Is your head spinning yet? It probably should be. It’s not enough for title agents in today’s market to simply facilitate title insurance and execute closings. Lenders and their investors are holding their partners to higher standards—and requiring potential service providers to prove to them that they’re reliable and trustworthy. We’ve assembled a primer for… Read More »

The nation’s home builders are distressed, to say the least, about a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board defining many subcontractors as “joint employees.” It’s not clear how the new standard will be applied, but builders are predicting that the impact on the homebuilding industry could be “disruptive” and possibly “devastating.” Congressional concerns… Read More »

The statistics indicate that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) new mortgage rules haven’t had the devastating impact that industry executives had predicted. But critics say the statistics don’t paint an entirely accurate or complete picture of what is happening in the market. The statistics come from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) report prepared… Read More »

A CFPB pilot project has concluded that e-closings make the closing process more efficient and less confusing for borrowers. The CFPB’s continuing crackdown on Marketing Services Arrangements (MSAs) has led at least two lenders (Wells Fargo and Prospect Mortgage) to abandon them. In a series of enforcement actions, the CFPB has found that MSAs violate… Read More »

Although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has delayed for two months the implementation date for the new consolidated Truth-in-Lending/RESPA disclosure rules, industry trade groups are still pushing the agency to honor an enforcement grace period during which entities making a good faith effort to comply won’t be penalized for violations. CFPB Director Richard Cordray… Read More »

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, an interagency coordinating body for federal banking industry regulators, has issued two statements in the past month cautioning banks and credit unions about cyber-security risks and emphasizing the importance of effective risk mitigation policies. First-time buyers represented 38 percent of home purchasers in April – up from 34 percent… Read More »

The CFPB has asserted broad RESPA enforcement authority in a recent decision significantly expanding the liability of PHH Corporation for accepting “kickbacks” from mortgage insurers. The CFPB upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s finding that PHH had violated RESPA but increased the number of separate violations involved, increasing the required disgorgement from $6 million to $109… Read More »

When interest rates begin to rise, as they will eventually, U.S. households are generally well-positioned to absorb the financial jolt. A study by Interest Rate Weekly concludes that the rate increase will have a “muted impact” on most households. A federal district court in New Hampshire has ruled that a lender can be vicariously liable… Read More »

Continuing their efforts to reform the title insurance industry New York state regulators recently cut title insurance premium rates on refinance transactions. “We are pleased the title insurance industry is doing the right thing here and appreciate their cooperation with us to cut these rates,” Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial… Read More »

A legislative committee in Colorado has approved a measure that would create a commission to help oversee the title insurance industry and strengthen consumer protections in that state. The gap between what sellers think their homes are worth and their appraised values is widening. American Banker reports that CFPB officials have acknowledged privately that the… Read More »