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Volume 29 - Number 01

January 8, 2018

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What to Expect Under Mulvaney: Less Hostility Toward Industry

CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney has less than 200 calendar days left to occupy the director’s chair, so industry officials have been wondering what they can expect from the bureau as long as he’s in charge. According to some top compliance attorneys, the CFPB will be far less aggressive towards the industry, but hardly provide the corporate love-fest opponents of the AD fear. Laurence Platt, a partner with the Mayer Brown law firm in Washington, DC, told Inside the CFPB, “Like former Sen. George Romney’s famous prediction about the U.S. getting out of Vietnam, I expect a ‘phased withdrawal.’” The CFPB “will continue to supervise ‘covered persons,’ but, whether it is supervision or enforcement, I expect the CFPB’s use of ...

What to Expect Under Mulvaney: Maybe Significant Rule Changes?

It’s possible that mortgage lenders and servicers will see the CFPB during the tenure of Acting Director Mick Mulvaney use the five-year “look back” the bureau is required to perform to make significant changes to a pair of major rulemakings: the Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated disclosure rule (TRID) and the ability-to-repay rule. Donald Lampe, a partner with Morrison & Foerster law firm in Washington, DC, explained, “In Dodd-Frank, there’s a five-year required regulatory review, and there are two of those regulatory reviews that are still under advisement: one for TRID and the other for the ATR/qualified mortgage rule. “If I’m thinking about 2018, I feel pretty confident to say that those processes bear careful attention ...

Speculation Swirls Around NCUA Chief as Possible CFPB Head

While most of the universe of CFPB watchers were focusing on the legal struggle between Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and Deputy Director Leandra English or the possibility that President Trump might name another fierce critic of the CFPB, such as Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, to head up the agency, it looks like a stealth candidate has entered the game. National Credit Union Administration Chairman Mark McWatters is that person. McWatters’ name has suddenly been floated by various industry observers and insiders as being on the short list of possible nominees for the consumer bureau. Nominated by President Obama to both the NCUA board and then to head the Export-Import Bank (the latter nomination being blocked by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL) ...

CFPB, Other Feds, to Cut Lenders Some ‘Good Faith’ Slack on HMDA

As 2017 came to an end, the CFPB and other federal prudential regulators informed the industry they would implement a “good faith efforts” enforcement philosophy toward lender compliance with the new requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act that took effect Jan. 1. The CFPB in 2015 put out its rule under which financial institutions were required to collect and report new mortgage data points for loans made after Jan. 1, 2018. This past August, the bureau released a final rule that clarified some reporting requirements, increased the threshold for collecting and reporting data on home equity lines of credit for two years, and made various technical corrections. “The bureau recognizes the significant systems and operational challenges needed to meet ...

Bureau to Take Another Look At New HMDA Requirements

In conjunction with the interagency regulatory pledge to pursue a “good faith efforts” approach to the enforcement of new reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the CFPB also announced it plans to initiate a rulemaking to reconsider various aspects of the 2015 HMDA rule – most notably on issues such as the institutional and transactional coverage tests and the rule’s discretionary data points. “More specifically, the rulemaking may re-examine lending-activity criteria that determine whether institutions are required to report mortgage data,” it said. Other revisions might be made to the new requirements to report certain types of transactions. The bureau also is likely to re-assess the additional information that its HMDA rule requires beyond the new data points specified ...

HMDA Requirements a Top Bank Compliance Concern

Banks are increasingly worried about staying compliant with all the recent regulations they’re contending with – and the new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act requirements are still one of the biggest concerns. A new regulatory and risk management survey from Wolters Kluwer based on 2017 data registered a 3 percent increase over 2016. “The ability to maintain compliance in an environment of heightened regulatory oversight – highlighted by a spike in the number of major new regulations – remained the biggest overall compliance concern, as cited by 67 percent of respondents,” the report stated. Concerns over fair lending regulatory examinations increased by 5 percent to 46 percent, and concerns jumped 13 percent in measuring the ability to manage risk across all lines of business ...

No Court Ruling Yet in CFPB’s English v. Mulvaney Dispute

Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia circuit heard oral arguments Dec. 22 in the dispute between CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English and the Trump administration over the appointment of Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the bureau. However, he has yet to issue any ruling and did not indicate when one could be expected. Attorney Theodore Flo, an associate with the Ballard Spahr law firm in Washington, DC, who attended the oral arguments, noted in a blog post, “Based on the judge’s denial of English’s request for a temporary restraining order and his questions and observations at the hearing, it seems likely that he will deny her preliminary injunction motion as well. English ...

How Should Lenders Cope With English v. Mulvaney?

Regardless of the outcome of the struggle for control over the CFPB in the wake of former Director Richard Cordray’s departure, lenders are being conservatively advised to maintain compliance practices that can withstand the ebb and flow of political appointees, according to one top compliance attorney. “While the Trump administration is pushing for deregulation and removing the independence of the CFPB, if it is successful, it may be risky and costly for the financial industry to abandon all of the concepts of fairness to consumers that have been embodied in the CFPB’s actions,” Maria Macoubrie, of counsel in the Kansas City, MO, office of the Stinson Leonard Street law firm, said in a recent online blog. She conceded that less ...

Senate Democrats Seek to Further Empower State Attorneys General

Democrat Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut recently introduced legislation to allow state attorneys general and other state law enforcers to issue subpoenas during the course of investigations regarding compliance with state law by national banks. The Accountability for Wall Street Executives Act of 2017 would clarify that state attorneys general have authority to conduct visitorial oversight of federally-chartered national banks. It also would revise language in the National Bank Act that the Supreme Court interpreted as limiting the visitorial powers of state law enforcers when addressing compliance with state law by national banks. Additionally, the measure would permit subpoenas for suspected violations of real estate lending laws. “With ...

Complaints About Student Loans, Credit Reports Surged Last Year

Consumer complaints overall continued their downward trajectory in the fourth quarter, but it was a different story when it came to areas such as student loans and credit reports, both of which shot upwards on an annual basis. Overall, total gripes from end users of the financial system fell 24.1 percent year over year and 23.1 percent from the third quarter of 2017 to the fourth. But criticisms about student loans surged 109.9 percent on an annual basis, despite a drop of 30.1 percent from 3Q17 to 4Q17. Credit reports were similarly slammed, with a 99.8 percent leap in complaints year over year, a 32.2 percent fall off quarter to quarter notwithstanding. On the other hand [includes exclusive data chart] ...

Other News in Brief: New CFPB Chief of Staff; English Investigated; Mortgage Legislation

New Chief of Staff at CFPB was Staff Director of the House Financial Services Committee. The CFPB named a new chief of staff Jan. 5: Kristen Sutton Mork, who’s leaving her post as staff director of the House Financial Services Committee. The announcement did not come from the CFPB – it came from Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, chairman of the HFSC, who mentioned it in an email sent to members of the media.... Republican Senator Wants Leandra English Investigated. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI, reportedly has asked the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to probe Leandra English’s move to “burrow” into a “career position” at the CFPB. One major broadcast news organization, citing a letter from Johnson, reported last week that Johnson asserted her move was “hastily approved” as part of “a flawed vetting process” in the wake of President Trump’s election. The report could not be immediately confirmed.


How many new retail loan officers (net) is your shop looking to hire in the first quarter of 2018?

1 to 10. We’re being careful.
11 to 30. We’re feeling slightly bullish.
31 or more. We’re in expansion mode.
None. We’re staying right where we are, for now.
We’re cutting back.

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