Archive: August 2012

1
Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act Protections Extended
2
Bureau Considers Enforceability of State Unclaimed Property Laws for Gift Cards
3
CFPB Legislates Loss Mitigation Through Proposed Servicing Regulations

Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act Protections Extended

By: David I. Monteiro

On August 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law another extension to the protections from nonjudicial foreclosure afforded to members of the military under the federal Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, or the “Act”). Prior to the Act, the SCRA prohibited nonjudicial foreclosures on mortgage loans to active-duty members of the military, both during military service and for nine months after termination of active service. The Act extends these protections from nine months to one year following the end of military service. This extension takes effect on February 2, 2013. Read More

Bureau Considers Enforceability of State Unclaimed Property Laws for Gift Cards

By: David L. Beam

The gift card provisions of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (“EFTA”) and Regulation E (which implements the EFTA) do not allow funds on most gift cards to expire sooner than five years after issuance (or, if the card is reloadable, five years after the last load). But the unclaimed property laws in some states require gift card issuers to turn over the funds on dormant gift cards sooner than five years after the last activity. The state unclaimed property laws generally relieve the issuer of the obligation to honor a card after it has turned the funds over to the state. Instead, the owner of the card must apply to the state treasurer to recover the funds. (If the card issuer decides to honor the card anyway—and many do for customer service reasons—then the issuer may apply to the state for reimbursement.)

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CFPB Legislates Loss Mitigation Through Proposed Servicing Regulations

By: Laurence E. Platt

For those who wondered how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) would seek to convert portions of the global foreclosure settlement into federal law, last Friday’s proposed servicing rules provide an answer. The Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) amended the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) in several ways to address discrete loan servicing issues, such as escrow accounts, flood insurance, and qualified written requests. What it did not do, however, is address loss mitigation or foreclosure. Many thought that the Bureau would use its general authority to issue regulations prohibiting unfair, deceptive or abusive acts and practices to craft loss mitigation requirements, but that authority would not afford consumers with a federal private right of action. Read More

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