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May 26, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Wall Street, Banks Differ on QM Standard

Participants in the non-agency mortgage-backed security market and banks have proposed different ways of how to address debt-to-income ratio standards for qualified mortgages. The Structured Finance Industry Group wants the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to consider speeding the timeline for ending the so-called QM patch, while the American Bankers Association seeks a permanent fix for the DTI issue. The debate centers on the 43.0 percent DTI ratio standard for QMs ...


May 25, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Three-Judge Appellate Panel’s Ruling on RESPA in PHH Corp. v. CFPB Has a Good Chance of Enduring

There wasn’t much mention of the interpretation and enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act during oral arguments this week before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Instead, nearly all of the discussion revolved around constitutional questions. The biggest issue was about just how much power to “faithfully execute” the laws of United States the president is left with if the only way to remove the head of a single-director agency is “for cause.” The other constitutional issues that garnered some attention were...


May 25, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump Budget Preserves FHA, Ginnie Mae Funding Levels, Eliminates Key HUD Programs, Calls for CFPB Restructuring

The Trump administration has revived a controversial proposal to tap FHA lenders to help pay for technology upgrades at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD is among nine federal agencies facing significant cuts in their discretionary budgets, al-though guarantee commitments for FHA’s single-family mortgage insurance program and Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities programs were kept at their previous fiscal levels, $400 billion and $500 billion, respectively. The White House budget plan incorporates...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

Treasury Eyeballing CFPB Rules as Part of Regulatory Relief Review. The Treasury Department is focused on a wide range of regulatory requirements where simple communication and clarification of the regulatory intent is warranted, such as the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule, the integrated disclosure rule and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule, Craig Phillips, counselor to the Treasury secretary, said during a symposium in New York City last week, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.... Dodd-Frank Changes to be Discussed. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, is scheduled to discuss his Dodd-Frank Act alternative, H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, Tuesday of this week at an event at the American Enterprise Institute....


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB, DOJ Oppose State AG Settlement Funds Proposal

The CFPB and the Department of Justice have separately filed motions opposing a proposal from a handful of state attorneys general to take $15.14 million of unused settlement funds from the bureau’s $50 million enforcement action against Sprint and instead redirect it to two other purposes. The AGs of Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas and Vermont recently proposed taking $14.0 million of the unused money from the U.S. Treasury, which could receive it under the terms of the redress plan, and instead giving it to the National Association of Attorneys General to establish a National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute Center for Consumer Protection. The AGs also want to repurpose the remaining unspent amount, $1.14 million, and give it to a ...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Did Not Fully Secure Sensitive Enforcement Data, OIG Finds

The CFPB had numerous lapses in protecting sensitive, confidential enforcement information, according to a new report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General. The objective of the OIG’s evaluation was to determine whether the bureau’s Office of Enforcement has effective controls to manage and safeguard access to its confidential investigative information (CII). “We found that the Office of Enforcement’s sensitive information has not always been restricted to Office of Enforcement employees who needed access to that information to perform their assigned duties,” the OIG said. The watchdog said it found that 113 unique users had access to at least one electronic application when it was no longer relevant to the performance of their assigned duties. “These users continued to have ...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Opens Another Can of RESPA Worms in Investigating Zillow

The CFPB has stepped back into the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act enforcement ring by probing Zillow over issues related to co-marketing. The probe of the company’s co-marketing initiative was disclosed to the public earlier this month by Zillow CFO Kathleen Philips during the company’s first quarter earnings conference call with investors. “Over the past two years, the CFPB has been reviewing our program for compliance with RESPA,” Philips said. “Recently, the CFPB requested additional information and documents from us as part of their evaluation, which we are working with them on,” she added. “We believe our co-marketing program has, and continues to, allow agents and lenders to comply with the law while using our product.” This could be another ...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Servicers Ask for Guidance on Successor-in-Interest Issues

