Legal Alert

Mortgage Banking Update

by the Mortgage Banking Group
March 11, 2021

In This Issue:

For the latest updates on the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic visit the Ballard Spahr COVID-19 Resource Center

 

CFPB Proposes to Delay Mandatory Compliance Date for New General Qualified Mortgage

The CFPB has proposed to delay the mandatory compliance date for the new general qualified mortgage (QM) rule that amends the Regulation Z ability to repay/QM rule from July 1, 2021 to October 1, 2022. As previously reported, in December 2020, a little over a month before former Director Kraninger resigned, the CFPB issued two final QM rules. One rule creates the new general QM based on an annual percentage rate (APR) limit to replace the original general QM based on a strict 43% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio limit. The other final rule creates a new seasoned loan QM. Both rules became effective on March 1, 2021. Comments on the proposal are due by April 5, 2021.

Currently, lenders may use the original 43% DTI QM, the new general QM based on an APR limit, and the temporary QM based on a loan being eligible for sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which is commonly referred to as the “GSE Patch,” for applications received before July 1, 2021, and only the new general QM would be available for applications received on or after that date. If the mandatory compliance date of the new general QM rule is extended to October 1, 2022, all three QMs will be available for applications received before that date. In announcing the proposal to delay the mandatory compliance date for the new general QM, the CFPB made the following statement:

The COVID-19 pandemic has left almost 3 million American homeowners behind on their mortgages. Black and Hispanic communities, in particular, have still not recovered from the impact of the Great Recession and bear the heaviest burden of job losses under COVID-19. Forbearance plans and foreclosure moratoriums have helped many homeowners stay in their homes, but those interventions may end before either the broader economy has recovered from the impact of the pandemic or the housing market has reached a new equilibrium. The CFPB believes that an extension of the mandatory compliance date may help ensure stability and access to affordable, responsible credit in the mortgage market.

As previously reported, in late February 2021, the CFPB issued a policy statement advising that it would not delay the March 1, 2021 effective date of the new general QM rule or the seasoned loan QM rule, and that it:

  • Expects to issue shortly a proposed rule that would delay the July 1, 2021, mandatory compliance date for the new general QM rule;
  • Will consider at a later date whether to initiate a rulemaking to reconsider other aspects of the new general QM rule; and
  • Is considering whether to initiate a rulemaking to revisit the seasoned loan QM rule.

While the proposal provides for a delay of the mandatory compliance date for the new general QM rule, it does not include proposals to otherwise amend the rule, and does not address the fate of the seasoned loan QM rule.

- Richard J. Andreano, Jr.

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New York Department of Financial Services Announces Fair Lending Agreement With Nonbank Mortgage Lender and Releases Redlining Report

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Hunt Mortgage, a licensed mortgage banker, to address the DFS’s findings that there was a “demonstrable lack of lending to minorities and in majority-minority neighborhoods in Western and Central New York by Hunt Mortgage.” DFS also released a report on redlining in the Buffalo metropolitan area.

Hunt Agreement. The Agreement relates to Hunt’s residential mortgage lending practices and arises out of DFS’s review of Hunt’s HMDA data from 2016 to 2019. It recites that DFS reviewed Hunt’s fair lending policies, fair lending training materials, marketing and advertising policies, marketing efforts, marketing materials and underwriting and pricing procedures, as well as additional lending data provided by Hunt, and took testimony from Hunt officials. Although DFS found no evidence of intentional discrimination and made no finding of any fair lending violations, it did find weakness in Hunt’s fair lending and compliance programs. More specifically, it found that Hunt made no efforts to define the areas it serves, did not track marketing efforts, including where marketing materials were sent, and did not take any targeted efforts to ensure that it was serving all races and classes equally.

