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October 20, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Chase Urges CFPB to Provide TRID Cures, Resolve Liability Issues to Encourage Investors to Return

JPMorgan Chase, like most mortgage industry participants, endorses the solution that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has planned to resolve what’s known as the “black hole” in the bureau’s integrated disclosure rule. However, some big changes still need to be made if private capital is going to fully return to the mortgage market; namely, more cures for errors and greater clarity when it comes to legal liability. “Chase strongly supports the CFPB’s proposal to eliminate ...

October 19, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Most Servicing Amendments Kick in This Week, Even More Complexity Expected When States Act

Most of the final amendments the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made to its mortgage servicing rules kicked in late this week, and the biggest challenge firms will have to contend with is the increased complexity. In an interview this week with Inside Mortgage Finance, Nanci Weissgold, a partner with the Alston & Bird law firm in Washington, DC, highlighted which provisions took effect this week and those coming on line next spring, and what they mean for ...

October 12, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

GSEs Continue Adapting Seller Requirements To Conform With Pending HMDA Changes

Efforts by Congressional Republicans to expand exemptions to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data collection and reporting requirements may or may not succeed. But any lender or aggregator seeking to sell eligible mortgages to the government-sponsored enterprises will still have to get with the program. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to tweak their systems and processes to accommodate the new mandates, scheduled to kick in Jan. 1 ...

October 12, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Industry Groups Generally Support CFPB’s Fix To TRID ‘Black Hole,’ Suggest Various Tweaks

Organizations representing different segments of the mortgage industry broadly support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plan to address the so-called black hole in the integrated disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or TRID. The black hole refers to situations in which a lender may not use a closing disclosure to reset fee tolerances. This causes closing delays due to fee changes that arise in the origination process ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

Did DoJ Opine on Ocwen v. CFPB? No One’s Talking. Earlier this year, Ocwen Financial asked Judge Kenneth Marra of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, West Palm Beach Division, to invite the U.S. attorney general to appear and participate in the company’s challenge to the constitutionality of the CFPB.... Last Call for Public Comments on TRID ‘Black Hole’ Proposal. The industry has until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 10, 2017, to submit comments to the CFPB regarding its proposal to close the “black hole” associated with the bureau’s integrated disclosure rule under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act....

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Consumer Complaints About Credit Reports Surged in Third Quarter

Consumer complaints to the CFPB about credit reports jumped in the third quarter, during which the massive Equifax data breach occurred, and year over year, according to a new analysis by Inside the CFPB. Gripes to the bureau leapt by 53.4 percent from the second quarter to the third, our analysis found, and skyrocketed 86.2 percent from year-ago levels. Criticisms about credit reports went from 12,830 in the first quarter of 2017 to 19,685 in the second, to 29,466 in the third. And it may get worse before it gets better, as the bad news about the Equifax hack makes its way further into the general population. Equifax-related complaints rose 131.2 percent during the period ending ... [With exclusive data]

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Most Americans Support Bipartisan Commission for CFPB, Cato Finds

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, 63 percent, favor having a panel of Democrats and Republicans running the CFPB, not a single director, according to a recent survey on financial regulation by the libertarian Cato Institute. Surprisingly, support is stronger among Democrats (67 percent) than Republicans (64 percent) for such a commission. But there’s more of a split when it comes to the bureau’s finances. A slight majority (54 percent) indicated Congress should not set the CFPB’s budget and should only have limited oversight of the agency. “Given that only 7 percent of the country has confidence in Congress, these numbers are not surprising,” said Emily Ekins, a research fellow and director of polling at the Cato Institute and author of the ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Needs to Do a Better Job Explaining the Purpose of its CIDs

The CFPB needs to improve the way it informs recipients of its civil investigative demands (CIDs) of the purpose of its investigations, according to a recent report from the bureau’s Office of Inspector General. At issue are the CFPB’s internal guidelines for crafting notifications of purpose associated with CIDs. The guidance calls for broad statements of purpose, to allow for flexibility, the OIG noted. However, “The guidance does not expressly remind enforcement attorneys of the need for statements of purpose to be compliant with relevant case law on notifications of purpose, including any developments in such case law, or remind them to revisit the statement of purpose in a revised opening memorandum if the purposes of the investigation evolve.” The ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Pushed Examiners into the Field Before They Were Ready

