State Regulators

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to State Regulators.

July 18, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Borrower OK Required to Voluntarily End Federal MI

New FHA guidance regarding voluntary termination of FHA mortgage insurance does not affect separate guidance requiring borrowers to continue payment of their annual insurance premium regardless of the loan’s amortization terms. The FHA made the clarification in relation to Mortgagee Letter 2014-13, which requires written consents by the lender and the borrower in all voluntary terminations of FHA mortgage insurance. The requirement becomes effective on Oct. 1st this year. Specifically, the guidance requires FHA lenders to document that they have obtained the borrower’s informed consent to terminate FHA insurance on the mortgage. The change ensures that the lender would incur no liability and that the borrower understands the terms of the voluntary termination. Under current rules, the FHA may terminate mortgage insurance at the request of the borrower and the lender. The lender may cancel the insurance endorsement upon notification by the FHA commissioner that the insurance contract is terminated.

July 10, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

U.S. Judge Finds MERS Liable in Mortgage Recording Suit, Registry Faces Possibility of Costly Award, New Lawsuits

An industry that is used to reading about MERS’ court victories was stunned last week after a federal court judge in Pennsylvania found Merscorp Inc. and its electronic mortgage registry system in violation of state recording laws for real estate properties. While the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge J. Curtis Joyner may be appealed, MERS could be held liable for its role as an “agent” for member-lenders involved in property transfers and for alleged unjust enrichment, according to legal experts. The case was brought...

July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Around the Industry

Senate Banking Committee Approves HUD, FHFA IG Nominees. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs recently approved the nomination of Julian Castro as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Castro, D, is the incumbent mayor of San Antonio, TX. The panel also approved the nomination of Laura Wertheimer as inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The Senate has yet to confirm their nominations. Meanwhile, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s nomination for director of the Office of Management and Budget was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Reform on June 25. FHA Policies on Arm’s Length Transactions and Compliance with State Laws. The FHA is developing guidance to address concerns that laws in certain states may conflict with its arm’s length transaction requirements for preforeclosure/short sales. Until the guidance is issued, FHA lenders should seek guidance and assistance from the FHA National Servicing Center in matters of ...

July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

FHA Requests Feedback on Handbook Sections

The FHA is seeking comment on two new sections of a proposed single-family handbook for mortgage lenders. The handbook is in development. Once completed, it will serve as the centralized source of current and future FHA policies. Agency staff is collating policies from several handbooks, rules, mortgagee letters, notices and other sources to incorporate into the handbook. The FHA is publishing two new sections, “Doing Business with FHA – FHA Lenders and Mortgagees” and “Quality Control, Oversight and Compliance,” for comment. The “Doing Business” section lays out the requirements for FHA lender approval, including eligibility requirements, application processes, operating requirements and post-approval changes. The section also contains the recertification process as well as processes for applying for ...

July 3, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Agencies Take Down Another FHA Lender

U.S. Bank became the latest casualty in the government’s offensive against lax underwriting and improper origination of FHA mortgages after the bank to pay $200 million to settle all related charges. The Minneapolis-based bank became the seventh FHA lender since 2012 that has entered into settlement agreements with the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to resolve alleged violation of the False Claims Act and the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, according to Inside FHA Lending’s analysis of government data. The government lawsuits allege that the banks’ certification of loans as eligible for FHA insurance under the direct endorsement program violated the FCA. The banks’ misconduct allegedly contributed to the legacy losses that crippled the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund and placed the ...

July 3, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Few Laws Address Servicer-Affiliate Relationships

Among the myriad of servicing concerns raised by the New York Department of Financial Services in recent months are the relationships between nonbank special servicers and their affiliates. Industry lawyers suggest that few laws specifically address the issue, though the area could see increased regulation and enforcement. In April, Ben Lawsky, superintendent of the NYDFS, expanded his probe of Ocwen Financial to include sales of real estate owned properties ...

July 3, 2014 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Capital Requirements Likely for Nonbank Servicers

Officials with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors suggest that state regulators are likely to set capital requirements for nonbank servicers due to concerns about how a failure of a nonbank would impact borrowers. “People have to feel confident that their mortgage check is going where it’s supposed to go, when it’s supposed to get there,” Chuck Cross, a senior vice president for consumer protection at the CSBS, said last week during a webinar hosted by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications ...

June 27, 2014 - Inside The GSEs

Enterprise Endnotes

DC Circuit Latest Court to Reject GSE Tax Collection Effort by Municipalities. A three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court recently upheld a lower court ruling against Kay County in Oklahoma, which has been trying to collect real estate transfer taxes from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In rejecting Kay County’s bid to get the GSEs to pay a 1 percent “documentary stamp tax,” the DC court’s finding became the latest in a growing number of…

June 26, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Servicing Expected to Continue to Be A Focus for CFPB, State Regulators

Regulatory scrutiny of the servicing sector appears unlikely to decrease anytime soon as officials with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with state regulators note that regulation of servicing is a top priority. During a webinar this week hosted by Inside Mortgage Finance, Ann Thompson, a senior analyst in the CFPB’s Office of Supervision Policy, said the federal regulator conducts a risk-based analysis of issues affecting consumers. “Mortgage-related issues are presenting...

June 23, 2014 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB, Other Feds, State AGs Slap SunTrust With $968 Million Action

SunTrust Mortgage, based in Richmond, VA, agreed to pay a total of $968 million to settle allegations of origination and servicing wrongdoing under a consent order brought by the CFPB. The Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and state attorneys general from 49 states and the District of Columbia joined in the settlement, which stemmed from the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement. The company will provide $500 million in loss-mitigation relief to underwater borrowers. The order also will require SunTrust to pay $40 million to approximately 48,000 consumers who lost their homes to foreclosure, and $10 million to cover losses it caused to the FHA, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Rural Housing Service. The order...

June 20, 2014 - Inside FHA Lending

Lenders Feel ‘Unsafe’ Dealing with FHA

SunTrust Mortgage’s recent settlement of a dispute with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general over defective FHA loans and Wells Fargo’s losing bid to quash a similar lawsuit are raising concerns about doing business with the FHA. Industry attorneys say the lesson for lenders in these recent industry debacles is that it is “extraordinarily dangerous” to do FHA loans these days given the outcome of the two cases. It is also getting harder to trust mortgage settlement agreements with the government, they added. “The scariest part in all these is the combination of government forces involved in these claims – state AGs, Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said an attorney, who worked on both cases. “When they want to get you, they can get you.” Others believe these developments could have a ...

June 19, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Market for Large ‘Legacy’ MSR Packages Near Dead, but Flow and Mini-Bulk Humming Along

The market for large packages of “legacy” mortgage servicing rights is ice cold these days, throwing a monkey wrench into the aggressive growth plans of Ocwen Financial, Walter Investment Management and Nationstar Mortgage. The reason is simple: regulatory scrutiny from the New York Department of Financial Services of Ocwen’s planned purchase of $39 billion in highly delinquent MSRs from Wells Fargo has dampened both auctions and sales. “Legacy packages are still out there,” said one buyer of mortgage receivables, “but I don’t see many of them and they’re not very large.” He added...

June 12, 2014 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies Prompt Debate on State Regulation

Industry participants have raised a number of concerns about a proposed rule issued in April that would implement minimum requirements for appraisal management companies, which are intermediaries between appraisers and lenders. Federal regulators in April issued a proposed rule that would implement AMC provisions mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, including a ban on AMCs providing appraisal management services for federally related transactions in states that haven’t established regulations for AMCs. The Consumer Mortgage Coalition said...


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