All posts by Synergy

New Compliance Rules on Reverse Mortgages

In October, new regulations went into effect regarding reverse mortgages. The reason for the changes was that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development was facing large losses associated with their guarantees to reverse mortgage borrowers and lenders.

One of the things borrowers like about reverse mortgages is that the lender can never recover more than the fair market value of the home, regardless of the amount of money owed on the mortgage.

Borrowers may stay in their home as long as they maintain the property and pay the required real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance. If they fail to do any of these things, or if they voluntarily leave the home (or vacate the property for 12 months, for health reasons or for any other reason), the lender takes possession and may sell the home.

One of the things lenders like about reverse mortgages is that if the outstanding loan exceeds the fair market value of the property, the lender does not incur a loss on the transaction. HUD bears the loss.

HUD has been facing larger losses recently, so it has made the following changes:

  • Previously, HUD charged an upfront insurance premium of 0.5 percent for borrowers who took less than 60 percent of the maximum loan amount, and 2.5 percent of for those who took more than 60 percent. It now takes 2 percent for all loans.
  • Previously, HUD imposed an annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) of 1.25 percent of the loan outstanding. Now, new borrowers pay an annual insurance fee of 0.5 percent.
  • The maximum loan amount has also been reduced. Previously, a borrower could borrow 60 or 70 percent of the property value; now that maximum is based on the applicant’s age, the mortgage rate and the property value. It is estimated that the amount that can be borrowed now is approximately 5 percent less than what was available before the new regulations.

One strategy for using a reverse mortgage is to take advantage of the growth of the available line of credit. (Some call this taking a “standby” reverse mortgage.) The credit line grows based on the loan rate plus the annual insurance premium. Since the annual insurance premium has been reduced, the line of credit will now grow at a slower pace.

In summary, borrowers will now find that they can borrow less under the new regulations, and the line of credit will grow more slowly.

On the other hand, the reduction in the annual MIP to 0.5 percent means that the homeowner’s loan balance will increase much more slowly, and accordingly the equity in the home will be retained.

The changed regulations are not a “game-changer” regarding the benefits of obtaining a reverse mortgage. However, they are factors to take into consideration. If you are obtaining a reverse mortgage in order to take advantage of the flexibility of the line of credit, you should understand how the line of credit is computed and how large it will be based on how long you expect to reside in the home.

For those borrowers planning to get cash up front, reverse mortgages may still be advantageous. Front-end costs and interest rates vary between lenders, so you have to comparison shop. In addition, do not base your decision solely on the mandated review/approval of a certified HUD adviser. You should have the proposal or contract reviewed by your own financial adviser or attorney. Any decision should be consistent with your long-term financial plan.

Source: http://host.madison.com/wsj/business/new-rules-change-costs-associated-with-reverse-mortgages/article_b47b184f-c19c-5b0c-9d7d-4ae68537e368.html

CFPB – Don’t Do What Zillow Did

Dreaming of an oceanfront condo in Southern California or a cabin escape on the slopes in Aspen? Or perhaps you’re moving to a new town and are looking at apartments? No matter what type of place you’re searching for, chances are you’ve used Zillow.

Launched in 2006, the Seattle-based real estate giant is a free platform that provides consumers with “data, inspiration and knowledge.” So, how did this free, consumer-dedicated platform find itself in the crosshairs of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Simple: government oversight run amok.

Originally proposed by Elizabeth Warren in 2007 and established in 2011, the CFPB was intended to prevent financing companies from treating consumers unfairly. But the bureau has a history of overstepping that mandate, with its aggressive tactics hurting both consumers and businesses alike.

Over the past several years, the CFPB has used anti-kickback laws in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to slap companies with multi-million dollar fines for engaging in historically-common business practices. The CFPB regularly sues mortgage lenders and real estate agencies that have simply partnered in routine marketing service agreements (MSAs), whereby a realtor advertises or recommends a lender or broker.

Two years ago, the CFPB trained its sights on Zillow and began investigating the online platform for allowing advertising by real estate agents and mortgage lenders with MSAs.

To provide free services to consumers, Zillow sells ad space to realtors, rental companies, builders, lenders, and others in the home industry. Zillow simply provides a neutral platform for businesses to reach customers interested in real estate to advertise.

Monthly advertising accounts for around 70 percent of Zillow’s revenue, nearly $190 million in the second quarter of 2017 alone.

The CFPB is now demanding that the real estate giant settle to the tune of millions of dollars or face legal action for allowing realtors and lenders with MSAs to advertise on its site.

Zillow, baffled by the allegations, reached out to the CFPB to discuss the matter, but has not received a formal response. The agency also declined to comment on news stories related to its vague charges.

In a recent article about the case in GeekWire, a Zillow spokesperson said the CFPB has “failed to give concrete feedback, and we’re aware of no evidence of consumer harm or any actual consumer complaints…this is a clear overreach, and one of main examples of the CFPB legislating by fiat.”

Additionally, the agency’s logic in going after Zillow is questionable.

If the CFPB’s priority is to protect consumers—as one would assume given the bureau’s name—going after a website such as Zillow is puzzling. Zillow and similar websites provide valuable tools to consumers at no cost. They help would-be homebuyers or sellers access important information critical to negotiating the terms of a real estate sale or purchase. And it would be a stretch to argue that Zillow somehow restricts consumers’ access to other real estate agents or lenders simply by allowing businesses to purchase advertising space.

Given these facts, why would the CFPB push so hard to settle this case with such scant evidence?

It appears CFPB’s battle against Zillow is more about politics and less about consumer protections.

Late last year, mortgage company PHH Corp. successfully defended a $109 million fine imposed against them by the CFPB. The court lambasted the CFPB’s actions as a clear overreach.

After such a ruling, the CFPB should have pumped the brakes on the anti-kickback witch-hunt, but CFPB Director Richard Cordray sees it differently.

