Compliance News

The latest compliance news items. Past months’ news items are found under the specific Compliance Topic page related to the news item.

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March 2018 | April 2018

April News

  • Fannie, Freddie Update Servicing Guides (4/16/18)
    Fannie Mae last week issued several updates to its servicing guides related to servicing transfer welcome calls and the collection of escrow shortages during mortgage modifications. The GSE also issued a revised manual on reverse mortgage loan servicing, which reflects updates to expense reimbursement claim submissions and mortgage loan status codes. Concurrently, Freddie Mac announced updates to servicer requirements on subsequent transfers of servicing and borrower-paid mortgage insurance, and various other changes that will streamline servicer responsibilities in cancelling borrower-paid mortgage insurance. Freddie also modified its escrow shortage collection requirements.
  • OFAC Director John Smith Announces Departure (4/12/18)
    The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) John E. Smith announced that he will be leaving his position as OFAC Director in early May. Smith has served as OFAC Director since Feburary 2015 and has been with OFAC for over 11 years. Under Smith's leadership, the agency imposed some of its most significant sanctions involving North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria, supporters of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction proliferators, malicious cyber actors, and narcotics traffickers, as well as the agency’s implementation of statutes such as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 and the issuance of major enforcement actions against those who violated its sanctions.
  • Mulvaney: CFPB 'Opening Up' Rules in Search of 'Unnecessary Burden' (4/12/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is revisiting several rules as it considers whether they impose "unnecessary burden or restrict consumer choice," Acting Director Mick Mulvaney told the House Financial Services Committee. Specifically, he said, the bureau is revisiting the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data expansion and its small-dollar loan rule. "Regarding HMDA, the bureau intends to open a rulemaking to reconsider various aspects of the 2015 HMDA rule, such as reporting thresholds and transactional coverage and reconsider data points not mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act," Mulvaney said. 
  • Bureau Seeks Comments on Consumer Complaints and Inquiries (4/11/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback on its handling of consumer complaints and inquiries. The request is the 12th in an ongoing series of RFIs designed to provide the CFPB with input on how to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. The Bureau is seeking comments and information from interested parties to assist the Bureau in assessing its handling of consumer complaints and consumer inquiries and, consistent with law, considering whether changes to its processes would be appropriate. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.
  • ABA Issues Staff Analysis on FinCEN's Customer Due Diligence FAQs and ABA FAQs on CDD (4/6/18)
    ABA today issued a staff analysis on FinCEN's customer due diligence FAQs released on April 3. These FAQs supplement guidance published in July 2016. ABA members must login to view the staff analysis. For questions, contact Rob Rowe.
  • CFPB Seeks Public Feedback on Financial Education Programs (4/5/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback on its consumer financial education programs. The request is the 11th in an ongoing series of RFIs designed to provide the CFPB with input on how to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. Specifically, the bureau requested comments on how to improve existing programs and delivery approaches; how better to evaluate the bureau’s programs; and how to minimize duplication of programs offered by other federal agencies and non-government entities. For more information, contact ABA's Diana Banks.
  • Treasury Issues Recommendations for CRA Modernization (4/4/18)
    Treasury’s recommendations focused on four key areas, including redefining geographic assessment areas, increasing transparency around the rating process, improving the examination process and incentivizing CRA performance. Acknowledging numerous changes in banking law and technology that have taken place since CRA’s enactment in 1977, Treasury recommended that the agencies provide greater flexibility when determining CRA assessment areas, expand the range of products that are eligible to receive CRA credit and consider alternative delivery channels when conducting CRA evaluations, among other things.
  • FinCEN Releases Updated FAQs (4/3/18)
    FinCEN released a new set of FAQs to help provide additional guidance for the Customer Due Diligence rule published in May 2016 with a mandatory compliance date of May 11, 2018. These FAQs supplement a set issued in July 2016. The new FAQs respond to questions that have been raised by the industry since the rule was adopted. ABA is reviewing the FAQs to publish a summary as soon as possible. Meanwhile, ABA has been developing our own FAQs for bankers that we were finalizing when FinCEN released this official guidance. We will soon publish a set of ABA FAQs as an additional resource for ABA members. For more information, contact Rob Rowe.
  • Bureau Issues Semi-Annual Report (4/2/18)
    The report covers the bureau's work from April 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2017, the period before Acting Director Mick Mulvaney was appointed by the President. The bureau handled consumer complaints and found that the most-complained-about products or services were debt collection at 27% of complaints, credit reporting at 27%, and mortgages at 13%. Eighty percent of the complaints were submitted online. Companies have responded to approximately 93% of complaints sent to them for response during the period. Mulvaney recommended statutory changes in his first report to Congress. "The Bureau is far too powerful, with precious little oversight of its activities," said Mulvaney. " . . . [I]’m requesting that Congress make four changes to the law to establish meaningful accountability for the Bureau," he added.
  • FFIEC Publishes Downloadable HMDA LAR Files (4/2/18)
    The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council has published modified Loan Application Registers for all institutions that have completed a 2017 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data submission. Banks can search for their modified LAR file using FFIEC’s online tool.

