RESPA

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to RESPA.

March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Moving Vigorously Ahead with Enforcement Actions, as Prospect Mortgage RESPA Case Reveals

With the enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act at stake, and a hostile occupant in the Oval Office, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is certainly not being bashful about continuing its regulation-by-enforcement modus operandi. The recent enforcement action against Prospect Mortgage is just the latest example. According to Colgate Selden, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the law firm of Alston & Bird, the case is important because “it indicates the CFPB is moving full-speed ahead regardless” of the recent court rulings in PHH v. CFPB. This case is...


March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump Administration Urges Court in PHH Case To Ditch CFPB ‘Removal Only for Cause’ Provision

The Trump administration late last week filed its amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and, as expected, sided with the lender this time around, but didn’t go as far as some had hoped it would. In its brief, the Department of Justice argued in support of eliminating the removal-only-for-cause protection that currently applies to the director of the CFPB. However, whereas PHH has argued that the CFPB be eliminated in its entirety, the Trump administration argued in favor of retaining the CFPB, but with a director removable at the will of the president. Currently, the director may be removed...


March 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

As Consideration of PHH Corp. v. CFPB Continues, The Role of the Administrative Law Judge Emerges

Nearly all of the discussion related to the ongoing legal battle between PHH Corp. and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has involved either questions about the bureau’s interpretation and enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act or issues having to do with the constitutionality of the CFPB. But the role played by the administrative law judge early in the bureau’s enforcement action has surfaced, with potential significance in the eyes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which recently granted the agency’s request for a rehearing by the full court. To adjudicate the matter early on, the CFPB borrowed...


March 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Rules Have Hindered, May Yet Help, Adoption of E-Mortgages

Mortgage lenders’ efforts at compliance with post-financial crisis regulation, largely from the CFPB, shifted their focus from fully implementing e-mortgage processes but also helped them develop the necessary technology to move forward with them in the future, according to a new report from analysts at Moody’s Investors Service. “Following the crisis, lenders focused on adapting technology to implement regulations such as the ability-to-repay [qualified mortgage] rule and the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule rather than on e-mortgages,” the analysts said. “The implementation of those regulations has, however, led to advancements in the technology needed to originate e-mortgages by providing, for example, a seamless data feed between the mortgage loan application and the disclosure documents.” Further, “Some lenders and servicers have also ...


March 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

TRID Triggered Most 2016 Mortgage QC Headaches

The CFPB’s integrated disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act proved to be the primary source of mortgage lenders’ quality control (QC) headaches in 2016, the first full year of the rule’s implementation, a new industry report concluded. According to a review of thousands of post-close QC audits performed by MetaSource, a Utah-based third-party mortgage compliance service provider, TRID accounted for 12 of the top 15 findings of QC issues. The six most frequent findings were issues with TRID requirements. The single most frequent issue involved correspondence of information listed in the Calculating Cash to Close table on page 3 of the closing disclosure (CD) to the information cited on the last ...


March 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

RESPA Experts See Positive Elements in CFPB Consent Orders

With legal briefs continuing to be filed in PHH Corp. v. CFPB, mortgage experts on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act see a bit of a silver lining, along with multiple warnings, in the handful of consent orders the CFPB brought against other industry defendants on the RESPA front. Earlier this year, the CFPB brought a $3.5 million enforcement action against Prospect Mortgage, accusing the firm of illegal kickbacks for mortgage business referrals from two real estate brokers, and in an unusual twist, a mortgage servicing operation. The bureau also acted against ReMax Gold Coast and Keller Williams Mid-Willamette, the brokers, and Planet Home Lending, the mortgage servicer – all of whom it accused of taking illegal kickbacks. During an exclusive ...


March 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Appeals Court Blocks State National Bank from PHH Case

The years-long legal battle that PHH Mortgage and PHH Corp. have been waging with the CFPB continues to take sudden and unexpected turns. One recent example: PHH filed a brief in opposition to the plaintiffs in State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, et al. v. Lew from intervening in the mortgage lender’s case with the CFPB. …


March 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

PHH Corp. Makes its Case Again In RESPA Dispute with CFPB

PHH Corp. and related parties again made a full defense of their position in their legal struggle with the CFPB over alleged misconduct under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. PHH made five primary arguments to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the first of which was that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured and must be invalidated. …


March 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Multiple State AGs Detail Their Support of PHH in Case With CFPB

The attorneys general of 15 states came to the defense of PHH Corp. and related parties in their case with the CFPB over the agency’s interpretation and enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The AGs of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin focused on the constitutional issues in the case, with not a single mention of the statutory questions related to the act. The AGs made three major arguments in support of PHH’s position. First, they asserted that the separation of powers plays a critical role in preserving the division of authority within the federal system, and the CFPB’s governance structure violates the separation of powers ...


