February 19, 2014

CFPB scrutinizing servicers as rules take hold

CFPB plans to move aggressively against mortgage servicers that fail to satisfy the disclosures and procedures prescribed by new mortgage rules that kicked in last month, according to bureau Deputy Director Steven Antonakes.

CFPB is required to coordinate with prudential regulators, including NCUA, to ensure consistency in rules enforcement, and NAFCU has also called on NCUA to coordinate with CFPB on the mortgage rules. The bureau has said it is looking for "good faith" efforts to comply during the first few months of the new rules.

Antonakes, speaking Wednesday before a mortgage bankers' conference, said the bureau expects that any technical glitches in compliance in "these very early days" of the new rules should simply be identified and fixed. "We expect you to conduct outreach to ensure that all consumers know their options. We expect you to assess loss mitigation applications with care, so that consumers who qualify under your own standards get the loss mitigation that saves them – and the investor – from foreclosure."

The CFPB official recalled his days as Massachusetts' bank commissioner and efforts to get servicers to act faster on modifications and engage in best practices. He also noted disappointment at the "lack of progress" in the mortgage servicing industry in the time since.

He said under the new rules, the bureau's enforcement actions to date have ordered the return of more than $1 billion to consumers and another $2 billion in foreclosure relief. "Mortgage servicing rule compliance is a significant priority for the Bureau," he said. "Accordingly, we will be vigilant about overseeing and enforcing these rules."

CFPB's mortgage servicing rules took effect Jan. 10, along with rules on ability-to-repay/qualified mortgages, high-cost loan rules and more; NAFCU members can get these rules and more from our online mortgage rules compliance resources.