The Consumer Mortgage Coalition and the Mortgage Servicers Working Group asked the CFPB for guidance on how to comply with bankruptcy-related provisions when a confirmed successor-in-interest, who is not legally a borrower, has filed a bankruptcy petition. Under Regulations X and Z, these successors will be considered borrowers. Their inquiry came in response to the bureau’s request for comment on its plan to assess its 2013 mortgage servicing rules. One question the industry representatives had is whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act applies to the mortgage servicing rule’s early intervention requirements. They note that Section 1024.39(c) of Reg X provides some exemption from early intervention written notices if any borrower on the loan sends an FDCPA cease-communication notice “with ...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

FSR Calls for White House to Change CFPB Structure, Rules

The Financial Services Roundtable advised the Trump administration that the structure of the CFPB needs to be changed, and that the agency should revise a handful of its key mortgage rulemakings, most notably the ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage rule, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule and the Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure rule, or TRID. The FSR’s call came in a detailed response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13777, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs,” issued earlier this year, directing the Treasury Department to conduct an assessment of financial regulations to evaluate how they align with the White House’s core principles of financial regulation. In terms of the bureau itself, the industry organization said the governance structure ...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Law Professors Slam CHOICE Act, Defend ‘Critical’ Role of CFPB

As a vote by the full House of Representatives nears on H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, dozens of law professors from around the country wrote congressional leadership to oppose provisions of the bill that would gut the CFPB. In their letter, the legal academics took particular issue with Title VII of the legislation, which would subject the CFPB to the regular congressional appropriations process and eliminate the bureau’s rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority (including that over unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, or UDAAP). “Title VII of H.R. 10 seeks to kill the CFPB by a thousand cuts,” the professors said. “Historically, Congress has accorded all federal bank regulators independence to insulate their decisions from industry and political ...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CHOICE Act Changes to CFPB Would Help Cut Federal Deficit

The Congressional Budget Office last week issued a detailed analysis of the fiscal aspects of H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, estimating the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $24.1 billion over the 2017-2027 timeframe. “Direct spending would be reduced by $30.1 billion, and revenues would be reduced by $5.9 billion,” the budget office said. Most of the budgetary savings would come from eliminating what’s known as the Orderly Liquidation Fund and from changing how the CFPB is funded. The budget office also estimates that, over the 2017-2027 period, and “assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts,” implementing the bill would cost $1.8 billion. The CHOICE Act was introduced earlier this year by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, ...


May 22, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Hensarling Slams Cordray for Appearing at Democrat Event

CFPB Director Richard Cordray, in an unusual move, attended the weekly caucus meeting of the Democrats in the House of Representatives last week. That prompted his chief GOP antagonist, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, to say Cordray’s appearance shows that Democrats use the CFPB as a political war machine. “Everyone knows Mr. Cordray will likely leave the CFPB soon and pursue political office in Ohio again, but his attendance at what amounts to nothing more than a Democrat pep rally shows just how partisan and politicized he and his supposed ‘independent’ agency truly are,” the Republican said. According to Hensarling, liberal elites in Washington, DC, want to keep the bureau unaccountable to the American people so ...


May 18, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Co-Marketing Now on CFPB RESPA Enforcement Radar as Zillow Reveals Agency Investigation

The latest twist in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act involves certain co-marketing activities. It has recently come to light that the CFPB is investigating Zillow for possible RESPA violations apparently having to do with the firm’s practice of co-marketing with loan officers, real estate agents and mortgage lenders. “For years, many industry participants wondered if allowing their real estate agents or loan officers to engage in co-marketing on Zillow Group applications and websites posed a risk to their companies under RESPA. The industry may soon know the answer,” Richard Andreano, a partner at the Ballard Spahr law firm in Washington, DC, noted in a recent online blog post. Andreano’s post cited...


