CFPB Launches Inquiry Into Mortgage “Junk Fees”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a public inquiry into mortgage “junk fees,” which it says hide in closing costs. The Bureau said closing costs have “risen steeply” and cause undue financial stress on both borrowers, who bear the burden of higher prices, and lenders, who have to pass costs along to borrowers in order to offer competitive mortgages. “Junk fees and excessive closing costs can drain down payments and push up monthly mortgage costs,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “The CFPB is looking for ways to reduce anti-competitive fees that harm both homebuyers and lenders.” Median closing costs in 2022 were $6,000 and are still rising, according to a statement from the Bureau. “The CFPB wants to understand why…

SECURE Notarization Act Receives Support By Industry Leaders

Industry leaders are rallying around a federal bill that would permit the nationwide use of remote online notarization. The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act, H.R. 1509, establishes national standards for remote and electronic notarizations. The legislation requires the creation and retention of video and audio recordings, as well as the use of communication technologies such as video chats during remote notarizations. It passed the House on Feb. 27. Leaders at the Mortgage Bankers Association support remote online notarization on the state and national level. They say the bill’s requirements are consistent with industry standards. “The bill’s minimum standards for RON are consistent with both the MBA-ALTA model state RON bill and the Mortgage Industry Standards…