Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Regulations.

April 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Experts: Payment Plan Simplicity Best Bet Against CFPB’s Active, Aggressive Enforcement of LO Compensation Rule

The best bet for lenders that want to reward and retain their top mortgage producers while remaining on the right side of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s loan-originator compensation restrictions is to keep any compensation plan simple and easy to follow, experts warned during an Inside Mortgage Finance webinar this week. Some four months after the LO compensation rule took effect, most in the industry are aware of the rule’s general prohibition – no compensation based on loan terms – but lenders remain full of questions in determining how they can and cannot compensate their loan officers and brokers, as well as whom exactly in their employ falls within the new CFPB rule, according to Richard Andreano, practice leader at Ballard Spahr’s mortgage banking group. Andreano noted...

April 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Customer Service Improves, But Servicer Costs Also Go Up as Firms Comply with CFPB’s Servicing Rules

The servicing rules implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the beginning of this year appear to have resulted in improvements to customer service along with increased costs for servicers, according to industry analysts. “Most servicers have adapted their operations to make the customer experience a key focus of their servicing operations,” according to analysts at Standard & Poor’s. When reviewing servicers, S&P said...

April 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

HUD Chief: ‘Inaction Simply Not an Option’ as Groups Seek Changes to Senate Housing Finance Reform Bill

Declaring this week that “inaction is simply not an option,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said that the Senate’s pending bipartisan housing finance reform bill represents “the single best chance” to overhaul the mortgage-finance market this decade. Speaking in New York at an event co-hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Donovan said the Obama administration is squarely behind the legislative proposal by Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-SD, and Ranking Member Mike Crapo, R-ID. “Despite its imperfections, does...

April 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Announces Mortgage Closing Pilot Project, Mortgage Industry Hopes for Reset on E-Mortgages

Industry representatives who, since the 1990s, have been imagining a world of electronic mortgage transactions and related documentation took renewed inspiration from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s announcement this week of a pilot project aimed at using the latest in technology to diminish the “pain points” of the closing process. Brian Webster, the originations program manager for mortgage markets at the CFPB, said last week that the bureau had identified 1,480 such sore spots. But during a public forum held this week, the CFPB focused on a handful of primary problems it said consumers have with the way mortgage closings are handled in the American market. First, they feel...

April 24, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Grows Weary of MSR Snafus With Regulators, Wants Firm Policies and Procedures From FHFA, HUD

Two large acquisitions of mortgage servicing rights have been put on hold by regulators at the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Ginnie Mae, causing consternation in the secondary market. Moreover, according to trade group officials and advisors in the space, a deal needs to be struck between regulators and the industry that spells out the rules of the road when it comes to transferring MSRs from banks to their ultimate destination at nonbanks that are hungry for both product and market share. “We need an environment where servicing can be transferred...

April 24, 2014 - IMFnews

Altisource Plans to Continue to Lean on Ocwen in Face of Scrutiny from NY DFS

However, he suggested that Altisource is reevaluating some of the pricing on its services. Some 6,705 properties were sold via Hubzu in the first quarter of 2014.

April 24, 2014 - IMFnews

Want to Reward Your Top Loan Officers? Keep Their Comp Plan Simple

Attorney Richard Andreano noted that the rule’s bonus provisions remain confusing for many lenders.

April 24, 2014 - IMFnews

Short Takes: FHA Delinquencies Approaching an All-Time Low? / Flagstar’s IO Ticking Time Bomb / More MSR Deals from Phoenix, IMA and MountainView / No to Johnson-Crapo / Promotion for Wingspan Official

So, what does this mean for the industry? Answer: That the Mortgage Mutual Insurance Fund likely will return to health even faster and that maybe there’s room for FHA to cut premiums.

April 24, 2014 - IMFnews

Regulators May Favor Smaller Legacy MSR Sales

He cited one example where a $40 billion MSR package can be sold to one buyer that agrees to board the servicing files in increments of say $5 billion a month.

April 24, 2014 - IMFnews

CFPB Unveils Pilot Aimed at Reducing Document Review ‘Pain Points’

The CFPB will work with participants to test many eClosing features, including those that may enable consumer understanding, incentivize early document review and facilitate error detection.

