on JPMorgan’s proposed $4.5 billion settlement with a revised list of MBS trusts, while three other Wall Street banks lost in separate bids to have MBS claims against them dismissed. On Aug. 12, Justice Marcy Friedman of the New York State Supreme Court approved JPMorgan’s representation-and-warranties settlement offer for 319 MBS trusts. She concluded that the trustees exercised their discretionary power reasonably and in good faith in accepting the settlement. JPMorgan and a group of 20 large institutional investors that hold approximately 32.5 percent of the securities issued by the MBS trusts negotiated the settlement. Among these prominent investors were Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank ...


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