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Legislation to Improve the CFPB


ALTA has focused on improvements to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) in three areas that improve how CFPB affects ALTA members: (1) a mechanism for the public to provide feedback on CFPB policy statements, guidance and bulletins; (2) the use of advisory opinions to provide more specific guidance so that businesses can meet Bureau expectations in their daily business practices; and (3) a Small Business Advisory Board, similar to advisory boards created for community banks and credit unions, with whom the Bureau also does not have regular contact.

Impact to the Industry

Feedback on policy statements, guidance and bulletins – ALTA members discovered how valuable public input is to successful implementation of informal guidance after the Bureau published an April 2012 bulletin on third-party service providers. This bulletin was not directed at or intended for ALTA members, but produced serious unintended consequences for their businesses. The Bureau, consumers and industry would benefit from more public input on informal Bureau guidance.

Advisory opinions – The use of advisory opinions by the CFPB would enable businesses that design, operate, or maintain a consumer financial product or service to obtain more clear guidance from the Bureau as to whether a certain specified, prospective product or service is in compliance with federal consumer financial law. This improved certainty would prevent consumer harm and reduce costly guesses about how to comply with consumer financial law.

CFPB advisory opinions would help “covered persons” (individuals subject to CFPB rules, orders, guidance, interpretations, statements of policy, examinations, and enforcement actions) to receive guidance on whether a proposed design, operation or maintenance of consumer financial product or service would comply with federal consumer law.

Small business advisory board – The CFPB does not have supervisory authority regarding credit unions and depository institutions with total assets of $10 billion or less. Since it does not have regular contact with these institutions, the Bureau created a Community Bank Advisory Council and a Credit Union Advisory Council as a mechanism to ensure that their unique perspectives are shared with the Bureau. These advisory councils share information, analysis and recommendations to better inform CFPB policy development, rulemaking and engagement work.

Although non-banks can participate in one-time Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panels, there is no standing body for these non-bank small businesses (like ALTA members) to share information, analysis and recommendations to better inform CFPB policy development, rulemaking and engagement work. The Bureau, consumers and industry would benefit from more public input from non-bank financial institutions, like real estate settlement providers.

ALTA Policy Statement

ALTA Policy Statement on the Small Business Advisory Board at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (adopted February 2014):
“The American Land Title Association supports legislation creating a Small Business Advisory Board at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

ALTA Policy Statement on Improved Public Feedback about CFPB (adopted February 2014):
“The American Land Title Association supports improved public feedback about CFPB policy statements, guidance and bulletins to better facilitate industry’s interpretation and implementation of CFPB policy.”

ALTA Policy Statement on CFPB Authority to Issue Advisory Opinions (adopted February 2014):
“The American Land Title Association supports providing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with authority to issue advisory opinions.”

ALTA Advocacy

May 19, 2015 ALTA support for Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015

April 16, 2015 ALTA Statement for the Record for Senate Banking Committee hearing on Regulatory Burdens to Obtaining Mortgage Credit

February 2, 2015 ALTA letter to CFPB about its proposed Consumer Complaint Intake System Company Portal Boarding Form Information Collection System

December 15, 2014 ALTA letter to CFPB about its proposed No-Action Letter Policy.

September 22, 2014 ALTA comment letter about CFPB Consumer Complaint Database

September 11, 2014 ALTA letter to CFPB about H.R. 4662

July 9, 2014 ALTA responses to Congressmen Ellison’s Questions about CFPB

June 10, 2014 ALTA thank you letter for House Financial Services Committee on markup of bills to improve the CFPB

May 21, 2014 Written Testimony of Rob Chapman on Legislative Proposals to Improve Transparency and Accountability at the CFPB

April 8, 2014 ALTA Statement for the Record on House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “Who’s In Your Wallet: Examining How Washington Red Tape Impairs Economic Freedom.”

February 7, 2014 ALTA Comment Letter to CFPB on request for information regarding the mortgage closing process.

June 20, 2012 Written Testimony on “Mortgage Disclosures: How Do We Cut Red Tape for Consumers and Small Businesses” HFSC Hearing

May 30, 2012 ALTA Letter to Chairman Issa and Chairman Jordan on CFPB

News About Improving the CFPB

May 27, 2016 'CFPB Bullied Me' into $85K Settlement: Former Wells Fargo Officer
National Mortgage News | May 26, 2016
The CFPB alleges that David Eghbali, a loan officer for a Wells Fargo branch in Beverly Hills, Calif., developed a scheme to manipulate escrow fees in order to close more mortgages and boost his bonus.
May 26, 2016 Take Action to Help Fix TRID
U.S. Reps. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) have drafted a bipartisan letter supporting ALTA’s efforts to fix the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures). Take action today and encourage the CFPB to change the inaccurate disclosure of title insurance premiums. Consumers deserve clear information about their title insurance costs.
May 26, 2016 ALTA Asks CFPB to Support Best Practices
To help provide clarity and guidance to supervised entities, ALTA sent a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asking the bureau to announce support of the association’s Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices.
May 24, 2016 Now It's Real — No Statute of Limitations for CFPB UDAAP Claims
Reuters | May 23, 2016
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau believes that no statute of limitations applies when it sues parties in its administrative tribunal, as opposed to federal court.
May 19, 2016 Industry Compliance: Understanding Regulator Interpretations and Trends in Enforcement
Some have called compliance the “new black.” That may be partially correct, but complying with laws and regulations has never gone out of style. What has changed, though, is the lens through which regulators are using to interpret compliance. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the beat, regulators are laser-focused on the consumer experience. Read on to learn how the CFPB and other regulators are viewing compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, including violations for affiliated business arrangement disclosures, payment of referral fees and marketing service agreements.
May 19, 2016 Congressman Calls for Regulatory Transparency from the CFPB
DS News | May 18, 2016
U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas) said Monday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) needs to do a lot more to ensure the industry understand the new TRID-compliant ‘Know Before You Owe’ rules before they take effect. Specifically, Hill wants to make sure that the Bureau clears up confusing language regarding insurance fees in the mortgage process.
May 18, 2016 Is TRID Encouraging Smarter Homebuyers?
National Mortgage Professional Magazine | May 17, 2016
According to the new Home Closing Survey conducted by the American Land Title Association (ALTA), 92 percent of surveyed homebuyers set aside time before their closings to review their mortgage documents.
May 17, 2016 ALTA Provides Congress Feedback About TRID Implementation, Continued Challenges
ALTA last week sent a letter to U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) describing how the industry is adapting to the TILA-RESPA integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule and how Congress can support a smoother implementation process.
May 17, 2016 ALTA Closing Survey Shows More Consumers Reviewing Mortgage Disclosures
According to the survey, the CFPB’s Know Before You Owe regulation has resulted in closings being delayed slightly, but highlights the need for collaboration among title/settlement agents, Realtors and lenders to educate consumers about the transaction.
May 17, 2016 More Homebuyers Reviewing Mortgage Documents Under TRID
HousingWire | May 16, 2016
“Title and settlement agents went to great lengths to prepare and train staff prior to implementation of the regulation,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “The hard work of these professionals paid off as 92% of surveyed homebuyers are taking time to review their mortgage documents before the closing,”
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Washington, D.C. 20036-5828
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