The Agreement sets forth steps Hunt has agreed to take “in a good faith effort” to increase its residential lending to minorities and in majority-minority neighborhoods. These steps include the following:

  • Updating Hunt’s Fair Lending Policy to (1) reflect the lending areas Hunt serves by specifically defining the lending areas it will target (Lending Area) to include certain metropolitan statistical areas, (2) include a goal of directing 25% of marketing and advertising materials to minority neighborhoods or minorities, and (3) explain how Hunt’s marketing and advertising statistics will be measured, tracked, and reported to DFS.
  • Investing $50,000 in advertising and marketing designed to reach potential applicants who reside in majority-minority census tracts in the Lending Area. Marketing shall include, at a minimum, the following components:
    • Holding quarterly outreach events for residents of majority-minority neighborhoods to inform attendees of Hunt’s products and services, with such events to be targeted at neighborhood residents, real estate brokers and agents, developers and public or private entities engaged in residential real estate-related businesses in majority-minority neighborhoods.
    • Creating point-of-distribution materials, such as posters, billboards, and brochures targeted toward minority communities to advertise Hunt’s products and services, with such materials to be displayed in Hunt’s branch offices and other appropriate locations throughout the majority-minority neighborhoods in the Lending Area.
    • Distributing advertisements by direct mail targeted to residents in majority-minority neighborhoods in the Lending Area.
    • Distributing advertisements through Hunt’s website and using other means of online advertising targeted at minority borrowers and residents of majority-minority neighborhoods in the Lending Area, such as web banner advertising, text advertising, sponsored search engine results, social media, mobile advertising, and email advertising.
    • Offering and advertising credit counseling services.
  • Implementing a consumer complaint policy, with a member of the Board of Directors appointed to review all complaints on a monthly basis and brief the Board.
  • Establishing a special finance program to provide discounted or subsidized financing on loans to minority borrowers, with the total amount of discounts and subsidies to be at least $150,000 over a three-year period.
  • Retaining an independent third party to conduct an annual audit of Hunt’s fair lending practices, general compliance efforts, and compliance with the Agreement.

The DFS redlining report discussed below confirms our understanding that DFS is pursuing fair lending investigations of at least two nonbank mortgage lenders. In the report, DFS states that it has been using HMDA data to inform fair lending investigations of other lenders who have been found to be lending overwhelmingly to white borrowers and making loans to minority borrowers and in minority-majority areas at substantially lower numbers than other institutions in the Buffalo metropolitan area. According to the report, these investigations are ongoing and DFS will announce findings as those cases are resolved. DFS notes, however that it has found that many of the companies “suffer from the same basic failing: a general lack of attention to whether they are serving the entire Buffalo community, including minorities and majority-minority neighborhoods.” DFS indicates that these companies generally “make little or no effort to obtain business in minority areas, do not have adequate fair lending compliance programs, and do not track whether or how well they are serving minority populations.”

Redlining report. Based on DFS’s analysis of HMDA data for lenders in the Buffalo market, the report includes the following findings:

  • Although minorities are about 20 percent of the Buffalo metro area’s population, only 9.74 percent of total loans made in the Buffalo market are made to minorities.
  • Nonbank mortgage lenders in the Buffalo market lent at lower rates in majority-minority neighborhoods than depository institutions did.

The report includes the following recommendations:

  • New York’s Community Reinvestment Act only applies to banks. Because a majority of loans nationwide are made by nonbank mortgage lenders, a substantial portion of the mortgage lending market is exempt from CRA requirements. Accordingly, New York’s CRA should be amended to apply to nonbank mortgage lenders.
  • New York’s Department of State should conduct an investigation of real estate agents who make referrals to nonbank lenders to determine whether the agents are engaged in any prohibited discriminatory activity that could be affecting mortgage lending patterns.

- Christopher J. Willis & Richard J. Andreano, Jr.

