Legal Issues

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

September 19, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Group: FHFA’s Deal Will Allow MBS Defendant to Write Off Settlement

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s most recent settlement of non-agency mortgage-backed securities lawsuit has one consumer group seeing red as it claims taxpayers will ultimately get stuck with the cost of the bank’s multi-million dollar payout. Late last week, the FHFA announced a $550 million legal deal with HSBC North American Holdings, leaving just two civil cases tied to nonprime MBS issuance still unresolved.


September 19, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Groups Petition Congress to Seek Transparency in GSE Profit Sweep

Congress should put the screws to the Treasury Department to disclose all documents pertaining to the origins of the Obama administration’s controversial “net-worth sweep” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits, according to a coalition of right-leaning public policy groups. In a letter dispatched late this week to the top Republican and Democrat of the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, the 17 groups led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute urged lawmakers to intervene to impose transparency over what GSE shareholders consider an extra-legal maneuver by the executive branch.


September 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Supreme Court Preparing to Hear Cases Involving DOL’s Overtime Guidance for Loan Officers

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear cases in its coming term regarding guidance issued by the Department of Labor involving overtime pay for loan officers. Oral arguments are scheduled for Dec. 1, and a decision is expected by June. The cases are Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association and Nickols v. Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA has argued that the DOL didn’t follow rulemaking procedures in 2010 when the regulator withdrew guidance stating that loan officers could be exempt from overtime compensation requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Lenders have received...


September 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

IL Court’s Narrow Ruling in Disparate-Impact Case Allows DC Court to Focus on Bigger Picture

An Illinois district court’s decision that federal preemption issues are not ripe may now prompt a federal district court in Washington, DC, to examine the broader issue of whether disparate impact is a valid claim under the Fair Housing Act. The Illinois lawsuit, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is one of two insurance-industry legal challenges to HUD’s disparate-impact rule. The second case was filed by two other trade groups, the American Insurance Association and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and is pending in federal court in the nation’s capital. According to the final rule that HUD adopted in February 2013, a practice has...


September 15, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Hanna Files Motion to Dismiss CFPB Enforcement Action

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


September 15, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

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

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


September 15, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Warns Credit Card Issuers About Interest-Rate Promos

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


September 15, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

“Treacherous,” Complex TRID Generates Host of Concerns

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


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Jumbo Production Slips Further in 2Q14

The first-quarter decline in FHA jumbo production spilled over into the second quarter as volume dropped another 21.7 percent, ending the first half of the year with $4.7 billion in new government-insured jumbo loans, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency snapshot data. On a year-over-year basis, volume fell 56.7 percent over the six-month period compared to the same period last year. Jumbo loans make up a tiny percentage of FHA’s overall portfolio. The FHA has been weaning itself away from jumbos after Republican members of Congress accused the agency of straying from its mission by subsidizing purchases of million-dollar houses. A statutory readjustment this year brought the FHA loan limit in high-cost areas down to $625,500, the same level as the high-cost loan limits for conforming mortgages in high-cost areas. The baseline loan limits for both conforming and FHA loans in 2014 ... [1 chart]


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Investors Lining Up for Sixth Distressed Note Sale

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is now qualifying investors for its sixth auction of non-performing loans (NPLs) amid nationwide protests calling for reform of HUD’s distressed note sale program. Single-Family Loan Sale SFLS 2014-2 includes 15,232 single-family, non-performing mortgages with a total unpaid principal of $2.3 billion. The sale consists of 10 loan pools ranging from $97 million to $825 million with collateral dispersed across the country, according to loan sale advisor DebtX. It is scheduled to bid on Sept. 30. On June 11, HUD sold a $4.8 billion portfolio of NPLs, the first of a two-part sale. The national offering consisted of approximately 23,200 loans divided into 16 pools ranging from $93 million to $1 billion. The loans are backed by properties across the ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Lending Back on Track with <680 Score

