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 a servicer cannot comply with the National Servicing Standards without violating these requirements or being subject to adverse action, then the servicer must document such conflicts and notify the monitoring committee that the servicer intends to comply with the FHA requirements to the extent necessary to eliminate the conflict. Read More
It is increasingly common for employers to request that job applicants and employees divulge the passwords to their Facebook accounts and to other social media sites. This trend has not gone unnoticed by the media and privacy advocates, which view this practice as an intrusive violation of individual privacy. On the other hand, employers often have valid reasons to exercise oversight over social media activities, especially in financial services and other highly regulated industries where employees’ activities may be more likely to cause the company to incur liability. Read More
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 settlement agreement. Read More
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. Read More
The CFPB issued its first pronouncement—which it refers to as a Bulletin—regarding the Truth in Lending Act’s (“TILA”) loan originator compensation rule (the “LO Comp Rule”). The Bulletin is noteworthy for at least two reasons: the CFPB took a practical approach to resolve the issue, and the CFPB announced that it anticipates issuing a proposed rule for public comment in the near future on the loan origination provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act. Read More
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 result in investor claims. On the other hand, borrowers who think they are in the running for a loan modification often are angry and dismayed when the foreclosure notice arrives. The national foreclosure settlement between the country’s five largest residential mortgage loan servicers and the federal government and 49 state attorneys general places a number of restrictions on the controversial but common practice of “dual tracking” foreclosures and loan modifications. Read More
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. Read More
The idea was first floated, then floundered, moved forward with few fans and fleeting fanfare, secured a firm foothold, found a favorable following, was force-fed by federal law, and now four years since its formation, it is poised to forever change the way that consumer financial services will be licensed and regulated by the states. Beginning next month, the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (the “NMLS” or the “System”) will go through a metamorphosis, and eventually emerge as the System through which most, if not all, state licenses for consumer financial services will be applied for, processed and renewed.
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