When HUD transferred RESPA enforcement authority to the CFPB, some RESPA investigations that had been initiated at HUD may have been assigned to the new agency. As a result, some companies may not be out of the woods just yet.
Approximately 10 former HUD RESPA Enforcement Division staffers and counsel transferred to the new CFPB on July 21st, including RESPA Enforcement Division Director Bart Shapiro. About five of those employees ended up being reassigned to the CFPB’s Enforcement Division. Last spring the HUD Unit was busy trying to resolve dozens of RESPA investigations before they turned out the RESPA enforcement lights at HUD.
So if you weren’t contacted by HUD last spring, how do you know whether your review is still active? You don’t. The Government has three years from the date of the alleged infraction to bring a case against a company. If the facts of your case are older than three years, it’s likely your case was dismissed. If it was a minor or technical violation, it too was probably closed before July 21. On the other hand, if your review involves a significant number of transactions or potential dollars, and the statute of limitations has not run, that matter may well still be under consideration at the Bureau.
Right now the Bureau is busy organizing itself and focusing its consumer outreach on distressed homeowners and credit card transactions. RESPA enforcement has not yet made it to the front burners. But it will.
In the meantime, this might be a good time to kick the tires and make sure your company’s practices are in compliance with RESPA.