The average FHA credit score in the second quarter of 2014 continued to decline from the record highs of 2011, but remains well above the levels preceding the mortgage and credit crisis, according to FHA’s latest report to Congress on the state of the agency’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The FHA’s second-quarter average credit score of 680 was 3 points below the previous quarter’s score and 13 points below the score during the same period last year. The report’s data suggest that FHA has accomplished its goal of shifting its market share to the 620-679 credit score bucket consistent with its target market while ceding its share of loans with scores exceeding 720 to the private MI sector. The last time borrowers’ average credit score hit 680 was in the second quarter of 2009. FHA officials said they are working to have 75 percent of the FHA lending in the ...


September 12, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Obama to Seek Solutions to Credit Access

Obama will meet with top banking executives and industry trade groups on Sept. 17 to explore potential solutions to lender overlays and other problems that hinder first-time homebuyers and other qualified borrowers from obtaining an FHA or conventional mortgage. The meeting is expected to touch on key lender issues, including credit overlays, government enforcement actions, regulatory burden and risk-based versus FHA pricing. Lenders say they are willing to originate single-family mortgages to qualified borrowers and first-time homebuyers but they feel the post-crisis environment has turned hostile against them. Repurchases and indemnifications have dampened their willingness to lend to moderate- and lower-income borrowers, they admit. Regardless of policy changes designed to increase lending in the lower credit score range (620 to 679), FHA enforcement actions to ...


September 5, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Goldman Settles FHFA MBS Suit, Remaining Banks Fail to Dismiss

HSBC Holdings is headed for trial later this month, absent a deal, after a New York federal judge rejected a last ditch effort by HSBC and Nomura Holdings to toss their mortgage-backed securities suit brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s ruling reaffirmed earlier rulings that the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 extended the time that the FHFA could file claims against a host of big banks.


September 5, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

BofA Appeals Judge’s Order to Pay $1.27B for ‘Hustle’ of GSEs

Bank of America this week launched an appeal to overturn a jury verdict that found it liable for thousands of bad mortgages sold by Countrywide leading to a $1.27 billion judgment. U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff levied the judgment in July after a New York jury last fall found the Charlotte, NC-based bank liable for fraud over a Countrywide program known in the industry as “the Hustle.”


September 5, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

FHFA’s Goldman Sachs Deal Allows Firm to Recoup Losses; FDIC Too Late to Sue Deutsche, Credit Suisse

The legal settlement between Goldman Sachs and the Federal Housing Finance Agency over soured non-agency MBS sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac featured an unusual buyback of the securities by the investment bank. It leaves just three big defendants left to settle or go to trial, legal observers note. Under the terms of the settlement announced Aug. 22, Goldman is required to pay $3.15 billion to repurchase securities that were the subject of the claims in the FHFA’s lawsuit. The economic value of the settlement is estimated...


September 5, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

SEC Issues New Rule for Credit Ratings on a Split Vote, Dissenting Commissioner Questions Legality

The rating services are set for increased oversight after the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a final rule addressing internal controls, conflicts of interest and procedures in an attempt to protect the integrity of rating methods. The SEC approved the final rule on a 3-2 vote last week, with the two Republican commissioners voicing strong opposition to provisions required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Among other issues, the final rule aims at preventing sales and marketing considerations from influencing the issuance of credit ratings on structured finance products. Under the rule, rating services are prohibited from issuing or maintaining a credit rating when a person within the rating service that participates in determining or monitoring the rating also participates in sales or marketing of a product or service of the rating service or an affiliate. The rule also targets...


September 4, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Legal Liability, Company Reputations, Data Privacy At Stake as CFPB Weighs Consumer Narratives

Mortgage lenders are worried that a recent proposal by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to expand its consumer complaint database with “narratives” from borrowers will leave companies vulnerable to being smeared by unproven rumors and false accusations. They also fear that a few legitimate complaints will be blown out of proportion. Others are apprehensive about maintaining the privacy of consumer personal data – and about expanding their legal liability. The Financial Services Roundtable has initiated...


