Infobytes - August 17 2012 - A Weekly In-depth review of news & developments in the financial services industry.










Excerpt From Federal Issues:

CFPB Proposes Mortgage Originator Compensation and Qualification Rule. On August 17, the CFPB proposed the latest rule in a series of mortgage-related rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. This proposal seeks to amend regulations regarding upfront points and fees and loan originator compensation, and to implement other Dodd-Frank Act provisions regarding mortgage credit. Generally, for closed-end mortgages, the rule would prohibit a creditor or mortgage broker from imposing upfront points or fees unless the creditor or broker first offers the consumer an alternative loan with no such fees (a zero-zero alternative). If the upfront fees are passed on to independent third parties, or if the consumer is unlikely to qualify for the alternative loan, this requirement would not be triggered. The proposal provides separate safe harbors for transactions that involve mortgage brokers and those that do not. The rule also would refine an existing ban on loan originator commissions to allow reductions in compensation to cover certain increases in closing costs and to clarify when a factor used as a basis for compensation is prohibited as a "proxy." Also with regard to compensation, the rule proposes to revise restrictions on pooled compensation and to amend the general ban on compensation of originators by both parties. Additionally, the CFPB seeks to (i) establish originator qualification requirements, (ii) restrict agreements that require consumer disputes to be resolved through mandatory arbitration, and (iii) prohibit the financing of premiums for credit insurance. The CFPB is accepting comments through October 16, 2012 and plans to finalize the rule by January 2013.

Federal Regulators Propose New Appraisal Rules. On August 15, the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, the FDIC, the NCUA, the FHFA, and the CFPB proposed new appraisal requirements for certain "higher-risk loans." The new requirements apply to loans for which the APR exceeds the average market rate by 1.5 percent for first-lien loans, 2.5 percent for first-lien jumbo loans, and 3.5 percent for subordinate-lien loans. The proposal exempts loans that are considered "qualified mortgages" as defined under a separate CFPB rulemaking to implement TILA section 129C, as well as reverse mortgages and loans secured by manufactured homes. The rule would implement amendments to TILA under the Dodd-Frank Act that require creditors to meet certain appraisal conditions before making a higher-risk loan. A creditor would have to obtain a written appraisal from a certified or licensed appraiser that is based on a physical property visit of the interior of the property. At application, the creditor would have to issue a disclosure stating the purpose of the appraisal, that the creditor will provide the applicant a copy of any written appraisal, and that the applicant may choose to have a separate appraisal conducted at his or her own expense. The creditor also would have to provide the borrower with a free copy of any written appraisals at least three business days before closing. Additional appraisal requirements would apply under certain circumstances.

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