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CFPB to Help Mortgage Industry With Implementation of Rules

Plan focuses on compliance with rules

Feb. 13, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has pledged to work with the mortgage industry to ensure compliance with a barrage of regulations that are slated to go into effect next year. Special steps are being taken to help small businesses that don't have the resources of their larger rivals.

In the last month, the CFPB issued final rules on loan originator compensation, servicing and high-cost mortgages. In addition, the Qualified Mortgage's ability-to-repay rule was also finalized.

The new rules are all required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

The regulator, still in its infancy, said Wednesday that it will be implementing a plan over the next year that concentrates on compliance with the new rules -- which go into effect in January 2014.

"Our plan is to work with the mortgage industry to ensure that the CFPB's new rules are implemented accurately and expeditiously," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in the statement. "Both consumers and industry will win when the new rules are understood, applied, and carried out evenly and effectively. Mortgage borrowers, who have dealt with much heartache since the financial crisis, deserve this level of attentiveness."

The CFPB said it is coordinating with other federal regulators that also conduct mortgage company examinations to ensure all regulators have a shared understanding of the new rules. The coordination is expected to promote a consistent regulatory experience for the industry.

In an effort to help small businesses that have limited compliance staffs, the agency plans to publish easy-to-understand, plain-English summaries of the regulations in both written and video form by this spring.

Also on the agenda are updates of the official interpretations that provide guidance on how to comply with the rules.

"These updates will allow the CFPB to address important questions raised by industry, consumer groups, or other agencies," the announcement stated. "Priority for these updates will be given to issues that are important to a large number of providers or consumers, and that critically affect mortgage companies’ implementation decisions. The bureau expects to issue the first one in the spring and issue additional updates, as needed."

In prepared testimony for a planned hearing Thursday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Cordray explained that much thought has gone into implementation of the rules.

Cordray promises to publish readiness guides to help the mortgage industry run through check-lists of things to do prior to the rules going into effect. Preparation by lenders includes updating their policies and procedures and providing training for staff.

He also promises to keep an open ear to the industry.

"We know the new protections afforded by the Dodd-Frank act and our rules will no doubt bring great change to the mortgage market, and we are committed to doing what we can to achieve effective, efficient, complete implementation by engaging with all stakeholders in the coming year," the testimony states. "We know that it is in the best interests of the consumer for the industry to understand these rules –because if they cannot understand, they cannot properly implement."

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