InfoBytes, June 4, 2010 - Weekly In-depth review of news & developments in the financial services industry

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Topics In This Issue

• Federal Issues

• State Issues

• Courts

• Firm News

• Mortgages

• Banking

• Consumer Finance

• Litigation

• E-Financial Services

• Privacy/Data Security

• Credit Cards

Excerpt from "Federal Issues"

HUD Issues ANPR on RESPA’s “Required Use” Prohibition. On June 3, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to seek public comment on complaints that homebuilders are offering homebuyers discounts and upgrades in exchange for agreeing to use the homebuilder’s affiliated mortgage lender without giving the homebuyers adequate time to research the contract or to seek other offers of credit. According to HUD, the requested comments may be used to inform a future revision or clarification of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA), which prohibits the “required use” of an affiliated settlement service provider. In particular, HUD seeks comments on (i) how to structure the “required use “rule so that it proscribes only those affiliate arrangements that harm consumers, (ii) the effects of forward loan commitments purchased by homebuilders from mortgage lenders, (iii) how the pricing and appraisal value of a home is affected when a homebuyer receives incentives from a homebuilder, (iv) state and local enforcement agencies’ experiences with affiliate arrangements, (v) the benefits of the “one-stop shopping” option that affiliate arrangements provide to homebuyers, and (vi) the distinction between providing a homebuyer with an incentive to use a particular mortgage lender and providing a disincentive against using any other mortgage lender. Comments are due by September 1, 2010.

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