April 23, 2014 - IMFnews

Short Takes: Lenders Begin to Loosen Credit Standards? / Ellie Mae Snafu Called ‘Bizarre’ / MBA, Others Want GSE Reform Now / Applications Slump Again / Sorry, No One’s Making Mortgages

As for details, a spokesman for the company said Ellie isn’t talking about the topic at this time. In an email exchange with IMFnews, mortgage technology consultant Tony Garritano of Progress in Lending called the whole episode “very bizarre”…

April 23, 2014 - IMFnews

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Deliver ‘Scorecard’ Comments to FHFA

The score card was the brainchild of former Acting FHFA director Edward DeMarco, who is retiring from the agency at the end of April.

April 23, 2014 - IMFnews

FHFA May Seek Industry Input on G-Fee Hike

In January, newly sworn-in FHFA Director Mel Watt officially delayed a GSE guaranty fee increase that had been scheduled by his predecessor Edward DeMarco.

April 23, 2014 - IMFnews

Mortgage Closing Process, “Pain Points” Take Center Stage at CFPB Forum

The bureau is expected to announce a pilot project to improve the mortgage closing process from A to Z for all stakeholders – not just consumers – an initiative likely to rely heavily on the industry’s technological capabilities.

April 23, 2014 - IMFnews

HUD Chief: ‘Inaction Simply Not an Option’ on GSE Reform; Rumors of a Delay?

Sources tracking the bill’s progress believe that if those votes cannot be lined up in time, then next week’s markup could be delayed by a few days.

April 22, 2014 - IMFnews

Short Takes: Ethos To Fund Loans in Colorado / Lawsky Wonders Aloud On Why Ocwen Does Not Love NY Realtors / Jumbo MBS Bust This Year? / Garrett Warns on CFPB / FHFA To Collect More Borrower Info

The FHFA shortly will begin to collect additional, more specific and personal information on borrowers and loans as part of the National Mortgage Database project the agency launched with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

April 22, 2014 - IMFnews

Servicing Deal Makers Say MSR Market is Not Frozen

However, a new research report from Sterne Agee notes: “We see the DFS as the primary log jam on the servicing transfer front.”

April 22, 2014 - IMFnews

First Quarter Mortgage Complaints to CFPB Take a Huge Drop

The strong improvement from last year was driven largely by a 46.8 percent plunge in grievances about loan modifications.

April 22, 2014 - IMFnews

Ocwen Investors Getting Concerned About Latest Lawsky Probe?

Some stakeholders said they called the firm’s investor relations department about the latest probe and were told the firm would be saying more about the matter when it reports first quarter earnings.

April 21, 2014 - IMFnews

Short Takes: CFPB Releases Guide to RESPA and TILA Disclosure Forms/Fannie Forecasts Accelerated Economic Growth in 2Q 2014/FHFA 2014 Scorecard ‘Soon’/Congress Remains in Recess This Week

ICYMI: Late last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its guide to completing its integrated disclosure forms under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act.

April 18, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

OIG: Four Big Bank Members Boost FHLB Advances, Reporting Needed

In the wake of sharp increases in commercial bank borrowing from the Federal Home Loan Bank system in order to keep up with new international bank-liquidity rules, the Federal Housing Finance Agency should be more transparent in reporting FHLBank advances, according to the agency’s official watchdog. The FHFA’s Office of Inspector General noted in an audit released Wednesday that FHLBank system advances have been increasing, reaching $492 billion by year-end 2013. The growth in advances has been driven primarily by the four largest members of the system – JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

April 18, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Compliance Should Focus on Consumer Harm

There are a variety of components for a successful compliance-management program mortgage lenders should implement, but the primary goal needs to be preventing harm to consumers, according to bank examiners with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. “Given the challenges associated with the regulatory environment of today, we’d like to emphasize the importance of looking at bank operations while asking two questions from a consumer compliance perspective,” said ...

April 18, 2014 - IMFnews

Erbey: Servicers Now Competing Based on Compliance, Not Price

Ocwen's Bill Erbey sees the positive in recent scrutiny of nonbank servicers.