May 11, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Reps Prepare to Comment as CFPB Issues Plan to Assess its 2013 Mortgage Servicing Rules

Mortgage industry officials are gearing up to weigh in once again on the mortgage servicing rules the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued back in 2013. Last week, the CFPB released its proposed plan to assess the rules as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The bureau plans to evaluate how adequately its rule has met four key purposes: responding to borrower requests and complaints in a timely manner; maintaining and providing accurate information; helping borrowers avoid unwarranted or unnecessary costs and fees; and facilitating review for foreclosure avoidance options. The bureau plans...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

SCOTUS Sides With City of Miami in Predatory Lending Case. The Supreme Court last week issued a narrow decision in favor of the City of Miami in a case stemming from losses the municipality claimed it suffered from predatory mortgages. Industry analysts are divided on what the ruling means for lenders... Goldman Sachs Continues Progress on Consumer-Relief Obligation Under Mortgage Settlements. Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs is more than one third of the way towards meeting its $1.8 billion consumer-relief obligation under the April 11, 2016, mortgage-related settlements it reached with the U.S. Department of Justice and the states of California, Illinois and New York, according to retired Boston University law professor Eric Green, the independent monitor of the consumer-relief portions of the agreements ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

ABA Calls for Bureau to Delay Implementation of HMDA Rule

The American Bankers Association last week issued the first industry call for the CFPB to delay implementation of its pending Home Mortgage Disclosure Act final rule in its entirety, citing compliance difficulties and concerns about consumer data privacy. The call came in a white paper submitted to the Treasury Department as part of the banking industry’s response to President Trump’s executive order earlier this year, EO 13772, outlining “core principles” for financial regulation. The ABA has three main gripes about the HMDA rule, most of which is scheduled to take effect in January 2018. First, it said that collecting all of the required data will be costly. “Although it is not simple to distill the cost estimates from the bureau’s ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Plans to Assess its Mortgage Servicing Rule, Requests Comment

The CFPB last week released its plan to assess the effectiveness of its mortgage servicing rule under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and is requesting public input. The bureau issued its mortgage servicing rules under RESPA and Regulation X back in January 2013, and amended the final rule on several occasions before it took effect Jan. 10, 2014. The final rule addressed six major topics: force-placed insurance; error resolution and information requests; general servicing policies, procedures and requirements; early intervention with delinquent borrowers; continuity of contact with delinquent borrowers; and loss mitigation procedures. With its assessment plan, the bureau intends to focus on how well its rule has met four key purposes: responding to borrower requests and complaints in ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Continues to Find Problems With Mortgage Servicing Practices

The CFPB claims that some mortgage servicers are violating the law by failing to provide the required foreclosure protections to struggling homeowners seeking to save their homes, according to the agency's latest supervisory highlights report, released last week. Other issues identified during recent CFPB examinations include premature foreclosure filings, mishandling of escrow accounts, incomplete periodic statements and dual tracking. “Supervision continues to observe serious problems with the loss mitigation process at certain servicers, including at one or more servicers that failed to request from borrowers the additional documents and information they needed to obtain complete loss mitigation applications, only to deny the applications for missing those documents,” the report said. On the escrow front, the CFPB said at least one ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Warns of ATR Compliance Issue with Non-QM Loans

Lenders should think twice about offering non-qualified mortgages that depend only on a borrower’s assets – particularly a big downpayment – to establish the borrower’s ability, a new report from the CFPB suggests. In the spring edition of the bureau’s supervisory highlights, issued last week, the regulator warned that a large downpayment alone is not enough to prove a borrower’s ability to repay a non-QM that is based on the consumer’s assets. “As an initial matter, a downpayment cannot be treated as an asset for purposes of considering the consumer’s income or assets under the ATR rule,” said the CFPB. “The ATR rule requires creditors to consider a consumer’s reasonably expected income or assets, ‘other than the value of the dwelling, including ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Ocwen Faces Ratings Downgrades, Pending Class-Action Litigation

