Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Mortgage Insurance Written Increase 2.7% in December

New Mortgage Insurance Written Increases 2.7% in December

The members of the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America had their third best month of 2012 in terms of new insurance written during December, finishing the month with volume of $10.7 billion, up from $10.4 billion in November and $5.8 billion for December 2011.

MICA data include HARP refinancings. Only three of the five active underwriters belong to the group- MGIC, Radian and Genworth. United Guaranty and Essent are not members, nor is National MI, which recently received approval from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and should start underwriting policies in the second quarter of this year.

Primary insurance-in-force continued to grow, to $400.7 billion from $400.46 billion in November. But the insurance-in-force or cure/default data includes any information from Triad, PMI or RMIC.

There were 20,048 new cures and 24, 585 new notices of default received during December, for a ratio of 81.5%. November's ratio was 84.3%, while in December 2011, the ratio was 70.9%.

The fact that new mortgage insurance written is continuing to increase is another example that the mortgage industry is seeing the bright spot in the dark times that we as an industry has been dealing with.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Six Reasons Why This Winter is a Great Time to Sell

Six Reason Why This Winter is a Great time to Sell

Forget the myth that winter is a bad time to sell real estate. While sales usually inch lower in the cooler months, some real estate pros are saying this winter in particular may be a great time to sell a home. Want to know why? Well here it goes.

  1. Mortgage rates are near record-breaking lows. Even though this has been true for the past few months. A new year means new goals for many people- one including following the American Dream and purchasing a home. making selling your home a little bit easier with demand.
  2. Home prices are starting to rebound in many markets across the country. The National Association of REALTORS reported that home prices in December were 11.5 percent higher than a year earlier. That's phenomenal considering what the economy has been experiencing.
  3. Homes still remain a good deal: Prices are rising but remain mostly below 2007 highs, and in many areas, the cost of buying is cheaper than renting. Another bonus for sellers.
  4. Distressed homes that typically sell at big discounts- up to 20% off- are still widely available. Short sales and foreclosures accounted for 22 percent of all existing home sales in November. 
  5. Household demographic changes: Many buyers use to want to wait until the end of a school year before moving, but households are changing and moving schedules are less tied to school terms. That's because households with children are making up a smaller part of the mix nowadays. According to William Frey with the Brookings Institution, 80 percent of all households in the U.S. do not include children, has declined.
  6. Household formation is growing. "Many people who ran into rough economic times several years a ago are again looking at real estate ownership," says Wendy Forsythe, executive vice president with Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate. "Enough time has passed so that many of these individuals have re-built credit, built up their savings and now qualify for FHA, VA and conventional financing."

Source: "Does Real Estate Really Sell in the Winter?" Reuters (Jan. 22, 2103)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

IDS Interface: BytePro

IDS Interface: BytePro
idsDoc is seamlessly integrated with BytePro Loans System through a speed-optimized Mismo interface. With core data transfers the interface gets lenders from loan files to a complete set of compliant initial disclosures and closing documents in a matter of seconds. 

Interface>> Closing Docs>> idsDoc Web>> Launch

The combined knowledge of a leading provider of mortgage lending software and a cutting-edge mortgage document preparation provider, IDS and Byte Software give the power of loan origination and document preparation to lender professionals in a well supported and maintained interface. 

To learn more about the interfaces we offer visit

Monday, January 28, 2013

What To Buy Feature From MSN Money

I came upon an infographic from MSN Money today on Twitter and I just had to share. It is the perfect guide on what to buy now!
If you really want to save money, you need to plan ahead instead of shopping for products just when demand is highest. Here is a month-by-month guide for finding bargains.

Bedding, carpeting, CDs, cookware, computers, DVDs, homes, linens, swimwear, televisions, toys, treadmills, and ellipticals, winter clothing.

Homes, humidifiers, indoor furniture, treadmills and ellipticals.

Digital cameras, humidifiers, small consumer electronics, televisions, winter coats, and winter sports gear.

Computers, digital cameras, lawn mowers and spring clothing.