Cordray, who has dramatically expanded the intended scope of the CFPB during his tenure, is rumored to be plotting a run for governor in Ohio next year. A “win” against Zillow provides another campaign talking point to brand himself as a top consumer watchdog.

No matter the purpose of the CFPB’s new hunt for RESPA violations, the vague anti-kickback statute confuses and harms the real estate industry and consumers.

Baseless allegations against Zillow and others invalidate the bureau’s claims of consumer protection. The CFPB is unconstitutional and its unaccountable overreach has no place in our government.

Cameron DeSanti is a student at George Washington University and a former policy intern at Americans for Prosperity.

If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our

source: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/zillow-falls-victim-to-cfpbs-latest-witch-hunt/article/2636954

How 2018 HMDA Changes Impact Your Lending Operations

You want the good news or the bad news on HMDA? Let’s go with the good news: After collecting expanded data on borrowers under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule changes, lenders are going to have greater insight than ever before on their lending practices. The bad news? So is everyone else.

“Your lending practices are about to become a wide-open book,” said Mitchel Kider, chairman and managing partner, Weiner Brodsky Kider PC.

“When there is more information available to the public and to regulators, there will be a lot more scrutiny and potential liability.”

Kider was one of the experts who spoke Monday about HMDA rule implementation at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 2017 Annual Conference and Expo. The panel’s unofficial theme, as outlined by John Haring, director of compliance enablement at Ellie Mae, was “we scare because we care,” due to the anxiety some lenders feel about what the HMDA changes mean for them.

Updated HMDA requirements involve a significant expansion of data collection, including 25 new fields that have to be reported. These changes are the latest attempts by federal regulators to ensure fair lending by identifying possible discriminatory patterns.

In the past, Kider said, regulators looked at HMDA data as part of their fair lending review, but the data wasn’t comprehensive enough by itself to determine discrimination. With the HMDA changes, the data will provide a complete picture for regulators, and lending pattern outliers will trigger an investigation.

“Now, all that data is available in a consistent electronic format and it will be very easy for others to compare you to peers, to drill down to specific information that was more difficult to obtain before,” Kider said.

That new data includes pricing information, origination charges, discount points, lender credits, interest rates, combined LTV ratio, credit score and DTI ratio.

“Fair lending will receive greater visibility when federal agencies and private litigants have additional data under HMDA to support their analysis,” Kider said.

In addition, poor data quality by itself can be the basis for action against lenders.

“Substance is important, but the accuracy of HMDA data is independently important as well,” Kider said. “Does this [poor data quality] mean you have to resubmit? No, this means civil money penalties as well. It is a reflection of having a poor compliance management system in all other areas.”

Maurice Jourdain-Earl, managing director at ComplianceTech, compared the HMDA implementation to an iceberg, with the expanded data points making up an unseen, bulky mass under the water line.

“Things are about to get very real,” Jourdain-Earl said. “We’ve been tiptoeing with HMDA data and a lot of lenders go through the process of collecting and submitting, but many don’t do what they need to in order to understand what it says. That need is about to become paramount. The new HMDA rules will be a game changer. We are going to experience a major paradigm shift, and HMDA can be either friend or foe.”

All of the HMDA panelists, which also included Richard Andreano Jr., practice group leader, mortgage banking group at Ballard Spahr, saw the HMDA changes as an opportunity for lenders to see, understand and hopefully improve, their lending practices.

“The responsible thing for lenders to do, is understand what their data is saying. How can you use your data to establish a process of benchmarking where you compare your business process and performance metrics to industry norms and best practices,” Jourdain-Earl said.

Part of the new data collected includes the unique identifier for the loan officer, which means regulators will have transparency into the lending practices of not just companies or branches or managers, but all the way down to the level of loan officer.

“With new HMDA data, regulators will be able to more scientifically identify a peer, and a peer with a similar business model. Are their outcomes the same or different than yours?” Jourdain-Earl asked.

In addition to the challenges of the HMDA reporting, Haring pointed out the difficulties of getting ready for implementing the HMDA changes while the CFPB is still adjusting requirements, including changes to the filing instruction guides.

The bureau is still developing the platform that lenders will use to submit HMDA data starting on March 1, 2018, but has not provided a specific date when it will be completed.

“Lenders want to test against that platform today,” Haring said.

Source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/41641-what-hmda-changes-mean-for-lenders

VA Announces Annual Increase in Construction Cost Index and (SAH), (SHA), and (TRA) Grants

Veterans Benefits Administration Circular 26-17-26

Department of Veterans Affairs September 19, 2017

Washington, DC 20420

Annual Increase in Construction Cost Index and Specially Adapted Housing (SAH),

Special Housing Adaptations (SHA), and Temporary Residence Adaptations (TRA) Grants

Purpose. Effective October 1, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces that the SAH, SHA, and TRA grant amounts will increase. In order to match the Turner cost of construction increase of 4.88 percent from the Second Quarter 2016 to Second Quarter 2017, the maximum grant amounts for Veterans and Servicemembers eligible for housing assistance under Title 38 U.S.C., Section 2101(a), 2101(b), and 2101A, will increase as follows:

$81,080 – for individuals eligible under Section 2101(a);

$16,217 – for individuals eligible under Section 2101(b);

$35,593 – for individuals eligible under Section 2102A(b)(A); and

$ 6,355 – for individuals eligible under Section 2102A(b)(B).

Rescission: This Circular is automatically rescinded October 1, 2018.

