On June 24, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued another set of proposed amendments to its January 2013 mortgage rules. Whereas the proposed and final amendments issued by the CFPB in April and May focused largely on the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage rule, this proposal primarily addresses several important questions that have emerged during the implementation process regarding the Mortgage Servicing and Loan Originator Compensation rules.
Even with this additional guidance from the CFPB, the volume and complexity of the new requirements and the number of outstanding issues still present a daunting task for many industry participants as they seek to implement the numerous rules by January 2014.
Comments on the proposed amendments are due July 22, 2013.
Key Proposed Amendments
Start of Foreclosure Process. The current rule prohibits a servicer from making the first notice or filing required for foreclosure unless the loan is more than 120 days delinquent. The proposed rule would clarify what servicer actions are prohibited during the first 120 days of delinquency. In short, the CFPB is proposing to adopt the literal meaning of “first notice or filing required by applicable law” and prohibit servicers from filing any document that “would be used by the servicer as evidence of compliance with foreclosure practices required pursuant to State law” during the 120-day period. Thus, a breach letter required by Fannie Mae or any other debt collection activity should not be prohibited during the 120-day pre-foreclosure period provided such documents are not to be used as evidence of complying with requirements applicable to state law foreclosure processes.
This interpretation is expected to have significant implications for state foreclosure processes, particularly those states with pre-foreclosure mediation requirements and right to cure notices. For example, a notice of default in the District of Columbia may not be mailed to borrowers until after the 120-day pre-foreclosure period because the District of Columbia marks the notice of default as the “first notice or filing required by applicable law.” Similarly, servicers in California and other states with pending or effective “Homeowners Bill of Rights” statutes (e.g., Alabama, Florida, Nevada, and Utah) may not fulfill those statutes’ requirements to contact or provide borrowers with information regarding servicemember protections or foreclosure alternatives until after the pre-foreclosure period. In addition, it would appear that servicers in Massachusetts would have to wait 120 days before mailing borrowers a 150-day notice of right to cure, which would mean that a servicer may not begin the foreclosure process until 270 days after delinquency begins. By contrast, because Kentucky does not have additional pre-foreclosure statutory requirements, servicers would need only to wait the CFPB’s minimum period of 120 days of delinquency to file a foreclosure complaint in Kentucky.
Incomplete Loss Mitigation Applications. The current rule requires servicers to review a borrower’s loss mitigation application within five business days and provide a notice informing the borrower that the application is either: (1) complete; or (2) identifying the specific information needed to complete the application and stating that the borrower should provide that information by the earliest of four specific dates. The current rule also generally prohibits a servicer from offering a loss mitigation option based on an incomplete application.
The proposed amendments would: Read more…