Mortgage
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The House has passed a Mortgage Bankers Association-supported bill that amends the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, and supports flexibility for mortgage loan originators.

H.R. 3978, the TRID Improvement Act (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3978), amends the Real Estate Settlement Procedures of 1974 to modify disclosure requirements applicable to mortgage loan transactions. Specifically, the disclosed charges for any title insurance premium shall be equal to the amount charged for each individual title insurance policy, subject to any discounts as required by either state regulation or the title company rate filings.

The bill also accommodates H.R. 2948 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2948), which amends the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 to allow loan originators that meet specified requirements to continue to originate loans temporarily after moving:

from one state to another, or
from a depository institution to a non-depository institution.

In both instances, the temporary time period is 120 days from the date of application.

Note, in order for the actions taken by the House to become law, the measures must also be passed by the Senate, and signed by the President of the United States.

Senate
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The Senate passed a bill which impacts several areas covered by the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill is expected to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, and, if passed by the House and signed by the President, would become law.

The bill contains provisions impacting all residential mortgage lenders regardless of institution type, such as:

Temporary authority to originate loans for loan originators moving from a depository institution to a non-depository institution, and for loan originators moving interstate, subject to application requirements.

“No Wait For Lower Rate” Elimination of waiting period after revised Closing Disclosure, where creditor extends consumer a second offer of credit with a lower annual percentage rate.

Refinancing restrictions for loans insured by the Veterans Affairs (VA), including that a VA refinancing loan, where the first mortgage is a fixed rate and the new mortgage has an adjustable rate, may not be guaranteed, unless the new loan’s rate “is not less than 200 basis points less than the previous loan.”

Appraisal relief for real estate located in rural areas for transactions valued at less than $400,000, subject to additional conditions.
Additional provisions impact only insured depositories’ residential mortgage lending activity:

Relief from certain Home Mortgage Disclosure Act requirements for insured depositories if fewer than 500 closed-end mortgage loans in each of two preceding calendar years, except for institutions with recent Community Reinvestment Act exam ratings of “needs to improve” or “substantial noncompliance”

Additional “Qualified Mortgage” defined providing safe harbor compliance option under the Truth-in-Lending Act’s Ability to Repay requirement for insured depositories with less than $10 billion in consolidated assets

Requirement that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issue a regulation exempting insured depositories which originated less than 1,000 loans secured by first liens on dwellings and have less than $10,000,000,000 in assets from the escrow requirements relating to certain transactions.

Additional provisions relate to protecting access to manufactured homes, security freezes, and alternative credit scoring. The bill also contains a “Sense of Congress” provision which urges the CFPB to provide clearer guidance regarding certain TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) requirements. Specifically, the CFPB is urged to clarify TRID’s applicability to mortgage assumption transactions, how proper origination of construction-to-permanent home loans in compliance with the TRID rule can be achieved, and the extent to which lenders can rely on model disclosures published by the CFPB without liability if recent changes to regulations are not reflected in the sample TRID Rule forms.

The full text of the bill, which included several reforms unrelated to mortgage lending, is available here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2155/text#toc-id5caa8914e0144f2ba31062ca3b9c4f9c

CFPB
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) modified Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) regulations to provide additional flexibility for mortgage lenders in the collection of consumer ethnicity and race information. These amendments will provide greater clarity for mortgage lenders regarding their obligations under the law, while promoting compliance with rules intended to ensure consumers are treated fairly.

Separately, the CFPB also seeks comment on proposed policy guidance describing the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data the CFPB proposes to make available to the public beginning in 2019, including modifications to protect consumers’ privacy.

The changes, initially proposed in March, will provide compliance flexibility for individual mortgage lenders, and also support the broader mortgage industry’s ability to use consistent forms and compliance practices. Mortgage lenders will not be required to maintain different practices depending on their loan volume or other characteristics, allowing more lenders to adopt application forms that include expanded requests for information regarding a consumer’s ethnicity and race, including the revised Uniform Residential Loan Application.

The CFPB also finalized other amendments to Regulation B and its commentary to facilitate compliance with Regulation B’s requirements for the collection and retention of information about the ethnicity, race, and sex of applicants seeking certain types of mortgage loans.