April 18, 2014 - IMFnews

Pilot from CFPB Will Aim to Digitize the Entire Mortgage Closing Process

The CFPB plans to launch a pilot project as part of its efforts to improve the mortgage closing process.

April 17, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Complaints to CFPB See Big Drop From Year Ago, Mostly on Plunge in Loan-Mod Gripes

Total consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rose 34 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, but gripes about home mortgages fell 29.3 percent from year-ago levels, according to a new analysis by Inside the CFPB, an affiliated newsletter. The strong improvement from last year was driven largely by a 46.8 percent plunge in grievances about loan modifications. But complaints about servicing in general were up 21.4 percent from the first quarter of last year, while the other five mortgage-related categories were lower. Gripes having to do with loan application or other origination-related issues fell 26.7 percent from the first quarter of 2013. The number of gripes that were responded to in a timely manner fell...

April 17, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Joint Venture Pros are Wary as Market Transitions Under the Weight of Dodd-Frank, Uneven Economy

Industry joint-venture professionals are trying to stay upbeat as they feel their way around a changing economic and regulatory landscape. A number of them are pulling back somewhat as they strategize to find their niche in a recovering market and a business redefined by the Dodd-Frank Act. “As everybody here knows, there have been a long-standing number of mortgage joint ventures that have exited the business over the last couple of years,” Gerard Griesser, president of The Trident Group, said in introducing a panel of industry executives at the Real Estate Settlement Providers Council’s 2014 annual conference this week in Washington, DC. Robert Moline, president and chief operating officer at HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate based in Minneapolis, said...

April 17, 2014 - IMFnews

NY DFS Probe of Nonbank Servicers Has Frozen Servicing Sales

The investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services of nonbank servicers including Nationstar Mortgage and Ocwen Financial has put a halt to servicing sales.

April 17, 2014 - IMFnews

Judge Denies S&P Motion to Split DOJ MBS Fraud Case, Allows Discovery

Judge in the DOJ's case against Standard & Poor's handed the rating service a mixed ruling.

April 17, 2014 - IMFnews

Trade Groups Continue to Push HUD to Revise FHA’s High-Cost Loan Limits

The MBA and others want documentation from HUD detailing the recent reduction to FHA loan limits in certain high-cost areas.

April 17, 2014 - IMFnews

Loss of Preemption Splinters Mortgage Joint Venture Industry

The Dodd-Frank Act prompted major changes for mortgage joint ventures, with some firms striking out on their own and others sticking with the smaller market.

April 16, 2014 - IMFnews

FHFA-OIG: Big Bank Members Boost FHLBank Advances, Reporting Needed

The surge in recent years of Federal Home Loan Bank advances by big banks presents safety and soundness risks, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Office of Inspector General.

April 16, 2014 - IMFnews

BofA’s Mortgage Settlements Lead to Loss in First Quarter, Originations Decline

BofA's mortgage-related settlements led to a loss for the lender in the first quarter of 2014.

April 15, 2014 - IMFnews

GSEs Will Comply with Chicago's Vacant Property Rule But Not Pay Under Settlement by FHFA

The FHFA and Chicago settled a legal battle that started in November 2011 regarding maintenance and fees for vacant properties.

April 15, 2014 - IMFnews

Mortgage Complaints to CFPB See Big Drop from Year Ago

Mortgage-related complaints to the CFPB as of the first quarter of 2014 were down significantly compared with the previous year, though they increased compared with the fourth quarter of 2013.

April 15, 2014 - IMFnews

SHORT TAKES: Negative Outlook / Fannie to Assess Late Fees / Servicers Implement CFPB Rules / Crowdfunding Servicing Purchases / Johnson-Crapo Outlook

DBRS suggests it's likely that most of the U.S. population won't be able to qualify for a mortgage any time soon...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Worth Noting/Snippets/Looking Ahead