March 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

The Government, As Expected, Switches Sides in PHH Case

The Trump administration has subtly signaled its support for PHH Corp. in the mortgage lender’s long-running dispute with the CFPB over alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. In recent days, the Department of Justice asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for permission to file an amicus brief in the case by March 17, one week after the deadline the court had given PHH to file its response to the court’s decision to grant the CFPB’s request for an en banc rehearing. The court has since granted the administration’s request for the one-week extension. In its request, the Justice Department said, “As this court recognized in calling for the views of the ...


March 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

RESPA Experts Highlight Troubling Behavior in CFPB’s Consent Orders With Prospect Mortgage

As the mortgage industry waits for a definitive resolution to the legal dispute between PHH Mortgage and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, industry experts tried to glean some guidance on the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act from the bureau’s recent consent orders involving nonbank Prospect Mortgage and some of its partners. Earlier this year, the CFPB brought a $3.5 million enforcement action against Prospect, accusing the firm of illegal kickbacks for mortgage business referrals from two real estate brokers, and in an unusual twist, a mortgage servicing operation. The bureau also acted against ReMax Gold Coast and Keller Williams Mid-Willamette, the brokers, and Planet Home Lending, the mortgage servicer – all of whom it accused of taking illegal kickbacks from the lender. During a webinar this week sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, Rodrigo Alba, senior vice president of mortgage finance and senior regulatory counsel for the American Bankers Association, said...


March 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump Administration Changes Sides

The Trump administration looks to be taking sides with a mortgage lender that says the configuration of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional. The government, through the Department of Justice and the Solicitor General, usually sides with government agencies in court cases. But in the closely watched lawsuit involving PHH Mortgage and the CFPB, it’s expected to oppose the bureau’s stance. This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit approved...


February 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

How to Accurately Estimate Property Taxes in Line with TRID

In a competitive mortgage market with increasingly knowledgeable and demanding borrowers, it is essential that originators implement proper processes and controls to produce accurate property tax data collection, analysis and estimation, according to an online blog posting by Dominique Lalisse, an analyst with CoreLogic. One of the critical components of the new loan origination process that has emerged under the CFPB’s Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure rule is property- tax amount estimation for residential properties, she pointed out. “The estimating process is conducted during the initial stages of origination in order to complete the required loan estimate (LE) provided to the borrower,” Lalisse said. “With increased scrutiny around the preparation of the LE, lenders must ...


February 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Ditching CFPB Mortgage Rules Would Hurt RMBS, Moody’s Warns

If federal policymakers do away with the CFPB’s mortgage rules without proper replacements, the credit quality of residential mortgage-backed securities could be compromised, analysts at Moody’s Investors Service said in a recent report. The analysts were providing a review of President Trump’s recent executive order related to the Dodd-Frank Act. “Any significant repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act’s mortgage-related provisions without effective alternatives would weaken residential RMBS credit quality because these provisions have strengthened the credit quality of mortgage originations, improved servicing practices and bolstered the credit integrity of RMBS structures,” the analysts said. The report is significant because it flies in the face of the traditional industry narrative that the bureau’s mortgage rules have been nothing but an onerous burden ...


February 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

State National Bank Plaintiffs Want In on En Banc Rehearing of PHH

It’s not just the defenders of the CFPB that are itching to enter the legal fray between the bureau and PHH Corp. The plaintiffs in State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, et al. v. Lew have also filed a motion to intervene in the en banc proceeding. The plaintiffs – State National Bank of Big Spring, TX, the 60 Plus Association and the Competitive Enterprise Institute – had previously asked the federal district court for the District of Columbia to consolidate their 2012 lawsuit against the CFPB with that of PHH. However, they were recently denied. In their subsequent petition to the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, the plaintiffs noted, “More than 18 months ago, this court ...


