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Mortgage Crisis Watch Business and legal issues affecting: loan repurchases | mortgage-backed securities | mortgage insurance

Category Archives: Legislation/Regulation

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Regulators Increase Scrutiny of Wall Street Lending

Federal bank regulatory agencies are significantly increasing their scrutiny of Wall Street bank lending, moving from annual reviews to a system of monthly audits in a major effort to curtail aggressive underwriting practices. Until recently, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have monitored… Continue Reading

Protecting Your Company Against CFPB Investigations & Investors’ Mortgage Buyback Claims

What are the boundaries of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s authority? How might those boundaries continue to expand in the future? Are there ways that the CFPB can take action against a company even if it does not have true supervisory authority? These are just some of the questions that frustrated and concerned financial institutions… Continue Reading

Banks May Be Required to Increase Reserves

The Federal Reserve is expected to require the biggest U.S. banks to increase reserves in an effort to prevent the possibility of another financial crisis. Federal Reserve Governor Daniel K. Tarullo is scheduled to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Tuesday to introduce new rules, which would impose… Continue Reading

Former Analyst Claims Moody’s Falsely Inflated Ratings

Former Moody’s analyst, Ilya Kolchinsky, has accused the credit rating powerhouse of overstating its ratings for countless toxic mortgage-backed securities that caused the financial meltdown in 2008, misleading investors and costing the U.S. billions in funds spent bailing out Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks. Kolchinsky’s 107-page False Claims Act complaint, filed in 2012, was recently unsealed… Continue Reading

Mortgage Loans: Deutsche Bank v. Quicken Loans

We previously posted about ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products, Inc., 977 N.Y.S.2d 229, 231 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dept. Dec. 19, 2013), which is a critical ruling out of New York’s intermediate state appellate court. In that case, the Appellate Court held that under New York law, the statute of limitations on a mortgage buyback… Continue Reading

Bank of America’s $16.65 Billion Settlement

In what is being reported as the largest settlement ever between the U.S. and a single business entity, Attorney General Eric Holder and Associate Attorney General Tony West announced Thursday that Bank of America Corp. (“BofA”) has agreed to pay $16.65 billion to settle accusations by the Department of Justice that it, as well as… Continue Reading

Citigroup Settles with DOJ for $7 Billion

Citigroup announced last week that it will pay $7 billion to end an investigation by the U.S Department of Justice into misconduct related to its mortgage securitization practices. The blockbuster settlement came days before DOJ lawyers were expected to file a lawsuit. $4.5 billion will go towards settling civil claims related to the DOJ probe,… Continue Reading

Buyback and Indemnifications: The New Dangers

On Thursday, July 31, I will be speaking as part of a panel of business professionals during a live webinar about the continuing repurchase and indemnification risk surrounding mortgage buybacks. This panel will assist mortgage professionals in determining where the greatest exposure of risk lies, and will offer some insightful tips on how best to… Continue Reading

Suntrust Reaches $320 Million Settlement

SunTrust Banks (“SunTrust”) reached a settlement with Federal prosecutors last week in which it agreed to a $320 million settlement for a combination of consumer relief and housing counseling services. SunTrust issued a press release this past weekend outlining the agreement. Specifically, it has agreed to pay $179 million in consumer remediation, $20 million to… Continue Reading

Main Street Cashes $3.1 Billion in Checks from Wall Street

With the mortgage crisis almost a decade in the rear-view mirror, some harmed homeowners are just now starting to see reparations for the transgressions of the country’s largest financial institutions. Beginning in January 2013, thirteen banks—including Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo—settled 2011 and 2012 actions instituted by… Continue Reading

OIG Urges FHFA To Sue Over Force-Placed Insurance

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) is urging the FHFA to sue its servicers and lender-placed insurance (“LPI”) providers because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have suffered considerable financial harm in the LPI market, possibly as much as $158 million in 2012 alone from excessively priced insurance coverage. FHFA has been… Continue Reading

FHFA Announces Reversal of Plans to Wind Down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Early last week, recently-appointed director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Melvin L. Watt, announced plans to keep GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac going strong. This new strategy is in stark contrast to the express goals of his predecessor Edward J. DeMarco, White House officials and other proposed legislation, such as the Housing… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules National Banks are Residents Only of Their Home State

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (encompassing nine Western states and two Pacific islands) has held that for purposes of diversity jurisdiction a national bank is a citizen only of the state in which its main office is located, and not of every state where it does business, or even the… Continue Reading

SEC To Demand More Public Accountability This Year From Wrongdoers In Financial Markets

SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced last week that the SEC is changing its protocol relating to admissions of guilt in settlements with wrongdoers in the securities markets. Historically, SEC practice was to settle cases against entities and individuals without requiring admissions of guilt. This was thought to promote swifter settlement of claims, payment of… Continue Reading

Dodd Frank Act: The Arrival of the ‘Ability to Repay’ Lending Restrictions

The days of exotic mortgage programs like “no doc” and balloon loans may be over. Earlier this month, the long awaited (and by many lenders and experts, dreaded), lending restrictions codified in the Dodd Frank Act finally went into effect. The rules, promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), attempt to constrain lenders’ abilities to… Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Would Curb JP Morgan’s Potential Multi-Billion Dollar Tax Windfall

Late last month, we commented on JP Morgan Chase’s $5.1 billion settlement with the Fair Housing Financing Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Wall Street Journal has since reported that JP Morgan will be able to deduct that entire amount on its 2013 tax returns, allowing the company to reap… Continue Reading

Upcoming MBA Regulatory Compliance Conference: September 29 in Washington, D.C.

I will be a panelist at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) upcoming Regulatory Compliance Conference 2013 in Washington, D.C. I will participate in a session on Monday, September 30 at 1.30 p.m. entitled “Addressing Repurchases in the New Rep and Warrant Model.” The session will address the latest developments involving the GSEs and FHFA, as well as private investors.  We… Continue Reading

Mortgage Servicing System Still Riddled With Problems According To Financial Watchdog

CFBP releases report detailing continuing failures with Mortgage Servicing System The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the financial watchdog agency created following the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices in the financial products and services industry, has released a report detailing a host of continuing problems with the handling of mortgages… Continue Reading

Private Mortgage Insurers Return to Profitability after Housing Crisis

Best Quarter Posted in 6 years It should be no surprise that the private mortgage insurance industry was nearly decimated in the wake of the housing crisis. During that tumultuous time, the private mortgage insurers that survived lost a combined $20 billion. However, it appears that the tide has finally begun to turn. Diana Olick of… Continue Reading

Obama Supports Legislation to Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Investing in the housing market’s recovery President Obama officially threw his support behind a bipartisan push to replace beleaguered housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during a speech to an Arizona crowd on Tuesday. “As home prices rise, we can’t just re-inflate another housing bubble,” Obama admonished.  Rather, government should invest in the housing market’s… Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Would Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

The Future of Housing Reform A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators recently proposed a bill that would replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the next 5 years. If passed by congress, the legislation would replace Fannie and Freddie with a newly created government reinsurer called Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (FMIC), modeled after the Federal… Continue Reading