"I spent half my money on gambling, women, and booze. The other half I wasted." Not that politicians would ever waste money - after all, they can spend our money more effectively than we can, right? - but the industry had some welcome news yesterday when the U.S. House and Senate conferees reached an agreement on a multi-year transportation bill that does not contain a provision to pay for a portion of the new transportation spending through an increase in the fees charged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee a loan (g-fees).
Did someone say "CFPB" and "Dodd Frank"? No? Well, let's talk about them anyway. The Federal Reserve put in place rules (as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act) that would limit its emergency lending authority to address only broad-based financial market issues rather than the problems of a specific firm. In other words, the Fed ended "too big to fail" lending to collapsing banks.
The CFPB released its Home Mortgage Disclosure (Regulation C) Small Entity Compliance Guide, designed to address obligations under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and Regulation C. (Hence the name.) There is also an executive summary, timeline, and other resources that can help one understand the requirements under the rule.
Certainly the CFPB's enforcement group has not been idle. In its latest report, covering the six months from April through September, its supervisor actions have "resulted in financial institutions providing more than $95 million in redress to over 177,000 consumers." In spite of my capital markets background I am no math whiz, but by my longhand division calculations this works out to about $536 per consumer. "During that timeframe we also announced orders through enforcement actions for approximately $5.8 billion in total relief for consumers who fell victim to various violations of consumer financial protection laws."
There are lots of figures out there, and one starts throwing around millions in fines of various types I quickly become confused. Thomas Ressler writes, "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau more than doubled the amount of money it collected in civil penalties during fiscal year 2015: $183.1 million versus $77.5 million the year prior, according to the agency's recently released financial report. Cash collections since the CFPB's inception total $342.14 million, of which $190.12 million has been allocated to victim compensation.
"An additional $13.38 million has been earmarked for consumer education and financial literacy programs, the default destinations of a certain amount of the penalties when victims can't be found or identified, or when payment isn't 'practicable,' according to the bureau. Meanwhile, approximately $2.07 million has been used by the CFPB as an 'administrative set-aside.' So as of Sept. 30, 2015, roughly $136.57 million remains available 'for future allocations.'" I mentioned all of this to my cat Myrtle, who seemed, like many, to be confused and suggested "people should follow the money."
The mounting criticism has not escaped the notice of Richard Cordray who addressed some of the comments regarding the CFPB's database in a recent response to American Banker.
Recently the CFPB announced that it has initiated an administrative action against an online lender, Integrity Advance, LLC, and its CEO, James R. Carnes, for alleged violations of Truth in Lending Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA), and the CFPA's UDAAP prohibition. The announcement is unusual since it has not been the CFPB's typical practice to announce an administrative action without the simultaneous announcement of a settlement. In the action, the CFPB seeks redress for harmed consumers, as well as a civil money penalty and injunctive relief.
The unlawful practices alleged by the CFPB include hiding the total cost of loans by using disclosures that were based on a borrower's repayment of a loan in a single payment, even though the loan agreement's default terms called for multiple rollovers and additional finance charges. Supposedly the lender required repayment by pre-authorized ACH payments. According to the CFPB, this practice violated the EFTA prohibition on conditioning a loan on the borrower's repayment through recurring pre-authorized electronic fund transfers.
One of the primary objectives of the EFTA and Regulation E is the protection of individual consumers engaging in EFTs. The CFPB is authorized, subject to certain exceptions, to enforce the EFTA and Regulation E against any person subject to the EFTA and Regulation E. This impacts mortgage lending because many lenders, and their servicers, solicit and obtain authorization from consumers for payment of mortgage loans by preauthorized EFTs.
Portions of the industry continue to grapple with TILA-RESPA reform. Most folks I have conversed with in recent weeks say that the title companies and real estate agents are coming to grips with the changes. Want a great TRID chart based on fees? Here you go. And someone please assure me that the borrower is better off when lenders have to memorize this...
According to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, the new integrated disclosure rules did not result in significant delays. For home sales closed in October, loans related to the FHA saw a slight decline in the share of mortgages that closed on time compared with September, from 59.4 percent to 57.1 percent. During that same time period, the share of VA loans closed increased from 60.1 percent to 65.5 percent, whereas FHA loans closed within 47 days in September and then slightly increased to 47.2 days in October. Some realtors have mentioned that despite, TRID, the process has still remained smooth, while others have expressed a delay in closings.
Zelman and Associates published its October Mortgage Originator Survey finding that new TRID disclosure requirements have led to unforeseen technical and operational glitches but most of these problems have been resolved in a timely manner. Feedback has also suggested that the industry's significant preparation for TRID has paid off, as most issues revolve around technical malfunctions.
Yet HousingWire published a report saying that TRID is a real obstacle in the lending process.
Leading up to the October 3rd date of TILA-RESPA reform lenders and vendors continued to attempt to help educate their clients and counterparties. Here are some random announcements, for example.
First Community Mortgage has jumped on the band wagon enlisting Simplifile and its collaboration services to aid them and their settlement agents in meeting the CFPB's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) rule timelines and requirements. "Simplifile offered a great price and great product; what more can you ask for," said Mortgage Closing Manager Kele Cuddy at First Community Mortgage. Simplifile's suite of online services including Collaboration, E-recording, and Post Closing, allow lenders and settlement agents nationwide to securely share, validate, audit, track, record, and collaborate on loan documents, data, and fees to ensure compliance. Interested in more information?
