Compliance

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Compliance.

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

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

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

Ocwen Disputes Allegations Raised By State Regulators

Ocwen Financial, stung by legal actions brought simultaneously last week by the CFPB and scores of state regulators, responded by issuing a detailed statement disputing the allegations made by state regulators and defending its business practices. “As with the recent CFPB enforcement action, Ocwen strongly disputes the key allegations made in the state regulators’ cease-and-desist orders that Ocwen’s mortgage loan servicing practices have caused substantial consumer harm,” the company said. “Ocwen will not sign unfair and unjust consent orders that make impractical demands that no other market participant could rationally accept, and which would harm consumers,” it added. “Under these circumstances, Ocwen has a responsibility to its customers, shareholders and employees to vigorously defend the company against unfounded claims while ...


April 24, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Scores of States Take Actions Of Their Own Against Ocwen

The CFPB was not alone in its crackdown last week on Ocwen Financial over its alleged mortgage servicing failures and violations. The same day the bureau announced its action, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Drew Breakspear filed a federal civil consumer protection lawsuit against Ocwen and subsidiaries, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, and Ocwen Mortgage Servicing, Inc., for what they called “mortgage servicing misconduct.” According to the complaint, Ocwen harmed citizens of the Sunshine State by filing illegal foreclosures, mishandling loan modifications, misapplying mortgage payments, failing to pay insurance premiums from escrow and collecting excessive fees. Ocwen services roughly 125,000 home mortgages in the state. The complaint, filed in federal court in West Palm Beach, ...


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 21, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Blockchain Touted as a Way to Help Reduce Reg AB2 Compliance Costs for MBS and ABS

Blockchain technology could help reduce the compliance costs associated with Regulation AB2, according to the Structured Finance Industry Group and the Chamber of Digital Commerce. The two trade groups recently submitted a comment letter to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in response to FINRA’s report on distributed ledger technology. FINRA, an independent regulator of broker-dealers, is considering the implications of blockchain for the securities industry. Blockchain is...


April 14, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Initial Loan Defect Rate Drops in 4Q16, Missing Docs Leading Cause

The initial material defect rate on sampled FHA loans targeted for a post-endorsement technical review was down in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the previous quarter, according to the FHA’s latest quarterly loan review update. FHA’s Lending Insight reports the material defect rate prior to curing fell to 49 percent in 4Q16 from 53 percent in the previous quarter, based on an analysis of 5,267 sampled FHA loans endorsed between Oct. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016. Of the loans sampled, 75 percent were purchase-money mortgages; 10 percent were streamlined refinances; 7 percent rate and term refinances, and 8 percent, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loans. Twenty percent of the sample, 1,081 loans, were conforming while 25 percent, or 1,313 loans, were found to be defective. About 13 percent of the loans were denied endorsement. On the other hand, approximately 41 percent of loans ...


April 14, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Servicing Market Thawing? Stakeholders Hope as Market Stirs

When it comes to selling Ginnie Mae mortgage servicing rights the past two years, it’s been mostly a bear market, but all that may be changing soon. At least that is what sellers and their merger and acquisition advisors hope. Mark Garland, executive vice president of MountainView Financial Solutions, Denver, said that of late, “We have seen a few Ginnie trades go off at a level closer to full value.” Garland told Inside FHA/VA Lending that he expects this trend to continue with prices tightening over the summer “provided rates hold and [prepayment] speeds stay largely in line with expectations.” And if that happens, there could be an increase in the ability of FHA/VA lenders to securitize excess cash flows. But that’s getting a little ahead of the equation. Over the past 24 months, the Ginnie MSR market has been difficult for two reasons: the fear of lawsuits/sanctions tied to FHA lending, and fast ...


April 14, 2017 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

GNMA Officials Attribute Decline in VA Refis to Anti-Churning Policy

A steep drop in VA-backed securities issuance in the first quarter of 2017 suggests that Ginnie Mae’s efforts to curb serial refinancing of VA loans are working, according to agency officials. Speaking on a panel at the annual VA Lenders Conference in Kansas City, MO, this week, Ginnie executives said that a change in pooling requirements for streamlined refinance mortgages appears to have curbed a destructive appetite for refinancing new VA loans within six months of closing. The practice has caused faster prepayments in Ginnie mortgage-backed securities pools and smaller payouts to investors. VA refi volume fell 42.7 percent from the previous quarter (see chart on page 2), contributing significantly to the 32.2 percent decline in total VA loan securitization during the period. John Getchis, senior vice president at Ginnie Mae, said he does not think the churning trend will continue because the ...