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FHFA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratoriums, Maximum Forbearance Term, and COVID-19 Payment Deferral Scope

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced February 25, 2021, the extension of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moratorium on single family foreclosures from March 31, 2021, to June 30, 2021. The moratorium on evictions from single family homes owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac also is extended until June 30, 2021. The announcement does not address evictions from multi-family properties subject to a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. The extensions are consistent with the recent extensions of the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums until June 30, 2021, for Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs single family home loan borrowers.

FHFA also announced an extension of the maximum COVID-19 forbearance period from 15 months to 18 months for borrowers in a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021. Additionally, FHFA announced that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac COVID-19 Payment Deferrals can now cover up to 18 months of missed payments.

Fannie Mae addresses the changes in updates to Lender Letter 2021-02 and Lender Letter 2021-07, and Freddie Mac addresses the changes in Bulletin 2021-8. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac advise that the foreclosure moratorium does not apply to properties determined to be vacant or abandoned.

- Richard J. Andreano, Jr.

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This Week’s Podcast: The Times at the CFPB Are A-Changing: Perspectives on the CFPB Under Acting Director David Uejio and Director Rohit Chopra—Part II

In Part II of our two-part podcast, we discuss how we expect Rohit Chopra, if confirmed by the Senate, to approach his new role as CFPB Director. We look at the possible implications of positions taken by Mr. Chopra as FTC Commissioner for how he will use the CFPB’s statutory authorities, his likely approach to student lending based on his tenure as CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman, and how his approach to enforcement is likely to differ from that of former Director Kraninger.

Ballard Spahr attorney Alan Kaplinsky hosts the conversation, with Chris Willis, Co-Chair of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, John Culhane, a partner in the Group, and Heather Klein, an associate in the Group.

Click here to listen to the podcast. (To listen to Part I of our podcast in which we are joined by special guest former CFPB Director Richard Cordray, click here.)

- Barbara S. Mishkin

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CFPB Likely to Delay Mandatory Compliance Date of New General QM Rule and May Reconsider Seasoned QM Rule

The CFPB recently issued a policy statement addressing the rules finalized near the end of former Director Kraninger’s tenure that amend the Regulation Z ability to repay rule/qualified mortgage (QM) requirements to replace the strict 43% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio basis for the current general QM with an annual percentage rate (APR) limit, and to create a new seasoned loan QM. As previously reported, Acting Director Uejio generated speculation regarding the fate of the rules, which each have a March 1, 2021 effective date, when he made public a statement that he sent to the staff of the CFPB’s Division of Research, Markets, and Regulations (RMR) outlining his regulatory priorities and directing staff to “explore options for preserving the status quo with respect to QM and debt collection rules.”

While the CFPB will not change the March 1, 2021, effective date of the rules, in the policy statement the CFPB advises that it:

  • Expects to issue shortly a proposed rule that would delay the July 1, 2021, mandatory compliance date for the new general QM rule;
  • Will consider at a later date whether to initiate a rulemaking to reconsider other aspects of the new general QM rule; and
  • Is considering whether to initiate a rulemaking to revisit the seasoned loan QM rule.

Currently, (1) both the current general QM based on a 43% DTI ratio and the temporary QM based on a loan being eligible for sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which is commonly referred to as the “GSE Patch,” remain available for applications received by creditors through June 30, 2021, (2) the new general QM becomes available for applications received on or after March 1, 2021, and (3) for applications received on or after July 1, 2021, the new general QM remains available and the current general QM and the GSE Patch are no longer available. The CFPB advises in the policy statement that if it delays the July 1, 2021 mandatory compliance date for the new general QM rule, creditors would be able to originate loans under the current and new general QM rules until the delayed mandatory compliance date, and it anticipates that the GSE Patch will remain available until the delayed mandatory compliance date, unless Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exit conservatorship before then.