September 1, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Enforcement Roundup

Flagstar in Talks with CFPB Over Alleged Loss Mitigation Violations. Flagstar Bancorp, the parent of the nation’s 17th largest residential servicer, disclosed in a new regulatory filing that it is in talks with the CFPB over alleged violations of federal law arising from the bank’s loss mitigation practices and default servicing operations dating back to 2011. Flagstar Bank FSB, which owns roughly $69 billion in mortgage servicing rights, said it has already provided the CFPB with documents and “other information” regarding the matter in response to a civil investigative demand. “While the bank intends to vigorously defend against any enforcement action that may be brought, it has commenced discussions with the CFPB staff to determine if a settlement can be ...


September 1, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Debt-Settlement Firm Agrees to $7 Million Accord With CFPB

Global Client Solutions, a leading debt-settlement payment processor based in Tulsa, OK, agreed to pay over $6 million in relief to consumers, as well as a $1 million civil penalty, to resolve allegations by the CFPB that the firm helped other companies to collect tens of millions of dollars in illegal upfront fees from consumers. Final settlement is pending federal district court approval. The CFPB accused Global Client Solutions and its two principals, Robert Merrick and Michael Hendrix, of violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule by making it possible for debt-settlement companies to charge consumers illegal upfront fees. The rule prohibits debt-settlement companies from charging consumers advance fees before settling any of their debts. The rule is intended to protect consumers ...


September 1, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Fines Auto Finance Co. $2.75M Over Inaccurate Info

The CFPB recently fined auto finance company First Investors Financial Services Group Inc. $2.75 million for allegedly failing to fix known flaws in a computer system that was providing inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies. The bureau also ordered the Houston-based company to fix its errors and change its business practices. The CFPB said its investigation found that First Investors furnished inaccurate information about its customers to credit reporting agencies for at least three years. “When First Investors discovered the problem in April 2011, it notified the vendor but did nothing more,” the CFPB said. “The company did not replace the system or take any steps to correct the inaccurate information it had supplied. “It continued for years to use ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

Revised HUD/VA Addendum to the Uniform Residential Loan Application. On July 30, the FHA has posted on its HUDCLIPS website a revised Addendum to the Uniform Residential Loan Application (Form HUD-92900-A/VA Form 26-1802). This form is used for both FHA and VA mortgage originations.The Department of Veterans Affairs has updated its form to clarify what constitutes a valid marriage for the purpose of obtaining VA benefits. Although the changes to the form do not apply to FHA-insured mortgages specifically, lenders should begin using the revised form for new FHA mortgage originations as soon as possible, the FHA recommended. Processing Request for Execution of VA Quitclaim Deeds. The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidance (Circular 26-14-19) for handling of requests for execution of quitclaim deeds. A quitclaim deed is a legal document that is used to transfer a person’s rights to real estate to ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Views Sought on Draft Appraiser Requirements

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is requesting feedback from stakeholders regarding proposed policy drafts covering appraiser eligibility and oversight, and conducting appraisals, among other things. The documents will be part of the FHA’s Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook, a consolidated and authoritative agency handbook that will make it easier for stakeholders to do business with the FHA. The drafts also cover appraiser requirements for performing an FHA appraisal, including property eligibility requirements for Title II forward and reverse mortgages, as well as forms and data delivery requirements. Comments must be submitted by Sept. 2, 2014. The Single-Family Policy handbook is a multi-phased initiative to develop a single, comprehensive source for FHA single-family housing policy using clear and direct language and an improved organization structure. In fall 2013, the FHA posted its first draft section, Application Though Endorsement for Title II Forward Mortgages. The FHA is finalizing ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

