On May 16, the CFPB issued a final rule clarifying and making technical amendments to its Escrows Final Rule in January of this year. The Escrows Final Rule amends an existing rule that provides protections regarding assessments of consumers' ability to repay and prepayment penalties on certain higher-priced mortgage loans, and the clarifications (i) ensure existing protections remain in place for higher-priced mortgage loans until the expanded provisions take effect in January 2014 and (ii) include guidance for determining whether a county is considered "rural" or "underserved" for the purposes of applying certain exemptions. CFPB Release. CFPB Final Rule