In a related blog post, Acting Director Uejio notes that because of the economic hardship and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFPB must do all it can to protect homeowners and promote stability in the housing market. He also advised that the CFPB plan to delay the July 1, 2021, mandatory compliance date for the new general QM rule is intended “to ensure consumers have the options they need during the pandemic and financial crisis it has caused, as well as to provide maximum flexibility to the market . . . .” He also notes that “[a]n extension of the compliance deadline would allow lenders more time in which they could make QM loans based on a debt-to-income ratio or whether the loans are eligible for sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and not just a pricing cut off.”

With regard to the seasoned loan QM rule, the CFPB advises in the policy statement that if it decides to revisit the rule, it expects that it will consider in that rulemaking whether any potential final rule revoking or amending the rule should affect covered transactions for which an application was received during the period of time from March 1, 2021, until the effective date of the final rule. This statement likely will have a chilling effect on companies that intended to rely on the seasoned loan QM rule for applications received on or after March 1, 2021.

The policy statement is scheduled for publication in the February 26, 2021, Federal Register. In addition to issuing the policy statement, the CFPB also issued a revised version of the Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule Small Entity Compliance Guide, which reflects the new general QM and seasoned loan QM rules.

- Richard J. Andreano, Jr.

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Acting CFPB Director Uejio’s Blog Post on Consumer Complaint Responses and Potential Racial Disparities: Is Your Company’s Handling of Complaints Ready for Scrutiny by the “New CFPB?”

We first review recent studies finding racial disparities in connection with consumer complaints and look at the methodology used for those studies and its limitations. We then discuss how the CFPB uses complaint data, the risks faced by companies that are the subject of complaints, and the key components of an effective complaint management system that companies should have in place.

Ballard Spahr attorney Alan Kaplinsky hosts the conversation, with Chris Willis, Co-Chair of the firm’s Consumer Financial Services Practice Group, and Lori Sommerfield, Of Counsel and a member of the Group.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

- Barbara S. Mishkin

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Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on Chopra Nomination

Despite expectations to the contrary, Rohit Chopra faced little in the way of hostile questioning by Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee at the hearing yesterday on his nomination by President Biden as CFPB Director. It is possible Republican members took a less aggressive approach in questioning Mr. Chopra in order to devote more of their time to probing the views of Gary Gensler, President Biden’s nominee for SEC Chairman, whose confirmation hearing was held together with Mr. Chopra’s hearing.

In response to questions from several Senators about student loans, Mr. Chopra stressed the need for the CFPB to ensure that student loan servicers are meeting their obligations when dealing with distressed borrowers, such as honoring debt forgiveness rights and providing access to income-driven repayment plans and other federal student loan protections. He indicated that servicers should be proactive to avoid what he described as an impending “avalanche of defaults” when pandemic-related payment moratoriums expire. He also commented that while the CFPB has a major role to play in this area, it should work cooperatively with the Education Department, state attorneys general, and state regulators that license student loan servicers. Mr. Chopra similarly noted the need for the CFPB to work more closely with the Department of Justice and state AGs to enforce SCRA and MLA protections for members of the military and their families and for mortgage servicers to be prepared to avoid another foreclosure crisis as a result of forbearances “that can flip to foreclosures.”

Mr. Chopra’s responses to several questions reinforce our expectation that the CFPB will significantly ramp up its enforcement activity under his leadership. In response to a question from a Republican Senator asking whether Mr. Chopra would engage in rulemaking on the meaning of “abusive” before using the CFPB’s UDAAP authority, Mr. Chopra acknowledged the potential usefulness of rulemaking but resisted the Senator’s suggestion that a rule was necessary for the CFPB to enforce the UDAAP prohibition. When asked by another Republican Senator if he intended to reinstate the CFPB’s “rulemaking through enforcement” approach under former Director Cordray, Mr. Chopra committed to make the CFPB’s expectations clear to market participants but also highlighted the leveling effect of the CFPB’s enforcement authority for those who are operating lawfully in the marketplace.