By Direction of the Under Secretary for Benefits

Jeffrey F. London

Director

Loan Guaranty Service

Distribution: CO: RPC 2018

SS(26A1) FLD: VBAFS, 1 each (Reproduce and distribute based on RPC 2018)

(LOCAL REPRODUCTION AUTHORIZED)

Source https://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/documents/circulars/26_17_26.pdf

Fannie Mae Provides Additional Guidance on Property Inspections and Servicing-Related Reminders

Lender Letter LL-2017-07                                                September 21, 2017

To: All Fannie Mae Single-Family Sellers and Servicers Reimbursement for Property Inspections and Additional Servicing-Related Reminders

We continue to respond and work with our lenders and servicers to assist homeowners impacted by the recent hurricanes. In doing so, we are providing this Lender Letter with additional guidance and relief. Refer to the disaster resources on our Single-Family and corporate disaster relief pages. As stated in recent Lender Letters related to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we will provide reimbursement for property inspection costs incurred by lenders and servicers. We don’t want cost to be an inhibitor to obtaining inspections generally and we want to ensure that inspection costs are not passed on to impacted borrowers. The purpose of this Lender Letter is to describe our reimbursement policies and the process for obtaining them. We also remind servicers of a number of important policies related to inspections, property repair, and reporting of damage. Reimbursement Process We will be utilizing the existing process that is currently in place for expense reimbursement to servicers. All claims must be submitted by the servicer of the loan in the LoanSphere Invoicing™ system. This reimbursement process applies for property inspection costs incurred prior to purchase or securitization of the loan by Fannie Mae, and also for loans currently being serviced. Property Inspections and Reimbursement for Newly Originated Loans Property Inspections Before delivery of a mortgage loan to Fannie Mae where the property may have been damaged by a disaster, we expect the lender to take prudent and reasonable actions to determine whether the condition of the property may have materially changed. We are not prescriptive in how lenders make their representations and warranties around potential impact to property condition as a result of the disaster. “Prudent and reasonable actions” are not restricted to on-site inspection by a licensed or certified appraiser. Lenders may also obtain inspections from appraiser trainees, home inspectors, real estate agents, insurance adjustors, contractors, or any other qualified representatives of their choosing. Technology such as real-time aerial or satellite imagery might also enable lenders to meet this requirement.

PLEASE NOTE We are extending the disaster policies recently communicated in this and recent lender letters to all hurricanes occurring in the U.S. and its territories on or after August 25, 2017 and through the 2017 hurricane season. Where policy termination dates have been identified, we will issue updates as necessary.

Reimbursement The following reimbursement policies will apply to property inspections obtained prior to loan purchase or securitization by Fannie Mae for properties in the disaster area:

 Loans with appraisals: Reimbursement will occur for loans in process that were in the disaster area and have an Appraisal Effective Date prior to the disaster occurring.

 PIW loans: Reimbursement will occur for loans that were closed before the disaster occurred, where the lender intended to sell the loan to us with a property inspection waiver (PIW).

 Lenders, including direct sellers and correspondents who have incurred property inspection costs, will work with the servicer of record to seek reimbursement. (The servicer must submit all requests.)

 We will reimburse for the actual cost of property inspections incurred as a result of the disasters that occurred on or after August 25, 2017, up to a reasonable amount. Note that the reimbursement limits noted below pertaining to existing loans does not apply to newly originated loans, and we are not reimbursing the cost of appraisals.

 Servicers may begin submitting requests for reimbursement on or after October 1, 2017. Reimbursement requests must be made within one year of the invoice date.

