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Top Story Lending Related

04/06/2021

$5M for lead hazard reduction and weatherization

HUD yesterday awarded $5 million in demonstration grants to five local government and non-profit organizations to help households with young children or seniors promote energy efficiency and healthy housing. The funding announced today promotes the coordinated delivery of services by local HUD-funded Lead Hazard Reduction and Weatherization Assistance Programs funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This model will provide additional benefits to low-income households in the form of lower energy costs and a reduction in residential health and safety hazards.

04/06/2021

Proposed mortgage servicing changes to mitigate foreclosure surge

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday announced it has proposed a set of rule changes intended to help prevent avoidable foreclosures as COVID-19 emergency federal foreclosure protections expire. The CFPB’s proposal, if finalized, would:

  • Give borrowers time: To make sure borrowers aren’t rushed into foreclosure when a potentially unprecedented number of borrowers exit forbearance at around the same time this fall, the proposed rule would provide a special pre-foreclosure review period that would generally prohibit servicers from starting foreclosure until after December 31, 2021. The CFPB is seeking public input on that date, as well as whether there are more limited ways to achieve the same purpose. For example, the CFPB is considering whether to permit earlier foreclosures if the servicer has taken certain steps to evaluate the borrower for loss mitigation or made efforts to contact an unresponsive borrower. This provision, like the rest of the proposal, would only apply to loans secured by a borrower’s principal residence.
  • Give servicers options: The proposed rule would permit servicers to offer certain streamlined loan modification options to borrowers with COVID-19-related hardships based on the evaluation of an incomplete application. Normally, with certain exceptions, Regulation X requires servicers to review a borrower for all available options at once, which can mean borrowers have to submit more documents before a servicer can make a decision. Allowing this flexibility could allow servicers to get borrowers into an affordable mortgage payment faster, with less paperwork for both the servicer and the borrower. This provision would only be available for modifications that do not increase a borrower’s monthly payment and that extend the loan’s term by no more than 40 years from the modification’s effective date.
  • Keep borrowers informed of their options: The CFPB also proposes temporary changes to certain required servicer communications to make sure that, during this crisis, borrowers receive key information about their options at the appropriate time.

The proposed rule would only apply to a mortgage loan that is secured by a property that is a borrower's principal residence. It would not apply to small servicers as defined in section 1026.41(e)(4) of Regulation Z. If finalized as proposed, the rule would be effective on August 31, 2021. Comments will be accepted through May 10, 2021.

04/05/2021

FDIC releases CRA evaluation ratings

The FDIC has issued its list of 51 state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The list covers evaluation ratings that the FDIC assigned to institutions in January 2021. Forty-eight evaluations were rated Satisfactory. The evaluations of these three banks were rated Outstanding:

04/02/2021

OCC publishes interest rate risk statistics

OCC Bulletin 2021-18 announces the OCC's publication of the Spring 2021 edition of the semiannual Interest Rate Risk Statistics Report. The report presents interest rate risk data gathered during examinations of OCC-supervised midsize and community banks and federal savings associations. The statistics are for informational purposes only and do not represent OCC-suggested limits or exposures. The report provides statistics on interest rate risk exposures and risk limits for different midsize and community bank populations, including—

  • all OCC-supervised midsize and community banks with reported data
  • banks by asset size
  • banks by charter type
  • minority depository institutions

04/02/2021

2020 HMDA data available

The CFPB recently announced the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Modified Loan Application Register (LAR) data for 2020 were published on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council’s HMDA Platform for approximately 4,400 HMDA filers. The published data contain loan-level information filed by financial institutions, modified to protect privacy.

Annual loan-level LAR data for each HMDA filer are made available online by March 31st. Previously, users could obtain LAR data only by making requests to specific institutions for their annual data. To allow for easier public access to all LAR data, the Bureau’s 2015 HMDA rule required that the data be available electronically for all institutions. The data are now made available through the FFIEC’s HMDA Platform.

Later this year, the 2020 HMDA data will be available in other forms to provide users insights into the data, including a nationwide loan-level dataset. That dataset will provide all publicly available data from all HMDA reporters, aggregate and disclosure reports with summary information by geography and lender, and the HMDA Data Browser to allow users to create custom datasets and reports. The Bureau will also publish a Data Point article highlighting key trends in the annual data.

