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CFPB Proposes Changes to Mortgage Rules

Several changes proposed

June 24, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

A host of proposed changes to recently issued mortgage rules is expected to help ease compliance for mortgage firms -- though some of the proposals call for earlier implementation. Among the changes are the definition of a loan originator and rural lending requirements.

While the loan originator rule is slated to go into effect on Jan. 10 of next year, the bureau is seeking comment on whether to change the effective date to Jan. 1, 2014, an announcement Monday from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.

The purpose of the earlier date is to help with compliance since compensation plans, training, and licensing and registration are often structured on an annual basis.

In order to facilitate lending in rural or underserved areas, an exception to the ban on high-cost mortgages featuring balloon payments would be extended to small creditors that do not operate predominantly in rural or underserved counties as long as the loans meet certain restrictions.

An exemption from a requirement to maintain escrow accounts on some higher-priced mortgage loans for qualified small creditors that operate primarily in rural or underserved areas would be revised so that a creditor that operated during the past three calendar years in counties considered rural would maintain their eligibility even if the counties they operate in lose the rural designation.

The proposal would clarify what constitutes financing of credit insurance premiums -- particularly in cases of "level" or "levelized" premiums. Such monthly premiums are the same each month instead of decreasing with the loan balance.

The proposal would also provide guidance on when credit insurance premiums are considered to be calculated and paid on a monthly basis for purposes of an exclusion from the statutory prohibition, according to the CFPB.

In addition, the bureau is seeking comment on whether to adjust the effective date for the ban on financing credit insurance.

"The bureau had previously delayed that date in order to provide additional guidance on the issues discussed above, and is now seeking comment on whether the rule should take effect on Jan. 10, 2014, or earlier in light of how much time creditors would need to adjust billing practices," the announcement said.

Concerns about the CFPB's requirements for loan originators prompted some lenders to express concern that tellers or other administrative staff could be unintentionally classified as loan originators for engaging in routine customer service activities. The proposal would clarify the circumstances under which an originator's or creditor's administrative staff acts as loan originators.

The proposal clarifies what compensation must be counted toward the points and fees thresholds under the ability-to-repay and high-cost mortgage rules for manufactured housing employees.

"The proposal issued today would resolve questions that have been identified during the implementation process and would help the rules deliver their intended value for consumers," the CFPB stated.

read proposed modifications to mortgage rules

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