 The servicer must maintain copies of the property inspection invoice and results in the loan file and must provide to us upon request. Property Inspection, Reimbursement, Repair, and Reporting Policies for Existing Loans Property Inspections Servicers must determine the extent and nature of the damage pursuant to Servicing Guide, D1-3-01: Evaluating the Damage Caused by a Disaster. If the servicer is unable to contact the borrower to make that determination, the servicer must inspect the property. The following table further outlines the servicer’s responsibilities for inspecting impacted properties based on the mortgage loan status prior to the disaster and the occupancy status of a delinquent mortgage loan (according to the last inspection prior to the disaster). For additional information about inspecting properties impacted by disaster, see Servicing Guide, D2-2-10: Requirements for Performing Property Inspections, and the Property Preservation Matrix and Reference Guide. If the property is in an area impacted by disaster and the mortgage loan is… Then the servicer must… current attempt to achieve Quality Right Party Contact (QRPC) to verify damage and determine the borrower’s intent on filing an insurance claim and completing necessary repairs. If the servicer is not able to achieve QRPC, then the servicer must inspect the property. If the initial inspection report shows damage, the servicer must continue monthly property inspections until the damage is remediated. delinquent and the property is occupied or the occupancy status is unknown attempt to achieve QRPC to verify damage and determine the borrower’s intent on filing an insurance claim and completing necessary repairs. If the servicer is not able to achieve QRPC, then the servicer must inspect the property. If the initial inspection report shows damage, the servicer must continue weekly property inspections © 2017 Fannie Mae. Trademarks of Fannie Mae. LL- 2017-07 3 of 4 until the damage is remediated. After the damage is remediated, the servicer must continue monthly inspections. If the initial inspection shows no damage, the servicer must continue monthly inspections. delinquent and the property is vacant immediately inspect the property. If the initial inspection report shows damage, the servicer must continue bi-weekly inspections until the damage is remediated. Once the damage is remediated, the servicer must continue monthly inspections. If the initial inspection shows no damage, the servicer must continue monthly inspections. The servicer must perform the required inspections using the Property Inspection Report (Form 30) or equivalent, and maintain a copy in the loan file (provided to Fannie Mae upon request). The servicer may exercise discretion in determining whether an interior or exterior property inspection is appropriate depending on the individual circumstances. Reimbursement We are updating our expense reimbursement process to accept requests for required inspection costs on current mortgage loans. Servicers should request reimbursement for these inspection costs under the normal process they follow today using our expense reimbursement system. The servicer should utilize the interior property inspection and/or exterior property inspection line items in its request to expedite processing. The following reimbursement policies will apply to property inspections obtained on existing loans with properties in the disaster area:  We will reimburse the servicer $15 for exterior inspections and $20 when an interior inspection is necessary, in accordance with the amounts in the Defined Expense Reimbursement Limits in Servicing Guide, F-1-06: Expense Reimbursement. However, if the servicer already ordered a more expensive FEMA disaster inspection prior to the date of this Lender Letter, we will reimburse the servicer for those costs.  We will reimburse for all mortgage loans in which Fannie Mae holds the risk of loss and the properties are impacted by disaster on or after August 25, 2017.  Servicers may begin submitting applicable requests for reimbursement on or after October 1, 2017.  Servicers must submit reimbursement requests for inspection costs on current mortgage loans within one year of the invoice date.  For inspections costs on delinquent mortgage loans, refer to the expense reimbursement deadlines in Servicing Guide, E-5-01: Requesting Reimbursement for Expenses. Performing Repairs and Addressing Urgent Conditions Servicers must immediately commence repair work for a delinquent mortgage loan if  the last inspection prior to the disaster showed the property as vacant, and  the servicer determines (through the post-disaster inspection or QRPC) that the property is still vacant and there is damage to the property. Refer to the Servicing Guide, D2-2-10: Requirements for Performing Property Inspections and the Property Preservation Matrix and Reference Guide for additional property preservation requirements and guidance. In addition, servicers are encouraged to address urgent conditions immediately and prior to our approval for matters outside the allowable threshold, in accordance with Fannie Mae’s Bid After The Fact (BATF) process in the Property Preservation Matrix and © 2017 Fannie Mae. Trademarks of Fannie Mae. LL- 2017-07 4 of 4 Reference Guide. We will give deference to servicer decisions on such repairs and will approve BATF requests as long as the repairs and associated costs keep with the intended spirit of our disaster assistance policies and are not materially unreasonable or unnecessary. Reporting Uninsured Loss Events Servicing Guide, B-5-02: Uninsured Loss Events, currently requires the servicer to send a complete report of the damage to its Fannie Mae Servicing Representative. Due to the extensive nature of the hurricane disasters, we are removing this reporting requirement for all loans going forward. Servicers are reminded that they must  determine the extent of the damage;  secure the property in accordance with the requirements in the Servicing Guide and the Property Preservation Matrix and Reference Guide, if applicable;  develop plans with the borrower to repair the property; and  assist the borrower in filing for any disaster relief that may be available. ***** If you have questions about this Lender Letter, please reach out to your Fannie Mae customer delivery team, Portfolio Manager, or our Single-Family Servicer Support Center at 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643). Carlos T. Perez Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer for Single-Family

Source: https://www.fanniemae.com/content/announcement/ll1707.pdf

CFPB Issues Final Rule Regarding Annual Threshold Adjustments for 2018 HOEPA and QM Loans

AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Final rule; official interpretation.

SUMMARY:

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is issuing this final rule amending the official interpretations for Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Bureau is required to calculate annually the dollar amounts for several provisions in Regulation Z; this final rule revises, as applicable, the dollar amounts for provisions implementing TILA and amendments to TILA, including under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). The Bureau is adjusting these amounts, where appropriate, based on the annual percentage change reflected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in effect on June 1, 2017.

DATES:

This final rule is effective January 1, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jaclyn Maier, Counsel, Office of Regulations, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552 at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Bureau is amending the official interpretations for Regulation Z, which implements TILA, to update the dollar amounts of various thresholds that are adjusted annually based on the annual percentage change in the CPI as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Specifically, for open-end consumer credit plans under TILA, the threshold that triggers requirements to disclose minimum interest charges will remain unchanged at $1.00 in 2018. For open-end consumer credit plans under the CARD Act amendments to TILA, the adjusted dollar amount for the safe harbor for a first violation penalty fee will remain unchanged at $27 in 2018 and the adjusted dollar amount for the safe harbor for a subsequent violation penalty fee will remain unchanged at $38 in 2018. For HOEPA loans, the adjusted total loan amount threshold for high-cost mortgages in 2018 will be $21,032. The adjusted points and fees dollar trigger for high-cost mortgages in 2018 will be $1,052. For the general rule to determine consumers’ ability to repay mortgage loans, the maximum thresholds for total points and fees for qualified mortgages in 2018 will be 3 percent of the total loan amount for a loan greater than or equal to $105,158; $3,155 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $63,095 but less than $105,158; 5 percent of the total loan amount for a loan greater than or equal to $21,032 but less than $63,095; $1,052 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $13,145 but less than $21,032; and 8 percent of the total loan amount for a loan amount less than $13,145.

I. Background

A. Credit Card Annual Adjustments

MINIMUM INTEREST CHARGE DISCLOSURE THRESHOLDS

Sections 1026.6(b)(2)(iii) and 1026.60(b)(3) of the Bureau’s Regulation Z implement sections 127(a)(3) and 127(c)(1)(A)(ii)(II) of TILA. Sections 1026.6(b)(2)(iii) and 1026.60(b)(3) require the disclosure of any minimum interest charge exceeding $1.00 that could be imposed during a billing cycle and provide that, for open-end consumer credit plans, the minimum interest charge thresholds will be re-calculated annually using the CPI that was in effect on the preceding June 1; the Bureau uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for this adjustment. When the cumulative change in the adjusted minimum value derived from applying the annual CPI-W level to the current amounts in §§ 1026.6(b)(2)(iii) and 1026.60(b)(3) has risen by a whole dollar, the minimum interest charge amounts set forth in the regulation will be increased by $1.00. The BLS publishes consumer-based indices monthly but does not report a CPI change on June 1; adjustments are reported in the middle of the month. This adjustment analysis is based on the CPI-W index in effect on June 1, 2017, which was reported by BLS on May 12, 2017, and reflects the percentage change from April 2016 to April 2017. The CPI-W is a subset of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) index and represents approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population. The adjustment analysis accounts for a 2.1 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2016 to April 2017. This increase in the CPI-W when applied to the current amounts in §§ 1026.6(b)(2)(iii) and 1026.60(b)(3) did not trigger an increase in the minimum interest charge threshold of at least $1.00, and the Bureau is therefore not amending §§ 1026.6(b)(2)(iii) and 1026.60(b)(3).