A new report from the CFPB Office of Inspector General suggests the consumer bureau may have been in too much of a hurry to get more examiners into the field, compromising the quality of their training and their effectiveness. The CFPB’s Supervision Learning and Development (SL&D) unit has taken steps to enhance the Examiner Commissioning Program (ECP) since its implementation in October 2014, according to the report. However, there apparently were some pretty big holes left. For starters, the OIG found some examiners appeared to be pursuing parts of the examiner program before they were fully prepared, which limited their likelihood of success and affected employee morale. “Further, when examiners require multiple attempts to pass ECP components, they are not ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Groups Sue to Overturn Controversial Arbitration Rule

Organizations representing a variety of financial and business interests have jointly filed suit in a bid to deep-six the controversial arbitration rule issued earlier this year by the CFPB. The litigation was filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with the American Bankers Association, the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Texas Association of Business, the Texas Bankers Association, and a coalition of chambers of commerce throughout Texas. The groups are challenging the constitutionality and legality of the CFPB’s rule. Their basic position is that the rule effectively precludes the use of arbitration agreements in disputes between consumers and providers of consumer financial products and services, and instead renders class-action litigation the ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Delivers Payday Lending Rule. Is This Cordray’s Swan Song?

The CFPB made a big splash last week – perhaps the last of Richard Cordray’s career at the helm – by issuing its long-awaited payday lending final rule. Many observers watching the director for signs he will resign to run for governor of Ohio have speculated he has been hanging on at the bureau until this rule was formally promulgated. Now that it has been issued, the Cordray departure watch will resume. Under the new rule, there’s a full-payment test. Lenders are required to determine whether the borrower can afford the loan payments and still meet basic living expenses and major financial obligations. For payday and auto title loans that are due in one lump sum, full payment means “being able to ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Mortgage Rules Still Driving Some Small Banks from Market

A greater percentage of community banks are making mortgages this year than the year before, but the mortgage regulations from the CFPB continue to cause some smaller institutions to ditch that line of business, according to a new survey conducted by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the Federal Reserve System. Mortgage lending is still a prominent activity among the more than 600 community banks surveyed, with 1-4 family, fixed-rate lending identified by more than 80 percent of respondents as a product currently offered that would continue to be provided. “This is higher than the 76 percent reported last year and contrasts, to some extent, with the five percent of banks that last year planned to exit from or ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Meridian Title Fined $1.25 Million Over Allegations of Steering

The CFPB recently ordered Meridian Title Corp., a real estate settlement agent and title insurance agency in South Bend, IN, to pay up to $1.25 million in redress to consumers who were allegedly steered to a title insurer owned partly by several of Meridian’s executives without disclosing the affiliation. According to the bureau’s consent order, Meridian issues title-insurance policies, provides mortgage loan settlement servicers, and conducts loan closings in connection with residential real estate transactions. In its role as title policy issuing agent, the company procures policy orders from borrowers and lenders and issues title commitments, final policies and related endorsements. As a settlement agency, Meridian facilitates the real property and mortgage loan settlement services required to close the mortgage ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Bureau Proposes More Certainty For Providing Periodic Statements

The CFPB issued a proposed rule last week to provide more certainty for mortgage servicers about when to provide periodic statements to consumers in connection with their bankruptcy cases. The consumer bureau said it is proposing amendments to certain mortgage servicing rules issued in 2016 under Regulation Z (which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) relating to the timing for servicers to transition to providing modified or unmodified periodic statements and coupon books in connection with a borrower’s bankruptcy case. Among other things, the 2016 mortgage servicing final rule addresses Reg Z’s periodic statement and coupon book requirements when a person is a debtor in bankruptcy. It includes a single-billing-cycle exemption from the requirement to provide a periodic statement ...

October 9, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Gives Servicers More Flexibility to Deal With Foreclosure

The CFPB last week issued an interim final rule to give mortgage servicers more flexibility to communicate with homeowners at risk of foreclosure. “Today’s action should make it easier for mortgage borrowers to receive timely information from their mortgage servicers about available options for saving their home, even if they have submitted a request to cease communication,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. In 2016, the bureau made changes to its rules to require servicers to send modified early intervention notices to certain borrowers at risk of foreclosure who asked for an end to communication under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Under the FDCPA, borrowers can tell their servicers to stop contacting them, with some limited exceptions. Once such borrowers ...

