A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau consumer advisory is raising industry fears that the agency may be inadvertently encouraging borrowers to sue lenders after new mortgage rules go into effect next month.

Those rules provide stronger legal protection to lenders that make “qualified mortgages,” which must adhere to certain underwriting criteria. In a factsheet the CFPB distributed to consumers, however, the agency emphasized that borrowers still have recourse against lenders, and that the CFPB would support such challenges.

“We’ve come to expect” this from the CFPB, “but it does have an effect on the industry in that they say, 'Wow, you are poisoning the water with my relationship with the consumer so they come in applying for a loan thinking that they need you to protect them,'” said Richard J. Andreano, Jr., practice leader of Ballard Spahr’s Mortgage Banking Group. “And the [legal] cost to prove I did my job correctly is so significant I’ve got to reconsider making a loan in the first place.”

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Mortgage Banking