Legislation

Browse articles from all of our Newsletters related to Legislation.

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

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

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 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 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

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

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

Barney Frank Accuses GOP of Hypocrisy in Opposing CFPB

During a conference call last week with members of the news media, Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, the one-time chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, defended the CFPB and criticized congressional Republicans for their attack on the agency, accusing them of hypocrisy on multiple fronts. “I thought Republicans were concerned about excessive power in the executive branch, that they want to defend their congressional prerogative,” said Frank. But during the debate on the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress decided quite consciously that we would have an independent, single director, independent in the sense that the president could not fire that person at will,” he noted. “That was a congressional restriction on presidential appointment power, no question about it.” But now, apparently their ...


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 ...


April 6, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Doubles Down on its Positions Against PHH Mortgage, Including its RESPA Claims

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau late last week filed its much-anticipated response to the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to grant the agency’s request for an en banc rehearing in its legal wrangling with PHH Mortgage over allegations of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. The CFPB made three main arguments. First, the bureau’s structure is constitutional. “Neither the bureau’s single-director structure, nor the for-cause removal provision, unduly interferes with the president’s ability to take care that the laws be faithfully executed” under the U.S. Constitution, it said. If the court were to decide that the agency’s structure is unconstitutional, the bureau added...


March 30, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Lenders Push for Changes to QM Standards; Some Divisions on Portfolio QM Proposal

With House Republicans set to resume work on legislation to overhaul provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, mortgage lenders testified at a hearing this week calling for changes to standards for qualified mortgages. “As a result of some of the constraints in the QM definition, many borrowers who should qualify for a QM are unable to access safe, sustainable and affordable mortgage credit,” said David Motley, president of Colonial Companies and chairman-elect of the Mortgage Bankers Association. He made the comments at a hearing by the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. The MBA urged...


March 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Other News in Brief

CFPB Poised to Commence Five-Year Review of Its Major Mortgage Rules. The CFPB is getting ready to start, as per the Dodd-Frank Act, its five-year evaluation of some of the significant mortgage rulemakings it has promulgated thus far, according to a recent account by Politico, as cited by Pavitra Bacon, an associate in the Washington, DC, office of the Ballard Spahr law firm, in an online blog posting.... Will We See CHOICE Act 2.0 This Week? With less than a week left before the end of March, one well-placed industry lobbyist is still holding to the prediction that Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, will in fact introduce another incarnation of his Financial CHOICE act by the end of the month....


March 27, 2017 - Inside the CFPB

Rep. Cleaver Calls on Bureau to Combat Fintech Abuses

In a recent letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO, called upon the bureau to address potential abuses by financial technology companies that may be engaged in predatory small-business lending. In so doing, he asked that the CFPB “investigate whether fintech companies engaged in small business lending are complying with all anti-discrimination laws, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.” The congressman’s letter noted that fintech lending companies, also known as alternative small-business lenders, are a fast-growing industry offering a new wave of innovation, but they also pose many risks, he added. “Over the past decade, there’s been a very large increase of Silicon Valley start-ups and technology companies that are functioning like banks,” Cleaver said. “The CFPB ...


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 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

Power of Removal, Appropriations Key to a More ‘Constitutional’ CFPB

With the industry still waiting for resolution of PHH Corp. v. CFPB and the interpretation and enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act at stake, political partisans on Capitol Hill last week addressed the constitutionality of the CFPB, or the supposed lack thereof, with Republicans on the offense and Democrats on defense. During a hearing last week before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-IN, asked former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, now a partner with the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm, what steps would need to be taken to make the CFPB truly constitutional in its governmental function. Olson, who is representing PHH Corp. in its struggle with the bureau but ...


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 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB Moving Vigorously Ahead with Enforcement Actions, as Prospect Mortgage RESPA Case Reveals

With the enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act at stake, and a hostile occupant in the Oval Office, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is certainly not being bashful about continuing its regulation-by-enforcement modus operandi. The recent enforcement action against Prospect Mortgage is just the latest example. According to Colgate Selden, a partner in the Washington, DC, office of the law firm of Alston & Bird, the case is important because “it indicates the CFPB is moving full-speed ahead regardless” of the recent court rulings in PHH v. CFPB. This case is...


March 23, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

Trump Administration Urges Court in PHH Case To Ditch CFPB ‘Removal Only for Cause’ Provision

The Trump administration late last week filed its amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in PHH Corp. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and, as expected, sided with the lender this time around, but didn’t go as far as some had hoped it would. In its brief, the Department of Justice argued in support of eliminating the removal-only-for-cause protection that currently applies to the director of the CFPB. However, whereas PHH has argued that the CFPB be eliminated in its entirety, the Trump administration argued in favor of retaining the CFPB, but with a director removable at the will of the president. Currently, the director may be removed...


March 17, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Former SEC Official Warns Some Horizontal Risk- Retention Practices Won’t Fly With Regulators

Industry practices that are developing around risk-retention requirements for MBS and ABS might be rejected by federal regulators, according to a former special counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Dodd-Frank Act established risk-retention requirements for various types of MBS and ABS. The rule generally requires sponsors of a security to retain at least 5.0 percent of the issuance, in an effort to align the interests of issuers with the interests of investors. Among the options to comply with risk-retention requirements, sponsors can retain...


March 16, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

As Consideration of PHH Corp. v. CFPB Continues, The Role of the Administrative Law Judge Emerges

Nearly all of the discussion related to the ongoing legal battle between PHH Corp. and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has involved either questions about the bureau’s interpretation and enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act or issues having to do with the constitutionality of the CFPB. But the role played by the administrative law judge early in the bureau’s enforcement action has surfaced, with potential significance in the eyes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which recently granted the agency’s request for a rehearing by the full court. To adjudicate the matter early on, the CFPB borrowed...


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%