State Legislatures Pass Reverse Mortgage Bills

Two states have passed legislation placing varying spins on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s counseling requirements for lenders and borrowers of FHA-insured reverse mortgages. In California, the state Senate unanimously approved AB 1700, which would mandate a seven-day “cooling off” period between the time a borrower receives counseling and when an application is taken. AB 1700 passed the CA Assembly by a vote of 73 to 1. In addition, the bill would require a lender to provide a worksheet guide that addresses certain issues the borrower should consider and discuss with the counselor, such as income and ability to repay as well as taxes and insurance. The counselor and the borrower are both required under the bill to sign the worksheet guide before any reverse mortgage application is taken. No schedule has been set for ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FASB Updates TDR Guidance for FHA, VA Loans

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has updated its guidance on troubled debt restructurings (TDRs) to provide lenders some uniformity in accounting for government-backed mortgages upon foreclosure. The changes to FASB’s rule, “Receivables – Troubled Debt Restructurings by Creditors,” affect FHA and VA lenders and would take effect for public entities with reporting periods after Dec. 15, 2014. All other entities will have to comply after Dec. 15, 2015. “In addition to accounting consistency, the updated rule provides greater certainty as to the amount that can be expected to recover through the government guarantees,” the board said. The changes became necessary because the accounting varied among lenders, resulting in diverse practices, according to the Emerging Issues Task Force, which promulgates implementation guidance within the ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

U.S. Court Upholds HUD Suspension of Lender

A decision by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend a Texas mortgage firm and its top executive was not “arbitrary and capricious” and did not violate due process, according to a recent Houston district court ruling. The court granted HUD’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. In Allied Home Mortgage Corp. v. Donovan, (No. H-11-3864, 2014 WL 3843561, S.D. Tex. Aug. 5, 2014), a U.S. Attorney’s Office sued Allied Home Mortgage Corp. and its chief executive officer, James Hodge, in Manhattan federal district court for allegedly lying about its compliance with FHA requirements. Specifically, the former Houston-based mortgage net branch operator (currently doing business as Allquest Home Mortgage Corp.) allegedly violated the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, recovery and Enforcement Act by ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Bars Post-Payment Charge on Prepaid Loans

The FHA has issued two final rules enhancing consumer protections – one prohibiting lenders from charging additional interest on FHA-insured mortgages that are paid in full and another ensuring that borrowers of adjustable-rate mortgages receive earlier notice of rate changes. Both rules were published in the Aug. 26 Federal Register. The first rule eliminates the practice of charging the borrower a full-month’s interest even if the mortgage is prepaid in full before the end of the month. It adopted the proposed rule, which was issued for comment on March 13, 2014, without change. Effective Jan. 21, 2015, charging borrowers post-settlement interest, which is broadly defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a “prepayment penalty,” will be prohibited for all FHA single-family mortgage products and programs. In the rule’s preamble, HUD said it expects lenders to ...


August 29, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA Unable to Use $200 Million Windfall

Roughly $1 billion in damages will flow through to the FHA and Ginnie Mae from Bank of America’s record $16.65 billion global mortgage-backed securities settlement with the Department of Justice. Although most of the DOJ’s case centered around faulty private-label MBS that BofA and its forbears (namely Countrywide and Merrill Lynch) underwrote during the housing boom, a small piece of the settlement is tied to servicing chores that the bank did for Ginnie Mae. And apparently, BofA didn’t do a very good job of servicing the underlying product. The bank took over as the subservicer on roughly $26.2 billion in mortgage servicing rights that once belonged to Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, a large nonbank based in Ocala, FL. When TBW went bust in the second half of 2009, BofA was given the subservicing contract. “BofA serviced the loans for us,” said Ginnie Mae president Ted Tozer. “And they did a ...


August 22, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

New Suit By Common GSE Investors Seeks Injunction of Profit Sweep

Pershing Square Capital Management – reportedly the largest investor in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac common shares – filed two separate lawsuits last week demanding the federal government cease and desist its “net worth sweep” of GSE profits. The New York hedge fund contends that the government’s action not only illegally shortchanges investors of the GSEs’ common, it also amounts to a de facto liquidation of the two firms, according to its first complaint filed with the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington. The first complaint lists the U.S. as a defendant, as well as Fannie and Freddie as nominal defendants.


