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Consumer Financial Services Watch News and developments related to consumer financial products and services

Tag Archives: national mortgage foreclosure settlement

Conflicted Out: When Must a Servicer Follow FHA Guidelines over the Global Foreclosure Settlement Servicing Standards?

Posted in FHA/VA, Mortgage Servicing

By: Krista Cooley, Rebecca Lobenherz

The National Servicing Standards, outlined in the March 2012 Global Foreclosure Settlement, are difficult to reconcile with the already stringent servicing requirements in place for the Federal Housing Administration’s (“FHA”) single family loan insurance program. The National Servicing Standards are expressly subject to and must be interpreted in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, and the terms and provisions of the requirements, binding directives and investor guidelines of the mortgage insurer, including FHA. In the event of a conflict between such requirements and the National Servicing Standards such that … Continue Reading

Force-Placed Insurance Standards in the Global Foreclosure Settlement

Posted in Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), Mortgage Servicing

By: Steven M. Kaplan, Rebecca Lobenherz

Force-placing insurance could be a hazardous practice if not done appropriately. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has made force-placed insurance a main focus of its desired mortgage servicing reforms and new rules on the issue are expected to be released by the CFPB as soon as this week. This is in addition to high-profile investigations into force-placed insurance by New York and California. Therefore, it should be no surprise that a significant section of the March 2012 Global Foreclosure Settlement lays out new force-placed insurance standards for parties to the … Continue Reading

Tenants’ Rights under the Global Foreclosure Settlement Agreement

Posted in Litigation & Enforcement Actions, Mortgage Servicing, Other Federal Agencies & GSEs

By: Nanci L. Weissgold, Morey E. Barnes Yost

Buried deep in the 40-plus pages of “Servicing Standards” that are part of the recently announced global foreclosure settlement agreement (the “Agreement”) are two bullets on a topic that could impact thousands: tenants’ rights.

Specifically, the Agreement requires subject servicers to: (1) comply with all applicable state and federal laws governing the rights of tenants living in foreclosed residential properties; and (2) develop and implement written policies and procedures to ensure compliance with such laws.… Continue Reading

National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Tackles “Dual Tracking” of Foreclosure and Loan Modification

Posted in Litigation & Enforcement Actions, Mortgage Servicing, Other Federal Agencies & GSEs

By: Stephanie C. Robinson,  Kerri M. Smith

At what point is it appropriate after a borrower defaults to initiate foreclosure proceedings? As soon as the borrower defaults? Few, if any, servicers follow this rule. During a review of loss mitigation options? During a trial modification? Servicers long have felt that the extraordinary delays in completing foreclosures based on some state laws weigh in favor of starting the foreclosure process as soon as possible. Of course, the servicer always can call off the foreclosure if the loss mitigation option succeeds, but a decision to delay the initiation of foreclosures can … Continue Reading

Protecting the Protectors – the Global Settlement Agreements’ SCRA Provisions

Posted in Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), Litigation & Enforcement Actions, Mortgage Servicing, Other Federal Agencies & GSEs, Servicemember Protections

By: Jonathan D. Jaffe

Given the reported violations of the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) by some servicers, and the attendant enforcement and civil actions against those servicers, state and federal regulators clearly felt compelled to impose significant SCRA-related requirements on the nation’s five largest residential mortgage loan servicers (the “Servicers”) in the recent global settlement agreements (the “Agreements”) entered into between those regulators and Servicers, described here.… Continue Reading

Vendor Management Standards in the Global Foreclosure Settlement

Posted in Mortgage Servicing

By: David A. Tallman

The alleged failure of servicers to adequately supervise the activities of their foreclosure and loss mitigation vendors and other service providers is one of the central criticisms levelled by federal and state regulators against residential mortgage servicers. The regulators assert that skyrocketing foreclosure volumes caused key vendors – including foreclosure firms, bankruptcy attorneys, and document custodians – to take shortcuts. Moreover, with respect to the management and execution of legal documents, regulators assert that servicers failed to adequately supervise the activities of their foreclosure and loss mitigation vendors and other service providers. According to the regulators, … Continue Reading

Global Servicing Settlement Requires Single Points of Contact (“SPOCs”)

Posted in Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB), Litigation & Enforcement Actions, Mortgage Servicing, Other Federal Agencies & GSEs

By: Kristie D. Kully

The servicing standards imposed on the five largest mortgage loan servicers by the recent global settlement agreement with state and federal regulators, described here, continue to pile on the “SPOC” requirements. “SPOC” stands for a single point of contact – a knowledgeable and accessible person a troubled borrower may contact to receive information and assistance in the loss mitigation, loan modification, and foreclosure process. SPOCs may do little to resolve the foreclosure documentation irregularities that sparked state and federal regulators to initiate their investigation. However, they have been touted as key to the efforts … Continue Reading

Global Foreclosure Settlement Servicing Standards: Customer Complaint Provisions

Posted in Mortgage Servicing

By: Melanie Hibbs Brody

In many financial service relationships, dissatisfied customers can solve ongoing customer service deficiencies by simply taking their business to a competing provider. Mortgage borrowers, however, are generally stuck with the company that services their loan, unless they are willing and able to refinance. This inability to “fire” loan servicers for poor performance, combined with the fact that mortgage servicing errors can cause serious harm – up to and including the loss of a home – has motivated government officials to impose loan servicing complaint resolution requirements whenever an opportunity arises.… Continue Reading

How the Global Foreclosure Settlement Agreement Impacts Servicing Fees

Posted in Litigation & Enforcement Actions, Mortgage Servicing

By: Nanci L. Weissgold, Morey E. Barnes Yost

As scrutiny of default servicing practices provided significant impetus for the recently announced global foreclosure settlement agreement (the “Agreement”), it is no surprise that the Agreement prescribes extensive standards to resolve issues with these practices. Based upon the Servicing Standards announced as part of the Agreement, one major area of focus will be the fees that mortgage loan servicers charge in connection with servicing loans.… Continue Reading

Global Foreclosure Settlement: The Success of Herding Cats

Posted in Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB)

By: Laurence E. Platt, Michael J. Missal

Whether one thinks the terms of the historic federal-state civil loan servicing settlement are too much, too little or about right, two conclusions are indisputable. First, an incredible amount of good faith effort from all concerned contributed to the final settlement—simply synchronizing the differing interests of the various governmental and private parties in over a year of negotiations seemed to require a computer program. Second, while the settlement terms are likely to contribute to the future housing recovery, the federal and state governments appear intent to continue to pursue enforcement actions for … Continue Reading