September 29, 2017 - Inside Nonconforming Markets

Lenders Defend Bank-Statement Mortgages

Nonprime lenders defended mortgages underwritten with borrowers’ bank statements after criticism of the loans by Fitch Ratings. Steven Schwalb, CEO of Angel Oak Home Loans, a nonprime lender that offers bank-statement mortgages, noted that the loans measure borrowers’ cash flow more precisely than the tax returns used for traditional income verification. “We’re comfortable with the risk of that borrower,” he added, during a panel discussion at the ABS East conference produced by Information Management Network last week in Miami Beach. Bank-statement mortgages account...

September 29, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

GNMA, MBA Question IG on Nonbank Oversight, Agency Claims It has Adapted Well to Issuer Shift

The Mortgage Bankers Association called on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Inspector General to help Ginnie Mae strengthen its oversight of nonbanks instead of focusing on “business models and market share.” In a statement following the IG’s release of a report criticizing Ginnie’s supervision of nonbank issuers, the MBA criticized the report for mischaracterizing the role of, and the risks posed by, these companies. Independent mortgage bankers have been...[Includes one data table]

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

It Looks Like New HMDA Requirements Will Proceed. Earlier this year, the mortgage industry made a concerted push for either the CFPB, or failing that, Congress, to delay implementing all the new data collection and reporting requirements lenders will face under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act regime.... Feds to Amend CRA Regs to Conform to CFPB’s HMDA Changes. The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Wednesday issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking to amend their respective Community Reinvestment Act regulations, mostly to conform to the changes the CFPB made to Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act....

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Arbitration Rule Now in Effect, GOP Effort to Overturn Dies in Senate

The CFPB’s much-criticized arbitration rule issued earlier this year took effect last week, as a successful vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to overturn it failed to generate enough interest and support for a comparable move in the Senate. It’s likely that the massive Equifax data breach and the company’s seeming attempt to manipulate affected individuals to waive their rights to arbitration in order to sign up for free credit-monitoring services effectively killed what little interest senators may have had in following up on the House’s success. The failure is another blow to a political party that ostensibly controls the Senate, the House and the White House but is struggling to accomplish much legislatively, thanks in part to the ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Denied Restitution in Nationwide Biweekly Ruling

The CFPB got a split verdict in a recent ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in its legal tussle with Nationwide Biweekly Administration, of Greene County, OH, which stood accused of engaging in deceptive practices by misleading consumers through its Interest Minimizer mortgage payment program. The bureau won a $7.9 million civil penalty from the defendants, but lost on $74 million in sought-after restitution. “After carefully considering the sufficiency, weight and credibility of the testimony of the witnesses, their demeanor on the stand, the documentary evidence admitted at trial, and the post-trial submissions of the parties, the court finds that CFPB has adequately shown that some, but not all, of defendants’ challenged marketing statements ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Digital Mortgages Lessen Investor Anxiety, Enhance Compliance

An industry switch to digital mortgage lending may be costly upfront, but it would have saved the industry a ton of money and aggravation had it been adopted a decade ago, and can help resolve investor anxiety about legal liability and ensure greater regulatory compliance going forward, according to industry experts. In a webinar last week sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, Tim Anderson, director of eServices for DocMagic, pointed out that, when it comes to complying with the CFPB’s TILA/RESPA integrated disclosure rule, proof of delivery can be a big issue with investors, and e-closings/e-mortgages can be a huge help in resolving the anxiety that stems from the use of paper documents. “Three-day delivery is a big deal, [including] acknowledgement ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Cordray Slams Mortgage Industry in Second (Campaign?) Appearance

In remarks that “sure sounded like a campaign speech,” according to one long-time industry compliance attorney, CFPB Director Richard Cordray threw the mortgage industry under the bus, accusing it of causing the financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed. Two weeks ago, Cordray delivered the keynote address at the Ohio Land Bank Conference in Cleveland, the same day the Democrat Party primary debate for the Ohio gubernatorial race was held. Some political observers were watching to see if the director would give his speech, resign and then appear in the debate. They were disappointed. But that doesn’t mean Cordray won’t resign before his term ends in July to pursue a run for the governor’s mansion. He has until 4 p.m. ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

MBA Faults CFPB for ‘Regulation by Enforcement,’ Lack of Guidance

The CFPB has frequently failed to provide the mortgage industry with enough guidance to ensure proper compliance with its substantial outpouring of new rules and regulations, resulting in “regulation by enforcement” far too often, according to a new white paper issued by the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Director Richard Cordray has argued that the bureau’s enforcement regime provides ‘detailed guidance for compliance officers’ and that it ‘would be compliance malpractice for the industry not to take careful bearings from [consent] orders about how to comply with the law,’” the white paper pointed out. “Unfortunately, the reality is that the bureau’s enforcement program offers only fragmentary glimpses of how the bureau interprets the laws and regulations it enforces.” Instead of giving the ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Examiners Continue to Find Mortgage Servicing Failures

