Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Legislation.

January 29, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Wells, Chase Settle With CFPB Over Kickback Allegations, But Mystery Lender Escapes Wrath

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase reached a financial settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Maryland attorney general last week over allegations related to illegal mortgage kickbacks involving some of their loan officers and Genuine Title, a title company based in Maryland that went out of business last spring. The two government agencies are seeking civil penalties of $24 million from Wells Fargo and $600,000 from JPMorgan Chase. They also want $10.8 million from Wells and $300,000 from JPMorgan Chase in redress for consumers whose loans were involved in the marketing arrangement at issue. The CFPB and the Maryland AG also took action...

January 26, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

Worth Noting

Obama Vows Vetoes to Dodd-Frank Changes. President Barack Obama touted the Dodd-Frank Act during his recent State of the Union speech as well as the growth of the CFPB, and threatened a veto should the Republican-controlled Congress pass any additional fixes to Dodd-Frank. “Today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts, and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices,” Obama said. “We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix. And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of ...

January 26, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Position Upheld as SCOTUS Sides With Borrower on Rescission

When it comes to legal cases at the Supreme Court of the United States, score one for the CFPB. Earlier this month, in Jesinoski v. Countrywide, the SCOTUS essentially upheld the bureau’s position on borrower rescission of a mortgage under the Truth in Lending Act. Specifically, the high court unanimously ruled that TILA only requires written notice to a mortgage lender within three years in lieu of requiring a borrower to formally file a lawsuit within that time span. Under TILA, a borrower may rescind a mortgage within the first three days of consummation of the transaction or the delivery of the mandated disclosures required. However, if a lender fails to make the disclosures demanded under TILA, this right is ...

January 26, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

Wells, JPMorgan Settle With CFPB Over Mortgage Kickback Claims

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase settled with the CFPB and the Maryland Attorney General last week, resolving allegations of participating in an illegal marketing kickback scheme with Genuine Title, a title company that has since gone out of business. The government agencies alleged that Genuine Title gave the banks’ loan officers cash, marketing materials and consumer information in exchange for business referrals. The CFPB and the Maryland AG also took action against former Wells Fargo employee Todd Cohen and his wife, Elaine Oliphant Cohen, both of Baltimore, for their alleged involvement. The two government agencies are seeking $24 million in civil penalties from Wells Fargo and $600,000 in civil penalties from JPMorgan Chase. They also want $10.8 million from Wells ...

January 23, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

Low Rates, High Demand Power VA’s 3Q14 Surge

Production of loans with a VA guaranty was moderately strong in the third quarter of 2014, thanks to lower rates and increased demand for the no-downpayment loans, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of the latest agency data. A 14.1 percent quarter-to-quarter surge helped the industry end last year’s first nine months with a total of $76.3 billion in VA loans, mostly purchase home mortgages taken out by a younger generation of war veterans. VA streamline refinancing also accounted for a substantial chunk of originations, 19.2 percent. Volume jumped from $19.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to $26.5 billion the following quarter. Lenders closed out the third quarter with $30.2 billion. Stanley Middleman, chief executive officer of Freedom Mortgage, said VA lending is on the upswing, driven by low interest rates. He thinks the VA home loan guaranty program has been ... [ 1 chart ]

January 23, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

FDIC Proposes Clarification on Interplay Between Risk Retention and Securitization Safe Harbor

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took an action this week aimed at reducing confusion regarding the interplay between the banking regulator’s securitization safe harbor and risk-retention requirements recently set by federal regulators. Under the FDIC’s securitization safe harbor, if certain requirements are met, the FDIC, in its capacity as receiver or conservator of an insured depository institution, won’t recover or reclaim securitized assets when exercising its authority to repudiate contracts. In 2010, the FDIC added a risk-retention requirement to the safe harbor. For securitized assets to qualify for the FDIC’s safe harbor, sponsors of deals issued in 2011 and beyond must retain...

January 23, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

SCOTUS Ruling in TILA Rescission Case Could be Trouble for Non-Agency MBS, SFIG Brief Suggests

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Truth in Lending Act only compels a borrower to file a written notice within three years of consummation in order to rescind a mortgage if the lender fails to provide the required disclosure, instead of formally filing a lawsuit within that period. This could spell bad news for the non-agency RMBS space, according to an amicus brief the Structured Finance Industry Group filed with the high court in the case, Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. The first problem SFIG noted with the position that the SCOTUS eventually upheld is that it will have a chilling effect on non-agency MBS. “A determination that mere notice is sufficient to effect a rescission would reverberate through all segments of the RMBS market, creating significant hurdles for originators, issuers, ratings agencies, servicers, and trustees alike, while breeding doubt among investors regarding the value of future and already-issued private-label RMBS,” said the trade group. That’s...

January 22, 2015 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Outgoing Senate Democrat Pressed CFPB to Iron Out Wrinkle in QM Points-and-Fees Calculation

Shortly before he left office, the former chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to fix a problem that may prevent some loans from being classified as qualified mortgages. Former Sen. Tim Johnson, D-SD, said the problem in the CFPB’s points-and-fees definition was the result of a drafting error in the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the qualified mortgage under the ability-to-repay regulation. Loans with points and fees exceeding 3 percent can still be legal under the ATR, but the lender doesn’t get the liability protection afforded QMs. “The calculation of points and fees for purposes of determining what is a qualified mortgage was not intended...

