Compliance Blog

Home-Secured Lending Jan 17, 2008

RESPA; ANPR versus Proposed Rules

A little birdie told us that we should see something on RESPA very soon.  Perhaps next month.  And it could come in the form of an ANPR - an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

Regulators use ANPRs much in the same way that political candidates form exploratory committees when they are thinking of running for office.   Many politicians who form exploratory committees never run for office.  Some quickly learn that their ideas are unpopular, or that they lack the necessary support and financial backing to be a viable candidate. 

The same happens for ANPRs.  Regulators float ideas and broad concepts within ANPRs, and they seek input from all affected parties.  An unpopular or unworkable ANPR may generate enough criticism to send regulators back to the drawing board.  Or they may scrap the idea altogether.  (You may recall an NCUA ANPR on Supervisory Committees that would have imposed Sarbanes-Oxley-like requirements on credit unions.  That ANPR generated an avalanche of opposition, and there has been no proposed rule follow-up.)

Why do I bring this up?  The ANPR process is the best time for credit unions to voice their concerns on a topic.  By the time a proposed rule is...well, proposed, the regulator in question has invested a lot of time and effort into the process.  It is hard to change or eliminate major concepts in a proposed rule.  It is far easier to do so with an ANPR.

So, don't let an ANPR fool you.  Your comments are not only welcome.  Comments on an ANPR are extremely useful and effective. 

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