InfoBytes, December 16, 2011 - A Weekly In-depth review of news & developments in the financial services industry.

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Topics In This Issue

• Federal Issues

• Courts

• Firm News

• Mortgages

• Banking

• Consumer Finance

• Privacy/Data Security

• Criminal Enforcement Action

Excerpt from Federal Issues:

CFPB Announces Whistleblower Program. On December 15, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued Bulletin 2011-05 announcing its program to collect whistleblower information and law enforcement tips. As described more fully in the Bulletin, section 1057 of the Dodd-Frank Act protects certain employees from retaliation who submit information about their employers' potential violations of the consumer financial protection laws now enforced by the CFPB. The Bureau has established for immediate use an email address and phone number for submitting whistleblower tips. In addition, the CFBP expects to make a web site portal for whistleblowers available in early 2012. In the Bulletin, the CFPB states that it "welcomes information from current or former employees of potential violators, contractors, vendors, and competitor companies."

CFPB Unveils Alternative Design for Disclosing Closing Cost Details. On December 13, the CFPB continued its effort to combine and replace the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and Truth in Lending Disclosure currently given to a borrower at closing by proposing two prototype forms for public review. (See InfoBytes, November 11, 2011 for prior related proposal.) The closing costs section in the first proposed prototype form is based on the current HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The comparable section in the second prototype form mirrors the prototype the CFPB has been testing for the disclosure consumers receive when they apply for a loan. The CFPB requests input on these two prototypes, including if one prototype better allows consumers to identify key loan terms and closing costs or if one prototype is easier for lenders to use.

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