January 12, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Minutiae/Vendor/Compliance News/Looking Ahead

CFPB Raises TILA Reg Z Exemption Threshold. The CFPB raised the asset size for banks exempt from the requirement to establish an escrow account for higher-priced mortgages under Regulation Z (Truth in Lending Act) from $2.028 billion to $2.060 billion, as of Jan. 1, 2015. The adjustment is based on the 1.1 percent increase in the average of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in November 2014. The adjustment to the escrow exemption asset-size threshold will also increase a similar threshold for small-creditor portfolio and balloon-payment qualified mortgages. CFPB Increases HMDA Reg C Exemption Threshold. The bureau slightly ratcheted up the asset- size exemption threshold for financial institutions reporting ...

January 12, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

Worth Noting

TRID Projected to Cost $527 Million a Year. A new analysis of the costs of government regulation by Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the center-right American Action Forum, estimates that the integrated mortgage disclosure rule promulgated last year by the CFPB will cost the industry $527 million annually. The TILA/RESPA integrated disclosure rule – or “TRID” – is scheduled to take effect Aug. 1, 2015, unless the mortgage industry can convince the CFPB to provide a delay. Elsewhere, Batkins projects compliance with all of the bureau’s 2014 regulations to cost the financial services industry $2.1 billion. All of the CFPB’s regulations since its inception in 2011 are estimated to cost $3.6 billion and 38.9 million hours to comply with. Of ...

January 12, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

Bank, Nonbank Mortgage Lender Reps Split on More Requirements

The Community Home Lenders Association, a national trade group representing small and mid-sized community-based nonbank mortgage lenders, is calling on the CFPB to set high uniform standards for all mortgage originators, such as testing, background checks, continuing education and licensing. “These basic requirements ... apply to virtually all professionals involved in real estate transactions and mortgages, as well as to all individuals at banks that sell securities or insurance,” the CHLA said in a recent letter…

January 12, 2015 - Inside the CFPB

2015 Unlikely to Match Last Year’s Mortgage Rulemaking Fireworks

The CFPB is likely to throw its weight around just as much this year as it did last year, only its focus and intensity will be more diverse in terms of the industries that will be affected. Back in 2014, much of the regulatory concern among lenders had to do with the bureau’s ability-to-repay rule with its qualified mortgage standard, and to lesser extents its rules on mortgage servicing and loan originator compensation. Make no mistake. The mortgage industry is still in the CFPB’s crosshairs. The biggest payload to be delivered in this regard in 2015 is the long-awaited and much discussed integrated disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. That rule ...

January 9, 2015 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Borrowers Benefit from MHA Enhancements

FHA borrowers who refinance through the agency’s Home Affordable Modification Program will also be eligible to earn $5,000 in the sixth year of their performing, modified loan, subject to the Department of the Treasury’s guidelines, the FHA has announced. The incentive to FHA-HAMP borrowers is one of several enhancements to the Making Home Affordable program that the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department unveiled in December last year. The enhancements were designed to motivate homeowners in MHA to continue making timely mortgage payments, strengthen the safety net for those still facing financial hardships, and help them build equity in their homes. Under the revised HAMP guidelines, all homeowners in the program become eligible to earn $5,000 in the sixth year of their loan modification. This means a borrower’s outstanding principal balance could ...

January 9, 2015 - Inside MBS & ABS

RMBS is Looking Much Better Despite the Glacial Speed of Progress, Lingering Challenges, Fitch Says

The U.S. non-agency MBS space is looking more inviting these days, even though progress is painfully slow and there remains plenty of room for improvement, analysts at Fitch Ratings have concluded in a report out this week. The Fitch analysts said that the underwriting of residential mortgages has improved dramatically since the financial crisis, with recent vintages demonstrating the best performance on record so far. “New legislation has completely eliminated...

December 22, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

TRID, New HMDA Rule Compliance Can Increase Fair Lending Liability

Many mortgage lenders are going to feel they are “damned if they do, damned if they don’t,” when they learn about the fair lending pitfalls inadvertently lurking in the weeds of compliance with the CFPB’s Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure rule and the forthcoming Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule. “Looking ahead to next year and beyond, the TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rule could bring additional new risk,” said Colgate Selden, counsel with the Alston & Bird law firm, during a recent webinar on fair lending risk sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, an affiliated newsletter. “Some of these are old risks that may have gone away, but are back in some ways,” Selden told attendees. ...

December 22, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Oversight Hearings, Dodd-Frank Changes Expected in 2015

Conversations with Capitol Hill insiders, industry lobbyists and trade group representatives suggest the CFPB is going to face a double-barreled threat from a Republican-controlled U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in the 114th Congress that convenes in January. On the one hand, the GOP is expected to be aggressive in holding numerous oversight hearings on a number of issues having to do with the CFPB. On the other hand, Republicans also are likely to push multiple pieces of legislation relating to the bureau and its rulemaking. A number of tweaks, revisions and technical corrections to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act are expected as well. Elaborating on the legislative front, Joe Pigg, vice president and senior counsel ...


The FHA is cutting its annual premium by 50 basis points. How much of a difference will this cut make in your FHA business?

Not much at all—maybe 10 percent at best.
Modestly. We expect a 10 percent to 25 percent gain in applications.
This is a real game changer, 25 percent or better.
Hard to say. This cut may just steal business away from the new Fannie/Freddie 97 LTV effort.

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