Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to RESPA.

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 ...

February 9, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump Exec Order Puts Dodd-Frank in Crosshairs; No Immediate Impact, Sets Table for Future Action

President Trump late last week signed an executive order laying out his “core principles” for regulating the U.S. financial system, and giving the head of the Treasury Department 120 days to detail how the current massive regulatory regime measures up. Trump’s core principles include fostering informed consumer choices, preventing bailouts, promoting economic growth, tailoring regulations and ensuring regulatory accountability. The broadly-worded order specifies, “Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect ... the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof.” The order was...

February 2, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

As Legal Action in PHH v. CFPB Continues, Agency Brings RESPA Action Against Prospect Mortgage

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week announced a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act enforcement action against a nonbank lender that appears to reflect a traditional interpretation of the law’s anti-kickback provisions, while a flurry of new paperwork fell on its controversial legal battle with PHH Mortgage. The bureau this week brought a $3.5 million enforcement action against Prospect Mortgage, accusing the firm of illegal kickbacks for mortgage business referrals from real estate brokers, and in an unusual twist, a mortgage servicing operation. The CFPB said...

January 30, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Tags Citi Subs $29 Million Over Mortgage Servicing Practices

The CFPB last week slapped CitiFinancial Servicing and CitiMortgage a relatively modest $28.8 million for allegedly keeping struggling borrowers in the dark about options available to save their homes. The bureau’s action had to do with the company’s origination and servicing of residential daily simple interest mortgages, especially as they relate to deferments. The CFPB accused CitiFinancial Servicing of misleading consumers about the effect of deferring payment due dates, charging consumers for credit insurance that should have been canceled, prematurely cancelling credit insurance for some borrowers, sending inaccurate consumer information to credit reporting companies, and failing to investigate consumer disputes. The bureau is requiring CitiMortgage to pay an estimated $17.0 million to compensate wronged consumers, and to pay a civil ...

January 30, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Most CFPB Mortgage Rules Unaffected by Trump Pause

President Donald Trump recently imposed a moratorium on new and pending regulations, which is generally considered by industry experts and observers standard operating procedure for an incoming presidential administration. But the bad news for the mortgage industry is that most of the regulations from the CFPB have already been issued. Two possible exceptions are the bureau’s Home Mortgage Disclosure Act final rule, which has been issued in final form but is not yet effective, as well as its TRID 2.0 clarifying rulemaking, which is expected in final form sometime this spring. In a memo issued by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, unspecified “executive departments and agencies” were generally directed to “send no regulation to the Office of the ...

January 30, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

John Doe Company Says CFPB Can’t Act Against it After PHH

In a case of potential significance for any company that finds itself the recipient of a civil investigative demand from the CFPB, a finance company has filed suit to prevent the bureau from disclosing its investigation of the firm and from taking any action against it unless and until the agency is restructured in line with the U.S. Constitution. “Plaintiff moves for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting the CFPB and its director from using the executive, legislative and judicial powers delegated to the bureau to impose any restriction on plaintiffs’ liberty or otherwise take any action adverse to plaintiff unless and until the bureau is constitutionally structured,” said the company. The corporate entity, chartered in California with ...

January 30, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Democrats, Advocates File in Defense of CFPB Versus PHH

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, late last week submitted a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking to intervene on behalf of the CFPB in its action against PHH Corp. “Movants now seek to intervene in this litigation because recent events have made it clear that their interests in preserving the leadership structure they voted for [in enacting the Dodd-Frank Act] may no longer be adequately represented by the new administration,” Brown and Waters argued. “Indeed, absent intervention, it is possible that the panel’s decision will be insulated from review, thus nullifying movants’ votes to establish the CFPB as an independent agency and their ability to establish similar independent ...

January 30, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

PHH Disputes DOJ Arguments in Support of En Banc Rehearing

Late last week, PHH Corp. followed up on the opportunity afforded it by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and filed its legal response to the arguments the Department of Justice made late last year in defense of the CFPB’s petition for an en banc rehearing in its dispute with the mortgage lender. The DOJ’s brief “asserts support for rehearing en banc, but not for any of the reasons advanced by the CFPB,” PHH said. “Indeed, the brief never actually defends the CFPB’s structure as consistent with the Constitution. Nor does the brief claim anywhere that the panel erred in its choice of remedy, its decision to reach the separation-of-powers issue, or its discussion of ...

January 26, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Citi Subsidiaries Agree to $29 Million Settlement With CFPB Related to Mortgage Servicing Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week brought a relatively modest $28.8 million enforcement action against CitiFinancial Servicing and CitiMortgage to resolve allegations that struggling borrowers were kept in the dark about options available to save their homes. Under the terms of the consent order, CitiMortgage has to pay an estimated $17 million to compensate wronged consumers, along with a civil penalty of $3 million. The CFPB is also compelling CitiFinancial Services to refund approximately $4.4 million to consumers, and pay a civil penalty of $4.4 million. The bureau’s action related...

January 20, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Jefferies’ Warehouse Securitizations Seen as Performing Well, Replenished with Strong Mortgages as Collateral Turns Over

Credit quality for the loans backing unique warehouse-funding securitizations from Jefferies Funding remains strong, according to Moody’s Investors Service. One of the risks was that weaker collateral could be included in the transactions as time passed. The $225.0 million Station Place Securitization Trust 2016-1 received Aaa ratings from Moody’s last February and a $210.0 million 2016-3 transaction issued in May garnered an with Aaa rating. The rating service evaluated the deals recently as the 2016-1 securitization is set to pay down next month. “To date, there has been...

January 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

PHH Corp. Convinces Appeals Court to Let It Respond to Government’s Brief in CFPB Dispute

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last week gave PHH Corp. the green light to weigh in on the legal arguments the Justice Department made late last year in support of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s petition for an en banc rehearing of its dispute with the lender. The appeals court did so over the objections of the CFPB, and with 11 of the 12 judges in agreement and one not participating. PHH had argued that it ought to be able to respond to the second of two government arguments in favor of the review. Privately, some industry insiders thought...

January 16, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

PHH Corp. May Have an Ally In Case Against CFPB

While many in the mortgage industry wait for the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals to decide whether to rehear the arguments of the CFPB in its wrangling with PHH, the plaintiffs in State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, et al. v. Lew, et al. have stepped back onto the legal stage at the district court level. Specifically, “Plaintiffs respectfully move [the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia] to hold a status conference at its earliest convenience to determine how this case ... can be most efficiently adjudicated in light of the CFPB’s petition for en banc review of the panel decision in PHH Corp. v. CFPB,” State National Bank and its parties asked the appeals ...


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