04/02/2021

CFPB bulletin warns mortgage servicers of coming surge in homeowners needing help

The CFPB announced Thursday it has issued Compliance Bulletin 2021-02 to warn mortgage servicers to take all necessary steps now to prevent a wave of avoidable foreclosures this fall. Millions of homeowners currently in forbearance will need help from their servicers when the pandemic-related federal emergency mortgage protections expire this summer and fall. The Bureau said that servicers should dedicate sufficient resources and staff now to ensure they are prepared for a surge in borrowers needing help. The CFPB also said it will closely monitor how servicers engage with borrowers, respond to borrower requests, and process applications for loss mitigation. The CFPB will consider a servicer’s overall effectiveness in helping consumers when using its discretion to address compliance issues that arise.

In its oversight of mortgage servicers, the CFPB is focused on preventing avoidable foreclosures. The CFPB will pay particular attention to how well servicers are:

  • Being proactive. Servicers should contact borrowers in forbearance before the end of the forbearance period so they have time to apply for help.
  • Working with borrowers. Servicers should work to ensure borrowers have all necessary information and should help borrowers in obtaining documents and other information needed to evaluate the borrowers for assistance.
  • Addressing language access. The CFPB will look carefully at how servicers manage communications with borrowers with limited English proficiency and maintain compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and other laws.
  • Evaluating income fairly. Where servicers use income in determining eligibility for loss mitigation options, servicers should evaluate borrowers’ income from public assistance, child-support, alimony or other sources in accordance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s anti-discrimination protections.
  • Handling inquiries promptly. The CFPB will closely examine servicer conduct where hold times are longer than industry averages.
  • Preventing avoidable foreclosures. The CFPB will expect servicers to comply with foreclosure restrictions in Regulation X and other federal and state restrictions in order to ensure that all homeowners have an opportunity to save their homes before foreclosure is initiated.

Provided that servicers are demonstrating effectiveness in helping consumers, in accord with the compliance bulletin, the CFPB will continue to evaluate servicer activity consistent with the Joint Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Mortgage Servicing Rules in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency and the CARES Act on April 3, 2020, which provides flexibility on certain timing requirements in the regulations.

Publication update: Bulletin 2021-02 has been scheduled for Federal Register publication on 4/17/2021.

04/01/2021

CFPB offers help to consumers with housing insecurity

CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio is featured in a Bureau vlog, "The CFPB is here to help consumers facing housing insecurity."

04/01/2021

FDIC Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights

The FDIC has issued FIL-22-2021 to announce the release of the latest issue of the FDIC’s Consumer Compliance Supervisory Highlights, which provides an overview of consumer compliance issues identified through the FDIC’s supervision of state non-member banks and thrifts in 2020. This edition includes:

  • A summary of the FDIC’s supervisory approach in response to COVID-19;
  • A description of the most frequently cited violations and other consumer compliance examination observations;
  • Information on regulatory developments; and
  • A summary of consumer compliance resources and information available to financial institutions

A table of most frequently cited violations highlights the numbers of Level 2 and Level 3 violations (there are three levels of concern from 1 to 3, with Level 1 representing the lowest level of concern), indicating that the most frequently cited violations (representing approximately 74 percent of the total violations cited in 2020) involve: the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Truth in Savings Act (TISA), Flood Disaster Protection Act (FDPA), Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

The report section on Consumer Compliance Examination Observations focuses on matters involving RESPA, TILA and fair lending.

04/01/2021

Federal Reserve FAQs on longstanding regulations

The Federal Reserve Board has announced it has published frequently asked questions (FAQs) comprising existing legal interpretations related to a number of the Board's longstanding regulations. The FAQs are intended to increase transparency and enhance accessibility to Board and Board staff legal interpretations. The FAQs include legal interpretations that have been formulated over time in response to specific requests related to each regulation. Each set includes significant existing interpretations of the regulation, including those found in Board orders, letters to specific requestors, and other sources, as well as those not previously available in written form.

There are currently separate pages of FAQs for regulations H, K, L, O, W and Y. An FAQs table of contents provides a list of the FAQs with the date of their most recent update, and links to the individual FAQ pages.

04/01/2021

NMLS Policy Guidebook updated

The NMLS has posted a notice that an updated version of the NMLS Policy Guidebook has been posted in the NMLS Resource Center and the Regulatory Resource Center. and includes a new business activity, Commercial Financing (Lending/Brokering). A summary of the update was also posted.

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