February 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Democrats, Advocates Again Ask to Intervene in PHH v. CFPB

Each of the parties that were rebuffed recently in their attempts to intervene in the controversial legal dispute between PHH Corp. and the CFPB decided they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Each of them again filed a motion with the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking permission to intervene in the case, contrary to prevailing appeals court rules. Earlier this month, Democrat attorneys general from 16 states and the District of Columbia submitted a petition for rehearing en banc. Also, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, submitted a motion for rehearing en banc, as did a handful of public interest, consumer advocacy groups. All seek to inject themselves into the ...


February 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Appeals Court Gives CFPB a Win, Agrees to En Banc Rehearing

Could this be an omen of the decision to come? Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the CFPB’s request for an en banc rehearing in its controversial legal dispute, PHH Corp. v. CFPB. “Upon consideration of respondent’s [CFPB] petition for rehearing en banc, the briefs amici curiae in support of the petition, the response of the United States to the petition, the response of the petitioners [PHH Corp.] to the petition, the supplemental response of petitioners, and the vote in favor of the petition by a majority of judges eligible to participate, it is ordered the petition be granted,” 10 of the court’s 11 justices wrote in their ruling. One of ...


February 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

PHH Succeeds in Fending Off Intervenors in Dispute with CFPB

PHH Corp. won another round against some new antagonists in its dispute with the CFPB over alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with the lender and refused to allow three separate efforts to intervene in the case. In a simple, single-page order, the three judges “ordered that the motions be denied.” The ruling affects an effort by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, to insert themselves in the case on behalf of the CFPB. The lawmakers had warned the appeals court that if their effort to intervene was denied, they would seek recourse from ...


February 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Latest RESPA Case Reveals New Things About CFPB Enforcement

An analysis by the Mortgage Bankers Association of the CFPB’s latest foray back into the enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act noted that some of the allegations in the consent orders would have been troubling under the enforcement regime of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, the orders also highlight several new points in the way the bureau is enforcing Section 8 of RESPA, the MBA said. “These include that the arrangements steer consumers, exclude other competitors, and were arrived at based on internal analyses of business and that click-throughs to lenders in joint marketing arrangements somehow amount to compensated referrals,” the trade group said. Further, the consent order addressing Planet Home Lending also clarifies that ...


February 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Brokers, Servicer Also Sanctioned By CFPB in Prospect RESPA Case

In addition to bringing an enforcement action against Prospect Mortgage for alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the CFPB also acted against ReMax Gold Coast and Keller Williams Mid-Willamette, two real estate brokers, and Planet Home Lending, a mortgage servicer – all of whom it accused of taking illegal kickbacks from the lender. Specifically, the CFPB accused both brokers of participating in “certain lead agreements and desk license agreements” with Prospect Mortgage, and of accepting payments from the lender in exchange for referrals in violation of RESPA and its implementing regulation, Regulation X. The bureau also said RGC’s agents “required hundreds of consumers wishing to place an offer on one of their properties offered for sale to pre-qualify ...


February 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Back in RESPA Enforcement Game With Standard Interpretation

The CFPB recently brought a more traditional interpretation to its enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act in an action against Prospect Mortgage, two real estate brokers and a mortgage servicer that focuses on alleged kickbacks for referrals of mortgage business. Among the lender’s alleged violations of RESPA was the use of lead agreements to pay brokers for referrals. According to the CFPB’s consent order, Prospect entered into such agreements with more than 200 different counterparties, most of which were real estate brokers. Under these arrangements, Prospect paid the counterparty for each lead it received. However, these counterparties went “well beyond simply transferring information about prospective buyers,” the CFPB alleged. They also referred prospective buyers to Prospect’s loan officers....


February 13, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Trump Goes After Dodd-Frank Regulations, CFPB Impact Unclear

President Donald Trump has put the Dodd-Frank Act in his crosshairs, issuing an executive order earlier this month that directs the Treasury secretary to work with the members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to review the current regulatory regime and evaluate it according to a handful of “core principles” Trump believes should shape the regulation of the U.S. financial system. The principles include fostering informed consumer choices, preventing bailouts, promoting economic growth, tailoring regulations and ensuring regulatory accountability. Industry observers and Republicans and Democrats alike on Capitol Hill saw the order as the beginning of an attack on Dodd-Frank and perhaps even a shot across the bow of the CFPB, with negative implications for the agency’s mortgage lending and ...


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