An undisclosed number of mortgage servicers continue to drop the compliance ball, according to the latest supervisory highlights report from the CFPB, issued last week. “In recent exams, examiners found that one or more servicers received incomplete loss mitigation applications and pre-approved borrowers for short-term payment forbearance programs based on those applications,” the report noted. “However, the servicer(s) did not notify borrowers of their right to complete the application and did not separately request other information needed to evaluate for all the other loss mitigation options offered by the owner or assignee of the loan.” Also, as the modification program neared its end, and before the short-term payment forbearance period concluded, the servicer(s) failed to reach out to affected borrowers ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Mortgage Lenders Adopted TRID Without Major Issues, CFPB Finds

The latest supervisory highlights report from the CFPB found that mortgage lenders, banks and nonbanks alike, put the controversial TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule – TRID – into effect without much of a problem, more or less. “Initial examination findings and observations conclude that, for the most part, supervised entities, both banks and nonbanks, were able to effectively implement and comply with the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule changes,” the report stated. However, examiners did find some violations relating to the content and timing of loan estimates and closing disclosures. The problem, however, is that the CFPB does not indicate in these reports which lenders or how many of them may have been guilty of the infractions, so there’s no way ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB’s Cordray Misled Congress About Wells Probe, GOP Claims

A new report from the House Financial Services Committee staff accuses CFPB Director Richard Cordray of misleading Congress about the bureau’s probe of the unauthorized account creation scandal at Wells Fargo, rushing into a settlement without doing the requisite leg work, and agreeing to a paltry settlement when he could have slammed the company for at least $10 billion in fines. As a part of its investigation into the Wells Fargo fraudulent account scandal, the committee said it has obtained a crucial new document – the “Recommendation Memorandum” – that was presented to and approved by Cordray. “The Memorandum shows that the CFPB estimated that the bank was potentially liable for a statutory monetary penalty exceeding $10 billion,” said the committee. “This ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Proposes More Mortgage Lender Flexibility in Data Collection

Amending one regulation to make it easier for lenders to comply with another, the CFPB last week issued modified Equal Credit Opportunity Act regulations it hopes will give mortgage lenders greater flexibility in collecting consumer ethnicity and race information. The bureau “is issuing a final rule that amends Regulation B [which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act] to permit creditors additional flexibility in complying with Regulation B in order to facilitate compliance with Regulation C [which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act]...,” the rule states. The new rule also adds certain model forms and removes others from Reg B, and makes various other amendments to the regulation and its commentary to facilitate the collection and retention of information about the ...

September 25, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Looks to Make New HMDA Data a Little More Private

Last week, the CFPB issued new proposed policy guidance spelling out how it intends to disclose the loan-level data that financial institutions will report under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. The guidance would apply to HMDA data to be reported under Regulation C as of Jan. 1, 2018. The bureau intends to make this data available to the public starting in 2019. “Public disclosure of mortgage data is central to the achievement of HMDA’s goals,” the agency said. “The bureau has considered whether and how HMDA data should be modified prior to its disclosure to the public, in order to protect applicant and borrower privacy while also fulfilling HMDA’s public disclosure purposes.” First, the CFPB is proposing to exclude from ...

September 22, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Ginnie Mae-VA Task Force to Crack Down on Serial Refinance Abusers, Will Expel Program Violators

Ginnie Mae and the Department of Veterans Affairs have created a joint task force to deal with improper early refinancing of VA loans – a practice the agencies thought they had eliminated but which has reemerged in the last couple of weeks. The task force will be monitoring closely monthly VA refinancing data and will develop additional policies to augment the current policy, which Ginnie, in consultation with the VA, issued last year to curb churning of VA loans in its MBS. Responding to concerns raised by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, acting Ginnie President and Chief Operations Officer Michael Bright acknowledged...

September 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Community Banking Trade Groups Seek Support for Regulatory Relief for Independent Mortgage Lenders

Trade groups representing smaller mortgage lenders are asking the Trump administration for targeted regulatory relief for smaller independent mortgage bankers. In a joint letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week, the Community Home Lenders Association and the Community Mortgage Lenders of America urged the administration to back legislation that would exempt independent mortgage lenders from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s supervision, enforcement and third-party vendor audits. Support is also being sought for CFPB administrative action to provide such targeted relief. In June, Treasury issued...