Mr. Chopra also defended various dissents that he has written as an FTC Commissioner in which he objected to settlements based on the FTC’s failure to impose larger financial penalties. He stressed the need for fraudsters to be accountable to consumers and indicated that restitution is critical for remedying wrongdoing, particularly where the wrongdoer is a large company, and that remedying consumer harm should be the focus of enforcement. He criticized the FTC for targeting small entities and not applying equal scrutiny to larger entities.

With regard to fair lending, Mr. Chopra also criticized the FTC for not bringing ECOA enforcement actions and expressed the view that agencies with ECOA enforcement authority have an obligation to use that authority. He indicated that the CFPB’s Office of Fair Lending should play a critical role in the CFPB’s enforcement of the ECOA.

Other noteworthy comments made by Mr. Chopra included:

  • Credit reporting and debt collection are among the areas presenting the greatest risks to consumers and enforcement is needed to stop unlawful practices.
  • He plans to use consumer complaints and supervision to guide enforcement activity.
  • He has an “open mind” regarding how the CFPB’s QM rules should be revised, noting that consumer protection needs to be balanced with access to mortgages.
  • With regard to small dollar credit, he acknowledged the need for consumers to have access to small dollar credit but also stressed the need for consumers to have faster access to their own money.
  • It is critical that the CFPB use its enforcement authority to protect small businesses.

Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown asked Committee members to submit any questions for the record by March 8 as he wants to “move quickly” on the nominations.

On March 8, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET, Ballard Spahr will hold a webinar, “CFPB Rulemaking Under the Biden Administration: What’s On the Agenda?” For more information and to register, click here.

- Christopher J. Willis

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Senate Banking Committee Releases Prepared Statement of CFPB Director Nominee Rohit Chopra

In advance of his confirmation hearing tomorrow, the Senate Banking Committee has released the prepared statement of Rohit Chopra, President Biden’s nominee for CFPB Director.

The brief statement highlights several areas on which Mr. Chopra is likely to focus his attention as CFPB Director. He raises concern about the financial difficulties faced by consumers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the housing market, and observes that “[e]xperts expect distress across a number of consumer credit markets, including an avalanche of loan defaults and auto repossessions.”

Mr. Chopra raises racial equity concerns twice in his statement. He indicates that there is a need for “fair and effective oversight” in the mortgage market, to “promote a resilient and competitive financial sector, and address the systematic inequities faced by families of color.” He also observes that individuals living in communities of color are particularly at risk of losing their homes due to financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.

Other areas highlighted by Mr. Chopra are credit reporting and debt collection. He indicates that consumers “continue to discover serious errors on their credit reports or feel forced to make payments to debt collectors on bills they already paid or never owed to begin with, including for medical treatment related to Covid-19.” He characterizes these issues as “longstanding, pervasive problems.”

Surprisingly, despite his focus on student loans during his previous tenure at the CFPB, Mr. Chopra did not mention student lending in his statement.

- Christopher J. Willis

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OCC Files Reply in Support of Its Motion for Summary Judgment in Lawsuit Challenging Madden-fix Rule

The OCC has filed a reply in support of its cross-motion for summary judgment in the lawsuit filed by state AGs to enjoin the OCC’s final rule (Rule) purporting to override the Second Circuit’s Madden decision as to national banks and federal savings associations. The filing of the OCC’s reply concludes the briefing on the motions for summary judgment filed by the AGs and the OCC. A hearing on the motions is scheduled for March 19, 2021.

The OCC’s reply is its first filing in the case since President Biden’s inauguration. The OCC is currently under the leadership of Acting Comptroller of the Currency Blake Paulson. Mr. Paulson, the OCC’s Chief Operating Officer, became Acting Comptroller on January 14, 2021 upon the resignation of Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks. President Biden has not yet nominated a new Comptroller of the Currency. While we have speculated that a new Comptroller might want to revisit the Rule, that now seems unlikely in light of the OCC’s decision to continue to defend the Rule in the new filing rather than seek an extension to give the new Comptroller an opportunity to review the litigation.

