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Top Story Lending Related


DoD MLA website due for maintenance

A message on the Department of Defense's Military Lending Act website states that the MLA service will be unavailable from 2–5 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday, April 29, due to scheduled maintenance.


Bureau sues four online lenders

The CFPB has filed a complaint against four online lenders – Golden Valley Lending, Inc., Silver Cloud Financial, Inc., Mountain Summit Financial, Inc., and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc. – for deceiving consumers by collecting debt that the consumers did not legally owe. In the complaint, the CFPB alleges that the four lenders could not legally collect on these debts because the loans were void under state laws governing interest rate caps or the licensing of lenders. The CFPB also alleges that the lenders made deceptive demands and illegally took money from consumer bank accounts for debts that consumers did not legally owe. The CFPB seeks to stop the unlawful practices, recoup relief for harmed consumers, and impose a penalty.

The Bureau's complaint states that the four companies are owned and incorporated by the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Indian Tribe, whose Rancheria is located in California.


CFPB releases strategies for promoting mortgage industry diversity and inclusion

The CFPB has released a report summarizing strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion used by mortgage industry participants. It highlights the business case for diversity along with current approaches and practices used in the mortgage industry, such as establishing buy-in from top leadership, integrating principles of inclusion in recruiting and hiring, and the importance of data in assessing the impact of diversity on keeping organizations competitive. The report is the result of the CFPB’s collaboration with the financial services industry to raise awareness of the importance of strengthening diversity and inclusion within organizations.


March mortgage rates decrease

The FHFA Index for March 2017 shows that nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages decreased from February to March, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.

  • The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders Index was 4.12 percent for loans closed in late March, down 15 basis points from 4.27 percent in February.
  • The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.12 percent, down 13 basis points from 4.25 in February.
  • The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $424,100 or less was 4.24 percent, down 17 basis points from 4.41 in February.
  • The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.25 percent in March, down 13 basis points from 4.38 in February. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.
  • The average loan amount for all loans was $312,700 in March, up $11,100 from $301,600 in February.


IRS seeking comments on 1098 filings

The Internal Revenue Service has published [82 FR 19455] in today's Federal Register a notice and request for comments concerning the Mortgage Interest Statement -- Form 1098. In the notice, the IRS noted that the form has been altered to add information on the mortgage's outstanding principal balance and origination date, and information on the mortgaged property.


CFPB sets field hearing on small business lending

The CFPB Events page includes an announcement of a May 10, 2017, field hearing in Los Angeles about small business lending. The hearing, scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. in Los Angeles), will be open to members of the public who register for the event no later than 10 a.m. EDT on May 10, and will be webcast live. Additional information can be found on the registration page for the hearing.

Because Bureau field hearings are often held in conjunction with related announcements from the agency, there is a possibility that Director Cordray will announce progress toward a rulemaking under Dodd-Frank Act section 1071 to require financial institutions to collect and maintain data related to credit applications from women- or minority-owned businesses and small businesses.


Bureau releases Supervisory Highlights

The Bureau has released the Spring 2017 issue of Supervisory Highlights, announcing that its recent supervisory work has found that some student loan and mortgage servicers are violating the law by failing to provide struggling borrowers with legal protections. CFPB examiners found that some student loan servicers failed to refund charges imposed on borrowers who had been wrongly denied the right to defer payments while enrolled in school. The report also found that some mortgage servicers did not deliver the required foreclosure protections to borrowers seeking to save their homes, mishandled escrow accounts, and sent incomplete bills. The report also announced that non-public supervisory activities have led to the recovery of about $6.1 million for 16,000 consumers harmed by auto loan originators.


Bureau penalizes SNAAC for violating 2015 order

The CFPB took another swipe at SNAAC - - Security National Automotive Acceptance Company -- with a consent order that the Ohio-based auto lender specializing in loans to servicemembers pay an additional $1.25 million in penalties for noncompliance with an October 28, 2015, CFPB Administrative Order. According to the Bureau's press release the CFPB determined that SNAAC failed to provide more than $1 million in refunds and credits due under the earlier order to more than 1,000 consumers. In 2015, SNAAC paid a $1 million civil penalty and was supposed to make approximately $2.28 million in redress payments. Yesterday's CFPB press release reports that SNAAC treated accounts that were settled-in-full as having a positive account balance instead of providing refunds. These "account credits" were worthless to consumers who no longer owed SNAAC money and couldn't use the credits toward another loan with SNAAC, said the Bureau. SNAAC gave consumers whose accounts were discharged in bankruptcy the same worthless-credit treatment.

To ensure that the yet-to-be-completed redress payments will be properly delivered, the Bureau has now ordered SNAAC to pay the funds to the Bureau for redistribution to the consumers involved, along with a fee of $75,000 to the Bureau to cover the Bureau's costs involved. In addition, SNAAC must pay an additional civil money penalty of $1.25 million to the Bureau's Civil Penalty Fund. For additional information, see "CFPB hits SNAAC with another $1.25M CMP," in our Penalty Pages.

A SNAAC statement released yesterday reports that the settlement with the Bureau "resolves a disagreement between SNAAC and the CFPB over the interpretation of part of a Consent Order issued by the Bureau in October 2015," and that SNAAC agreed to the settlement "to close the matter and move forward in serving customers in the respectful, honorable manner that has been the company's tradition."


Student loan complaints focus of CFPB monthly summary

The CFPB complaint snapshot for April 2017 highlights consumer complaints about student loans. The April summary shows that both private and federal student loan borrowers nationwide report persistent servicing breakdowns that may sideline their path to repayment. The report's geographic focus for April was on complaints coming from Nevada.


U.S. Bank assessed $15M CMP for bankruptcy filing violations

The OCC has issued a consent order for the assessment of a $15 million civil money penalty against U.S. Bank National Association for bankruptcy filing violations. The OCC found that, between 2009 and 2014, the bank engaged in filing practices in bankruptcy courts with respect to proofs of claim, payment change notices, and post-petition fees, among others, that did not comply with bankruptcy rules and constituted unsafe or unsound banking practices. In addition to the civil money penalty, U.S. Bank has made or will make about $29 million in remediation payments to approximately 22,000 account holders.


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