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On March 29, 2024, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the new Community Reinvestment Act (“CRA”) regulations against the plaintiffs in the case.

The CRA, passed in 1977, generally requires insured depository institutions to participate in investment, lending, and service activities that help

The New York Department of Financial Services finalized guidance on how banks and mortgage institutions should manage climate-related financial and operational risks. The agency’s guidance creates extensive obligations for New York institutions, particularly mortgage lenders and servicers for which those risk management expectations may be new. Also, the NYDFS emphasizes that those institutions must still

In the CFPB’s new Supervisory Highlights, the agency concludes that paying individual mortgage loan originators differently for loan products that are brokered out to another lender, as compared to loans that are originated in-house, is a violation of Regulation Z’s Loan Originator Compensation Rule.

The CFPB’s Highlights describe a lender that makes certain mortgage

In explaining its view of the pleading standards in a disparate treatment discrimination case, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) shed light on its interpretation of the Truth in Lending Act’s (“TILA’s”) appraisal independence standards, providing that a lender is not required to rely on a biased appraisal.

The underlying case relates to a claim that an appraiser undervalued a home because of the homeowners’ race, and that the lender knew of the undervaluation. In mid-March, the CFPB and the Department of Justice filed a Statement of Interest in the case, addressing the applicability of nondiscrimination principles in the property valuation context. In doing so, the agencies also addressed the federal requirements for appraiser independence.

TILA and its Regulation Z prohibit lenders or other covered persons from coercing, instructing, or inducing an appraiser to cause the appraised value to be based on any factor other than the appraiser’s independent judgment. They also prohibit lenders from suborning any mischaracterization of a property’s appraised value or materially altering a property valuation. A lender that reasonably believes an appraiser has materially violated ethical or professional requirements must report the appraiser to the appropriate state agency. In addition, to comply with Regulation Z’s conflict-of-interest requirements, mortgage lenders generally ensure that the appraiser reports to a person who is not part of the lenders’ loan production function, and that no person in that function is involved in selecting the appraiser. Agencies and investors may impose additional requirements or prohibitions addressing appraisal independence.

The regulations expressly permit a lender to ask the appraiser to consider additional information, provide further detail or explanation, or correct errors. However, lenders must walk a fine line – while they may ask for additional information, explanations, or corrections, they are understandably careful in questioning an appraiser’s conclusions and are limited in their ability to obtain a second appraisal. (For instance, Fannie Mae generally prohibits its lenders from obtaining a second appraisal without a reasonable and documented basis for believing that the first appraisal is flawed.)Continue Reading CFPB Addresses the Fine Lines of Appraisal Independence

The CFPB marketed its latest set of supervisory highlights as the “Junk Fees Special Edition.” The splashy headline is consistent with the agency’s recent focus on fees that it asserts are hidden from the competitive process. In speeches, press releases, and blog posts (and now a single proposed rule), the CFPB has stressed its growing concern with “junk” fees. The CFPB even created a section of its web site solely devoted to press releases on “junk” fees.

Gleaning compliance guidance from Supervisory Highlights is not always straightforward, as they do not provide full details. However, in this Special Edition, the CFPB notes that it has characterized the following types of fees and practices as junk:

Deposit Accounts

  • Overdraft Fees – specifically, those charged when the consumer had a sufficient balance when the financial institution authorized the transaction, but not at the time of settlement.
  • Multiple Non-Sufficient Funds Fees for the Same Transaction.

Auto/Title Financing

  • Late Fees that Exceed the Credit Contract or After Acceleration/Repossession.
  • Estimated Repossession Fees that Greatly Exceed Average Costs – even if the excess was refunded.
  • Payment Processing Fees – specifically, those that exceed processing costs, when free payment options are only available for checks or ACH transfers.
  • Fees to Retrieve Personal Property from Repossessed Vehicles – the CFPB said such fees were “unexpected” and unfair.
  • Premature Repossession and Related Fees – charging late fees and repossessing vehicles before title loan payments became due.

Mortgage Loan ServicingContinue Reading CFPB Junk Fees Special Edition

Today, in another legal blow to the CFPB, a federal court in Illinois dismissed the Bureau’s redlining lawsuit against Townstone Financial (“Townstone”) and its owner.

The Bureau made waves back in 2020 when it filed the lawsuit, which was the first public redlining action brought by the Bureau against a non-bank mortgage lender. While the

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its latest set of Supervisory Highlights and reminded us that “unforeseen” means “unforeseen.”

The CFPB’s regulations generally prohibit reducing a loan originator’s compensation in selective cases. While lower compensation sounds good for consumers, the CFPB asserts that allowing loan originators to decrease their compensation in selective cases is actually

Apparently time flies when you’re Director Chopra of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). On June 17, Director Chopra issued a blog post titled “Rethinking the Approach to Regulations,” indicating that the agency will move toward “simpler and clearer rules” that are easy to understand and enforce. As part of that effort, the

On February 9, 2022, the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) released its Draft FHFA Strategic Plan: Fiscal Years 2022-2026 (the “2022 Strategic Plan”) for public input.

This year, FHFA added a novel objective to this plan – to identify options for incorporating climate change into FHFA’s governance of the entities it regulates.

According to

Mayer Brown and the Mortgage Bankers Association (“MBA”) invite you to the 2022 Mortgage & Housing Summit: The Outlook for Issuers and Investors, hosted in-person at Mayer Brown’s New York office.

The event will take place on March 17 from 12:00 to 5:00 pm EDT.

Formerly known as the annual Mortgage REIT Summit, this