It is at this time of year we pause to take a moment, albeit too short, to give thanks for all we have. Over the course of the year we sometimes have a tendency to dwell a little too much on the negatives, our problems, all the things that make life a little more difficult and the challenges we face everyday. However in the grand scheme of things, we still have much to be thankful for, both personally and professionally.
This year as an industry we faced the challenges presented as a result of the new Dodd-Frank rules, coupled with a crippled economy and a weak housing market. If you think back to the beginning of the year it seemed like these presented some almost insurmountable odds which could have had devastating consequences on lenders and consumers alike. But lo and behold, somehow, someway, we survived these challenges and learned how to adjust and do business within the confines of these new laws, despite the doubtful lending climate. It wasn’t easy but we took it all in stride and continued to help qualified consumers realize the American Dream of homeownership. This is what we do and for this we should give thanks. To quote Billy Joel, “…we’re still standing…”
There is also some good news on the horizon. The economy is on the mend, the housing market has stabilized, loan defaults are down, FHA is getting stronger and Fannie and Freddie are still around to buy loans. Banks seem to be doing quite well and the stock market continues to have positive gains. There will always be challenges, but in those challenges lie opportunities. As I have said in the past, and it still holds true, the only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.
Some more good news to be thankful for is that the CFPB recently issued amendments to Dodd-Frank which now allows a lender to cure fee overcharges which would have otherwise rendered a loan as non-QM. This cure can be made for up to 210 days after the loan’s consummation. This is a good thing as lenders can have less worry of exceeding the fee threshold at closing without an opportunity for correction.
In continuing their roll out of the new rules for the integration and reduction of disclosures now required under TILA & RESPA, as authorized under Dodd-Frank, in 2015 we’ll see the use of 2 new disclosures to replace the current GFE, TIL and HUD 1. With loans originated as of August 1 a lender must provide an applicant with the new Loan Estimate within 3 business days of receiving an application and a new Closing Disclosure no less than 3 business days prior to loan consummation. This may not be good news for all but it will create some revenue for the technology providers out there.
Hopefully in the long run it will prove to be better for consumers which in turn will be better for the industry. And that is something to be thankful for. The good news for lenders this time around is that they have until August 1st of 2015 to implement these changes, unlike last year when we got hit with QM & ATR right after the new year. All depends on how you look at it.
In addition our respective trade groups, MBA, NAMB, ABA, etc, are working around the clock on behalf of their respective members with legislators, regulators and CFPB to make things a little better and less confusing. Currently they are working with the CFPB on several revisions to current rules:
- Adjust the timing requirement for providing the new Loan Estimate, required when a consumer locks their rate, from the same day of the lock to 3 business days after the lock date.
- Provide clearer commentary to remove any doubt that a lender may require certain information or documentation from a potential applicant, like date of birth and current address, before accepting the required 6 items which make up a loan application.
- Clarify that a Closing Disclosure may be provided more than 3 business days prior to a closing and that any valid changes thereafter may be made via a revised Closing Disclosure.
- Resolve conflict with state law regarding disclosure of the owner’s and lender’s title to alleviate the need for additional disclosures to address state requirements, or preempt such state law.
- Clarify the CFPB position on the proper disclosure of Lender Paid Closing costs on the Loan Estimate form.
- Establish a quicker, better way for the CFPB to provide lenders authoritative guidance in addition to its rule making process.
For these, and all the hard work the dedicated individuals at these agencies do, we should be very thankful.
And there are other more important things for which we also should be thankful. Things like:
- A loyal pet (if you got one)
- Living in the greatest country in the world
- Doing what we do for a living and continuing to help people realize their dreams
Don’t ever forget how lucky and blessed you are and all the good things you have and can do for others!
Reprinted from ComplianceLogics Newsletter – www.bit.ly/CL_11-24-14