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Presentation on theme: "CFPB N EW R EGULATIONS : I MPACT FOR H OUSING C OUNSELORS."— Presentation transcript:


2 CFPB – Consumer Finance Protection Bureau New regulations – took effect – Jan. 10, 2014 These regulations are federal law, not just guidelines (ex. HAMP handbook) Creates private right of action Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Truth in Lending Act (TILA) Damages, costs & attorneys fees Keep Good Records!

3 H IGHLIGHTS Loss Mitigation Foreclosure Prohibitions Charges and Fees Error Resolution Requests for Information Requests for Payoff Statement

4 L OSS M ITIGATION What It Doesnt Do A servicer has no duty to provide any borrower with any specific loss mitigation options Loss mitigation application rules do not apply to any applications submitted prior to Jan. 10 If more than 37 days prior to a scheduled sale, servicers receipt of a new complete loss mitigation application after Jan. 10 triggers an obligation to review the borrower under the new rules

5 N EW P ROTECTIONS Any borrower who is more than 37 days from a foreclosure sale and files a complete loss mitigation application before 37 days before a foreclosure sale is entitled to an evaluation of the complete loss mitigation application for all available loss mitigation options

6 What Does 37 Days Mean if No Sale Date is Scheduled If no foreclosure sale is set at the time the borrower submits a complete loss mitigation application, the loss mitigation application is treated as if it was received by the servicer more than 90 days before any foreclosure sale This treatment remains true even if a foreclosure sale is later actually scheduled or re-scheduled

7 L OSS M ITIGATION P ROCESS Step 1 – Live Contact Between default & 36 th day post-default, servicer must make a good faith effort to reach the borrower, by telephone (not just a message) or in-person Step 2 – General Information Must alert borrower to the availability of any loss mitigation options

8 S TEP 3 – C ONTINUITY OF C ONTACT Between default and 45 days post-default, servicer must assign staff to borrower and provide written notice Staff can be a team Stay assigned until 2 consecutive payments under permanent loss mitigation agreement Send written notice with contact info, and loss mitigation info & application

9 Service Requirements: Team must have access to all docs & info the borrower submits for loss mitigation options Facilitate sharing of accurate & current info about borrowers loss mitigation application and the status of foreclosure proceeding between team and other staff, including those handling foreclosure

10 What Does That Mean? Accurate info about loss mitigation options Info to borrower on what they need to do to apply Deadlines for applying and processing application How to appeal Status of application Provide complete record of borrowers payment history Procedures for error resolution and requesting info

11 S TEP F OUR – P ERIODIC S TATEMENTS 45 days after default, service must send: Delinquency date Risk of foreclosure Account history (shorter of 6 months or last current) Amount to bring current Whether servicer has made foreclosure notice or filing

12 S TEP F IVE – A PPLYING FOR L OSS M ITIGATION Application = providing any info that would be evaluated as part of a loss mitigation application Transfer to new servicer: docs & info from old servicer to new servicer may count as an application

13 S TEP 6 – A CKNOWLEDGING R ECEIPT OF A PPLICATION If received 45 days or more before scheduled sale* Servicer must review to determine if complete Must provide written acknowledgement of receipt within 5 days Must specify if application is complete If incomplete – servicer must: identify what docs & info are needed Provide a date for submitting addtl docs Date must be reasonable (more than 7 days) If received less than 45 days before sale No written requirement; servicer must exercise reasonable diligence in obtaining docs & info

14 Facially complete application Acknowledgement letter either denotes application as complete or incomplete If the servicer has everything they need to review the application and indicate it is complete in the acknowledgement, then it is complete If the servicer informs the homeowner that they have everything they need in the acknowledgement, but then later discover they need additional documents, then the application is facially complete In either scenario, the homeowner receives the protections of submitting a complete application Including the application is complete for foreclosure protections If incomplete, servicer must identify it as incomplete and what docs or info. is needed* Borrower must have reasonable time to provide info Date – from facially complete for appeal and acceptance timeline Date – from actually complete for 30 day evaluation timeline

15 S TEP 7 – C OMPLETE A PPLICATION If the servicer is waiting for info from a 3 rd party (ex. credit reporting agency), the application is complete once the borrower submits everything required from the borrower Not dependent on 3 rd parties outside of their control

16 S TEP 8 – E VALUATION OF A PPLICATION If application is received more than 37 days before scheduled sale, it must be reviewed for all loss mitigation options Must be conducted within 30 days of receipt of COMPLETE* application If application received 37 days or less before sale Servicer does not have to follow this loss mitigation process Servicer must have policies/procedures that comply with requirements set by investor Transfer during evaluation Date based from when complete application was submitted to old servicer. New servicer – continue the evaluation to the extent practicable

17 S TEP 9 – A PPLICATION D ECISION Within 30 days of complete application, servicer must provide written notice If offer is made – Identify what loss mitigation offers are being made Identify amount of time the borrower has to accept