Ocwen Financial Corp. is facing more trouble than just its struggle with the CFPB and a number of state regulators. The mortgage lender/servicer also faces the increasing likelihood of some ratings downgrades as well as pending class-action lawsuits. Fitch Ratings recently revised Ocwen’s U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities servicer ratings outlook to negative. “The revision of the rating outlook for the servicer ratings is based on uncertainty surrounding the financial and operational impact of new regulatory actions taken by the CFPB and the multi-state actions following the findings of the Multi-State Mortgage Committee,” Fitch said. The negative rating outlook also takes into consideration Ocwen’s financial condition. Fitch placed the company’s and its corporate parent’s long-term issuer default rating on “rating watch ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Ocwen Asks Court to Decide CFPB is Unconstitutional

Ocwen Financial Corp. recently filed two related motions that seek an early court ruling that the CFPB is unconstitutional, and therefore its enforcement action against the lender/servicer should be thrown out. Echoing an argument made earlier by PHH Corp. in its own dispute with the bureau, Ocwen told the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division, that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured because it vests “too much unfettered power” in the hands of the agency’s director and in the bureau itself. The company informed the court and the Department of Justice that it intends to directly challenge the CFPB’s constitutionality at the earliest possible opportunity and to seek dismissal of the case on this ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Rep. Barr Re-Introduces Portfolio QM Measure. Will it Fly This Time?

Rep. Andy Barr, R-KY, last week re-introduced the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 2226), legislation that aims to expand access to mortgage credit by conferring qualified mortgage status upon loans originated by a bank and held in portfolio. The bill sponsor also hopes that it will discourage the practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting taxpayer bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and too-big-to-fail financial institutions. The legislation had some bipartisan support when Barr introduced it in the previous Congress, passing the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 255-174. However, the measure never made it out of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. Supporters hope this time around will be ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CHOICE Act Would Interfere With Fixing CFPB Mortgage Rules: CMC

As the House Financial Services Committee prepared to begin marking up the Financial CHOICE Act last week, the Consumer Mortgage Coalition warned lawmakers that the bill would actually interfere with fixing the problems with the CFPB’s mortgage rules, despite the improvements it would otherwise make in the regulatory landscape. “A major problem facing the mortgage industry today is the Rube Goldberg morass of CFPB regulations that are so poorly written that no one knows how to comply,” the CMC said in a letter to lawmakers prior to the hearing. “The mortgage markets will not heal until the CFPB mortgage regulations are fixed. Fixing the regulations requires revising them through the normal notice and comment rulemaking process.” The problem, however, is ...


May 8, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

House Committee Passes CHOICE Act, Prospects in Senate Iffy

The House Financial Services Committee last week spent three days marking up the Republican majority’s alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act. H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, introduced late last month by committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, would make a number of changes to the mortgage regulatory landscape. One provision would provide a safe harbor against litigation for residential mortgages held on the lender’s balance sheet since the origination of the loan if the mortgage fails to comply with ability-to-repay requirements. The measure also would revise the definition of “points and fees” under the Truth in Lending Act to exclude fees paid for affiliated business arrangements. Other language in the bill would exempt smaller creditors from TILA’s escrow requirements. Another provision ...


May 4, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB on Downpayments

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week warned that a large downpayment alone is not enough to prove the ability to repay a non-qualified mortgage when the loan was underwritten based on the consumer’s assets. “As an initial matter, a downpayment cannot be treated as an asset for purposes of considering the consumer’s income or assets under the ATR rule,” said the CFPB. “The ATR rule requires creditors to consider a consumer’s reasonably expected income or assets, ‘other than the value of the dwelling, including any real property attached to the dwelling that secures the loan.’” Further, while the size of a downpayment generally affects the loan amount, the ATR rule already accounts...