In its new filing, the OCC makes the following principal arguments:

  • The AGs’ argument that the OCC does not have authority to issue the Rule because it would regulate the interest rate a non-bank can charge after a bank transfers a loan lacks merit. This argument relies on the AGs’ mischaracterization of the Rule as preempting state interest rate caps for non-bank buyers of national bank loans. Contrary to the AGs’ characterization, the Rule interprets Section 85 of the National Bank Act (NBA) which incorporates, rather than eliminates, state law. The Rule regulates the conduct of national banks when they transfer loans by clarifying a statutory ambiguity in the interest rate authority of national banks.
  • The AGs incorrectly assert that the Rule must preempt state law because Section 85 affects the applicability of certain state laws. Rather than preempt state law, the Rule interprets the substantive meaning of Section 85 by clarifying the scope of federal authority granted by Section 85. As a result, the NBA provision (Section 25b) that establishes a standard for OCC preemption determinations does not apply.
  • The AGs incorrectly assert that the Rule overrides the plain language of Section 85 and 12 U.S.C. §1463 because those provisions, respectively, speak only to interest that a national bank or federal savings association may charge. The narrow reading of these provisions urged by the AGs overlooks the relationship of these provisions to other provisions of federal banking law and case law that underscore the ambiguity of these provisions on their applicability to loan sales.
  • The AGs incorrectly assert that a specific delegation of authority from Congress is needed for the OCC to promulgate a rule regulating interest charged by non-bank buyers of national bank loans. The absence of language in Section 85 regarding loan buyers constitutes an implicit delegation of Congressional authority to the OCC to interpret this statutory gap, particularly when viewed in conjunction with national banks’ recognized authority to make and assign contracts, the NBA’s deliberate facilitation of interstate lending, longstanding common law principles affirming the assignability of loan contracts, and the OCC’s history of issuing regulations interpreting Section 85’s substantive scope.
  • The Rule does not authorize the transfer of preemption to non-banks. Section 85 determines the rate of interest a national bank can charge on a loan it makes. The interest rate is reflected in the loan agreement. Following legal precedent and historical practice, the OCC has concluded that when a national bank transfers a loan agreement, the transferee steps into the shoes of the bank and can enforce the terms of the loan agreement. A non-bank obtains no national bank powers as a result of holding a loan originated by a national bank. Instead, the Rule simply confirms the concept that the originally-agreed upon interest rate, reflected in the loan contract, endures after assignment.
  • The OCC Rule is not arbitrary and capricious because it is based on speculation and contradicted by evidence in the record. Rather, it is supported by record evidence and the OCC’s supervisory experiences. The Administrative Procedure Act does (APA) not require the OCC to develop and rely on detailed statistical evidence as part of the rulemaking process. The APA only requires an agency to justify a rule with a reasoned explanation. The OCC’s concerns about Madden’s negative impact on credit markets provided a reasoned explanation for the Rule.
  • The Rule is not arbitrary and capricious due to the OCC’s failure to consider relevant factors as required by the APA. Contrary to the AGs’ assertion that the OCC failed to consider the Rule’s impact on facilitating predatory lending arrangements between national banks and non-banks, the OCC did acknowledge and consider this concern. However, in balancing the policy considerations, the OCC concluded it was reasonable to issue the Rule.

The OCC’s final “true lender” rule has also been challenged by a group of state AGs in a lawsuit filed in January 2021 in a New York federal district court. In its reply brief, the OCC distinguishes the “true lender” rule from its Madden-fix rule, noting that the Madden-fix rule only applies when a bank is the “true lender.” The OCC states that, “[a]ccordingly, the [Madden-fix] Rule and the “True Lender” rule stand on their own merit.”

- Jeremy T. Rosenblum

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NYDFS Penalizes Mortgage Company for Cyber Breach

On March 3rd, the New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) announced a settlement with Residential Mortgage Services, Inc. (“RMS”) to resolve allegations that RMS violated the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation relating to a 2019 cyber breach.