18 If application is denied - Specific reasons for denial for any loan mod programs If denial is investor requirements, servicer must identify the specific owner and the requirement that is the basis of the denial Based on an investor requirement is insufficient If denied because of NPV, must provide inputs Right to appeal, requirements & timing

19 Appeal Only for loan modification (not other loss mitigation options) Application must be received 90 days prior to scheduled sale* Must be filed within 14 days from servicers written notice Servicer must respond to appeal within 30 days

20 S TEP 10 – A CCEPTANCE /R EJECTION Deadlines for responding to modification offer If submitted complete application 90 days or more before scheduled sale, servicer must provide at least 14 days to respond Between 37 and 90 days Servicer must provide at least 7 days to respond

21 L IMITATIONS Servicer is only required to comply with the requirements in the loss mitigation procedures for a single complete loss mitigation application Exception – if transferred to a new servicer, borrower can apply again and receive all protections

22 F ORECLOSURE P ROHIBITIONS Federal regulations – minimum requirements If federal law has stronger protections, then federal law controls Ex. servicer cant file foreclosure process until 120 days delinquent (replaces MDs 90 day protection) Filing = Order to Docket If state law has stronger protections, then state law applies Existing state structure – mediation, filing process, etc. stays in place, in addition to the federal protections

23 Servicer cant file for foreclosure if borrower has filed a complete loss mitigation application until servicer has denied application, borrower has rejected, or borrower fails loss mitigation agreement (ex. short term payment forbearance)

24 Borrower submits complete application after foreclosure filed If more than 37 days before sale* Servicer can not move for a judgment or order of sale, or conduct sale until: Servicer has denied application (including appeal process) Borrower rejects all options Borrower fails loss mitigation agreement Once servicer receives complete application, they must promptly instruct their attorneys not to proceed with pursing foreclosure sale

25 If foreclosure has been filed, and complete application is received less than 37 days before scheduled sale, Servicer does not have to follow requirements Can use investor requirements, if any exist

26 Exemptions Small servicers – for most rules Services 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans and services only mortgage loans that they or an affiliate originated or own (most credit unions & community banks) Servicer that is a housing finance agency However, not exempt for waiting 120 days to file for foreclosure & cant proceed to foreclosure if homeowner is in compliance with trial period payment plan Bankruptcy – notice requirements exempted

27 C HARGES AND F EES Payment Processing Full periodic mortgage payments must be credited by the servicer the day they are received Unless no harm to borrower (late fees, credit reporting) Full mortgage payment = principal, interest & escrow Partial periodic mortgage payments Servicer can decide what to do with payment Credit upon receipt Return to borrower Put in suspense account until borrower pays enough to equal a full payment

28 Servicer must identify in each billing cycle periodic statement: Fees Payments currently due and payments made Transaction activity. If in default: If more than 45 days, statement must include an account history for prior 6 months or since borrower was current Delinquency date, potential foreclosure consequences, whether foreclosure has been initiated, amount to cure, and housing counselor info. Servicer contact information Suspense account actions Total amount being held in suspense account Total of all payments received since last statement sent to suspense account Total of all payments received since beginning of year held in suspense account

29 No pyramiding late fees Servicers are not allowed to impose a late fee on a mortgage payment if the fee is only attributable to the borrower failing to make a previous late fee payment, when the payment otherwise is a full periodic payment received on time Payment change notice – ARM Notice between 210 & 240 days prior to 1 st payment due after rate first adjusts Notice between 60 & 120 days when rate adjustments causes payment change

30 Payments During Transfer of Servicers Previous - prior servicers responsibility to get to new servicer New – prior servicer can either transfer the payment to the new servicer or return payment to the borrower, with a notification of the new servicer

31 Force-Placed Insurance Servicer can purchase force-placed insurance for homeowner only if they have a reasonable belief that the borrower failed to secure coverage required under the loan contract Reasonable belief – Told by homeowner or insurance company that no coverage existed, or Borrower fails to respond to servicer inquiries (15 days of 2 nd notice) If borrower is 30 days in default, servicer can not purchase force-placed insurance, instead servicer must disburse funds from escrow to pay current hazard insurance premium Borrower proves coverage by providing a copy of insurance policy, declaration page, etc.

32 Purchasing Force-Placed Insurance Step 1 – At least 45 days before purchasing, servicer must provide written notice requiring proof of coverage Step 2 – 30 days after 1 st notice & 15 days before purchasing, service must provide 2 nd notice Must include annual cost or estimate Step 3 – 15 days after 2 nd notice, servicer can purchase if no response Charges must be bona fide and reasonable. Services actually performed & a reasonable relationship to cost

33 Renewing Force-Placed Insurance At least 45 days before renewal, servicer must notify borrower Must include annual cost or estimate Cancelling force-placed insurance Within 15 days of being notified that borrower has obtained hazard insurance, servicer must: Cancel the force-placed insurance Refund and remove any premiums and fees for the period covered by both borrowers insurance & force-placed insurance