May 4, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House Committee Begins Markup of CHOICE Act, Relief for Community Banks One Point of Consensus

The House Financial Services Committee this week began marking up the Republican majority’s alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act, H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, introduced late last month by committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX. As previously reported, the bill would make numerous changes to the mortgage lending regulatory landscape, and eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority, among other significant changes. As Inside Mortgage Finance went to press, lawmakers of both parties were squabbling...


May 4, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Ocwen Buys Some Time With New Residential Servicing Deal, But Doubts Remain About Who Will Fill the Void

Can the financially troubled and regulator-challenged Ocwen Financial survive? It’s not an unfair question given its most recent travails and this week’s news that it struck a $425.0 million transaction “in principle” to sell some of the cash flows on $117 billion in mostly non-agency servicing rights to New Residential Investment Corp. As the weekend approached, analysts that follow the company were speculating that Ocwen is going through what looks like a controlled liquidation, selling off assets – mostly the cash flow stream on its servicing portfolio – and buying time while it fights regulatory sanctions in 31 states. The company is...


April 28, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Financial CHOICE Act Re-Proposed in House

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, introduced a revised version of the Financial CHOICE Act this week. The bill would impact many regulatory reforms included in the Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed into law in 2010. Perhaps most significant for the non-agency market, the CHOICE Act would apply qualified-mortgage protections to home loans held in portfolio. Banks offering mortgages with interest-only features, balloon payments or high debt-to-income ratios that don’t currently ...


April 28, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Ocwen Faces Lawsuits, Cease-and-Desist Orders

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and many state regulators took coordinated actions against Ocwen Financial, alleging a number of servicing problems. Ocwen, the largest subprime servicer, disputes the allegations. The CFPB lawsuit, along with lawsuits and cease-and-desist orders from at least 24 state regulators, could be catastrophic for Ocwen. Most of the cease-and-desist orders prevent the company from originating mortgages until it proves it can appropriately ...


April 28, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

CFPB Warns of ATR Issue with Non-QMs

Lenders offering non-qualified mortgages that rely solely on a borrower’s assets need to carefully prove the borrower’s ability to repay, according to guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a notice issued this week, the regulator cautioned that a large downpayment alone isn’t sufficient to prove a borrower’s ability to repay a non-QM that is based on the consumer’s assets. The spring edition of the CFPB’s supervisory highlights publication provides insights from ...


April 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

With Its Back Against the Wall, Ocwen Takes the Battle With Regulators to Court, Challenging CFPB Structure

Ocwen Financial – its financial future hanging in the balance – this week filed court documents challenging the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which late last week brought civil charges against the $200 billion servicer. Ocwen is hardly new to regulatory scrutiny, but this time around the situation is different. Just when it thought it had cleaned up its act on servicing residential borrowers, it was sued by the CFPB and smacked with cease-and-desist orders from at least 24 states. Those orders – which the company is already challenging in court – prevent...


April 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Financial CHOICE Act Would Gut CFPB, Make Multiple Changes to Mortgage Rules

Late last week, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, released a detailed discussion draft of a revised version of his Financial CHOICE Act that would eviscerate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and make a number of other changes to the Dodd-Frank Act and a host of its mortgage-related regulations. Title VII of the draft, recently dubbed CHOICE Act 2.0, would dismantle the parts of the CFPB that the lending industry and other critics have found to be most problematic: its rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority, including unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices. The previous version of the bill would have retained...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

School Accrediting Body Wins One Against the CFPB. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld a district court ruling that a civil investigative demand (CID) issued by the CFPB against the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is unenforceable. This is a big deal, and not just as it relates to the bureau. “The decision represents the first time in decades that a federal appeals court has struck down an administrative subpoena issued by the federal government,” said Allyson Baker of Venable LLP, who served as one of the lead counsel for the firm on behalf of ACICS....