August 18, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Tags Finance Company For Alleged Scam of Military Personnel

The CFPB late last week said it shut down what it called a service member fee scam allegedly run by USA Discounters, Ltd., a consumer finance company that operates a chain of retail stores, most of which are near military bases, and offers in-store and online financing for purchases. USA Discounters tricked thousands of American military personnel into paying fees for legal protections they already had under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and for certain services that the company failed to provide, the bureau alleged. The CFPB said it obtained more than $350,000 in refunds for military personnel harmed by the practices in question, and the company will pay an additional $50,000 civil penalty. The company cannot deduct the penalty ...


August 18, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Orders Amerisave to Pony Up $19.3 Million Over Alleged Scheme

In its first case regarding deceptive mortgage advertising, the CFPB has ordered Atlanta-based Amerisave Mortgage Corp., an online mortgage lender, and its affiliate, Novo Appraisal Management Co., to pay $19.3 million in damages and a fine. The consent order settles charges the firms engaged in a deceptive bait-and-switch mortgage-lending scheme said to have harmed tens of thousands of consumers. Of the total payout, $14.8 million will be in the form of refunds to harmed consumers. The companies also agreed to pay a $4.5 million fine. Patrick Markert, the owner of both companies, as an individual, will pay an additional $1.5 million penalty. According to the CFPB, between mid-2011 and 2014, Amerisave advertised its interest rates and terms using online banner ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Reverse Mortgages Reportable Under HMDA

Reverse mortgages would be included in Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports under a proposed rule published recently by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The proposed rule would expand the definition of a “covered loan” under HMDA to include reverse mortgages and home-equity lines of credit (HELOCs), which include reverse mortgages structured as open-end HELOCs. Currently, HMDA regulations do not require reporting of HELOCs, although lenders may do so if they choose. Currently, financial institutions only have to report information on a closed-end reverse mortgage if the transaction involves a home purchase, home improvement or refinancing. Among other things, the CFPB has proposed to require that all reverse mortgages and HELOCs be identified by loan type to distinguish them from other categories of ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

GNMA’s Conversion Plan: Devil is in the Details

Two industry trade groups expressed support for consolidating Ginnie Mae’s mortgage-backed securities program and creating a new MBS but they are at loggerheads on some of the details. Commenting on the Ginnie Mae proposal, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said the disagreements are mostly on how to resolve issues related to winding down the Ginnie Mae I MBS program and providing a conversion option for existing securities. “It is clear that further discussion is warranted, and direct engagement with key stakeholders should be beneficial,” the trade groups suggested. Ginnie Mae has received considerable support from a variety of industry players for its “straw man” proposal to shift to a single MBS program based on the existing Ginnie II. The program now accounts for more than 90 percent of all ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Private MIs, VA Overtake Faltering FHA Program

Weighed down by high premium costs and lender overlays, FHA lost more primary market share to private mortgage insurers and the Department of Veterans Affairs during the second quarter of 2014. Although June’s FHA endorsement numbers have not yet been released, the trend seen in April through May, along with Ginnie Mae securitization data, suggest that FHA business was up a modest 11.5 percent from the first quarter. But that increase provides no comfort to FHA, which saw its market share go down to 33.7 percent, a six-year low. From April to May, FHA forward endorsements rose by 2.4 percent to $10.61 billion. On a year-over-year basis, however, endorsements were down from $21.9 billion in May 2013, according to an Inside FHA Lending analysis of agency data. On the other hand, private MI companies reported a total of $44.19 billion of new insurance written (NIW) during the ... [2 charts]


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

More Indemnification Demands Anticipated

The False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) not only have become strong enforcement tools in the fight against FHA mortgage fraud but also an efficient means of recovering taxpayer losses. Having used both federal statutes effectively to wrangle huge settlements from large banks, federal prosecutors now have their eyes set on mid-level banks, according to compliance experts during a recent webinar hosted by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications. “Because these FCA [and FIRREA] lawsuits have been a cash cow for the Department of Justice and the Inspector General of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, I think these agencies will target mid-level banks next,” said ...


