CFPB Takes Aim At “Junk Fees” In Mortgage Servicing

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking aim at mortgage “junk fees” yet again, this time in the servicing sector. The bureau released supervisory highlights addressing what it classifies as illegal junk fees, such as prohibited fees, deceptive notices sent to homeowners, and violations of loss mitigation rules. “Homeowners cannot just simply switch providers if their mortgage servicer charges them illegal junk fees,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Since mortgage borrowers are captive to a company they never chose to do business with, we are working hard to detect and deter violations of law.” Servicers were found to have charged property inspection fees banned by Fannie Mae and late fees greater than allowed by their mortgage agreements. They also failed…

Daniel Wallace Joins Servicing Platform Haven As CEO

Mortgage tech company Haven Servicing appointed Daniel Wallace as its new CEO, while current CEO Jonathan Chao will transition to Chief Product Officer. Wallace joins Haven from blockchain financial company Figure Technologies, where he served as General Manager of Lending. They became the largest non-bank originator of HELOCs under his leadership. His other experience includes CEO of FirstKey Mortgage, managing partner at Capital Crossing, and managing director at Lehman Brothers. “The mortgage industry is in a transformative period. With 85% of outstanding mortgages having a rate below 5%, and application volumes at 30-year lows, engaging with existing borrowers is more important than ever. Haven enables all stakeholders to remain connected with their borrowers, throughout the life of their loan,” Wallace…

Michelle DeHart Joins Cenlar As VP Of Loan Operations, Escrow

Michelle DeHart has been appointed vice president of loan operations for escrow at Cenlar FSB, company leaders announced in a press release. “I am excited to be part of the Cenlar team,” DeHart said. “My objective is to strengthen Cenlar’s escrow area by leveraging technology and automating wherever possible to enhance operational efficiencies and deliver the best outcomes for Cenlar, our clients, and their homeowners.” DeHart will be in charge of all escrow functions including tax, insurance, flood insurance, and escrow analysis. With 25 years of experience in mortgage banking and financial services, she will also lead additional operational efficiencies and risk mitigation initiatives. “With Michelle’s breadth and depth of knowledge in the mortgage servicing industry, she is a valuable…

Wells Fargo Earnings Down By 50% YOY In Q4 2022

Wells Fargo’s net earnings dropped in Q4 2022, pushed down by a settlement and the pressures of a shrinking economy. The bank announced that its net income fell to $2.86 billion, or 67 cents a share. This is half of its profits from the same time last year, which came in at $5.75 billion, $1.38 per share. Leaders at Wells Fargo noted that the decline was driven by the fall-off in mortgage demand. Its home lending was down 57% from Q4 2021. The bank announced this week that it is narrowing its home lending business, exiting the correspondent lending channel and shrinking its servicing portfolio. This move will force a round of layoffs, but it is unclear how many jobs…

Wells Fargo Shrinking Lending Business, Plans To Focus On Existing And Underserved Borrowers

Wells Fargo is reducing its home lending footprint, a move that experts say will have major ramifications in the mortgage industry. Formerly the nation’s largest mortgage lender, the bank announced Tuesday that it is exiting the correspondent lending channel and shrinking its mortgage servicing portfolio. “We are making the decision to continue to reduce risk in the mortgage business by reducing its size and narrowing its focus,” Kleber Santos, CEO of Consumer Lending, said in a statement. The company’s correspondent arm accounted for 42% of its loan originations in Q3 2022. Demand is down across the country due to affordability issues and high mortgage rates. Lenders are seeing originations shrink, resulting in closures and layoffs. Wells Fargo has suffered the…

Michael Ehms Joins Oakleaf Group

The Oakleaf Group, a mortgage consulting firm, announced that Michael Ehms has joined the company as Managing Director of Business Development. In his new position, Ehms will work on business development for Oakleaf’s Mortgage Services teams. “I’m incredibly excited to join the Oakleaf executive team,” he said. “Oakleaf’s expertise and capabilities combine to create the perfect opportunity for market solutions to support all aspects of our clients’ needs. I’m thrilled to add my experience and knowledge to the team and help take Oakleaf to the next level.” Ehms brings more than two decades of financial services and industry sales experience to the role. Throughout his career, he worked in the mortgage transaction services industry, vendor-related product support, and end-to-end fulfillment.…

Dallas Vit Named CIO Of Fay Servicing

Fay Servicing has named Dallas Vit Chief Information Officer, the company announced in a press release.  “It’s exciting to join a firm with a solid foundation and such diversity in their business model. This team has a great reputation in the servicing business and their ancillary companies give us great opportunities,” Vit said. Vit brings fifteen years of experience to the position. He will lead the company’s technology team, working on application development, technology infrastructure, information security, and data management. Prior to Fay, he most recently served as CIO for Roosevelt Management Company, an investment firm. He earned both his MBA and BA in Management Information Systems from The University of Northern Iowa. “Dallas brings with him a progressive track…

CFPB Singles Out Mortgage-Related Violations In New Report

Delinquency fees charged to forbearance-holders, payment handling violations, and pricing discrimination are among the mortgage-related violations highlighted by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) latest Supervisory Highlights report. “Today’s report reveals that irresponsible or mismanaged firms harmed Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We will continue to supervise firms to halt harmful practices before they become widespread.” The report, which did not name particular companies, outlined illegal actions the CFPB claims to have observed in the first half of 2021. The CFPB supervises banks with assets of more than $10 billion and some non-banks, including mortgage companies, private student lenders, and payday lenders. The report called out mortgage lenders for the following: charging delinquency-related fees to…