Legal Issues

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Legal Issues.

October 15, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief: New Settlement; Senate in Recess; Discriminatory Mortgage Lending Charges; Town Hall Meeting

The CFPB recently settled with Bluestem, Eden Prairie, MN, over allegations that the group of firms unfairly delayed payment transfers to third-party debt buyers. The settlement will require the companies to pay a civil money penalty of $200,000. The CFPB alleged that the Bluestem companies, between 2013 and 2016, delayed forwarding payments for more than 31 days in 18,000 instances. In 3,500 of those instances, Bluestem allegedly delayed [Includes four briefs] ...


October 12, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

GSE Shareholders Win Will Allow Plaintiffs to Press Forward

A recent court ruling that affirmed the validity of claims that the GSE net worth sweep breached an implied covenant of good faith is a big deal for shareholders, according to the plaintiff’s attorney. David Thompson of Cooper and Kirk told Inside The GSEs this week that U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s decision is a “significant victory” for the plaintiffs.


October 12, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

HSBC to Pay DOJ $765 Million to Resolve Legacy MBS Case Alleging Misrepresentation, Fraud

HSBC has agreed to pay $765 million in civil penalties under a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve allegations it misled investors on the quality of its residential MBS and the accuracy of its due diligence procedures.


October 11, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Court Ruled Zillow’s Co-Marketing Program Does Not Violate RESPA; CFPB Had Already Backed Off

A federal judge in Washington last week dismissed a securities fraud lawsuit against Zillow, ruling its co-marketing program does not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.


October 5, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Around the Industry

FHA Issues Waiver of Property Inspections in Disaster-Stricken California Counties. FHA has issued a waiver of its timing policy for completing property inspections prior to closing or endorsing a loan for FHA insurance. The waiver is in effect in presidentially declared major disaster areas in Lake and Shasta Counties, CA, that were ravaged by wildfires and high winds. FHA believes that the wildfires and high winds have stabilized so as not to cause any further damage to properties, even though FEMA has not declared “all clear” in the affected areas. The waiver allows damage inspections to be completed after Oct. 2, for properties located in the PDMDA. NC Commissioner of Banks Amends State Reverse Mortgage Rules. The North Carolina Commissioner of Banks recently amended its ...


October 5, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Senate Still Has Time to Enact VA ‘Orphan’ Loan Bill, Says MBA

The mortgage banking industry is optimistic about Congress enacting legislation that would cure VA orphan loans before the midterm elections. The U.S. Senate still has time to consider H.R. 6737, the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act, according to Bill Kilmer, chief lobbyist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Most observers think [lawmakers are] going to be around until Oct. 18 or 19, which is when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants to keep folks around to work on nominations and other measures they need to clear,” Kilmer said. “There is time and, more to the substantive point, the bill passed the House.” H.R. 6737 would provide a technical fix so that certain VA refinance loans would be eligible for pooling in a Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed security. The bill was reported out of committee by a unanimous 49-0 vote, and was approved quickly by the House ...


October 5, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Shareholders Finally Get a Modest Win in Case Against Treasury Sweep

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders received a bit of good news late last week when a judge sided with them on one of their arguments against the government.


October 4, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

FHFA Director’s Harassment Allegations Center Stage at House Hearing, Accuser’s Lawyer Looks to Next Steps

With just three months left in Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt’s term, it’s still uncertain whether he will ride out his appointment until January 6 as planned or resign because of sexual harassment allegations. Last week during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, lawmakers heard from both Watt and his accuser, Simone Grimes, about harassment that she said began in 2015. At the hearing, Watt fought back against the allegations and questioned the committee’s ...


October 1, 2018 - Inside the CFPB

CFPB Charged by Employees for Discrimination, Again

While the CFPB is responsible for ensuring fairness to American consumers in their financial affairs, the agency is now facing workplace discrimination and retaliation charges from former and current agency employees. A class action complaint was filed against the CFPB and Acting Director Mick Mulvaney in September, alleging discrimination and retaliation against minority and female workers. The complaint was filed to the U.S. District Court for the ...


September 28, 2018 - Inside The GSEs

Watt Defends Against Harassment Allegations During HFSC Hearing

Lawmakers who scheduled a hearing about a month ago to discuss oversight of the Federal Housing Finance Agency instead found themselves questioning FHFA Director Mel Watt about sexual harassment claims by one of his employees. During the day-long House Financial Services Committee hearing, which included his accuser Simone Grimes, FHFA Inspector General Laura Wertheimer, and the GSE CEOs, Watt fought back against the allegations. He painted his relationship with Grimes as a mentor/mentee-type interaction and questioned the committee’s decision to even allow Grimes to use that forum when she has a lawsuit pending. But Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA, who admitted to having a close friendship with Watt, said, “It’s a new...