August 15, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

IG Audit Finds Flaws in Indemnification Recovery

The Department of Housing and Urban Development failed to bill lenders for 486 loans with enforceable indemnification agreements that created losses for the FHA, according to the HUD Inspector General. The loans were originated between 2004 and 2014 and were either in the Accelerated Claims Disposition program or the Claims Without Conveyance of Title program, or they went into default before an indemnification agreement expired. Due to procedural errors and apparent lack of oversight, HUD failed to recover $37.1 million for 486 loans that had enforceable indemnification agreements. The unbilled loans represented 8.0 percent of total activity in the programs during that period. In addition, HUD did not ensure that indemnification agreements were extended to 64 of 2,078 loans that were streamline financed. As a result, HUD incurred losses of ...


August 14, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Wells Fargo Wins Latest Round in RESPA Class Action Involving Affiliated Business Arrangement

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Wells Fargo and co-defendant Long & Foster in a class-action dispute involving an affiliated business arrangement. In Minter v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA et al, plaintiffs/appellants Denise Minter, Jason and Rachel Alborough, and Lizbeth Binks brought suit on behalf of a group of consumers alleging that Wells Fargo and Long & Foster Real Estate violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that defendants created a joint venture, Prosperity Mortgage Co., to skirt RESPA’s prohibition on kickbacks in exchange for the referrals of settlement service business while failing to disclose this business arrangement to its customers. Here’s...


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

FHFA, Goldman Talking Deal After Judge Rules in Part For Agency

It could cost Goldman Sachs between $800 million and $1.25 billion to resolve government claims that it sold faulty mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac leading up to the financial crisis, according to recent reports. Goldman Sachs is currently negotiating with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which has recovered approximately $16.1 billion in agreements with other banks with respect to legacy MBS sold to the GSEs.In September 2011, the FHFA filed 18 separate lawsuits against some of the nation’s biggest banks, accusing them of misrepresenting some $180 billion in toxic subprime MBS.


August 8, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Judge Orders BofA to Pay $1.27B For ‘Hustle’ of Fannie, Freddie

A federal judge in Manhattan last week ordered Bank of America to pay a $1.27 billion penalty for losses suffered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from Countrywide Financial’s “Hustle” program for pumping dubious Alt A loans to the GSEs. The bank also is reportedly nearing a settlement with the Justice Department over other charges. Last October, the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission successfully proved in court that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lost some $850 million from thousands of loans acquired through Countrywide’s “high-speed swim lane” program – known as HSSL or “Hustle.”


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

Trustees Ask Court to Clear $4.5 Billion Settlement With Chase, Goldman Sachs Faces $1.2 Billion Hit

Mortgage trustees are still awaiting state court approval of a $4.5 billion settlement with JPMorgan Chase in relation to faulty residential MBS issued by the bank and the now-defunct Bear Stearns between 2005 and 2008. If approved by the New York State Supreme Court, the agreement would resolve representation and warranty claims as well as servicing claims related to loans in 330 mortgage securitization trusts, as well as claims over document delivery. In addition, the bank agreed to change its servicing procedures with respect to mortgage loans in the trusts. The proposed settlement does not resolve...


August 8, 2014 - Inside MBS & ABS

NY Fed, Looking to Expand Capacity, Launches Limited, One-Year Counterparty MBS Pilot Program

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is rolling out a one-year pilot program for a limited number of firms that do not meet the minimum capital requirement for primary dealers to function as counterparties in agency MBS operations it runs for the System Open Market Account portfolio. The FRBNY said its intent is to explore ways to broaden access to open market operations, and to determine the extent to which firms beyond the primary dealer community can augment the FRBNY’s operational capacity and resiliency in its monetary policy operations. “This pilot will allow...


Poll

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

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

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