Archive: July 2012

1
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: A First Year Retrospective by K&L Gates
2
Circuit Court Declares Bank’s Wire Transfer Security to Be Commercially Unreasonable Under UCC Article 4A
3
CFPB Proposes Regulations to Combine RESPA and TILA Mortgage Disclosures: Buckle Up for the Long-Anticipated Ride
4
Rural Housing Service Publishes Final Rule Regarding New Annual Fee

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: A First Year Retrospective by K&L Gates

By:  Laurence E. Platt, Steven M. Kaplan, Stephanie C. Robinson, Kristie D. Kully, David L. Beam, Melanie Hibbs Brody, Jonathan D. Jaffe, Nanci L. Weissgold, Holly Spencer Bunting, Kerri M. Smith, David A. Tallman, Eric Mitzenmacher, David G. McDonough, Jr., Rebecca Lobenherz, John L. Longstreth, Krista Cooley, Paul F. Hancock, David I. Monteiro, Michael J. Missal, Shanda N. Hastings, Noam A. Kutler, Matt T. Morley, Stephen J. Crimmins, Amanda B. Kostner, Karen Kazmerzak, Bruce J. Heiman, Daniel F. C. Crowley, Akilah Green

As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau celebrates its first birthday, financial service providers mark the occasion with solemnity. It has been quite a turbulent year with the Bureau, which has made the most of its new statutory authority to issue several final and proposed regulations, initiate its supervisory oversight of the previously unsupervised, and assume the supervisory function of the federal banking agencies for large banks. It has also laid the groundwork for what is expected to be an active enforcement environment.

This retrospective of the Bureau’s first year of operations describes the Bureau’s most consequential actions since its launch on July 21, 2011. Its wide-ranging activities over the past year reflect a mandate that spans numerous industries within the consumer financial services sphere, including some industries that previously went unregulated. Among the topics covered in our retrospective are rulemaking in the mortgage market and other markets such as prepaid cards, supervision and examination of banks and nonbanks, enforcement of federal consumer financial laws, and the debate over the agency’s legitimacy.

To download the retrospective, click here.

Circuit Court Declares Bank’s Wire Transfer Security to Be Commercially Unreasonable Under UCC Article 4A

By: Holly K. Towle

In 2010 we reported on the “Wave of Online Banking Fraud Targeting Businesses” that use online banking relationships to make electronic fund transfers by wire or ACH. The fraudsters use malware such as key-loggers to steal access credentials and then start draining the business’ account. In the U.S., the transfers are governed by Article 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”). Consumer accounts are not impacted by Article 4A: they are eligible for the consumer protections afforded by the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act and Regulation E, which limit a consumer’s exposure to fraudulent transfers to a maximum of $50 as long as the consumer promptly reports the fraudulent activity. Read More

CFPB Proposes Regulations to Combine RESPA and TILA Mortgage Disclosures: Buckle Up for the Long-Anticipated Ride

By: Holly Spencer Bunting

In one of the most anticipated actions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Know Before You Owe” campaign, on July 9, 2012, the CFPB published 1,099 pages of a proposed regulation to combine mortgage disclosure forms required under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”). As the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act charged the CFPB with creating combined disclosure forms and proposing regulations implementing such forms by July 21, 2012, the Bureau met that deadline with a few weeks to spare. Now mortgage companies, title insurance and settlement agents, real estate brokers, and all other interested parties are digging in to the proposed regulations in an attempt to understand how the Bureau’s proposed changes could impact their businesses. Industry participants should have plenty of time to digest the proposed regulations; public comments on the proposed changes to the calculation of the finance charge are due on September 7, 2012, while all other comments on the proposed combined disclosures are due on November 6, 2012. Read More

Rural Housing Service Publishes Final Rule Regarding New Annual Fee

By: Kathryn M. Baugher

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) today published a final rule implementing the new annual fee that will be charged on all RHS-guaranteed single family housing loans obligated on or after October 1, 2011.

The Housing Act of 1949 was amended in July 2010 to authorize RHS to charge an annual fee. The purpose of the annual fee is to make the RHS loan guarantee program “subsidy neutral,” meaning that it will not require taxpayer funding to continue operating at its current size. While RHS acknowledges that the annual fee will increase the cost of RHS-guaranteed loans for borrowers (by approximately $20 per month for the average loan), RHS believes that the annual fee is necessary to avoid a reduction in the size of the program, which would result in fewer RHS-guaranteed loans being made. Read More

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