|Two U.S. representatives have introduced separate bills that would subject lenders to community lending requirements and high-cost loan restrictions. Meanwhile, mortgage companies hoping to maintain compliance with government-insured lending guidelines, loan workout requirements and other laws already on the books can find help from several new offerings.
On March 2, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) introduced a bill that would extend requirements under the Community Reinvestment Act from just banks to mortgage companies and other financial services firms.
"The bill will repeal the regulatory changes that have weakened CRA and expand its geographical reach as well as the kinds of institutions it covers," Johnson said in a statement. "Such modernization is necessary because research shows that CRA requirements reduce disparities in high cost lending."
Also in Washington, D.C., the House Financial Services is expected next week to take up the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Act introduced by Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), according to a statement. The bill requires lenders to ensure the borrower's ability to repay a mortgage loan and prohibits incentives for higher cost loans. In addition, it establishes federal minimum requirements while enabling states to impose their own rules and prohibits balloon payments and excessive fees for late payments and loan modifications.
At the state level, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear signed legislation March 31 that amends the state's mortgage laws to comply with the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, which requires states to participate in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System. Beshear said Kentucky was one of the first to join, a statement from Beshear's office said.
The new state law "complies with S.A.F.E. by setting forth stringent licensing requirements for those who originate mortgage loans," according to the statement. "This includes increasing the required pre-licensing education, adding a competency test and requiring originators to be covered by or post a surety bond."
Guild Mortgage of San Diego is using BlitzDocs Collaboration Suite to manage online loan documents for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, Xerox Mortgage Services announced on March 16. Other customers touted by Xerox included Stockman Bank, Wisconsin Mortgage and Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.
A new offering from Mavent Inc. automates compliance with the Obama Administration's Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, a March 10 press release said. In addition to the plan's modification and refinance programs, the service analyzes compliance with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines.
Loan workout case management and borrower inquiry management are among the capabilities of BorrowerAssist, Pegasystems said in a March 18 statement. The system -- which integrates with existing legacy systems -- also helps mortgage lenders comply with workout qualification and decisioning, operational transparency and workout activity reporting.
CompliSource, which had previously only been available to larger lenders, is now available for community banks, Wolters Kluwer Financial services said in a March 25 press release. The compliance system includes regulatory alerts and "comprehensive information about state and federal laws governing mortgage lending, consumer direct lending and indirect consumer finance."
Fiserv Inc. inked a deal on March 13 with BB&T Corp. to electronically deliver initial disclosures, pre-closing documents and electronic signature capabilities to borrowers, according to a statement.