CFPB Servicing Rules Having Intended Effect on Foreclosures. The data and analytics division of Black Knight Financial Services recently examined the impact of the implementation of the CFPB’s new mortgage servicing rules in January and observed a sharp shift in the timing of foreclosure starts. “As the CFPB rules dictate that foreclosure cannot begin until after 120 days of delinquency, the data showed foreclosure starts at the 90-day mark have all but ceased, while four-month delinquency starts have risen over 100 percent since December,” the firm said. At the same time, foreclosure sales hit the lowest levels since 2007. “With fewer loans in the foreclosure process, these numbers will continue to decline, but the result has been an increase in...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Financial Institutions Support Oversight of Nonbank Transmitters

Many banks and credit unions support the efforts of the CFPB to bring nonbank money-transfer operations within the scope of the bureau’s oversight. In January, the agency issued a proposed rulemaking that generally would amend the current regulation that defines larger participants of certain consumer financial products and services by adding a new section defining larger participants of the international money-transfer market. The proposal lays out the framework by which the CFPB would identify a nonbank market for international money transfers and define the “larger participants” of this market that would be subject to the CFPB’s supervisory authority. Namely, an entity would be a larger participant if it has at least one million aggregate annual international money transfers. This proposal...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Freedom of Information Act Ruling Goes in Favor of the CFPB

The issue of the recess appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the CFPB may finally have been put to rest now, after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the last remnants of a case brought by the watchdog group, Judicial Watch, under the Freedom of Information Act. Back in September, the court ruled that the CFPB had properly discharged its FOIA obligations in the case for all the documents at issue except one, an e-mail from a White House staffer to a CFPB employee. At the time, “the court agreed with the CFPB’s position that it was entitled to rely on the deliberative process privilege, the attorney client/attorney work product privilege, or the presidential communications...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB’s First Criminal Referral Results in Guilty Pleas

Debt-settlement company Mission Settlement Agency and its principal, Michael Levitis, pleaded guilty in New York to conspiracy charges of mail and wire fraud, giving the CFPB a significant victory in its first criminal referral. As part of the plea deal struck with federal prosecutors, Levitis and Mission Settlement agreed to forfeit $2.2 million. Levitis faces as much as 10 years in prison, and his company could be fined as much as an additional $4.39 million. The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe on Aug. 21, 2014. In addition to Levitis’ plea, four other former Mission employees, Denis Kurlyand, Boris Shulman, Felix Lemberskiy, and Zakhir Shirinov, previously pled guilty for their roles in the scheme...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Needs to Improve its Supervisory Activities, OIG Finds

The CFPB needs to up its game and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its supervisory activities, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Office of Inspector General, the IG for the bureau. “Specifically, we found that the CFPB needs to improve its reporting timeliness and reduce the number of examination reports that have not been issued, adhere to its unequivocal standards concerning the use of standard compliance rating definitions in its examination reports, and update its policies and procedures to reflect current practices,” the OIG said. The report contains 12 recommendations designed to assist the CFPB in strengthening its supervision program, one of which is to monitor the timeliness of examination reporting against the requirements the agency...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Consumer Complaints About Credit Reporting Surging, Data Reveal

Consumer complaints filed with the CFPB jumped 29.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014, fueled mostly by a flood of gripes having to do with credit reporting, which leapt 79.5 percent during the period, according to a new analysis and ranking by Inside the CFPB. Year over year, the picture is even worse, with total complaints up 34.0 percent, driven by an eye-popping 125.8 percent jump in grievances with credit reporting. Such a noticeable rise in the sector is sure to capture the attention of the CFPB, which uses consumer complaints – rightly or wrongly – as a barometer for where it should dedicate its limited resources. There are economists who argue such self-reported data are inherently unreliable. The bureau has... [includes 2 exclusive charts]

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Democrats Call for Full Hearing On Personnel Practices at CFPB

Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee have formally requested Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, conduct a full committee hearing into potential discriminatory policies and practices that affect employees not only at the CFPB but in other federal financial regulatory agencies as well. Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-CA, announced the request at a hearing recently conducted by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which looked into allegations of employee discrimination and retaliation at the CFPB. Waters echoed sentiments of fellow Democrats, who expressed concern earlier that the hearing was focused on discussing ongoing claims by a single employee instead of the larger issue of employee discrimination and the retaliation and harassment that whistleblowers experience. Dwelling on the employee’s...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