September 28, 2018 - Inside MBS & ABS

Hearing Focuses on Sexual Harassment Claims Against FHFA Director, Alleged Retaliation from FHFA, IG

Harassment complaints filed against Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt took center stage during a House Financial Services Committee hearing late this week in which his accuser testified that the agency, along with its inspector general, treated her unfairly. Simone Grimes began her career at the FHFA in 2010 and became a special advisor in 2015. She complained that she was not given the same benefits as her predecessor in this temporary role and was advised that Watt would ...


September 21, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

September Issuance of FHA Final Condominium Reforms Unlikely

It looks like the Department of Housing and Urban Development will not be able meet its September target date for rolling out its long-awaited FHA condominium reform rule. Such is the consensus among stakeholders whose hopes were raised when HUD Secretary Ben Carson told the House Financial Services Committee in June that he would be issuing the rule this month. “HUD and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (within the Office of Management and Budget) want to release the rules with the updated Single Family Handbook and they are still working on that,” said a real estate industry executive. He added that despite what Carson said at the committee hearing, “September is not likely for a release.” As of press time, the final condo reform rule had not yet been delivered for OMB review, a process that in the past has taken months to complete. In contrast, it took about a ...


September 21, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Corrective Bill Renders VA Orphan Loans Eligible for Ginnie Guarantee

Ginnie Mae assured the mortgage industry that it would accept so-called VA orphan loans as long as they satisfy the terms of corrective legislation passed by the House Financial Services Committee recently. “As long as the mortgage loan complies with the law, we will accept it and put our guarantee on it,” said an agency spokesperson in response to an Inside FHA/VA Lending inquiry. Ginnie’s assurance provides certainty to a subset of VA loans that have been in limbo since June because they could not be delivered into Ginnie mortgage-backed securities. Lawmakers responded to industry calls for a legislative fix last week by voting overwhelmingly to approve H.R. 6737, the “Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2018.” Introduced by Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY, the bill would eliminate the seasoning requirements in the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Act reform legislation, which conflicted with ...


September 20, 2018 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage Fraud Increased in Past Two Years, Income and Employer Misrepresentation Most Common

Mortgage fraud is a growing problem, especially income misrepresentation, according to a recent CoreLogic report. All loan segments showed increased risks, except for the jumbo loan segment, which actually witnessed a decline in application fraud.


September 7, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

Deloitte Settles Allegations of Sloppy Audits of TBW Financials

Big Four accounting firm Deloitte has paid $149.5 million to the federal government to settle allegations of misconduct in connection with its role as the independent outside auditor of defunct FHA lender Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. The settlement amount includes $115 million in restitution paid to the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Aug. 13, 2018, according to the HUD inspector general. The rest of the payment went to the Department of Justice, which brought the charges on behalf of the government. Deloitte admitted neither to any liability nor to wrongdoing. TBW was an FHA direct endorsement lender and a Ginnie Mae-approved mortgage-backed securities issuer and servicer. It originated, underwrote, acquired and sold mortgages to Freddie Mac and other investors, which used the loans to support MBS issuance or held them as investments. In its heyday, TBW was one of the ...


September 7, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

HECM Lenders Take a Beating in 2Q18 as Originations Plummet

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage originations fell dramatically in the second quarter, raising the possibility of a long reverse-mortgage winter in 2018, according to an Inside FHA/VA Lending analysis of HECM data. HECM production fell a whopping 40.9 percent in the second quarter from the previous period. Total HECM originations stood at $8.6 billion by the six-month mark, down 8.3 percent from the prior year. Traditional HECMs, which exclude purchases and refinances, accounted for 80.5 percent of FHA-insured reverse mortgages originated during the first half of 2018. The amount of funds available at loan origination for the first six months totaled $4.7 billion. Analysts blame the low HECM originations on the new lower Principal Limit Factors (PLFs) for HECMs, which became effective in FY 2018. Under the HECM final rule issued last year by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, principal limits [Chart]


September 7, 2018 - Inside FHA/VA Lending

RHS Proposes Various Changes to Loss-Claims, Loss Mit Processes

The Rural Housing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed changes to its single-family housing guaranteed loan program to help certain lenders navigate the loss-claim process. Specifically, the RHS proposes to streamline the loss-claim process for lenders that have acquired title to property through voluntary liquidation or foreclosure. Under current rules, when a lender acquires title to a real estate-owned property, the RHS requires the lender to submit a plan to maintain and market the property. Any change to the plan must be approved by RHS. RHS also provides the lender two opportunities to file a loss claim on an REO property: When the property sells during the permissible marketing period, or after the period (typically from nine to 12 months) if the REO property does not sell. The agency proposes to make changes to the loss-claim payment process when a lender acquires ...


Poll

Who "owns" the mortgage customer that’s brought to a wholesale lender through a loan broker?

The broker. It’s his/her client.

35%

The wholesale/table funder. They’re taking the financial risk.

30%

The broker, but only for the first year. After that, the borrower is fair game.

13%

Hard to answer. It’s a complicated issue.

22%