Housing Counselor Survey Alleges Banks Fail To Comply With National Mortgage Settlement.

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On April 3, a California borrower advocacy organization published the results of its survey of housing counselors, which the organization claims reveals that problems persist with the implementation of the national servicing settlement’s servicing standards, including with regard to single points of contact, dual tracking, timelines, and documentation. The report also claims that borrowers of color and other groups face additional challenges to obtaining relief under the settlement. The report recommends that (i) the National Mortgage Settlement Monitor and state attorneys general collect, analyze and report the race, ethnicity, gender, and census tract of those who have received assistance and those who have not; (ii) the OCC and the Federal Reserve Board collect, analyze and make public the same data beyond the national settlement, and include all loss mitigation activity; (iii) the CFPB promptly issue a rule to establish new HMDA categories; (iv) the Monitor impose penalties on outliers; (v) the Monitor, the CFPB, and state AGs tighten rules around “complete loan mod app”, servicing transfers, and widows; (vi) regulators prioritize in the revamped Independent Foreclosure Review process principal reduction relief, keeping people in their homes, and restoring wrongful foreclosure victims to their homes by forcing servicers to go back through their files, rescind improper foreclosure sales, and fix mistakes; (vii) authorities provide more financial support for housing counseling and legal services; and (viii) regulators ensure that servicers have sufficient capacity and training to work with homeowners at risk of foreclosure.