The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finally put to rest questions around the requirements of independent agencies under President Donald Trump's recent presidential memorandum and executive order.

Dominic Mancini, acting administrator of the OIRA, put out a memorandum giving interim guidance on implementing Trump's executive order on Jan. 30 titled "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs." One of the questions in the memorandum was "Do Section 2's requirements apply to significant regulatory actions of independent agencies?"

The short answer: no.

The biggest housing-related independent agency caught in the confusion is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, especially since there are two major housing regulations—a final rule on the CFPB's TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, and a final mortgage servicing rule implementation date— in motion right now that could be frozen.

Richard Andreano, practice leader of Ballard Spahr's Mortgage Banking Group, explained in an interview that he thinks the CFPB will now move ahead on rule-making as usual as they believe that is their mission to do.

Andreano added that the bureau is an interesting situation in the mortgage area when it comes to Dodd-Frank. "With that many rules, there will be a need for fixes and clarification. A lot of what they are doing is fixing the original rule. And with that, there are some burdens and some benefits. It's not that we don't want some of these rules," he said.

The calcification, however, only addresses the main confusion around whether the CFPB must adhere to Trump's recent regulation orders. There are a lot of variables around the CFPB that are up still for grabs, including a ruling from the court on rehearing the case between PHH and the CFPB and a possible act coming out that would turn the head of the CFPB into a political appointee who can be dismissed at will.