September 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Issues Proposed Policy Guidance on HMDA Data Collection, Looks Like New Requirements a Go

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put out some proposed guidance on the controversial matter of how much of the expanded data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act will be made available to the public. The bureau did not announce any delay in the effective date of the revamped HMDA rule, slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2018. First, the agency wants to exclude several of the loan-level data points from public disclosure, including the universal loan identifier, the application date, the date the financial institution took action and the property address. Also, it would shield the borrower’s credit score, the mortgage loan originator ID number and any result generated by an automated underwriting system. Additionally, the CFPB is...

September 21, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Listening to Mortgage Rule Concerns, Data On Impact to Consumers Could Lead to Changes

Lenders and investors at the ABS East conference this week hit officials from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a number of complaints about the agency’s mortgage rules. The bureau officials suggested that data will have more of an impact on policy changes than general complaints. Patrick Orr, a policy analyst at the CFPB, reiterated that the bureau is accepting feedback and considering changes or guidance for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, special qualified-mortgage standards that apply to loans eligible for sale to the government-sponsored enterprises and aspects of the ability-to-repay rule, among other issues. A representative from one lender said...

September 15, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Ginnie Mae to Take Action Against Illicit Refinancing of VA Mortgages

Rapid, aggressive refinancing of VA loans has made a comeback with some issuers using strategies to mask the practice and avoid possible penalties, including expulsion from the Ginnie Mae program, according to a top agency official. Responding to concerns raised by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, Michael Bright, acting Ginnie Mae president and chief operations officer, said a joint Ginnie Mae/VA lender-abuse task force is analyzing monthly data and developing additional policy measures to deal with the problem. Bright confirmed the resurgence of inappropriate streamline refinancing in Ginnie securitization pools in recent weeks and has promised to crack down on the questionable practice. The problem surfaced last year when Ginnie Mae noticed unusually fast prepayment speeds in its mortgage-backed securities, particularly MBS backed by VA loans. Ginnie found that certain lenders and ...

September 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Nonbanks Continue Market Takeover in 2017, Could Pose Risk to GSEs, FHA and Ginnie

The growing reliance on nonbanks could pose a risk to the government housing agencies, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute’s Housing Policy Center. Just four years ago, banks originated 70 percent of new mortgages, the researchers noted. But in 2017 nonbanks are originating 60 percent of all new mortgages and 76 percent of loans destined to be securitized by Ginnie Mae. UI called...

September 14, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

House GOP Begins Second Prong in Approach To Reg Relief, Considers TRID Improvement Act

When House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, first introduced the second version of his Financial CHOICE Act, he acknowledged the comprehensive regulatory relief package might not make it through the Senate in one piece. He said he had a “short game” and a “long game,” suggesting he was open to small, incremental change while still pushing forward with more comprehensive change over the long haul. Last week, the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee executed a little of that “short game” strategy, holding a hearing to consider a handful of legislative proposals to foster a more efficient federal financial regulatory regime, including two mortgage-related bills. The potentially more significant bill is...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief/Industry News in Brief

State Regulators Start Work on a Next-Generation Technology Platform. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors has initiated what it characterizes as a major redesign of the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), which is the core technology platform state bank regulators utilize. According to the CSBS, the redesign will enable the regulators to transform the licensing and supervision of non-bank financial institutions, including financial technology companies, or so-called fintechs. “Technology and data are powerful tools that can create sweeping benefits throughout the financial regulatory system,” said Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions Commissioner John Ducrest. “And that vision drives our efforts with the next-generation NMLS. We are committed to nothing less than modernized state regulation for a modernized financial services industry.” The ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Takes Action Against Lead Aggregator Over Alleged Steering

Last week, the CFPB brought an enforcement action against Zero Parallel, an online lead aggregator based in Glendale, CA, for allegedly steering consumers toward lenders who offered illegal or unlicensed loans that were void in the consumer’s state. According to the bureau, consumers who applied for loans through Zero Parallel’s network had no control over which lenders received their applications. “Zero Parallel regularly sold leads for consumers located in states where the resulting loan was void,” said the consumer regulator. The CFPB ordered Zero Parallel to end its alleged illegal conduct and pay a $100,000 penalty. Also, under the terms of the consent order, Zero Parallel is required to undertake reasonable efforts to ensure that loan applications it sells do ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Federal District Court Sanctions CFPB for Deposition Conduct

