Regulatory Compliance & Examinations

Regulatory Compliance

 

Regulatory compliance has always been a hot-button issue for our clients. However, the fall-out from the 2007 mortgage crisis and the bursting of the housing bubble has resulted in a flood of new laws and regulations in recent years.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) of 2010 brought with it a whole new wave of financial related legislation and implementing regulations, not to mention the ensuing enforcement actions. The Dodd-Frank Act led to the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent consumer watchdog that has taken over regulation and enforcement activities previously carried out by various federal entities. The aggregation of authority under a single entity has resulted in significantly tighter consumer-based financial regulations and increased investigation and enforcement authority.

In addition, other federal regulatory agencies and entities, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, have continued to implement regulations and policies that aim to benefit consumers while attempting to mitigate risk to financial markets. Of course, various state regulatory agencies have also followed suit, often revising their own laws to mirror or exceed the new federal standards.

Our attorneys and skilled professionals are experienced with mortgage banking related laws and regulations as well as their resulting implementation and compliance concerns. Our attorneys come from a variety of compliance related backgrounds, including previous employment at regulatory agencies within the federal government, as well as at leading private institutions within the mortgage banking and servicing industry. We are constantly monitoring the agencies that govern the mortgage banking industry for new regulations and developments in enforcement actions so that we may best serve and advise our clients.

We regularly advise our clients, including mortgage lenders and servicers, commercial banks, credit unions, title companies, and third-party vendors, on all areas of regulatory compliance within the mortgage banking industry. We provide comprehensive regulatory counsel, including:

  • Advising clients on applicable laws and regulations
  • Reviewing client policies, procedures, disclosures, quality control plans, contracts, and more to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • Performing comprehensive audits and reviews similar to regulatory exams covering a client’s policies, procedures, disclosures, quality control plans, and contracts
  • Suggesting best practices for industry compliance
  • Supervision and review of vendor management systems and contracts
  • Employee education and targeted training
  • Assisting and representing clients in various adverse regulatory proceedings, including:
    • CFPB inquiries and examinations
    • HUD/FHA and the Mortgagee Review Board
    • State examinations
    • Responding to and negotiating proposed enforcement actions
    • Borrower complaints

Specifically, our attorneys and skilled professionals are experienced in handling matters arising under the following:

  • Truth in Lending Act (TILA)
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
  • Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP)
  • Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Fair Housing Act (FHA)
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)
  • National Housing Act
  • Privacy of Consumer Financial Information (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)
  • Appraisal Independence Requirements (AIR)

For more information about our proactive and examination related services, please read below.

 

Examinations

 

In today’s regulatory environment, there is no shortage of required laws, regulations, polices, and guidance that need to be complied with. On top of it all, it seems the laws and corresponding regulatory guidance is ever-changing.

In 2012, the CFPB introduced an updated Supervision and Examination Manual, which provides lenders with a detailed overview of what to expect from a CFPB examination of their business, whether it be a lender’s origination or servicing functions, or both. Our attorneys and skilled professionals are experienced and knowledgeable regarding the scope of CFPB examinations and the content of the Manual. In fact, AMLG has taken the procedures laid out by CFPB and has and created its own correlating Mock Audits based upon the modules contained therein. We routinely conduct such Mock Audits for our clients, which include up to 8 modules for origination reviews and up to 10 modules for servicing reviews.

Origination Reviews:

  • Company Business Model
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Loan Originators
  • Loan Disclosures and Terms – Closed-End Residential Mortgage Loans
  • Loan Disclosures and Terms – Other Residential Mortgage Loans
  • Appraisals
  • Underwriting
  • Examiner Conclusions and Wrap Up

Servicing Reviews:

  • Servicing Transfers, Loan Ownership Transfers, and Escrow Disclosures
  • Payment Processing and Account Maintenance
  • Customer Inquiries, Complaints, and Error Resolution Procedures
  • Maintenance of Escrow Accounts and Insurance Products
  • Credit Reporting
  • Information Sharing and Privacy
  • Collections and Accounts in Bankruptcy
  • Loss Mitigation, Early Intervention, and Continuity of Contact
  • Foreclosures
  • Examiner Conclusions and Wrap Up

The scope of AMLG’s Mock Audits is adjustable and may be tailored to each individual client and their compliance needs. AMLG’s Mock Audits are designed to put a lender’s policies and procedures through a thorough test and to enable the lender to be confident in the outcome of any subsequent examination by the CFPB.

In addition, AMLG offers Mock Quality Control Reviews for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) approved lenders and mortgagees. These Mock Quality Control Reviews are conducted in compliance with all applicable U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and FHA laws, regulations, and implementing policies, including all applicable HUD Handbooks and Mortgagee Letters. Our attorneys and skilled professionals are experienced and knowledgeable regarding the scope of FHA Quality Control Reviews and the content required to be covered therein. Similar to AMLG’s Mock CFPB Audits, our Mock Quality Control Reviews are adjustable and may be tailored to each individual client and their compliance needs.

Our clients consistently benefit from the strength of our recently extended regulatory compliance practice; the experience and knowledge of AMLG attorneys in the niche area of mortgage banking laws and regulations allows AMLG to smoothly guide clients through anticipated CFPB and HUD/FHA examination and review processes.