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Dimon Calls for National Mortgage Servicing Standards from CFPB

JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon recently called for national mortgage servicing standards as one key reform that will significantly increase the availability of mortgage credit to qualified borrowers. “Mortgage servicing is a particularly complex business in which the cumulative impact of regulations has dramatically increased operational and compliance risk and costs,” costs which get passed on to borrowers, he said in his annual letter to shareholders. However, “The most promising opportunity in mortgage servicing is to adopt uniform national servicing standards across guarantors, federal and state regulators, and investors,” Dimon noted. And Congress doesn’t have to get involved to address this. “In particular, the U.S. Treasury is well-positioned to lead key players in the mortgage industry (the CFPB ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Redlining, Mortgage Servicing Top CFPB Fair Lending Priorities

The CFPB’s latest fair lending report to Congress, quietly distributed earlier this month, indicates that two mortgage issues will stay on the agency’s front burner: redlining and servicing. On the redlining front, the CFPB said it will “work to evaluate whether lenders have intentionally discouraged prospective applicants in minority neighborhoods.” When it comes to servicing, the bureau indicated it will “determine whether some borrowers who are behind on their mortgage … payments have more difficulty working out a new solution with the servicer because of their race, ethnicity, age, or gender.” The agency continued: “We are committed to ensuring fair, equitable and nondiscriminatory access to credit by finding and eliminating discriminatory lending practices, and also by encouraging lenders to maintain ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

It Pays to Shop Around for Your Mortgage, Costs You if You Don’t

Research by two economists in the CFPB’s Office of Research found that many homebuyers do not shop around for a mortgage, and that costs them a pretty penny. “Close to half of consumers did not shop before taking out a mortgage,” CFPB economists Alexei Alexandrov and Sergei Koulayev said in a new white paper. They cited the National Survey of Mortgage Originations, a representative survey conducted jointly by the bureau and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which found that almost half of consumers “seriously considered” only one lender before making a choice. Also, “Barely any consumers considered more than three lenders,” the economists added. “Worse, many consumers do not seem to realize that there is price dispersion.” In other words, ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CSBS Asks Congress to Grant QM Status to Portfolio Loans

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors urged the leadership of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to enact legislation that would grant qualified-mortgage status under the CFPB’s ability-to-repay rule for loans held in portfolio, as part of a broader set of proposals to stimulate economic growth. The CSBS was one of a number of groups that responded to an invitation by the banking committee to provide ideas for stimulating economic activity. “State regulators have long supported a flexible approach to underwriting for institutions that retain mortgages in portfolio because interests are inherently aligned between consumers and lenders that retain 100 percent of the risk of default,” said the CSBS. “One solution that would tailor the requirement to the ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Draft of CHOICE Act 2.0 Would Make Multiple Changes to CFPB

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, last week released a detailed discussion draft of his pending revised Financial CHOICE Act that would extensively revise the mortgage regulatory landscape. Issues of interest to the mortgage industry include manufactured housing, the definition of points and fees, a qualified-mortgage safe harbor for loans held in portfolio, regulatory relief for community banks, transitional licensing for loan originators, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act records maintenance and disclosure requirements, and HMDA data privacy. There would be some drastic changes made to the CFPB, too, most notably the elimination of its rulemaking, supervisory and enforcement authority and its market monitoring functions and turning it into a law enforcement agency. Other CFPB-related changes include: Changing the name ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

DOJ Wins a Place in PHH Case’s Upcoming En Banc Proceedings

The Trump administration’s Department of Justice has convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to grant it 10 minutes to present its unusual case when oral arguments are heard in the upcoming en banc proceedings in PHH Corp. v. CFPB. “Upon consideration of the unopposed motion of the United States for leave to participate in oral argument, it is ordered that the motion be granted,” the appeals court said in its one-page order. PHH Corp. et al., as petitioners will have 30 minutes to make their case, as will the CFPB as respondent. “The United States agrees with petitioner PHH Corp. that the for-cause removal provision is unconstitutional, but agrees with the CFPB that the ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Groups Raise Multiple Issues with HMDA Proposal