34 E RROR R ESOLUTION P ROCESS Replaces the QWR with Notice of Error & Request for Information Notice of Error – Written notice to servicer Assert an error Name of borrower Loan account information Describes error Is not substantially same as prior notice of error, unless servicer hasnt promptly responded to previous notice, or if borrower is providing new information likely to change the outcome Not overbroad Sent within 1 year after the servicer transfers mortgage to new servicer

35 What is an Error? Failure to accept a payment according to the servicers written requirements Failure to properly apply a payment Failure to credit payment as of the day received if harm to borrower Failure to pay taxes or insurance premiums timely Failure to refund money in an escrow account within 20 days of borrower paying mortgage in full Fee where servicer didnt have a reasonable basis for it

36 What is an Error? contd. Failure to provide accurate mortgage payoff amount within 7 days from request* Failure to provide accurate loss mitigation information Failure to accurately and timely transfer information about servicing the loan when transferring to new servicer Violations of the foreclosure prohibitions Any error relating to the servicing of a mortgage loan

37 Timing – investigation & response Failure to provide an accurate payoff balance Within 7 business days after notice of error is received Initiating improper foreclosure Before sale or within 30 business days after notice of error, whichever earlier If servicer cant investigate and respond before deadline, servicer may cancel/postpone sale and respond prior to rescheduled sale or within 30 business days after notice of error All Others Within 30 business days of receiving notice of error Can extend an additional 15 days if servicer provides borrower written notice of extension and reason

38 Timing – Exceptions Servicer does not have to acknowledge notice of error or respond if: Servicer corrects error and notifies borrower in writing within 5 business days of receiving notice of error Notice of error pertains to violations against foreclosure prohibitions and the notice is received 7 or fewer days prior to sale. Servicer still required to make good faith effort to respond (orally or in writing), & correct error or tell borrower why there is no error

39 If servicer has specific address to use, then must include this address in any written communication to homeowner if include other contact information. Address must be in periodic statement or coupon booklet; and posted on website Borrower must use the identified address If servicer provides multiple addresses, borrower can use any If servicer doesnt provide an address, borrower can send notice to any office of the servicer and servicer must respond Servicer must provide written notice within 5 business days that the notice of error has been received If servicer believes they do not have to respond, the written acknowledgement must state why they dont think the notice of error doesnt have to be reviewed

40 Servicer must correct error or conduct a reasonable investigation Servicer can request documentation from borrower to support the error allegation Servicer cannot provide negative info. to credit reporting agencies regarding any payment that is disputed in notice of error Servicer may initiate foreclosure proceedings while responding to notice of error, unless the notice is alleging violations of foreclosure prohibitions

41 If servicer concludes error was made, they must: Correct the error Provide written notice with the effective date of the correction, and servicer contact information If servicer concludes different error made, they must: Correct the error Provide written notice that describes error, identifies action, gives effective date of correction, & servicer contact info.

42 If servicer concludes no error, they must: Have conducted a reasonable investigation Provide written notice including: Determination of no error Reasons for no error Borrower has right to request documentation that servicer relied on in determining no error, and how to request that documentation Contact information

43 R EQUESTS FOR I NFORMATION Written request to include: Borrowers name Mortgage loan account information Information that is requested Where – same rules as NOE Servicer doesnt have to respond if: Substantially similar to previous request, unless info is type that changes over time & request covers different time period Proprietary info Requests irrelevant info Overly broad or unduly burdensome Sent more than 1 year after servicer transfers mortgage

44 Servicer response Within 5 business days, servicer must acknowledge receipt of request in writing, determination that it does not have to respond to request, or provide information If servicer concludes the requested info isnt available, they must: Conduct a reasonable search for info. Provide written notice Info not available Reasons why its not available Servicer contact info

45 Timing – Request for Info. Identity of, and contact info for, the owner or assignee of mortgage Servicer must respond within 10 business days of receipt All other requests Within 30 business days from receipt Can extend 15 business days with notice & reason Servicer cant require fees or delinquent payments in order to respond to info request Servicer can report negative info to credit reporting agencies during response period

46 R EQUESTS FOR P AYOFF S TATEMENTS Written request Servicer can designate specific email, address or fax, or other reasonable requirements for making the request Response – reasonable time, but no later than 7 business days from receiving request* Servicer must provide accurate statement of the total outstanding balance that would be required to pay the consumers obligation in full as of a specified date

47 G ENERAL S ERVICING R EQUIREMENTS Servicers must have policies and procedures in place to: Access and provide accurate & timely info. Properly evaluate loss mitigation applications Oversight & compliance by service providers Transfer of information during servicing transfer Informing borrowers of availability of NOE & RFIs Maintain documents so that servicer can create servicing file within 5 days (for regulators) No private right of action, but still important to document & file complaints

48 Resources: Help for Struggling Borrowers – A Guide to Mortgage Servicing Rules Effective on Jan. 10, 2014 Consumer Finance Protection Bureau _help-for-struggling-borrowers.pdf Filing Complaints – CFPB 855-411-2372 Legal Partners

49 Susan Francis, Esq. Foreclosure Prevention Project Manager Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service; 443-451-4084 Sally Snowberger Foreclosure Prevention Counselor; 443-451-4067


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