Pinnacle Capital Mortgage has TRID updates and announcements as well as brand new tools in its resource library.
Penny Mac TRID delivery requirements reminder have been posted here.
Nationstar Mortgage has updated its TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Ditech has provided answers to common questions regarding the new TRID rules. For instance, Ditech will require a wet-signed signature on the final CD to be executed at the time of loan consummation. The Intent to Proceed from the borrower(s) will not be required prior to locking the loan. In addition, Ditech will require that the CD has the realtors name, number, license, etc. on page 5 of the CD to be eligible for purchase on purchase transactions.
Over the last few months, Pacific Union Financial, LLC has worked with its clients and business partners to assist in successful implementation of changes to support the TRID rule. All loans with applications dated October 3, and later (TRID applications) that are submitted for purchase consideration should include all AIR disclosures, Loan Estimates (LEs) and Closing Disclosures (CDs) issued to the borrower(s).
Bopping over to the bond market, the U.S. Treasury complex rallied sharply Tuesday "in a curve-flattening trade" after the ISM manufacturing index fell to its lowest level since mid-2009. And once again both stock and bond prices both improved. Total construction spending beat estimates and increased 1.0% month-over-month in October.
Today we've already had the MBA's mortgage application numbers (refis -6%, purchases +8%) and the November ADP Employment Change (+217k, topping forecasts). We've also seen Q3 Productivity and Unit Labor Costs (+2.2%, higher than forecasts, labor costs higher). Later is December Fed Beige Book (14:00 EST) and more speeches from Fed officials expected to continue laying the foundation for a short-term rate increase in a couple weeks. Impending Fed increase or no increase, the 10-year closed Tuesday at 2.15% and this morning it is at 2.18% with agency MBS prices worse .125.
Jobs and Announcements
The opportunities today span the nation, and the job gamut. In New England HomeBridge Financial Services continues to grow its retail division and is now officially licensed in Massachusetts, which brings its total number of state licenses to 49, in addition to Washington, D.C. HomeBridge is actively looking for associates at nearly all levels, including branch managers, producing sales managers, loan originators and operations support, in Massachusetts and across the rest of New England. This has been a great year for HomeBridge, which is on track to fund more than $10 billion in 2015 and recently launched its own in-house servicing platform in suburban Atlanta and continues to operate two thriving wholesale divisions, HomeBridge Wholesale and REMN Wholesale. Anyone looking to connect with HomeBridge on opportunities within the New England area should contact area manager Matt Hemphill (802-318-4564).
A thousand miles away First Community Mortgage's retail Midwest expansion continues with new offices now open in Kentucky, Ohio, and Minnesota. As a Top 100 Lender, FCM is a sales and marketing focused lender providing originators in-house processing, marketing support, and an aggressive compensation plan. They are a direct FNMA, FHLMC, and GNMA lender and offer Rural Housing and state specific down payment assistance programs. FCM recently launched a one-loan 95% JUMBO product! If you are looking for the personal touch of a local bank with the power of a direct seller/servicer behind you, check out First Community Mortgage. Call Todd Turner at 330-620-6898 or Tim Smith at 612-987-5190 to talk about growing your team.
And an east coast mortgage banker is seeking an experienced professional for a newly created position of Chief Operating Officer. The Company has strong capital backing from a public company and a national lending footprint. The Company is embarking on an aggressive expansion initiative and offers a full array of Agency, Government and Jumbo products. The Company maintains both retail and third party channels. The successful COO candidate must possess a proven track record of leadership and change management, with a particular expertise on implementing enhanced operational efficiencies. Please send confidential resumes to me.
Congrats to Lizzie David! Lizzie was brought on board by retail lender Mortgage 1 as AVP of Business Development. Mortgage 1 has just exceeded $1 billion in 2015 closed loan production and is currently looking to expand production in the states of Ohio, Florida, and Texas. Mortgage 1's growth is attributed to a strong commitment to the purchase market. Interested originators and originator teams please contact Rick Holcomb (586.799.0009).
Heading into the New Year, it is important to evaluate how you've done so you can continue to be better next year. Today from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST, join XINNIX, The Mortgage Academy, as CEO and Founder, Casey Cunningham, reveals the Six Essential Skills of a Leader. Learn practical tactics to build and retain a highly effective sales team and ultimately, increase your team's production. This live webinar is complimentary, but registration is required. Click here to learn more and register.
California, Florida and Texas Mortgage Professionals, there's a huge party coming up next week for you. National Mortgage Professional Magazine knows the only thing better than a closed loan is a free party. It is hosting the biggest FREE Holiday Networking Party in years. "So big, we need Texas, California and Florida to host it! The networking party is preceded by business building workshops from industry leaders such as Greg Frost from PRMI, Barry Habib from MBS Highway and Frank Garay and Brian Stevens from NREP. After the workshops, you can mix and mingle with other successful mortgage loan officers and celebrate the evening with music, complimentary food, prizes and a heavy dose of holiday cheer! MLOs with NMLS numbers, college students and veterans attend FREE." Register by clicking the state that you wish to attend: California, Texas, or Florida.
Register for MBA's December 14th webinar providing a deeper dive into the MBA White Paper entitled "Housing Demand - Demographics and the Numbers behind the Coming Multi-Million Increase in Households." MBA Speakers include Dr. Lynn M. Fisher Vice President of Research & Economics and Jamie Woodwell Vice President of Commercial/Multifamily Research.