QM Rules to Constrict Mortgage Credit, ABA Lending Survey Finds

More than 80 percent of bankers expect mortgage credit is going to be constricted because of the CFPB’s new mortgage rules, which took effect in January, according to the results of the latest Real Estate Lending Survey from the American Bankers Association. More specifically, in discussing the impact of the ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage rules on credit availability in the market generally, 41 percent said there will be a measurable reduction in credit availability across all mortgage lending segments. Forty percent said there will be a measurable reduction in credit availability in the non-QM lending segments only, and 20 percent said there will be no measurable impact on mortgage lending levels, regardless of QM or non-QM classification. When asked to characterize the...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

Mortgage Lenders Call for Changes To CFPB’s Ability-to-Repay Rule

In a statement submitted for the record to the House Financial Services Committee last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said it remains concerned that the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule could unduly tighten mortgage credit for a significant number of creditworthy families who seek to buy or refinance a home. To improve the rule, the MBA rattled off a handful of suggestions, the first of which was to establish cure procedures. “The CFPB should adopt rules allowing lenders to cure calculation errors and other processing mistakes made while attempting to meet the qualified mortgage requirements,” the trade group said. “Without such procedures, lenders will be forced to avoid transactions at the boundaries of the points-and-fees cap, debt-to-income limits and the annual percentage...

April 14, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Requires $747 Million from BofA Over Credit Card Practices

Bank of America will have to pay $727 million in restitution to consumers who were harmed by practices related to its credit card add-on products, under the terms of a consent order announced last week by the CFPB. That is the single largest amount of money yet returned to consumers in such an action by the bureau. BofA also agreed to pay a $20 million civil money penalty to the CFPB. The bureau went after BofA on two fronts: allegedly deceptive marketing practices as well as unfair billing practices. The marketing practices at issue had to do with two credit-card payment-protection products, “Credit Protection Plus” and “Credit Protection Deluxe.” “The bureau found that the telemarketing scripts Bank of America used...

April 14, 2014 - IMFnews

SHORT TAKES: FCI Continues to Expand its Servicing Base / Wells Fargo and JPM Take a Rest on MSR Markups / Jumbo Expansion? / Mods and Foreclosures / FDIC Throws Cold Water on Consolidation Theory / New Office for Interlinc

The MBA said applications for purchase-mortgages with high loan balances have increased in recent months while applications for lower-balance mortgages has declined…

April 14, 2014 - IMFnews

FHFA Remains Mum on ‘Articulated Criteria’ For MSR Transfers

During a recent webinar on MSR strategies, industry attorney Larry Platt of K&L Gates said he knows of “certain sales that have been held up for quite some time.” He noted: “You really can’t get a handle on what the cause of it is.”

April 14, 2014 - IMFnews

Ocwen Hits Snarl on OneWest Servicing Deal

Fitch said OneWest found a new buyer for 12,000 mortgages in 39 non-agency MBS that didn’t receive consents as part of the planned transfer to Ocwen.

April 14, 2014 - IMFnews

Mortgage Bankers Call for Transparent FHA Loan Limit Process

The National Association of Realtors also urged the FHA to use its “granted discretion” to adjust loan limits for areas that have experienced significant declines.

April 11, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

HMBS Quarterly Issuance Down by 30 Percent. Issuance of securitized Home Equity Conversion Mortgages remained low as HMBS issuers created only $510.1 million in new HMBS pools during March, the third lowest total in almost five years, according to the latest market analysis by New View Advisors. This brought HMBS issuance in the first quarter of 2014 to $1.7 billion, the lowest quarterly total in nearly five years, said NVA. By comparison, HMBS issuance totaled $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014. 1Q14 has the lowest HMBS issuance since 2Q09, when the program was at its infancy. In March, 86 HMBS pools consisting of 41 original issuances and 45 tail pools were issued. Original HMBS issuances refer to a pool of HECM loans securitized for the first time, while tail HMBS issuances are pools created from the uncertificated portions of HECMs that have ...


What do you think is the biggest hurdle to meeting the new QM standards in the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule?

A debt-to-income (DTI) cap of 43%.


A 3% cap on points and fees.


An interest rate cap of the average prime offered rate (APOR) plus 1.5%.


Housing Pulse