SAFE HARBOR PENALTY FEES

Section 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) of the Bureau’s Regulation Z implements section 149(e) of TILA, established by the CARD Act.[1Section 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(D) provides that the safe harbor provision, which establishes the permissible penalty fee thresholds in § 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), will be re-calculated annually using the CPI that was in effect on the preceding June 1; the Bureau uses the CPI-W for this adjustment. The BLS publishes consumer-based indices monthly but does not report a CPI change on June 1; adjustments are reported in the middle of the month. The CPI-W is a subset of the CPI-U index and represents approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population. When the cumulative change in the adjusted value derived Start Printed Page 41159from applying the annual CPI-W level to the current amounts in § 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) has risen by a whole dollar, those amounts will be increased by $1.00. Similarly, when the cumulative change in the adjusted value derived from applying the annual CPI-W level to the current amounts in § 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) has decreased by a whole dollar, those amounts will be decreased by $1.00. See comment 52(b)(1)(ii)-2. The 2018 adjustment analysis is based on the CPI-W index in effect on June 1, 2017, which was reported by BLS on May 12, 2017, and reflects the percentage change from April 2016 to April 2017. The 2.1 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2016 to April 2017 did not trigger an increase in the first violation safe harbor penalty fee of $27 or the subsequent violation safe harbor penalty fee of $38, and the Bureau is therefore not amending § 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) for the 2018 calendar year.

B. HOEPA Annual Threshold Adjustments

Section 1026.32(a)(1)(ii) of the Bureau’s Regulation Z implements section 1431 of the Dodd-Frank Act,[2which amended the HOEPA points and fees coverage test. Under § 1026.32(a)(1)(ii)(A) and (B), when determining whether a transaction is a high-cost mortgage, the determination of the applicable points and fees coverage test is based upon whether the total loan amount is for $20,000 or more, or for less than $20,000. Section 1026.32(a)(1)(ii) provides that this threshold amount be recalculated annually using the CPI index in effect on June 1; the Bureau uses the CPI-U for this adjustment. The CPI-U is based on all urban consumers and represents approximately 88 percent of the U.S. population. The BLS publishes consumer-based indices monthly but does not report a CPI change on June 1; adjustments are reported in the middle of each month. The 2018 adjustment is based on the CPI-U index in effect on June 1, which was reported by BLS on May 12, 2017, and reflects the percentage change from April 2016 to April 2017. The adjustment to the $20,000 figure being adopted here reflects a 2.2 percent increase in the CPI-U index for this period and is rounded to whole dollars for ease of compliance.

Under § 1026.32(a)(1)(ii)(B) the HOEPA points and fees dollar trigger is $1,000. Section 1026.32(a)(1)(ii)(B) provides that this threshold amount will be recalculated annually using the CPI index in effect on June 1; the Bureau uses the CPI-U for this adjustment. The 2018 adjustment is based on the CPI-U index in effect on June 1, which was reported by BLS on May 12, 2017, and reflects the percentage change from April 2016 to April 2017. The adjustment to the $1,000 figure being adopted here reflects a 2.2 percent increase in the CPI-U index for this period and is rounded to whole dollars for ease of compliance.

C. Ability To Repay and Qualified Mortgages Annual Threshold Adjustments

The Bureau’s Regulation Z implements sections 1411 and 1412 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which generally require creditors to make a reasonable, good faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay any consumer credit transaction secured by a dwelling, and establishes certain protections from liability under this requirement for qualified mortgages. Under § 1026.43(e)(3)(i), a covered transaction is not a qualified mortgage if the transaction’s points and fees exceed: 3 Percent of the total loan amount for a loan amount greater than or equal to $100,000; $3,000 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $60,000 but less than $100,000; 5 percent of the total loan amount for loans greater than or equal to $20,000 but less than $60,000; $1,000 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $12,500 but less than $20,000; or 8 percent of the total loan amount for loans less than $12,500. Section 1026.43(e)(3)(ii) provides that the limits and loan amounts in § 1026.43(e)(3)(i) are recalculated annually for inflation using the CPI-U index in effect on June 1. The CPI-U is based on all urban consumers and represents approximately 88 percent of the U.S. population. The BLS publishes consumer-based indices monthly but does not report a CPI change on June 1; adjustments are reported in the middle of each month. The 2018 adjustment is based on the CPI-U index in effect on June 1, which was reported by BLS on May 12, 2017, and reflects the percentage change from April 2016 to April 2017. The adjustment to the 2017 figures being adopted here reflects a 2.2 percent increase in the CPI-U index for this period and is rounded to whole dollars for ease of compliance.

II. Adjustment and Commentary Revision

A. Credit Card Annual Adjustments

MINIMUM INTEREST CHARGE DISCLOSURE THRESHOLDS—§§ 1026.6(B)(2)(III) AND 1026.60(B)(3)

The minimum interest charge amounts for §§ 1026.6(b)(2)(iii) and 1026.60(b)(3) will remain unchanged at $1.00 for the year 2018. Accordingly, the Bureau is not amending these sections of Regulation Z.

