Truth in Lending Act/Regulation Z

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), in its most recent set of Supervisory Highlights, provides a bit of insight into how it interprets its Ability to Repay Rule for loans that are not Qualified Mortgages (“QMs”).  However, it fails to reconcile the Rule’s contradiction that while a lender making a non-QM is not required to consider or verify the borrower’s income if it reasonably finds the borrower’s assets to be sufficient, it is nonetheless required to consider and verify a borrower’s income!  Make sense?

By way of background, the Dodd-Frank Act and CFPB’s regulations generally require lenders making a closed-end residential mortgage loan to reasonably determine that the consumer will be able to repay the loan according to its terms.  If the lender wants to take advantage of a safe harbor of compliance with that requirement, it may choose to make a QM in accordance with the Rule’s strict criteria for those loans.  However, a lender may decide to make non-QMs, for which the Rule offers more underwriting flexibility.  Still, the lender must consider eight specified factors, and verify the amounts of income or assets on which it relies using reasonably reliable third-party records. 
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has offered its new mortgage servicing rule for public inspection today, meaning it is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2016.  The CFPB informally released the rule on its website in August.

The effective date of the rule is tied to its publication date,

Last week the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) hosted its 27th annual regulatory conference in Tampa, Florida. Over 300 attendees gathered to exchange information relating to the licensing, supervision, and regulation of the residential mortgage industry.  Here are some of the highlights from the conference:
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Today the CFPB finalized the final mortgage servicing rules update that it proposed at the end of 2014.  The rule adds new protections for mortgage borrowers in financial distress, including provisions that require servicers to:

  • Provide some borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan;
  • Provide protections to an expanded

With only a few days to spare in order to meet its July 2016 target release date, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) finally issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) today, proposing a number of amendments to its TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (“TRID” or the “Know Before You Owe” rule).

On April 28, 2016,

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) marks its fifth birthday having made a substantial mark on the consumer financial services marketplace. To mark this event, we have compiled a retrospective of the CFPB’s first five years. The retrospective provides an overview of the CFPB’s actions in the realms of rulemaking, supervision, and enforcement. While it

On May 12, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) published annotated model forms (“TILA Mapping Forms”) for the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.  The CFPB intends those annotations to indicate the statutory requirements in Chapter 2 of the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) on which it relied in implementing specific portions of those forms.  Unfortunately, the Mapping Forms are subject to such extensive disclaimers that the CFPB might as well have issued them over Snapchat – this “guidance” could disappear at any time.

The TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure/Know Before You Owe Rule (“TRID”) implements portions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), TILA, and the Dodd-Frank Act.  Civil liability for violations of TRID is governed by the underlying statutes.  To the extent the CFPB promulgated a particular TRID requirement solely under RESPA or the Dodd-Frank Act, a consumer generally would not have a private right of action for a violation of the requirement.  However, a creditor – and in some circumstances, an assignee – is more likely to be subject to liability when a TRID violation involves a requirement the CFPB promulgated in whole or in part to implement Chapter 2 of TILA (also sometimes referred to as Part B of TILA).

The TRID Rule and its Commentary do not, however, address the extent to which a creditor or assignee may be held civilly liable for any particular TRID violation.  In the rule’s preamble, the CFPB briefly mentions the statutory authority on which it relied in connection with each TRID requirement, but that preamble discussion is often ambiguous, difficult to parse, and occasionally even contradictory.  The CFPB apparently published the TILA Mapping Forms yesterday in response to industry requests for clearer guidance.  While the Mapping Forms are helpful, they do not resolve all of the complicated TRID liability issues that creditors and assignees continue to face.  Perhaps most importantly, the Mapping Forms are subject to a general disclaimer that they do not represent the CFPB’s legal interpretation, guidance, or advice.  They also do not purport to bind the agency or create any enforceable rights, benefits, or defenses that can be asserted by any party, in any manner.  The CFPB declined to state what the Forms do represent, if anything.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) has come under criticism recently for its heavy handed approach to regulation, including “regulation by enforcement”. Perhaps partially in response to those criticisms, and certainly in response to a January 2016 industry trade group request to the CFPB to publish unofficial guidance in the Federal Register, the

Small Rural CreditorsOn March 3, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) promulgated a rule (“the Rule”) establishing a process for the public to request additional areas to be recognized as “rural” areas for purposes of federal consumer financial laws.  The designation of an area as “rural” provides relief for creditors in those areas from certain requirements under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and its implementing Regulation Z, as explained below.  Under the Rule, a person may submit an application to the CFPB for recognition of a new area as “rural” for those purposes.  The Rule thus has the potential to open new avenues for small rural creditors to extend certain mortgage loans to their communities.
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