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

New York State Aligns State Law With TRID. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, recently signed into law Senate Bill S982, legislation that tweaks the existing state legal definition of the “consummation” of a mortgage loan to synchronize with the Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule promulgated by the CFPB.... Industry Need to Get TRID-Compliant Boosts DocMagic’s Bottom Line. Industry vendor DocMagic, based in Torrance, CA, late last week reported a 42 percent increase in revenue for 2016, due in large part to industry demand for products that enable compliance with the CFPB’s Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule, otherwise known as TRID....


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

OCC Gives Wells Fargo a Rare ‘Needs to Improve’ CRA Grade

Thanks in part to the recent consent order Wells Fargo reached with the CFPB, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency recently gave the top mortgage lender in the U.S. a rare “needs to improve” rating under the Community Reinvestment Act – this despite citing Wells’ overall “outstanding” performance on the lender’s performance examination components, the lender noted. The rating is based on the most recent CRA performance evaluation, which covers the years 2009-2012. The agency referenced the lender’s recent $100 million consent order with the CFPB, and a related action brought by the city and county of Los Angeles that resulted in a $50 million fine, and numerous other enforcement actions. The OCC said the bank’s overall CRA performance ...


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Cordray Touts Regulatory Review, Streamlining, Modernization

In remarks recently at an event of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, CFPB Director Richard Cordray spelled out how the bureau is trying to aid the mortgage industry’s compliance efforts by promoting greater understanding of its rules, as well as regulatory review, streamlining and modernization. “Our efforts with the mortgage rules went much further than simply reacting passively to industry inquiries (though we have fielded thousands of them),” the director said. “We also took affirmative steps to help the industry understand our rules through publications, videos, webinars, and phone calls with individual institutions.” The bureau adopted a diagnostic and corrective approach to supervision in the early months to ease anxieties about the difficulties of complying with certain components of the ...


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Reps Meet With Treasury to Push Mortgage Rule Changes

Community lending representatives met with Trump administration officials last week to push a package of pro-growth, regulatory relief proposals, including a number of changes to the mortgage rules promulgated by the CFPB. The meeting was held with Treasury Department officials under President Donald Trump’s executive order directing the Treasury to review existing laws, treaties, regulations, guidance, reporting and recordkeeping to determine if they promote or inhibit federal regulation of the U.S. financial system as per Trump’s core principles outlined in Executive Order 13772. Meeting with the Trump administration officials were a handful of CEOs of bank that are members of the Independent Community Bankers of America. Among the proposed changes the trade group advocated was a more expansive qualified mortgage ...


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Cordray, GOP Lawmakers Argue Over Bureau’s Use of CIDs

Visits by CFPB Director Richard Cordray to Capitol Hill are always times of high drama, or high theater, depending on your perspective, and his visit last week to deliver his agency’s semi-annual report to the House Financial Services Committee was no exception. One of the hot buttons Republicans kept pressing was the bureau’s use of civil investigative demands. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-MO, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions, got the ball rolling by bringing up the bureau’s proposed changes related to the disclosure of records information, issued in August 2016. “As I understand it, this amendment would impose what would amount to an unprecedented gag order on any individual or entity under investigation by the CFPB,” ...


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Looks to Enhance Protection of Consumer Data in HMDA Rule

More changes, or at least additional guidance, may be in the offing for the pending Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is scheduled to take effect next year, agency Director Richard Cordray said last week during an appearance on Capitol Hill. During a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA, pointed out, “Studies have shown that in some geographic areas, it is possible to determine the identity of nearly 100 percent of the borrowers using the data that lenders are required to collect and report by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. This is despite the fact that that act supposedly provides for anonymous data in its final form.” Sherman also ...


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Justice Dept. Wants in on PHH v. CFPB En Banc Proceedings

In another unusual, unexpected development in the legal wrangling between the CFPB and PHH Corp. over alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the U.S. Department of Justice, now under the direction of the Trump administration, has asked permission of the court for a few minutes of its time to present its case. Oral arguments in the case, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, are scheduled for May 24, 2017. The court has allocated 30 minutes per side for arguments. In an unopposed brief filed earlier this month with the USCA, the DOJ asked for 10 minutes of argument time. “The United States agrees with petitioner PHH Corp. that the for-cause removal ...


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Allies of the Bureau Weigh in to Defend Bureau in PHH Case

Three financial regulation scholars told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that the CFPB is a highly accountable agency when looked at in its entirety. Making that argument in a friend of the court brief in PHH Corp. v. CFPB were two law professors, Michael Barr at the University of Michigan Law School and Adam Levitin at Georgetown University Law Center, along with Deepak Gupta, founding principal of the Gupta Wessler law firm in Washington, DC. Gupta was senior litigation counsel and senior counsel for enforcement strategy at the CFPB back in the days when Elizabeth Warren was setting up the fledgling agency. “Viewed holistically, the CFPB is a highly accountable agency,” the trio said....


