The CFPB’s amendments to the mortgage servicing rules in Regulations X and Z are officially slated for release this month and we anticipate that they will come out any day now. Mortgage servicers, many of whom may feel like they just finished implementing the 2014 mortgage rules, are about to be thrown back into the world of gap analyses, project plans and all other things necessary to effectively manage a regulatory overhaul. Shortly after the amendments are released, we will be hosting the first in a series of webinars designed to guide our readers through the changes and explain what you need to know about the new law.
Without question, these amendments have been in the pipeline for quite some time. The CFPB first proposed this round of changes on November 20, 2014 and accepted comments through March 16, 2015. The comment period was re-opened for 30 days starting on April 26, 2016. At that time, the CFPB sought input on their findings regarding billing statements for borrowers in bankruptcy. As of the date of this post, 169 comments and other submissions regarding the CFPB’s initial proposal and 22 comments regarding the billing statement findings have been made public.
In addition to normal comment letters, a number of memoranda regarding ex parte conversations and presentations have also made their way onto the docket for this rulemaking. The CFPB has publicly stated that they are conducting consumer testing of certain disclosures, but the public record demonstrates that they have also been discussing various aspects of the proposed rule with industry participants. The CFPB’s most recent semi-annual Regulatory Agenda indicates that the long-awaited amendments are slated to be finalized and made public in July 2016.
As a reminder, most of the CFPB’s proposal focused on amending the existing rules in the following areas:
- Loss mitigation;
- Successors in interest;
- Servicing transfers; and
- Periodic billing statements.
While there very likely will be some minor clarifications and other enhancements that do not require significant operational changes, we fully expect that a number of the amendments—particularly those related to loss mitigation and periodic billing statements—will require significant efforts to interpret, implement, and ensure compliance.