United States: CFPB Identifies Supervisory Issues In Consumer Reporting, Debt Collection, Mortgage Origination, Mortgage Servicing, Student Loan Servicing, And Fair Lending

Last Updated: November 12 2015
Article by Allyson B. Baker, Andy Arculin and Peter Frechette

On November 3, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or the Bureau) released its Fall 2015 Supervisory Highlights. The Bureau estimates that its supervisory activity between May 2015 and August 2015 resulted in restitution of approximately $107 million. The Bureau states that its supervisory efforts "led to or supported six recent public enforcement actions, resulting in $764.9 million being returned to consumers and $50.7 million in civil money penalties." In addition to monetary requirements, other corrective actions stemming from the CFPB's supervisory activity may include, among other things, correction of information submitted to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), creation and implementation of new policies and procedures, and cessation of particular practices.

Supervisory Focus:

The Fall 2015 Supervisory Highlights cover the Bureau's supervisory findings and observations in consumer reporting, debt collection, mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, student loan servicing, and fair lending. The CFPB also highlighted compliance with the Furnisher Rule (Regulation V) as an overarching issue that includes several of the specific supervisory focuses.

Consumer Reporting: The CFPB identified several issues pertaining to consumer reporting, including deficiencies in the policies and procedures addressing accuracy and integrity with respect to furnished information; notifying consumers regarding the results of direct disputes; inadequate adverse actions notices that "failed to include the name, address, and telephone number of the CRA that provided the information relied upon when the adverse action was taken"; and difficulty distinguishing between credit report disputes and general complaints, resulting in a failure to "monitor and track direct FCRA disputes they received from consumers and indirect FCRA disputes they received from CRAs."

Debt Collection: The CFPB noted several deficiencies in compliance with the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Furnisher Rule that raised supervisory concerns. These include:

  • Failure to state that a call is from a debt collector
  • Failure to implement consumer requests regarding communications
  • Reasonable written policies and procedures under Regulation V

Mortgage Origination:

The Bureau found that "supervised entities, in general, effectively implemented and demonstrated compliance" with the new mortgage origination rules. However, the CFPB did highlight compliance issues with these rules, as well as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), implemented by Regulation X; the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), implemented by Regulation Z; and consumer financial privacy rules, implemented by Regulation P. These compliance issues include:

  • Failure to comply with the Regulation X tolerance rules for the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and document GFE revisions
  • Failure to fully comply with requirements for completion of HUD-1 settlement statements
  • Failure to fully comply with requirements to provide homeownership counseling disclosure
  • Failure to fully comply with the requirement to provide an accurate loan servicing disclosure statement
  • Failure to fully comply with consumer financial information privacy requirements
  • Failure to require employees engaged in loan originator activities to register with the NMLSR
  • Failure to reimburse borrowers for understated APRs and finance charges

Mortgage Servicing:

Mortgage servicing represented a "continuing concern" in the CFPB's Fall 2015 Supervisory Highlights. Specific issues noted by the Bureau include:

  • Failure to maintain Regulation X-compliant servicing policies, procedures, and requirements that were reasonably designed to provide timely and accurate information, properly evaluate loss mitigation applications, and facilitate oversight of, and compliance by, service providers
  • Failure to comply with Regulation X requirements for soliciting, completing, evaluating, and notifying borrowers of the outcomes of loss mitigation applications
  • Failure to comply with the Homeowners Protection Act (HPA) requirements regarding borrower-paid private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Violating the FDCPA by charging servicing fees not allowed by the mortgage agreement or by law and by failing to comply with the FDCPA's requirements for debt validation. The CFPB noted that "[m]ortgage servicers are generally debt collectors under the FDCPA if the loan was in default at the time the servicer obtained the loan."

Student Loan Servicing:

The Bureau stated that it continues to evaluate student loan servicing, "primarily assessing whether entities have engaged in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices." According to the CFPB, "examiners have identified several unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as well as FCRA and Regulation V violations." These include:

  • Allocating partial payments
  • Issues involving payment systems
  • Misrepresentations regarding dischargeability of student loans in bankruptcy
  • Misrepresentations about late fees
  • Inadequate Furnisher Rule policies and procedures, including:
    • Policies and procedures that provide only cursory instructions to employees on how to handle investigations of consumer disputes
    • Policies and procedures that do not address internal controls, such as verifying random samples
    • Policies and procedures that do not consider periodic evaluations of the entities' practices, such as their investigations of disputed information, corrections of inaccurate information, means of communication, and other practices that may affect the accuracy or integrity of information furnished to CRAs, and procedures that do not include any documented and regular practice of reviewing exception reports from CRAs

Fair Lending:

The Fall 2015 Supervisory Highlights outlined the process of a CFPB Fair Lending exam. The Bureau noted that many reviews of statistical disparities in underwriting outcomes did not find that the disparities were attributable to race, national origin, or some other prohibited basis characteristic. However, at least one review showed that the lender's underwriting practices violated the Equal Credit Opportunities Act (ECOA).

The CFPB stated that there are a number of steps that institutions can take to limit the risk of ECOA violations due to disparate outcomes in underwriting:

  • Ensure that internal monitoring processes review underwriting practices for potential discrimination.
  • Take steps to determine root causes of any disparities, including any factors that may be having a disparate effect on a prohibited basis, whether borrowers were wrongly declined, and whether illegal discrimination may have occurred.
  • Take appropriate remedial action in the event that discrimination is identified, such as remunerating borrowers who were wrongly denied on a prohibited basis and re-offering credit.
  • Ensure that policies and procedures given to loan officers have clear guidance with respect to:
    • Making alternative product offerings to applicants and documenting the choice of a particular product
    • Applying credit standards to reach underwriting decisions, and documenting the decision-making process
    • Granting exceptions to credit standards, and documenting the justifications for the exceptions

The Supervisory Highlights provide a summary of the Bureau's enforcement action and regulatory guidance, in addition to the supervisory observations outlined above. Analysis of the Supervisory Highlights can yield insight into the CFPB's continuing regulatory and enforcement focuses.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.