SAFE HARBOR PENALTY FEES—§ 1026.52(B)(1)(II)(A) AND (B)

The safe harbor penalty fee amounts remain unchanged at $27 for § 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(A) (first violation safe harbor penalty fee) and $38 for § 1026.52(b)(1)(ii)(B) (subsequent violation safe harbor penalty fee) for the year 2018. Accordingly, the Bureau is not amending these sections of Regulation Z. The Bureau is amending comment 52(b)(1)(ii)-2.i to preserve a list of the historical thresholds for this provision.

B. HOEPA Annual Threshold Adjustment—Comments 32(a)(1)(ii)-1 and -3

Effective January 1, 2018, for purposes of determining under § 1026.32(a)(1)(ii) the points and fees coverage test under HOEPA to which a transaction is subject, the total loan amount threshold is $21,032, and the adjusted points and fees dollar trigger under § 1026.32(a)(1)(ii)(B) is $1,052. When the total loan amount for a transaction is $21,032 or more, and the points and fees amount exceeds 5 percent of the total loan amount, the transaction is a high-cost mortgage. When the total loan amount for a transaction is less than $21,032, and the points and fees amount exceeds the lesser of the adjusted points and fees dollar trigger of $1,052 or 8 percent of the total loan amount, the transaction is a high-cost mortgage. The Bureau is amending comments 32(a)(1)(ii)-1 and -3, which list the adjustments for each year, to reflect for 2018 the new loan amount dollar threshold and the new points and fees dollar trigger, respectively.

C. Ability To Repay and Qualified Mortgages Annual Threshold Adjustments

Effective January 1, 2018, for purposes of determining whether a covered transaction is a qualified mortgage under § 1026.43(e), a covered transaction is not a qualified mortgage if, pursuant to § 1026.43(e)(3), the transaction’s total points and fees exceed 3 percent of the total loan Start Printed Page 41160amount for a loan amount greater than or equal to $105,158; $3,155 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $63,095 but less than $105,158; 5 percent of the total loan amount for loans greater than or equal to $21,032 but less than $63,095; $1,052 for a loan amount greater than or equal to $13,145 but less than $21,032; or 8 percent of the total loan amount for loans less than $13,145. The Bureau is amending comment 43(e)(3)(ii)-1, which lists the adjustments for each year, to reflect the new dollar threshold amounts for 2018.

III. Procedural Requirements

A. Administrative Procedure Act

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, notice and opportunity for public comment are not required if the Bureau finds that notice and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Pursuant to this final rule, in Regulation Z, comments 32(a)(1)(ii)-1.iv and -3.iv, 43(e)(3)(ii)-1.iv, and 52(b)(1)(ii)-2.i.E in supplement I are added to update the exemption thresholds. The amendments in this final rule are technical and non-discretionary, as they merely apply the method previously established in Regulation Z for determining adjustments to the thresholds. For these reasons, the Bureau has determined that publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking and providing opportunity for public comment are unnecessary. The amendments therefore are adopted in final form.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require an initial or final regulatory flexibility analysis. 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a).

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 35065 CFR part 1320), the Bureau reviewed this final rule. No collections of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act are contained in the final rule.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1026

Advertising

Consumer protection

Credit

Credit unions

Mortgages

National banks

Reporting and recordkeeping requirements

Savings associations

Truth in lending

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z)

1.The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

2.In Supplement I to part 1026—Official Interpretations:

a.Under Section 1026.32—Requirements for High-Cost Mortgages, under 32(a) Coverage, under Paragraph 32(a)(1)(ii), paragraphs 1.iv and 3.iv are added.

b.Under Section 1026.43—Minimum Standards for Transactions Secured by a Dwelling, under 43(e) Qualified mortgages, under Paragraph 43(e)(3)(ii),paragraph 1.iv is added.

c.Under Section 1026.52—Limitations on Fees, under 52(b) Limitations on Penalty Fees, under 52(b)(1)(ii) Safe harbors, paragraph 2.i.E is added.

 

Source: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/30/2017-18003/truth-in-lending-regulation-z-annual-threshold-adjustments-credit-cards-hoepa-and-atrqm

CFPB Issues Proposed Policy Guidance Regarding Disclosure of Loan-Level HMDA Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today issued a rule amending the 2015 updates to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) rule. The Bureau has temporarily changed reporting requirements for banks and credit unions that issue home-equity lines of credit, and clarified the information that financial institutions are required to collect and report about their mortgage lending.

“The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act is a vital source of information on the health and fairness of the mortgage market,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s amendments show that the Consumer Bureau is committed to ensuring that financial institutions are able to comply with the rule, and to promoting transparency across the largest consumer financial market in the world.”

The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act—originally enacted in 1975—requires most lenders to report information about the home loans that they originate or purchase, as well as applications received. Banking regulators and the public can use this data to monitor whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities, to assist in distributing public-sector investment in order to attract private investment to areas where it is needed, and to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.

As directed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB updated the HMDA regulation in 2015 to improve the quality and type of data reported by financial institutions. Most of the updated requirements take effect in January 2018, and the industry is working to bring operations into compliance.

Reporting Threshold

Under rules that are scheduled to take effect in January 2018, financial institutions would have been required under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act to report home-equity lines of credit if they made 100 such loans in each of the last two years. Today’s final rule has increased that threshold to 500 loans through calendar years 2018 and 2019 so that the Bureau can consider whether to make a permanent adjustment. This change was initially proposed in July 2017.

This temporary increase in the threshold will provide time for the Bureau to consider whether to initiate another rulemaking to address the appropriate level for the threshold for data collected beginning January 1, 2020.

Clarifications and Technical Corrections

Today’s final rule contains a number of clarifications, technical corrections, and minor changes to the HMDA regulation. These include clarifying certain key terms, such as “temporary financing” and “automated underwriting system.” The changes finalized today will also, for example, establish transition rules for reporting certain loans purchased by financial institutions. Another change will facilitate reporting the census tract of a property, using a geocoding tool that will be provided on the Bureau’s website. These changes were initially proposed in April 2017.