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March News

  • CFPB Issues Small Entity Compliance Guide for Final Servicing Rule (3/30/18)
    To help bankers comply with the 2016 Mortgage Servicing Rule, the CFPB has updated its small entity compliance guide. The updates include information on the single-statement exemption for periodic statements provided to borrowers in bankruptcy, as well as a coverage chart of mortgage servicing provisions under Regulations X and Z.
  • ABA's Enforcement Actions Database Updated (3/30/18)
    ABA recently updated the enforcement database to include three new enforcement actions issued in March and one in February. Among the violations, banks were cited for violations of the Truth in Lending Act, Bank Secrecy Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, totaling $2,641,750 in civil money penalties and $21,300,000 in consumer restitutions. For more information, contact ABA's Toni Cannady.
  • CFPB Seeks Information on Its Guidance and Implementation Support (3/28/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a request for information seeking feedback on its guidance and implementation support — the tenth in an ongoing series of Requests For Information designed to provide the CFPB with input on how it is fulfilling its statutory obligations and how to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. Comments are due July 2. For more information, or to provide feedback for ABA’s comment letter, contact ABA’s Rob Rowe.
  • ABA Issues Staff Analysis of Court's Ruling on TCPA (3/26/18)
    With a federal appellate court recently striking down some of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) constraints on when and how businesses can contact customers by the phone, ABA on Friday issued a staff analysis summarizing what the decision means for banks. ABA noted in the analysis that the court overturned but did not replace the FCC's interpretations of the definition of "autodialer" or the treatment of reassigned numbers, and that the "ruling provides the FCC with ample room to create new interpretations of the TCPA." The association also pointed out that, in the immediate term, "the court's decision will further the lack of clarity over which dialing equipment constitutes an 'autodialer.'" For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.
  • FCC Formally Proposes Reassigned Numbers Database (3/26/18)
    The FCC officially voted to propose — and last week released draft text of the proposal — establishing a database of phone numbers that have been relinquished by one individual and reassigned to another individual. Under existing case law and the FCC’s TCPA regulations — prior to being struck down by last week's appellate court ruling — a bank or other company is liable for a call made in good faith to a party who has consented to receive the call but whose telephone number has been reassigned to another consumer — unbeknownst to the caller.
  • CFPB Seeks Information on Inherited Regulations and Rulemaking Authorities (3/23/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a request for information seeking feedback on its inherited regulations and inherited rulemaking authorities — the ninth in an ongoing series of RFIs designed to provide the CFPB with input on how it is fulfilling its statutory obligations and how to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. For more information, or to provide feedback for ABA’s comment letter, contact ABA’s Nessa Feddis.
  • FFIEC Updates Examination Modernization Project (3/22/18)
    The members of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) updated its Examination Modernization Project as a follow-up to the review of regulations under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA). To improve the examination process and reduce supervisory burden, FFIEC members plan to focus their initial efforts on reinforcing regulator communication objectives before, during, and after examinations; leveraging technology and shift, as appropriate, examination work from onsite to offsite; continuing to tailor examinations based on risk; and improving electronic file transfer systems to facilitate the secure exchange of information between institutions and supervisory offices or examiners.
  • DoD’s MLA Search Engine Updated (3/22/18)
    The Department of Defense recently updated its MLA search engine to include the ability to search records using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), as well as the latest version of reCAPTCHA 2.0 for security. This update was highly requested by bankers to include servicemember spouses or dependents who are not U.S. citizens. If you are having difficulties accessing the new features, DoD recommends clearing the cache on your browser. If you need further assistance, call the DMDC Technical Support Center at 1-800-477-8227.
  • Bureau Extends Comment Period for RFIs (3/20/18)
    The bureau announced that it is extending the comment periods on the first three Requests for Information (RFIs), which had original comment periods of 60 days. The RFI on Civil Investigative Demand processes has been extended to April 26. The RFI on the Rules of Practice for Adjudication Proceedings has been extended to May 7. The RFI on the Bureau’s enforcement processes has been extended to May 14.
  • Bureau Issues FAQs on Mortgage Servicing (3/20/18)
    The bureau issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to address common questions the bureau has received related to the mortgage servicing final rule. The FAQs are on mortgage servicing provisions addressing certain bankruptcy-related topics.
  • Court Overturns FCC Rules on Autodialing Technology, Reassigned Numbers (3/19/18)
    In a win for ABA and other industry stakeholders, a federal appellate court on Friday set aside some of the Federal Communications Commission’s constraints on when and how businesses can contact customers by phone. The FCC’s expansive interpretations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act had created compliance challenges for banks seeking to contact their customers with important account information. The court ruled mostly in line with the argument made by ABA, the Credit Union National Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in December 2015. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.
  • OCC Reports that Mortgages Remain Largely Unchanged (3/16/18)
