Robert Niemi

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On Feb. 12, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) published a revised version of its five-year Strategic Plan covering FY 2018 – 2022 (Plan). The Bureau is required to publish a five-year Strategic Plan in accordance with federal law. The Plan sets forth strategic expectations for the Bureau and differs significantly from the draft version issued in October 2017 under former Bureau Director Richard Cordray. From the length of the Plan and the tone of…
On Jan. 31, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed consent orders against one of the largest independent residential mortgage lenders, two real estate brokers and a mortgage servicer for their roles in an improper “kickback” scheme involving mortgage referrals. The fines here were notable given that the CFPB targeted realtors for accepting payments from the referral arrangements. Prospect Mortgage, a mortgage lender based in Sherman Oaks, California, was assessed a $3.5 million civil…
On Oct. 27, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warned 44 unnamed mortgage lenders and brokers that they may be in violation of data reporting requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Enacted in 1975, HMDA requires financial institutions to collect data about housing-related lending activity – including home purchase loans, home improvement loans and home refinancing loans that they originate or purchase or for which they receive applications – and report the…
On August 16, Florida announced via the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) Resource Center that it was adopting the Uniform State Test (UST) for mortgage loan originators. With this announcement, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation became the 53rd state agency to no longer require a second state-specific test component for mortgage originators seeking licensure. Although not mentioned in the announcement, BakerHostetler’s Financial Services Team has confirmed that, beginning in January 2017, Florida will require…
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released their 11th edition of Supervisory highlights, a special edition with a direct warning to mortgage servicers.  The report typically shares findings and examination observations in various areas of oversight like student loan servicing, mortgage origination and debt collection.  However this edition focuses on mortgage servicing technology; loss mitigation acknowledgement notices; loss mitigation offers; loan modification denial notices; policies and procedures; and servicing transfers. The warning is specific to failed…
The House Financial Services Committee unanimously approved a bill that would enable registered mortgage loan originators to move from a depository mortgage lender to a state-licensed mortgage lender almost immediately. This would allow eligible originators time to complete SAFE education and testing requirements while still earning a living. Introduced by Rep. Stivers of Ohio, H.R. 2121, the SAFE Transitional Licensing Act, would provide a 120-day period for individuals moving from a federally insured institution (bank…