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Mortgage Compliance News | Mortgage Compliance Newsletter | Mortgage Regulations
News about complying with mortgage laws, rules and regulations.

Service Providers Address RESPA, Reg Z Requirements

Recent mortgage compliance activity

Jan. 4, 2010


Mortgage industry service providers are responding to new requirements under the rule revising the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act -- including changes to the Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 forms. Also high on the list of priorities for compliance service providers is the latest revision of Truth In Lending Act's Regulation Z.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which pushed hard for the new RESPA regulations, has said that it will "exercise restraint in enforcing new regulatory requirements" under RESPA until May 1. That decision was applauded by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, which attributed this delay to "industry representatives' requests to allow proper time for mortgage professionals to become compliant."

And the Consumer Mortgage Coalition, in a Dec. 30 letter to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila C. Bair, requested that "the FDIC join HUD in exercising restraint in enforcing compliance." CMC Executive Director Anne C. Canfield noted that HUD, in its published FAQs, has left many questions unanswered.

Meanwhile, numerous technology companies -- including LenderLive Network Inc.' Guardian Mortgage Documents Division, Byte Software, Avista Solutions, ComplianceEase, MRG Document Technologies, Applied Business Software, Mortgage Cadence Inc. and Cypress Software Systems -- have announced that their software has been upgraded and modified to fully comply with the new RESPA regulations.

Such upgraded software as Kirkland, Washington-based Byte Software's BytePro 4.1 and Columbia, S.C.-based Avista Solutions' Avista Agile can flag any changes in fees between the GFE and HUD-1 that are greater than those allowed under RESPA.

In addition to enhanced versions of its Mark IV software that help lenders comply with the new RESPA rule, North Richland Hills, Texas-based Cypress also now offers consulting services to help lenders achieve compliance.

Similarly, in partnership with TrainingPro, St. Louis-based Lenders One Mortgage Cooperative, a national alliance of more than 150 independent mortgage bankers, is offering education classes on compliance with the new RESPA and other changed regulations.

The Independent Community Bankers of America said today that it has expanded its preferred service provider program with Wolters Kluwer Financial Services to include tool kits for RESPA and Regulation GG.

The Real Estate Services Providers Council Inc., or RESPRO, has developed a model GFE cost indemnification agreement and a model services agreement for members' use when complying with the new RESPA. The agreements identify the responsibilities of the loan originator and the third-party settlement service provider if fees and other costs do not comply with requirements under RESPA.

And the free compliance guide, The Guide to Getting It Right: RESPA GFE & HUD-1/1A -- which includes a line-by-line walkthrough, has been published by San Diego-based Compliance Coach Inc.

Timios Inc. announced today the development of "the first 100 percent RESPA-compliant" online GFE calculator.

The new Reg. Z would "significantly revise consumer disclosures" and some of its provisions "may increase costs unnecessarily unless they are revised," the Mortgage Bankers Association charged in two Dec. 22 letters -- an 11-page general letter and a 50-page comment letter -- to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The letter, which stated that MBA supported some of the new requirements, while opposing or seeking clarification of others, also requested more time for both comments and implementation.

Similarly, the Consumer Mortgage Coalition, in a 48-page Dec. 24 comment letter to the Board of Governors, generally welcomed the revised disclosures, while seeking more details or greater clarity regarding some of the new disclosure requirements, such as on adjustable-rate mortgage interest rate changes.

The new Reg. Z disclosures are addressed in StreetLinks National Appraisal Services' new TILA-Trigger, which allows brokers, correspondents and lenders to place appraisal requests without concern for violating TILA disclosure timeframes that prohibit the collection of fees from borrowers prior to receipt of disclosures.

New services, not new technologies, are provided to help manage REO properties under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on May 20. Wingspan Portfolio Advisors and American Legal & Financial Network recently launched a partnership that combines Wingspan's property management capabilities of its new residential receivership department with AFN's legal expertise regarding compliance with the act, which is Title VII of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act.

But compliance involves more than RESPA, Reg Z and the tenants act -- and Wolters Kluwer Financial Services has introduced its new Compliance Resource Network to deal with it all. The service consolidates the latest financial laws, regulations and commentary from around the world into one comprehensive research platform that provides easy access to information being sought.

The company also offers Wiz Compass, which provides users with the ability to proactively measure, monitor and manage regulatory compliance and operational risk.

And, as a result of a new partnership, Wolters Kluwer's document preparation platform, including its up-to-date compliance documents, can now be accessed by users of Del Mar DataTrac's loan automation.

Jerry DeMuth is an award winning journalist who has been reporting for four decades.

e-mail Jerry at [email protected]

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