The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced today that it has entered into a settlement with Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, d/b/a “Mr. Cooper,” one of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers and the largest non-bank mortgage servicer in the United States. The bureau’s complaint claims that Nationstar engaged in unfair and deceptive acts and practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and violated the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 (HPA).

The bureau alleges that from January 2012 through December 2015, Mr. Cooper violated multiple federal consumer financial laws, causing substantial harm to the borrowers whose mortgage loans it serviced, including distressed borrowers. Specifically, the bureau claims that Nationstar (1) failed to identify thousands of loans on its systems that had pending-loss mitigation applications or trial-modification plans, and as a result failed to honor borrowers’ loan modification agreements; (2) foreclosed on borrowers to whom it had promised it would not foreclose while their loss mitigation applications were pending; (3) improperly increased borrowers’ permanent, modified monthly loan payments; (4) failed to timely disburse borrowers’ tax payments from their escrow accounts; (5) failed to properly conduct escrow analyses for borrowers during their Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings; and (6) failed to timely remove private mortgage insurance from borrowers’ accounts. Continue Reading Consumer Financial Protection Bureau And Multiple States Enter Into Settlement With Nationstar Mortgage, LLC For Alleged Unlawful Servicing Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a proposed rule to create a new category of Seasoned Qualified Mortgages (QMs). The proposal seeks to “encourage safe and responsible innovation in the mortgage origination market” by allowing an alternative pathway to the qualified mortgage safe harbor.

By way of background, the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to establish ability-to-repay (ATR) requirements for most residential mortgage loans. TILA specifies the factors a creditor must consider in making a reasonable and good-faith assessment of a consumer’s ATR. TILA also defines qualified mortgages as a category of loans that are presumed to comply with the ATR requirements. Regulation Z, TILA’s implementing regulation, requires creditors to make a reasonable good-faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay any residential mortgage loan, and loans that meet Regulation Z’s requirements for QMs must obtain certain protections from liability. Continue Reading The CFPB Proposes to Create a New Category of Seasoned Qualified Mortgages

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently proposed certain amendments to the General Qualified Mortgage (QM) definition in Regulation Z and issued a filing rule extending the expiration of the Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) Patch as a “temporary qualified mortgage” until the mandatory compliance date of the final amendments to the General QM loan definition.

By way of background, the Dodd-Frank Act amended the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to establish ability-to-repay (ATR) requirements for most residential mortgage loans. TILA specifies the factors a creditor must consider in making a reasonable and good-faith assessment of a consumer’s ATR. TILA also defines qualified mortgages as a category of loans that are presumed to comply with the ATR requirements. Regulation Z, TILA’s implementing regulation, requires creditors to make a reasonable good-faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay any residential mortgage loan, and loans that meet Regulation Z’s requirements for QMs must obtain certain protections from liability. Continue Reading The CFPB Proposes Amendments to the Qualified Mortgage Definition in Regulation Z and Extends the GSE Patch

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) recently requested public comment on proposed regulatory prudential standards for nonbank mortgage servicers. The proposal seeks to address concerns about rapid market share growth, nonbank institution size, and nonbank mortgage servicers’ financial stability and governance. The goals of the proposal are to:

  • Provide better protection for borrowers, investors, and other stakeholders in the occurrence of a stress event, in which adverse circumstances affecting one or a series of companies—or alternatively, a wider market dislocation—could result in harm;
  • Enhance effective regulatory oversight and market discipline over these entities; and
  • Improve transparency, accountability, risk management, and corporate governance standards.

Continue Reading The Conference of State Bank Supervisors Proposes Regulatory Prudential Standards for Nonbank Mortgage Servicers

In this episode of White Collar Briefly, Perkins Coie’s David Biderman, firmwide chair of the Consumer Products & Services Litigation group, sits down with Craig Lackey, general counsel of Rushmore Loan Management Services, a major servicer of residential mortgages nationwide. Their discussion covers topics such as the COVID-19-related downturn on the economy and mortgage servicer responses to COVID-19 and the CARES act. Craig and David also discuss what to expect from enforcement arising from COVID-19 and how to best respond, as well as the likely changes to the enforcement environment in the event of a change in administration. Listen here

In the wake of the July 24 expiration of the moratorium on residential evictions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued an order (CDC order) temporarily halting residential evictions in the United States for lower-income tenants who are unable to pay rent because of the financial impacts of COVID-19. The residential eviction moratorium is expected to be in effect between September 4, 2020, and December 31, 2020. In this update we discuss the CDC order and the steps that must be taken to invoke its protections.

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Misinformation is rampant in our current COVID-19 world. Perkins Coie partners Ann Marie Painter and Jill B. Louis are joined by Carolee Estelle, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, to provide some straight answers about the COVID-19 virus, what we know about its transmission and effect on the body, and how best to avoid spread in the workplace.

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Perkins Coie Partner, Barak Cohen was quoted in VIXIO PaymentsCompliance “CFPB Opens Gate To Regulated Open Banking In U.S.” regarding the new rule on third-party access to consumer financial data the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will begin developing in the United States.

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Ben Purser, chief risk officer for mortgage lender, Roundpoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation, and Barak Cohen, partner in Perkins Coie’s White Collar & Investigations practice and lead for the firm’s Commercial Litigation in Washington, D.C., discuss the challenges of legal compliance and risk in an industry that has been directly affected by two global financial crises in one decade. Ben has 34 years of experience in financial services, including service as chief audit executive in two public companies, chief compliance officer in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and chief risk officer at two different mortgage companies. Barak is a former corruption prosecutor who has both conducted government investigation in the financial services industry and represented clients in the industry. Drawing on their unique insider perspectives, Ben and Barak discuss the delicacy of balancing consumer needs against profitability, and whether regulators, particularly today, address or impede achieving this equilibrium. In the wide-ranging discussion, Ben and Barak touch on anticipated CARES Act investigations and how these may compare to TARP oversight; managing conflicting guidance from state and federal regulators; and predictions for imminent enforcement in the wake of the coronavirus stimulus funds. They cap their discussion with straightforward advice for companies in the industry that are navigating the uncharted path of legal compliance in the current global pandemic.

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On June 20, 2020, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 4204 into law. The bill requires lenders to defer loan payments and refrain from enforcing default remedies on certain secured obligations during the “emergency period” beginning March 8, 2020, and ending September 30, 2020, unless modified by the governor. In this update, we outline the impacts of the bill on borrowers and lenders, and considerations moving forward.

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