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Thursday, July 31, 2014

House Committee Approves Regulatory Relief Bills

The House Financial Services Committee has approved three ABA-supported regulatory relief bills. The committee yesterday voted 44-9 to pass H.R. 4042— introduced by Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) — which would delay the implementation of Basel III’s rules on mortgage servicing assets until a thorough study documents the effects on banks’ retention of servicing rights for mortgages they originate.

The panel also voted 31-23 to approve Luetkemeyer’s H.R. 5148, which would ease appraisal rules on mortgages of $250,000 or less to keep those loans more affordable. On Tuesday it approved by a voice vote H.R. 3240, which calls for the Government Accountability Office to study the effects on consumers of Regulation D’s monthly limits on savings account withdrawals.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CFPB Launches New Financial Education Tools

The CFPB announced its partnership with national and local organizations to train social services staff to provide financial education and tools to clients with low-to-moderate incomes. Along with training guides, the CFPB has released a new online toolkit called Your Money, Your Goals, a guide to financial decision making that covers topics such as budgeting daily expenses, managing debt and avoiding financial tricks and traps.

Topics in the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit include:

  • Making spending decisions that help reach goals
  • Ordering and fixing credit reports
  • Avoiding tricks and traps in choosing financial products
  • Making decisions about repaying debts and taking on new debt
  • Keeping track of income and bills
  • Deciding whether to open a checking account and understanding what’s needed to open one

The bureau said the toolkit has been tested by 1,400 case managers at 26 organizations in 21 states.

Read more.

ABA Seeks Clarifications on CFPB Servicing Rule

ABA wrote to the CFPB seeking clarifications on several mortgage servicing rule questions bankers face.

Specifically, ABA asked how the bureau’s 120-day delinquency threshold applies to rolling delinquencies, when a delinquent borrower resumes making scheduled payments but never becomes current on the loan. ABA also sought clarification on the periodic statement requirement for loans that have been charged off, and it urged the bureau to adopt its interim final rule on exceptions for bankruptcies as proposed.

Finally, ABA urged the bureau to issue clarifications that will not require major systems modifications, as banks continue to test new systems for the mortgage rules that took effect in January and prepare for the TILA-RESPA integration next year.

Read the letter.

CFPB Extends Complaint Proposal Comment Period

The CFPB extended the comment period on its proposal to add consumers’ narratives to the publicly available material in its consumer complaint database. The extension to a 60-day comment period — with comments now due Sept. 22 — fell short of the 90 days requested by ABA and other trade groups.

Read more.

FHFA Extends G-Fee Comment Deadline

The Federal Housing Finance Agency extended the deadline for comments on the guarantee fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge lenders. The deadline is now Sept. 8. The feedback is intended to help optimize the fee level required both to protect taxpayers and to ensure credit availability, the FHFA said.

Specifically, the agency is asking what factors it should consider in setting g-fees, what alternatives might be considered beyond risk-based pricing, what effects higher g-fees would have and what g-fee level would incentivize private-label investors to enter the market, among others. ABA will submit comments based on consultations with its GSE Policy Committee.

Read more.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

GAO Study Reviews CFPB Civil Penalty Fund

The Government Accountability Office was asked to review the CFPB’s Civil Penalty Fund, which is made up of deposits collected as civil money penalties to compensate eligible victims and may also be used for the purpose of consumer education and financial literacy programs.

The CFPB has implemented a number of internal controls for reducing the risk of management error and fraud. However, the CFPB did not document the factors the Fund Administrator considered in determining the allocation of funds for consumer education and financial literacy programs for the first allocation period.

GAO recommends that the Fund Administrator document the specific factors considered in determining the amount of funding, if any, allocated to consumer education and financial literacy programs. The CFPB generally agreed with GAO's recommendation.

Read more.