In July 2020, NYDFS conducted an examination of RMS as a licensed mortgage banker. During the examination, NYDFS uncovered evidence that allegedly revealed that RMS had been subject to a cyber breach that had not been reported to NYDFS.

This cyber breach allegedly arose when a RMS employee clicked on a hyperlink in a phishing email that falsely appeared to originate from a RMS business partner. The RMS employee provided her email credentials to the malicious website opened by the hyperlink, which compromised the employee’s email account, which contained “a substantial amount of sensitive personal data from mortgage loan.” Although RMS had implemented multifactor authentication, the RMS employee also facilitated the unauthorized access by clicking her approval in response to an access alert from the MFA application on her mobile device.

NYDFS criticized the company for failing to fully investigate the cyber breach and for failing to provide notification of the breach to consumers and state agencies, such as NYDFS. NYDFS also criticized RMS’s failure to conduct comprehensive cybersecurity risk assessments as required by the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation. For these failures, NYDFS imposed a $1.5 million penalty.

The NYDFS press release about this enforcement action is available here. A copy of the NYDFS consent order is available here.

- Kim Phan

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CFPB Recruiting Enforcement Attorneys From Other Federal Agencies

Providing further confirmation that the CFPB plans to ramp up its enforcement efforts under its new leadership, the CFPB is recruiting one or more attorneys from other federal agencies to work in its Office of Enforcement. The position is described as a detail for 6 months, with a possible option to extend, in which the attorney would keep his or her position of record at the other agency while serving on the detail.

The posting follows a blog post published last month by Acting Director Uejio in which he announced that the Bureau has launched “an effort to recruit attorneys at all experience levels to join our team.” The Bureau’s job posting (which was linked to Mr. Uejio’s blog post) stated that the Bureau “is currently working to ramp up the vigor of our oversight of consumer financial laws.” It included all of the Bureau’s attorney groups, including the Offices of Enforcement, Regulations, Supervision Policy, Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, and the Legal Division.

- Christopher J. Willis

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Did You Know?

New Jersey Publishes Guidance for Mortgage Servicers Submitting Annual Reports

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance recently issued Bulletin No. 21-05, which includes an Annual Report Worksheet, to provide guidance to Mortgage Servicer licensees and registrants about the process and requirements for filing the Annual Report and Mortgage Call Reports with the Department for all residential mortgage loan servicing business conducted in the state.

The Annual Report must be submitted to the Department by April 1, 2021, and Mortgage Call Reports are submitted to the Department through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) on a quarterly basis.

The Bulletin also advises that Mortgage Servicer licensees are required to upload an unqualified, audited financial statement through the NMLS within 90 days of the licensee’s fiscal year end.

- Aileen Ng

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Looking Ahead

Rohit Chopras Testimony Before the Senate Banking Committee
A Ballard Spahr Webinar | March 17, 2021, 12:00 PM ET
Speakers: Alan. S. Kaplinsky, Christopher J. Willis, Richard J. Andreano, Jr., Stefanie H. Jackman & Mindy Harris

ACUMA Lightning Rounds The Qualified Mortgage Quandary – Where Things Stand Now and What Can We Expect
Webinar | March 23, 2021, 2:00 PM ET
Speaker: Richard J. Andreano, Jr.
MBA Event

The QM Delay and What To Do Now
Webinar | March 30, 2021, 3:00 PM ET
Speaker: Richard J. Andreano, Jr.

RESPRO28 Conference
Virtual | April 8, 2021
Credit Reporting Under the CARES Act
Speaker: Kim Phan

CCPA to CPRA - Enhancing Privacy Compliance Systems
Speaker: Kim Phan
Moderator: John D. Socknat

The Twin Challenge of 2021- Compliance and COVID
Speaker: Richard J. Andreano, Jr.

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