April 10, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Reaffirms its RESPA View in its Latest Filing in PHH Case

Well, the good news for the mortgage industry is that someone finally got around to talking about the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act when it came time to file another brief in PHH Corp. v. CFPB. But the bad news: It was the CFPB, and it doubled down on the main arguments it made the first time around, reaffirming its controversial interpretation. The CFPB insisted Director Richard Cordray correctly interpreted the act. First, the agency said PHH’s “kickback scheme” violated RESPA. The interpretation of RESPA by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was incorrect, said the CFPB. “Its crucial error was holding that the meaning of section 8(c)(2) of RESPA – in ...


March 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

More Uniformity Needed Between QM Standards from CFPB, HUD

With the topic of regulatory reform experiencing a resurgence of attention since the Trump administration moved into the White House, the U.S. mortgage insurance industry is calling for greater uniformity when it comes to the nitty gritty details of the ability-to-repay rule and its qualified-mortgage standard. One area of particular concern for mortgage insurers is the differences between the CFPB’s QM rule for conventional mortgages and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s QM rule for FHA-insured mortgages. These differences include different debt-to-income caps, different formulae to calculate points and fees, and different standards for higher-cost mortgages. According to U.S. Mortgage Insurers, these differences incentivize greater reliance on programs of the U.S. government, increasing risk to taxpayers. “While consistency and ...


March 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Industry Hopes to Undo Parts of Dodd-Frank on Three Fronts

The new political landscape in Washington, DC, has intersected with the judicial movement on the PHH Corp. v. CFPB case to give the mortgage industry some hope that the bureau can be scaled back. But the task is complicated by the fact that the new administration is headed by a political novice, and by the fact that the industry itself is not particularly unified about what kind of changes should be made. During a recent webinar sponsored by Inside Mortgage Finance, three top industry attorneys discussed some of the prospects for change on three separate fronts of the federal government: the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. If there’s a single theme or take-away from the event,...


March 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Proposes Changes to Give Lenders Flexibility Collecting Data

Late last week, the CFPB proposed amendments to Regulation B, the implementing regulation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, to give mortgage lenders greater flexibility in collecting information about consumer ethnicity and race. Reg B restricts lenders’ ability to ask consumers about their race, color, religion, national origin or gender, except in certain circumstances. These circumstances include required collection of the information for some mortgage applications under the regulation. Under the proposal, mortgage lenders would not have to maintain different practices depending on their loan volume or other characteristics, allowing more lenders to adopt application forms that include expanded requests for information about a consumer’s ethnicity and race, including the revised uniform residential loan application issued by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie ...


March 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Fines Nationstar $1.75 M Over HMDA Reporting Errors

The CFPB has fined Nationstar Mortgage $1.75 million for allegedly violating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act by “consistently failing to report accurate data about mortgage transactions for 2012 through 2014,” the agency said. The CFPB said it found that Nationstar’s HMDA compliance systems were flawed and generated mortgage lending data with significant, preventable errors. “Nationstar also failed to maintain detailed HMDA data collection and validation procedures, and failed to implement adequate compliance procedures,” the bureau alleged. “It also produced discrepancies by failing to consistently define data among its various lines of business.” Further, data samples reviewed by the CFPB showed substantial error rates in three consecutive reporting years, the bureau said. “In the samples reviewed, the CFPB found error rates ...


March 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Trump Administration Takes No Position on RESPA in PHH Brief

As different as the presidential administrations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump may appear, one thing they have in common is an apparent unwillingness to get into the statutory weeds when it comes to the interpretation and enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice under the Trump administration, just as it had under the Obama administration, side-stepped the RESPA issues associated with the long-running battle between PHH Mortgage and the CFPB. In its amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the government said simply: “The United States takes no position on the statutory issues in this case….” For the Trump administration, the case comes down ...


March 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FCC Weighs Revised Phone-Contact Standards That Could Interfere with Mortgage Business

A request from two consumers for changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act would interfere with mortgage origination and servicing operations, according to the Consumer Mortgage Coalition. The CMC submitted a comment letter to the Federal Communications Commission late last week in response to a petition submitted to the FCC in January. The petition called for the FCC to re-write parts of the TCPA and require express consent to be in writing from consumers regarding certain communications from companies, including mortgage lenders and servicers. The petition would define express consent as not being provided even when a person to be called knowingly provides a phone number to a lender on a loan application. Anne Canfield, executive director of the CMC, said...


Poll

With the spring homebuying season in full swing, what percentage of your March 2017 application volume has been for “purchase” loans?

75% or higher

48%

50% to 74%

24%

30% to 49%

14%

Under 30%

14%