    First-lien mortgages' performance remained largely unchanged during the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with a year earlier, according to a the OCC's latest Mortgage Metrics Report. The first-lien mortgages in the report comprise 33 percent of all residential mortgages outstanding in the United States or approximately 18.1 million loans totaling $3.32 trillion in principal balances. The OCC's quarterly report found that 94.5 percent of mortgages included in the report were current and performing at the end of the quarter, compared to 94.7 percent a year earlier. The OCC also found that foreclosure activity has increased from the previous quarter.
  • FDIC Releases 2018 Strategic Goals (3/16/18)
    The FDIC released its annual performance plan, which includes the agency's strategic goals and objectives for 2018. In the next year, the agency outlined specific goals to ensure it protects insured depositors without recourse to taxpayer funding, ensure FDIC-insured banks are safe and sound, protect consumers, ensure banks make community investments, make sure large and complex banks are resolvable in an orderly manner and manage resolutions and receiverships effectively.
  • CFPB Seeks Advisory Council Applications (3/16/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is requesting applications for positions on three advisory panels. The Community Bank Advisory Council, which meets twice per year, is intended to provide the bureau feedback from banks with less than $10 billion in assets. The Consumer Advisory Board includes bankers from banks with more than $10 billion in assets. Applications for the council and board will be open on March 19 and will be accepted until April 23. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.
  • CFPB Seeks Information on Adopted Regulations and New Rulemaking Authorities (3/15/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a request for information seeking feedback on its adopted regulations and new rulemaking authorities — the eighth in an ongoing series of RFIs designed to provide the CFPB with input on how it is fulfilling its statutory obligations and how to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. The public is invited to submit comments on the CFPB’s final rulemakings since 2011, with the exception of its 2015 HMDA rule and 2017 payday lending rule, which the bureau has already announced plans to revisit. For more information or to provide input for ABA's comments, contact ABA's Virginia O’Neill.
  • Bureau Updates Prepaid Small Entity Compliance Guide and Guide to Preparing the Short Form Disclosure for Prepaid Accounts (3/13/18)
    The bureau updated the Prepaid Rule Small Entity Compliance Guide and the Guide to Preparing the Short Form Disclosure for Prepaid Accounts to reflect the 2018 Prepaid Amendments. On January 25, the bureau released amendments to the regulations which were published in the Federal Register on February 13. Those amendments extended the mandatory effective date to April 1, 2019. See ABA's Staff Analysis . For more information, contact ABA's Nessa Feddis.
  • Bureau Issues Final Rule on Mortgage Servicing Rules (3/8/18)
    The bureau issued a final rule related to the timing for servicers sending periodic statements to borrowers in bankruptcy. The rule takes effect on April 19, 2018. The final rule replaces the single-billing-cycle exemption with a single-statement exemption, granting servicers more leeway when making this transition. While ABA acknowledged that the single statement exemption addresses some of the issues created by the CFPB’s 2016 final servicing rules, the association remains concerned that servicers still face a number operational compliance challenges. Contact Rod Alba with questions.
  • Bureau Issues Request for Information on Rulemaking Processes (3/7/18)
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a request for information seeking feedback on rulemaking processes — the seventh in an ongoing series of RFIs designed to provide the CFPB with input on how it is fulfilling its statutory obligations and how to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. The public is invited to submit comments in assessing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the bureau's rulemaking processes and, consistent with law, considering whether any changes to its rulemaking processes would be appropriate.
  • Fed Proposes Changes to Harmonize Reg J, Reg CC (3/7/18)
    The Federal Reserve proposed amendments to harmonize Regulation J — which governs the collection of checks or other items by Federal Reserve banks and funds transfers through Fedwire — with Regulation CC, which implements the Expedited Funds Availability Act. The proposal would align Reg J with recent amendments to Reg CC, which updated the check collection framework to reflect a system that is now largely electronic. It would also clarify that financial messaging standards for Fedwire transfers do not confer or connote legal status or responsibilities with respect to Fedwire funds transfers. Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
  • Bureau Releases 2018 Lists of Rural and Underserved Counties (3/6/18)
    The bureau published the 2018 list of rural and underserved counties, and a separate 2018 list that includes only rural counties. The bureau also updated the rural and underserved areas tool. The lists and the tool help creditors determine whether a property is located in a rural or underserved area for purposes of applying certain regulatory provisions related to mortgage loans.
  • FCC Signals Move toward Reassigned Number Database (3/5/18)
    The Federal Communications Commission announced last week that it would vote at its March 22 meeting on a proposal to establish a database of phone numbers that have been relinquished by one individual and reassigned to another individual. Under the FCC’s existing Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulations, a bank or other company is liable for a call made in good faith to a party who has consented to receive the call but whose telephone number has been reassigned to another consumer – unbeknownst to the caller. In an earlier comment letter, ABA urged the FCC to create a centrally administered database of reassigned numbers. For more information, contact ABA's Jonathan Thessin.
  • Bureau Issues Request For Information on Consumer Complaint Reporting (3/1/18)
    The bureau issued a request for information seeking feedback on consumer complaint reporting — the sixth in an ongoing series of RFIs designed to provide the bureau with input on how it is fulfilling its statutory obligations and how to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. The public is invited to submit comments on the usefulness of complaint reporting and analysis to external stakeholders — including financial institutions and consumers — as well as suggestions or best practices for complaint reporting and publication, given the bureau’s statutory objectives and authorities.

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