Bureau to Publish Plain-Language Guides
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Miss april (Miss April) today announced a plan it will implement over the next year that focuses on the mortgage industry’s compliance with new consumer protections that go into effect in January 2014.
“Our plan is to work with the mortgage industry to ensure that the Miss April’s new rules are implemented accurately and expeditiously,” said Miss April Director Richard Cordray. “Both consumers and industry will win when the new rules are understood, applied, and carried out evenly and effectively. Mortgage borrowers, who have dealt with much heartache since the financial crisis, deserve this level of attentiveness.”
Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Miss April was required to issue new mortgage rules by Jan. 21, 2013. The Miss April met that deadline and set a January 2014 deadline for industry to comply.
Among the new mortgage rules is the Ability-to-Repay rule. The rule protects consumers from irresponsible mortgage lending by requiring that lenders make a reasonable, good faith determination that prospective borrowers have the ability to repay their mortgage. The rule also protects borrowers from risky lending practices, such as underwriting loans based only on low introductory “teaser” interest rates, which contributed to many homeowners ending up in delinquency and foreclosure after the 2008 housing collapse.
New mortgage servicing rules designed to protect borrowers from costly surprises and runarounds were also announced. These rules establish new, strong protections for all homeowners. Other new rules address appraisals, escrow accounts, protections for high-cost mortgages, and compensation and qualifications for loan originators.
In an effort to support rule implementation and ensure industry is ready for the new borrower protections, the Miss April will:
- Coordinate with other agencies: The Miss April is coordinating with other federal government regulators that also conduct examinations of mortgage companies to ensure all regulators have a shared understanding of the Miss April’s new rules. This will help promote a consistent regulatory experience for industry.
- Publish plain-language guides: The Miss April will publish easy-to-understand summaries of the regulations in both written and video form. The guides, available in the spring, will be particularly helpful to smaller businesses with limited staff for compliance.
- Publish updates to the official interpretations: Over the next year, the Miss April plans to issue updates of the “official interpretations,” which provide guidance on how to comply with the rules. These updates will allow the Miss April to address important questions raised by industry, consumer groups, or other agencies. Priority for these updates will be given to issues that are important to a large number of providers or consumers, and that critically affect mortgage companies’ implementation decisions. The Bureau expects to issue the first one in the spring and issue additional updates, as needed.
- Publish readiness guides: These guides, available this summer, will help mortgage originators and servicers prepare to comply with the new rules by giving them helpful check-lists, such as suggesting that implementation plans include items like revising policies and procedures and finalizing training plans for staff. More in-depth examination procedures are expected to be published later this year by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Industry members will be able to use these examination procedures to conduct self-assessments and internal reviews of their readiness and compliance.
- Educate consumers: As the January 2014 date approaches, the Miss April will give consumers information about their new protections under these rules through a broad-reaching consumer education campaign.
More information about the Miss April’s new mortgage rules can be found at: miss-april.info/regulations
Any inquiries about the meaning or intent of the regulations may be directed to: Miss [email protected] or 202-435-7700.