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01/08/2020

Mortgage broker pays for revealing consumer info

The Federal Trade Commission has announced a California-based mortgage broker will pay $120,000 to settle FTC allegations that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other laws by revealing personal information about consumers in response to negative reviews posted on the review website Yelp. A complaint filed by the FTC alleged that Mortgage Solutions FCS, Inc. (doing business as Mount Diablo Lending) and its sole owner, Ramon Walker, responded to consumers who posted negative reviews on Yelp by revealing their credit histories, debt-to-income ratios, taxes, health, sources of income, family relationships, and other personal information. Several responses also revealed reviewers’ first and last names, according to the complaint.

01/08/2020

NCUA lists 2020 supervisory priorities

The National Credit Union Administration has announced it is has sent its annual letter to credit unions listing supervisory priorities as well as updates on regulations and the agency’s modernization programs. The priorities listed were:

  • Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering compliance;
  • Consumer financial protection;
  • Cybersecurity;
  • Credit risk and liquidity risk;
  • Continued monitoring of the implementation of the new standard for current expected credit losses, or CECL; and
  • Planning for the transition from the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, as the benchmark for setting interest rates.

01/08/2020

HUD proposes improved AFFH rule

HUD has released its proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, which offers clearer guidance to states and local governments to help them improve affordable housing choices in their communities.

01/06/2020

OCC releases CRA evals for two dozen banks

The OCC has released a list of 24 CRA evaluations of national banks and federal savings associations that were made public in December, 2019. Sixteen of the evaluations were assigned ratings of "Satisfactory." Congratulations to these eight institutions that received ratings of "Outstanding" (links are to their evaluations):

  1. The Litchfield National Bank, Litchfield, Illinois
  2. The Riddell National Bank, Brazil, Indiana
  3. Home Bank, National Association, Lafayette, Louisiana
  4. Winter Hlll Bank, Somerville, Massachusetts
  5. Valley National Bank, Passaic, New Jersey
  6. First National Bank, Alamogordo, New Mexico
  7. American Express National Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah
  8. The Bank of Bennington, Bennington, Vermont

01/06/2020

FDIC CRA exam report

The FDIC has posted a list of 71 banks whose most recent CRA evaluations were made public in October. Seventy of those evaluations were rated "Satisfactory," and one bank in Connecticut was rated "Needs to Improve."

01/03/2020

NMLS reinstatement period

The NMLS has posted a reminder that the NMLS annual renewal period ended at midnight (Eastern Time) on December 31, 2019, and a notice that the reinstatement period started January 2, 2020, and will end at midnight ET on February 29, 2020. According to federal regulations, both institutions and most individual mortgage loan originators (MLOs) must be renewed through NMLS annually. See the Federal Registry Annual Renewal page of the NMLS Resource Center for steps to reactivate your registration(s).

01/02/2020

FDIC rescinds outdated policy statements

The FDIC has announced it has rescinded four outdated statements of policy effective December 31, 2019:

  • Applicability of the Glass-Steagall Act to Securities Activities of Subsidiaries of Insured Nonmember Banks
  • Treatment of Collateralized Letters of Credit After Appointment of FDIC as Conservator or Receiver
  • Treatment of Collateralized Put Obligations After Appointment of FDIC as Conservator or Receiver
  • Contracting with Firms That Have Unresolved Audit Issues with FDIC

01/02/2020

FHFA House Price Index up in October

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has reported that U.S. house prices rose in October, up 0.2 percent from the previous month, according to the FHFA House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 5.0 percent from October 2018 to October 2019. The previously reported 0.6 percent increase for September 2019 was revised upward to 0.7 percent. For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from September 2019 to October 2019 ranged from -0.5 percent in the East North Central division to +0.7 percent in the West South Central and East South Central divisions. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +3.5 percent in the New England division to +6.7 percent in the Mountain division.

12/31/2019

FTC prevails in case against mortgage relief scammers

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has ruled in favor of the Commission in a case against the operators of a scheme that deceived financially distressed homeowners by falsely promising to make their mortgages more affordable. The defendants also charged consumers illegal advance fees and unlawfully told consumers not to pay their mortgages to or communicate with their lenders. The case was originally filed by the FTC in January 2018, and the court issued a temporary restraining order against the company at that time. The court found that the defendants’ practices violated the FTC Act and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule.

Under the terms of the newly issued final order, the defendants will be permanently banned from the debt relief business and will be banned from misleading consumers about the terms of other financial services they may offer, as well as from making misleading claims in advertisements. The ruling also imposes an $18.5 million judgment against the defendants. The order requires that the contents of numerous bank accounts be turned over to the FTC, along with the proceeds from selling assets belonging to the defendants. Among the assets that will be liquidated are a Park City, Utah ski chalet, an office building, a Mercedes Benz S550, and a Porsche Carerra.

The defendants subject to the order are Preferred Law PLLC; Consumer Defense LLC (Nevada); Consumer Defense LLC (Utah); Consumer Link Inc.; American Home Loan Counselors; American Home Loans LLC; Consumer Defense Group LLC, formerly known as Modification Review Board LLC; Brown Legal Inc.; AM Property Management LLC; FMG Partners LLC; Zinly LLC; Jonathan P. Hanley; and Sandra X. Hanley.

12/31/2019

CFPB releases college credit card report

The CFPB has released its 2019 report on college credit cards. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act requires credit card issuers to submit agreements they make with colleges (and organizations affiliated with colleges) to the CFPB and requires the CFPB to submit a report that lists that information to Congress and make it available to the public.

The report finds that the market for these kinds of college credit cards is getting smaller, continuing a trend that dates back a decade. The Bureau also found that there are fewer issuers this year who are parties to college credit card agreements compared to last year and that agreements with alumni associations continue to make up the largest part of this market.

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