The CFPB is committed to well-tailored and effective regulations and has sought to carefully calibrate its efforts to ensure consistency with respect to consumer financial protections across the financial services marketplace.

The final rule is available at:

http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201708_cfpb_final-rule_home-mortgage-disclosure_regulation-c.pdf 

The CFPB is also releasing today an executive summary of the final rule, updates to technical filing instructions, and other implementation materials.  The CFPB hopes that these materials will help financial institutions understand and implement the changes adopted in the final rule.

The regulatory implementation materials are available here: 

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/guidance/implementation-guidance/hmda-implementation/

The technical instructions are available here:

 https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/hmda/for-filers

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers  to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.  

Source: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-temporarily-changes-mortgage-data-rule-reporting-threshold-community-banks-and-credit-unions/

Freddie Mac Announces Guide Bulletin 2017-21

SUBJECT: EXTENSION OF CERTAIN HURRICANE-RELATED REQUIREMENTS AND PROPERTY INSPECTION REIMBURSEMENT FOR ELIGIBLE DISASTER AREAS This Guide Bulletin announces that our temporary selling and Servicing requirements related to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in Bulletins 2017-14, 2017-16 and 2017-19 are extended to Mortgages and Borrowers whose Mortgaged Premises or places of employment are located in Eligible Disaster Areas impacted by all hurricanes on and after August 25, 2017 and through the 2017 hurricane season. However, the temporary suspension of foreclosure sales and evictions will only apply to Mortgaged Premises located in an Eligible Disaster Area as a result of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and now Hurricane Maria. In the event of another hurricane, all previously announced selling flexibilities will be available as of the date of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declaration in Eligible Disaster Areas without further instruction from Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac selling-related systems will be updated as soon as possible after the disaster. We are also announcing details concerning property inspections and reporting requirements for Mortgages with properties in Eligible Disaster Areas.

TEMPORARY SELLING REQUIREMENTS Property inspection fee reimbursement Freddie Mac will reimburse Sellers through September 30, 2018 for property inspections completed prior to the sale or securitization of Mortgages secured by properties in Eligible Disaster Areas as a result of a 2017 hurricane:  Freddie Mac will reimburse Sellers after the Mortgage has been sold or securitized  The original appraisal must have been obtained prior to the area having been declared an Eligible Disaster Area  Freddie Mac will reimburse Sellers for actual inspection costs not to exceed $75 for an individual Mortgage  The Seller must maintain copies of the inspection invoice(s) in the Mortgage file More details regarding the reimbursement process will be posted on our Natural Disaster Relief web page. We will follow up with a Single-Family Update e-mail when additional information is available.

TEMPORARY SERVICING REQUIREMENTS FOR MORTGAGES IMPACTED BY HURRICANE MARIA Suspension of foreclosure sales For Mortgages secured by properties located in Eligible Disaster Areas affected by Hurricane Maria, Freddie Mac is requiring Servicers to suspend all foreclosure sales beginning on the date that FEMA declared the area to be an Eligible Disaster Area and lasting through December 31, 2017. However, if the Mortgaged Premises was identified as vacant or abandoned prior to Hurricane Maria, and the Servicer has completed its property inspection and confirmed that there is no insurable damage or ability to receive FEMA funds on the Mortgaged Premises, the Servicer may choose to proceed with the foreclosure sale on that Mortgage prior to December 31, 2017. TO: Freddie Mac Sellers and Servicers September 25, 2017 | 2017-21

Suspension of evictions:

Freddie Mac is notifying counsel providing default related legal services to suspend all eviction activities as of the date of this Bulletin for Borrowers with Mortgaged Premises in locations designated as an Eligible Disaster Area as a result of Hurricane Maria. We will continue to assess the damage and will reevaluate our requirements as circumstances dictate.

TEMPORARY SERVICING REQUIREMENTS FOR MORTGAGES IMPACTED BY AN ELIGIBLE DISASTER Reimbursement process for property inspections of Mortgaged Premises in Eligible Disaster Areas Effective for all property inspections conducted on and after August 29, 2017 of Mortgaged Premises in an Eligible Disaster Area As announced in Bulletins 2017-14 and 2017-19, Freddie Mac is aware that Servicers may need to conduct a property inspection of a Mortgaged Premises in an Eligible Disaster Area that would not normally be reimbursable in accordance with Guide Sections 9202.12 and 9701.9. As a result, we are announcing a temporary process for Servicers to seek reimbursement of the actual costs, subject to applicable expense limits, for exterior property inspections completed in accordance with Section 8404.2 and interior property inspections completed in accordance with Section 8202.11. For exterior property inspections, Servicers must use expense code 404005 (Exterior Property Inspection) with an expense limit of $15. For interior property inspections, Servicers must use expense code 404007 (Interior Property Inspection) with an expense limit of $20. However, if a Servicer already ordered or obtained a “FEMA inspection” where the cost exceeded the normal expense reimbursement amounts, Freddie Mac will reimburse those amounts if incurred prior to the date of this Bulletin. Servicers may temporarily submit property inspection reimbursement requests once per month via an Excel® spreadsheet to NPL_Invoices@freddiemac.com. The e-mail subject line should reference “Disaster related property inspection reimbursement request,” and the spreadsheet must include the following information for all Mortgages that a Servicer is seeking reimbursement for that month:  Freddie Mac Loan Number  Seller/Servicer Payee Code  Expense Code  Reimbursement request amount  Property inspection expense date paid  Vendor Name A Servicer unsure of its Seller/Servicer Payee code should send an e-mail request to 104_Expense@freddiemac.com. A property inspection completed on a Mortgage that was 60 or more days delinquent would already be required, and so is eligible for reimbursement in accordance with Sections 9202.12 and 9701.9. In this instance, Servicers must submit expense reimbursement requests in accordance with those Guide sections, and not through the temporary process described above.