The CFPB suffered another legal blow recently when a federal district court judge in Atlanta granted defendants’ requests for sanctions against the bureau stemming from its behavior related to the defendants’ depositions of agency witnesses. The action stems from an enforcement action the CFPB brought in April 2015 against a number of individuals and entities in connection with what the bureau alleged was a massive debt-collection scheme. The issue prompting the judge’s crackdown was the CFPB's reluctance and apparent refusal to be deposed by some of the defendants. First, it objected to such depositions. Then when more defendants filed similar notices, the bureau responded with motions for protective orders. Then when depositions finally occurred, a CFPB witness used “memory aids” ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

PHH, Realogy, Others Settle RESPA Case for $17 Million

A complaint filed in late 2015 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in an attempt to initiate a class-action case against PHH Corp. and Realogy Holdings Corp. and some of their subsidiaries and affiliates has been brought to an end, after the defendants agreed to pay $17 million to resolve the dispute. PHH, Realogy and the other industry participants were accused of violating Section 8(a) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act by allegedly “paying and receiving kickbacks, referral fees, or other things of value in connection with the referral of title insurance and other settlement services to Title Resource Group and its affiliates.” They also were accused of running PHH Home Loans as an improper ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Smaller Players Support Proposal to Close TRID’s ‘Black Hole’

The biggest mortgage lenders and the national industry trade groups have yet to formally submit comments to the CFPB regarding the bureau’s proposal that would close the so-called black hole associated with the agency’s integrated disclosure rule. But smaller players aren’t waiting around for the big dogs to weigh in and are expressing their support for the agency’s proposed solution. Monica Montgomery, head of mortgage compliance for Dubuque Bank & Trust, said she fully supports removing the four-business-day limit for providing closing disclosures for purposes of resetting tolerances and determining if an estimated closing cost was disclosed in good faith. “There are many circumstances where a closing is delayed beyond the control of the creditor after a CD had been ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Congress Starts to Consider TRID Legislation, Other Changes to CFPB

Members of Congress wasted no time getting to work on the CFPB when they returned to the nation’s capital last week after the Labor Day holiday. A subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing to consider a few legislative proposals to foster a more efficient federal financial regulatory regime, including a soon-to-be introduced TRID Improvement Act. Slated to be introduced by Rep. French Hill, R-AR, the TRID Improvement Act of 2017 would amend the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act to expand the period in which a creditor is allowed to cure a good-faith violation on a loan estimate or closing disclosure from 60 to 210 days after consummation. The bill also ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Three Key Rulemakings at Stake With Cordray’s Tenure in Flux

The CFPB’s final rule banning arbitration agreements, as well as pending rulemakings on payday and small-dollar lending and on debt collection practices, may live or die on the decision of Director Richard Cordray to exit his term before it expires in July. That prospect could be motivating him to linger in his current gig as opposed to resigning right now to enter the race for Ohio’s governorship, according to an analysis of the current lay of the land at the bureau from a former senior official at the agency. Former CFPB Assistant Director and Deputy General Counsel Quyen Truong, now a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in DC, noted that it is still unclear whether Republicans in the ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB’s Cordray Begins Laying Foundation for Run for OH Governor

CFPB Director Richard Cordray is still on the job, but did take a step toward throwing his hat into the ring for the race for the Ohio governor’s mansion, delivering remarks at the Labor Day Picnic of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO. Cordray, sounding like a political candidate, according to those in attendance, briefly extolled all the work the bureau has done on behalf of consumers, including the mortgage reforms that have forced so much change upon lenders. The director noted, “So far, our enforcement work has led to about $12 billion in relief to 30 million people who were cheated or mistreated, and who deserve to get things fixed and get their money back.” His remarks also harkened back to his ...

September 11, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Eyeballing Equifax, Forced Arbitration an Issue

An official from the CFPB confirmed late last week the agency is looking into the massive data breach at Equifax, widely seen as the most significant, and potentially most damaging, so far in the age of the Internet. A spokesman for the bureau told this newsletter, “The CFPB has authority over the consumer reporting industry, including supervisory and enforcement authority. The CFPB is authorized to take enforcement action against institutions engaged in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, or that otherwise violate federal consumer financial laws. We are looking into the data breach and Equifax’s response, but cannot comment further at this time.” However, it’s not just the occurrence of the breach that bothers the consumer regulator. As part ...


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