CFPB Seeks To Avoid Foreclosure Glut

With 2.5 million Americans still in mortgage forbearance plans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing rule changes designed to prevent people from losing their homes when the foreclosure bans expire. The CFPB issued a proposal Monday that would: Prohibit lenders from starting foreclosure proceedings until after December 31 to give borrowers time to get caught up.Provide options to lenders to offer streamlined loan modification options to borrowers with Covid-19-related issues.Require lenders to communicate with borrowers in a timely way to ensure they are aware of their options. “The nation has endured more than a year of a deadly pandemic and a punishing economic crisis.  We must not lose sight of the dangers so many consumers still face,” CFPB Acting…

CDC Extends Eviction Ban As Feds Warn Landlords

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission on Monday issued a warning to landlords to “stop illegal evictions” during the Covid-19 pandemic. The statement was issued as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its eviction moratorium, banning landlords from kicking tenants out for being unable to make their rental payments. “Staff at both agencies will be monitoring and investigating eviction practices, particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction management services, and private equity firms, to ensure that they are complying with the law,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio and FTC Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter said. “Evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or evicting or threatening to evict them without apprising them of…

CFPB Says Millions Face Foreclosure, Evictions

Millions of Americans face foreclosure and eviction from their homes once housing pandemic protections come to an end, according to a report released Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB found that nearly 11 million families are behind on rent or mortgage payments, with 8.8 million behind on rent and 2.1 million behind on their mortgages. That accounts for nearly $90 billion in missed mortgage payments. The report also found: Black and Hispanic families are more than twice as likely to report being behind on housing payments than white families.While mortgage forbearance has dropped foreclosures to historic lows, 1 million homeowners are more than 90 days behind on payments and are likely to experience severe financial hardship when…

Biden Appoints Chopra To Head CFPB

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced the appointment of Rohit Chopra as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency he worked at during the Obama Administration. Chopra, currently a commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission, previously served as associate director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He led the agency’s work on student loans. Rohit Chapra Chopra was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2018 for his role at the FTC, “where he has pushed for aggressive remedies against lawbreaking companies, especially repeat offenders,” according to the Biden transition team’s announcement. “Together with state and international law enforcement partners, he has worked to increase scrutiny of dominant technology firms that pose risks to privacy, national security, and…

Mr. Cooper Settles With States, Feds For $74.5 Million

Mortgage servicer Nationstar, which does business as Mr. Cooper, agreed to pay a $74.5 million settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, state attorneys general and bank regulators for violating a variety of federal laws designed to protect borrowers. Regulators had accused Mr. Cooper of violating the law from 2012 to 2015 by: Failing to identify thousands of loans with existing in-flight modifications and failing to recognize some transferred loans with pending loss mitigation applications or trial modification plans or failing to identify and honor other borrowers’ loan modification agreements.Foreclosing on borrowers to whom it had promised foreclosure holds while they applied for loss mitigation relief.Improperly increasing borrowers’ permanent, modified monthly loan payments.Failing to timely disburse borrowers’ tax payments from…

Townstone Hits Back At CFPB Over Redlining Lawsuit

Lawyers for the Chicago mortgage company Townstone Financial accused the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of targeting their client because of their political views – and not their business practices, as laid out by the agency earlier this week. Specifically, the lawyers say, “(CFPB Director Kathy) Kraninger is saying in this lawsuit that financial institutions are engaging in unlawful discrimination if they advertise too much on conservative media, or if their owners, executives, or staff express conservative political viewpoints, such as statements in support of the police. This is the next step in the left’s `cancel culture.’” On Wednesday, the CFPB filed a lawsuit against Townstone for allegedly discouraging Black applicants from applying for loans while engaging in redlining by discouraging…

CFPB Sues Chicago Lender For Redlining

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against a Chicago-based mortgage lender for allegedly discouraging Black applicants from applying for loans while engaging in redlining by discouraging borrowers for investing in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. The CFPB alleges Townstone “drew almost no applications for properties in African-American neighborhoods” in the Chicago metropolitan area between 2014 and 2017, while processing few applications from potential Black borrowers in the Chicago area. Specifically, the complaint – filed in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois – alleges: Townstone engaged in acts or practices, including making statements during its weekly radio shows and podcasts through which it marketed its services, that illegally discouraged prospective African-American applicants from applying to Townstone for mortgage loans;Townstone…

Supreme Court Rules CFPB Structure Unconstitutional

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional – but left in place the rest of the legislation creating the consumer protection agency. Writing for the majority in the 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts said the law violate the separation of powers clause because it prevented the president from firing the agency director at will. The law said the director could only be fired “for cause.” “We therefore hold that the structure of the CFPB violates the separation of powers,” the Supreme Court ruled. “We go on to hold that the CFPB Director’s removal protection is severable from the other statutory provisions bearing on the CFPB’s authority. The agency may therefore continue…

Major Home Seller Settles With CFPB – For $35,000

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Tuesday it had reached a $35,000 settlement with Harbour Portfolio Advisories and two of its subsidiary companies over allegations they had violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act. Dallas-based Harbour – along with National Asset Advisors (NAA) and National Asset Mortgage (NAM) – is one of the largest sellers of foreclosed homes. The companies were accused of telling customers they had to tell the CFPB of alleged errors on their credit reports – which the bureau called “deceptive acts and practices.” CFPB noted, “Regulation V, which implements the Fair Credit Reporting Act, required NAA or NAM to investigate written disputes and contact the consumer-reporting agency to resolve any errors.  Also, either company could investigate a…

Watchdog Gives Lenders A Pass On Complaints

After spending months trying to arrange a repayment plan with her mortgage servicing company, a South Carolina homeowner filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The complaint was listed as closed just days after Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing provided the agency with its explanation – one that did not resolve the issue and one that is not sufficient to the homeowner. The homeowner learned that Shellpoint was her new mortgage servicer in December after receiving correspondence that she and her husband were behind on their payments. Although she said they were current as of September, Shellpoint said otherwise. The homeowner said they eventually reached an agreement to make down-payment of $6,577.71 so they could enter a repayment plan, but Shellpoint…