EDR for Eligible Disasters We remind Servicers to report:  All Mortgages that are affected by an Eligible Disaster and are 31 or more days delinquent to Freddie Mac via EDR transmission within the first three Business Days of the month following the month the Servicer learned of the Eligible Disaster  Default action code 09 (Forbearance) for each month while the disaster forbearance plan status is relevant  Default action date (report the forbearance plan start date, which date may be prior to the Mortgage becoming 31 or more days delinquent)  Default reason code 034 (Eligible Disaster Area) for Mortgages where the Borrower’s Mortgaged Premises or place of employment is located in an Eligible Disaster Area  Default action code AW to notify us of the date of the Servicer’s first quality right party contact (QRPC) with the Borrower, which date must only be reported one time, in the month following the month when the event took place  Default action code AX to notify us of the date of the Servicer’s last QRPC with the Borrower, which date must only be reported one time, in the month following the month when the event took place Servicers should review Guide Exhibit 82, Electronic Default Reporting Transmission Code List, and the Electronic Default Reporting Quick Reference Guide for details on EDR.

CONCLUSION If you have any questions about the changes announced in this Bulletin, please contact your Freddie Mac representative or call the Customer Support Contact Center at (800) FREDDIE.

Sincerely,

Christina K. Boyle Senior Vice President Single-Family Sales and Relationship Management

Source: http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/guide/bulletins/pdf/bll1721.pdf

The Smart Move to Make After The Equifax Breach

With the angry glare of the public eye squarely focused on Equifax after announcing a massive breach and blamed it on a computer server flaw other companies had fixed months before, the company is waiving fees on credit freezes. Which is good news because it’s the only thing that’s going to save your bacon.

The company had previously offered victims a free year of credit report monitoring — but customers and advocates were quick to point out that this wouldn’t actually stop anyone’s identity from getting exploited from the data heist affecting nearly 143 million Americans. Hackers would still be able to open up new credit cards and go on spending sprees, apply for other loans or mortgages, and leave you holding the bag for the debt or the bad name.

 

Source : https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/amp/one-move-make-after-equifax-breach-n800776

10 Traits of Successful People

Those who enjoy success, financial or otherwise, have a different perspective to the rest of us. They do not tolerate people who do not support their success, people who are not on their team. They take the long term view, often forgoing short term benefits, like holidays, for long term achievements, the result of hard work. They never stop learning and are not afraid to ask for help and are willing to make mistakes and take responsibility for them.

They could come from any background but these qualities make them successful over time.

1. They Are Driven
They obsessively pursue their goals achievement by achievement, iteration by iteration until they are in no doubt that their goal has been achieved. They do not have time to watch TV and all the simulations it hypnotizes people with. They are driving energy into their financial success.

2. They Sacrifice Present Comfort for Future Success
Often wealthy people started with low income and made space in their finances for some investment, whether in their education, financial instruments, property or some other asset that will add value over time. To make that space they often forgo the attractions of the latest fancy car or restaurant dinner.

3. They Are Self Confident
Self Confidence means never playing the victim, recognizing, instead, that attributing negative emotions to the actions of others disempowers them. Victims blame others for their circumstances and so they place all their power with others. Successful people realise that their power lies within them and that they must act to make changes. People who experience business success will always have to be tough in taking criticism and rejection, and you have to be self confident to do that.

4. They Limit Debt
Debt is a thorny issue. It is hard in the modern business environment to avoid debt, but expensive, unproductive debt is a millstone around the neck. Credit cards, over droughts, car loans, house loans, all these are profoundly unproductive and expensive. The value of what is bought with the money often depreciates, sometimes immediately after you’ve bought it, and the interest is expensive. Financially successful people will only borrow money to invest in assets that will yield a return in the future and in this way the cost of credit will pay for itself.

5. They Take Responsibility for Their Circumstances
Business success is dependent upon accepting that there will be bumps in the road, obstacles in the stream and difficult people in their lives. Financially successful people know that to blame others for the circumstances they find themselves in, especially bad circumstances, is self defeating, placing the power to effect change on others. Even if circumstances are difficult, there are always options. Taking responsibility opens them up to those options.

6. Long Term Perspective
The long term is the future, where we all end up. Planning for the long term future will help you make stable investment and business decisions. We have all heard of lottery winners whose wealth evaporates before them with nothing to show for it afterwards. This is the result of spending for the short term. Money invested with the long term in mind will generate wealth over time.

7. They Give Value
The essence of what people want from their wealth is value. Those who give value can expect to receive wealth in return for that value. Those who consistently give value can consistently expect to receive money in return, whether it is a business making a product or a craftsman plying his or her trade or an employee doing the best job possible.

8. They Know Education Is An Investment
Education can take the form of an expensive course or simply reading a book, listening to an audio book in the car on the way to work or asking for advice from a trusted source. Either way knowledge is the product and knowledge allows you to learn from others so that you can take the shortcuts and not make as many mistakes as if you did not have the knowledge. It’s simple really.

9. They Are Goal Oriented
There are those who, in their jobs, are only willing to do just enough to avoid being fired and they spend their lives veering from one dead end job to another. Financially successful people are goal oriented and pursue that goal with all the energy they can muster, and if that means working extra hours or travelling or getting advice from a mentor then they will do that to achieve the goal.

10. They Are Passionate
Their drive to achieve success is fueled by passion, the excitement, fulfillment and intensity of self actualization. The passionate pursue success not merely for themselves but for the service of all.

Financially successful people are driven to succeed by their passionate desire to provide service to the world. They do this by offering value, going the extra mile where it is never crowded. They take the long term view, avoiding debt and they constantly update their knowledge with education.

Source: http://www.viralnovelty.net/10-things-financially-successful-people-consistently/

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