Mortgage Loan Servicing

In a development that industry observers may have overlooked amid more pressing concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Idaho legislature enacted a measure that will require mortgage servicers to be licensed by July 1, 2020, unless the date is extended. With last month’s enactment, Idaho joins the majority of states that license mortgage servicing and provides a useful reminder that, when things eventually return to some degree of normalcy, non-pandemic-related compliance obligations will remain. This blog post discusses Idaho’s new mortgage servicer licensing obligation and other pertinent provisions of the legislation.

The New Mortgage Servicer Licensing Obligation

Idaho House Bill 401 (“H401” or the “Bill”) amends the Idaho Residential Mortgage Practices Act (Idaho Code §§ 26-31-101 et seq.) (the “RMPA” or the “Act”) to include mortgage servicing among the activities that trigger licensing under the Act.
Continue Reading Regulatory Life Goes On—Idaho Legislature Remained in Session During COVID-19 Pandemic to License Mortgage Servicers

Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) announced an eagerly awaited policy allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the “Agencies”) to address one aspect of the liquidity crisis for mortgage servicers facing mounting advance obligations due to forbearances. Going forward, once a servicer of single-family mortgage loans pooled into an Agency mortgage-backed security has advanced four months of missed payments on a loan in forbearance, it will have no further obligation to advance scheduled payments of principal and interest.[1] The FHFA reports that this applies to all Agency servicers.

This answers one of the four main questions that servicers have asked about forbearance required under the CARES Act in the context of Agency servicing advances.
Continue Reading Fannie and Freddie to Relax Servicer Advance Requirements for Loans in Forbearance

Residential mortgage loan servicers, trade associations and various members of Congress have been urging the Department of Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board to provide a dedicated servicing advance facility.  On April 10, 2020, Ginnie Mae did just that, announcing the terms of its much-anticipated Pass-Through Assist Program for Issuers of mortgage-backed securities that are

As the residential mortgage community is aware, loan servicers are facing significant financial burdens from the servicing advance obligations associated with the loan forbearance mandates of the CARES Act. Over the past few days, there has been considerable reporting and reaction to the statements by the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not provide financial assistance to servicers facing these burdens. On the heels of those statements, the Federal Reserve has unfortunately eliminated another potential source of support for those servicers.

Continue Reading Federal Reserve’s Updated TALF Program Excludes Support for Mortgage Servicing Advance Financing

Any day now, maybe even today, Ginnie Mae will announce the details on its Pass-Through Assistance Program (“PTAP”), through which Ginnie Mae will provide a liquidity facility for issuers that need help meeting their obligation as issuers to pass-through payments of regularly scheduled payments of principal and interest, regardless of whether the loans are subject to forbearance.  While quickly trying to finalize PTAP program documents, on Monday April 7th, Ginnie Mae announced that it would recognize servicing advance financing facilities under its Acknowledgement Agreement. Previously, Ginnie Mae would not recognize a servicing advance receivable as  an independent component of mortgage servicing rights related to loans pooled into Ginnie Mae securities (“MSRs”).  This new recognition improves the ability of servicers to finance a valuable income stream, which has proven increasingly costly as the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly challenged liquidity in the housing market. But this recognition comes with limitations, which we detail below.
Continue Reading Modest Improvements: Ginnie Mae’s Servicing Advance Facility Recognition

For many of us who have been around for a while, it seems as if we have seen this movie before.  An economic downturn leads to increased borrower delinquencies on mortgage loans with a progressively increasing obligation for the servicers of those mortgage loans to make principal and interest advances to cover the delinquencies.

But

Federal regulators and Congress continue to release new guidance and requirements to assist residential mortgage loan borrowers facing economic hardships due to the pandemic. But in light of the anticipated volume of requests and associated burden on servicers, they also are offering some regulatory relief. This alert contains a summary of relevant mortgage servicing requirements,

On Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT, Larry Platt will discuss the provisions of recent federal legislation that impact residential mortgage loans.  This call is a part of Mayer Brown’s Global Financial Markets Teleconference Series.

Congress’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is expansive legislation that provides support to federal agencies,

Last week, in a blog entitled “Coronavirus Hits Home,” we informed you that we had contacted the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) and regulators in a number of states to see what CSBS or the state regulators were telling mortgage lender or broker licensees as to whether their licensed MLO employees who had been quarantined in their homes because of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) could continue to originate mortgage loans from their homes without the home being licensed as a branch office. Since that blog, CSBS has posted certain state-by-state COVID-19 guidance on the NMLS Resource Center, which among other things covers relevant business continuity plans for licensed mortgage loan officers. We urge you to check the NMLS Resource Center and the State Agency websites for the guidance provided.

Since we sent our request to state regulators as to relief from branch licensing for licensed MLOs who are quarantined in their homes, but want to continue to originate mortgage loans, a number of state regulators have responded directly and positively to our email request. As some of the guidance posted on the NMLS website may not cover the branch licensing issue we posed to CSBS and certain other state regulators, we thought it would be helpful to post some of the specific guidance we have received from state regulators that addressed the branch licensing concern raised by our clients.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Hits Hard – Branch Licensing May Be Waived

The Taxpayer First Act (the “Act” or “TFA”) imposes new limits on the disclosure of US taxpayer tax information obtained on or after December 28, 2019. The Act is designed, among other things, to overhaul and modernize operations at the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). One provision of the TFA has a direct impact on a recipient of taxpayer return information obtained directly from the IRS. Although questions remain about the reach of the new rule, it is already finding its way into structured finance and secondary market transactions.

Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) governs the confidentiality and disclosure of tax returns and the information contained in tax returns. The TFA, effective as of December 28, 2019, amends Code Section 6103(c) to require taxpayers to consent to: (i) the particular purposes for which the recipient will use the taxpayer’s tax return information (the recipient may not use the information for any other purpose); and (ii) the sharing of any information from the tax return with other persons. Prior to the TFA amendment, Code Section 6103(c) simply authorized the IRS to release a taxpayer’s tax return information to parties designated by the taxpayer to receive it.
Continue Reading The Taxpayer First Act and the Impact on Secondary Market Participants