Industry representatives thanked the CFPB for making an effort to facilitate compliance with the pending Home Mortgage Disclosure Act final rule, most of which takes effect Jan. 1, 2018. However, the fact that revisions are being offered at all is a sign that the bureau just cannot get it right, according to some officials. Anne Canfield, executive director of the Consumer Mortgage Coalition, said her membership always appreciates any effort any of the regulators make to improve a regulation. “However, the CFPB’s proposed amendments to its HMDA regulation falls far short of what is needed,” she said. One of the CMC’s concerns is that since the bureau has not identified what it intends to do with the data, how does ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Proposes Numerous Changes to Pending HMDA Disclosure Rule

The CFPB has put out a proposed rule to help mortgage lenders comply with the updates it made to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act regulation back in 2015, most of which haven’t even taken effect yet. “The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act shines a much-needed spotlight on the mortgage market, which is the largest consumer financial market in the world,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s proposal reflects the bureau’s ongoing and substantive engagement with stakeholders in the marketplace, and will help industry meet its new reporting obligations.” Among the suggested alterations in the agency’s proposed rule is the clarification of certain key terms, such as “temporary financing.” The CFPB wants to amend the commentary to the current final rule to ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Takes Action Against Ocwen, Stock is Slammed but Rebounds

The CFPB last week filed a massive civil damage case against top-ranked mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial, accusing the nonbank and its subsidiaries, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc., of “failing borrowers at every stage of the mortgage servicing process.” The agency alleges that Ocwen’s “years of widespread errors, shortcuts and runarounds cost some borrowers money and others their homes.” Ocwen allegedly botched basic functions like sending accurate monthly statements, properly crediting payments, and handling taxes and insurance. The agency added that Ocwen also illegally foreclosed on struggling borrowers, ignored customer complaints, and sold off the servicing rights to loans without fully disclosing the mistakes it made in borrowers’ records. Among the CFPB’s major allegations was that the ...


April 20, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Calls for Extensive Changes to CFPB Mortgage Rules as Senate Eyeballs Dodd-Frank

Most of the discussion about lender relief from the compliance burdens under the Dodd-Frank Act has revolved around the Financial CHOICE Act sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX. But the wheels are starting to move in the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where Chairman Mike Crapo, R-ID, has begun receiving input from industry trade groups about the kind of changes they would like to see. The lion’s share of the industry’s concerns have to do with the mortgage rules promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, whether it’s the integrated disclosure rule, the ability-to-repay rule or the penchant the bureau seems to have for bypassing the public rulemaking process through the use of consent orders. The Mortgage Bankers Association urged...


April 20, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Suggests Lenders are Making Billions Because Borrowers Don’t Shop Effectively for Mortgages

Many borrowers could have seen significant savings on the interest rate on a mortgage if they shopped around, according to a working paper published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Research. The bureau economists noted that close to half of consumers didn’t shop before taking out a mortgage, based on the National Survey of Mortgage Originations, a representative survey conducted by the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. And only 16.0 percent of borrowers considered three or more lenders before obtaining a mortgage. The economists said...


April 20, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Proposes Clarifications to HMDA Rule, But Industry Says Problems Remain, Delay Needed

Most of the provisions of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act final rule the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau promulgated back in 2015 won’t take effect until January 2018, and already the agency is proposing a host of clarifications, technical corrections and minor changes with the stated goal of fostering lender compliance. Among the suggested alterations to the CFPB’s proposed rule, issued last week, is the clarification of certain key terms, such as “temporary financing” and “automated underwriting system.” The proposal also would establish...


April 14, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Lenders Seek Changes to ATR Rule

Congress should make a number of changes to the ability-to-repay rule that would encourage more non-agency lending, according to the Consumer Mortgage Coalition. The CMC represents lenders, servicers and service providers. “The liability for mortgage lending is now so severe that private capital has left the mortgage market and has stayed away,” Anne Canfield, executive director of the CMC, said in testimony last week submitted to a subcommittee of the ...


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