Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label enforcement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label enforcement. Show all posts

Friday, November 12, 2021

Foreclosure Protection Enhanced by Federal Regulators

On November 10, 2021, Federal Regulators issued a statement that lenders will no longer be afforded leniency with complying with mandatory mortgage servicing practices.


As background, Federal Regulators had previously issued an April 2020 Joint Statement, in response to COVID, that they would not take supervisory or enforcement action against mortgage servicers for failing to meet certain borrower-protective timing requirements so long as the servicers made good faith efforts to provide those required notices or disclosures and took the related actions within a reasonable period.


Now, as of November 10, 2021, Agencies will apply their respective supervisory and enforcement authorities, to address noncompliance or violations of Regulation X’s mortgage servicing rules.


Borrowers, who are looking for leverage in negotiating mortgage modifications, short sales, and deed-in-lieu workouts should be brushing up on Regulation X today.


Monday, November 02, 2020

New Debt Collection Law Starting on OCT 30, 2021

There are new laws about debt collecting starting on October 30, 2021. 

Specifically, amendments to Regulation F (12 CFR Part 1006), which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), were published on October 30, 2020 in the Federal Register and when these amendments become effective, on October 30, 2021, the entire debt collection industry in the United States will be forever changed.

These changes mainly concern updating the FDCPA with respect to its application to modern forms of communication via technology, inclusive of a safe harbor for communications via text or email. However, the final rule is 653 pages so it's far more extensive than that simplistic understanding and should be reviewed, at length, by any industry participant. 

To navigate the rule, it's recommended that you utilize the table of contents. The main sections of the amendment, which should be studied, are as follows:

  1. Communications in Connection with Debt Collection;
  2. Acquisition of Location Information;
  3. Harassing, Oppressive, or Abusive Conduct;
  4. False, Deceptive, or Misleading Representations;
  5. Unfair or Unconscionable Means;
  6. Other Prohibited Practices;
  7. Disputes and Requests for Original-Creditor Information;
  8. Sending Required Disclosures; and 
  9. Record Retention

As background, the FDCPA was enacted in 1977 because "[t]here [was] abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors" whereas these practices "contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy." According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau "[d]ebt collection is estimated to be a $12.7 billion-dollar industry employing nearly 123,000 people across approximately 7,800 collection agencies in the United States." 

Make no mistake, these regulations are particularly important because "[c]onsumers... file thousands of private actions each year against debt collectors who allegedly have violated the FDCPA." Available damages in these lawsuits include up to $1,000 plus attorneys' fees for individuals and up to $500,000 or 1% of the net worth of the debt collector for class actions (15 USC 1692k). As a result, debt collectors who are unfamiliar with these amended rules, when they become effective, are in for a world of hurt. 


By the way, there is going to be another rule on this topic in the nearterm and it will address the required disclosures when debt collectors are pursuing time-barred debts (A/K/A, outside the applicable statute of limitations for suit). Stay tuned. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Case Alert: Title Regulation 208 is Back - No More Wining and Dining Permitted - DFS Enforcement is Coming

On December 26, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed the Supreme Court and dismissed the New York State Land Title Association's challenge to Regulation 208.

Now, title insurance underwriters and their agents may not offer free meals and beverages, tickets to entertainment events, gifts, golf outings, parties, office supplies and the like as we had previously discussed in the November 2019 article, No More Title Insurance Bribes: Compliance Protocol needed at Every Title Insurance Agency

The only aspects of Regulation 208 which remain annulled after this decision are the ancillary fees at 228.5 and the closer payment restrictions.

To understand the current title landscape, read our blog from January 19, 2019, Title Insurance Regulation 208 is Back - Soliciting Title Business is Seriously Restricted Yet Again.

Now, after the December 26 decision, the only possibilities that can change the new reality of the title insurance industry in New York are:

  • An application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals is made and granted, then, the matter is heard and reversed;
  • New regulations are issued by DFS; or
  • New legislation is enacted. 
Title insurance companies should immediately issue policy notices to their staff, conduct trainings and prepare for DFS enforcement.