Athletic apparel and shoes, camping and outdoor gear, carpeting, cordless phones, lawn mowers and small consumer electronics.

Camcorders, carpeting, computers, indoor furniture, small consumer electronics, summer sports gear and swimwear.

Camcorders, indoor and outdoor furniture and swimwear.

Air conditioners, backpacks, dehumidifiers, lawn mowers, outdoor furniture and snow blowers.

Bikes, digital cameras, gas grills, lawn mowers, outdoor plants, small consumer electronics and snow blowers.

Bikes, computers, digital cameras, gas grills, lawn mowers and winter coats.

Baby products, bikes, camcorders, gas grills, GPS navigators, televisions, tools and toys (during and after Black Friday sales).

Bikes, camcorders, gas grills, GPS navigators, holiday decorations (after Dec. 25th), home appliances, small consumer electronics, televisions, tools and toys.

Friday, January 25, 2013

IDS Provides E-Signature Audit Support for IRS 4506-T

IDS Provides E-Signature Audit Support for IRS 4506-T 

IDS has added fulfillment audit services to its e-signature platform to meet Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit requirements for all electronically signed 4506-T forms. The IRS began accepting electronic signatures on the form on Jan. 7.

To read the full release click here

Thursday, January 24, 2013

IDS Interface: Calyx Point

IDS Interface: Calyx Point

The idsDoc and Calyx Point systems have a seamless interface with complete data transfer and many document controls from the LOS side. This works by selecting IDS Closing Documents or Initial Disclosures from within Point using the following menus:

Interfaces >> Closing Documents >> idsDoc Web>> Launch

As a member of the Calyx Network, IDS maintains constant monitoring of the Point program to ensure a seamless, up-to-date and effortless experience. As a result of the interface design, it is possible to map custom fields, view the IDS audit report, make changes using the vendor specific data page, and view the documents without leaving Point. The 1003 fields are also transferred, so the loan application can be included in your closing doc package. Ultimately, Point users gain an outstanding mortgage document connection with no additional add-ons, plug-ins, or website interface. 

For more information please visit

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2013: The Year of Implementation

Looking back over the events of this year, it would be fair to characterize 2013 as "The Year of False Alarm." Around this time last year, we were anticipating major changes from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and in what some might call the eleventh hour, those changes were put on hold.

If there is a silver lining to be found in all of this turmoil, it is that the regulatory environment in early 2013 should resemble, for the most part, what we anticipated the last half of 2012 to be. The CFPB's Nov. 16 temporary exemption has delayed implementation of a host of disclosure changes until the Bureau issues its final rule on changes to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Truth In Lending Act (TILA) dislcosure. Those changes include:

  • Appraisal management fee optional disclosure;
  • Negative amortization feature warning;
  • State and anti-deficiency protection disclosure;
  • Partial payment acceptance policy disclosure;
  • Mandatory escrow account disclosure;
  • Waiver of escrow account disclosure;
  • Monthly payment disclosure for a variable rate loan with an escrow account;
  • Repayment analysis disclosure of monthly payment (with escrow payment);
  • Settlement charges disclosure;
  • Mortgage originator fees disclosure;
  • Wholesale rate disclosure; and
  • Total interest as a percetage of principal disclosure.
Give this list, one might assume that 2013 would be "The Year of the Disclosure." In her remarks to the SourceMedia Mortgage Technology Conference in Miami in late November, CFPB Senior Policy Analyst Ren Essene dubbed 2013 "The Year of Implementation," and her assessment, in my opinion, is much more accurate. 

In addition to the implementation of the new RESPA/TILA disclosure and the dozen other changes covered by the CFPB extension, there are numerous regulatory changes we can anticipate in 2012, including:
  • A change in the definition of finance charge 1026.4 (aka APR), which is still in the comment phase;
  • The Qualified Residential Mortgage rule, which most likely won't be addressed until the Qualified Mortgage Rule is finalized;
  • Bank reserve increases under Basel II, which has already had an impact in the form of big banks exiting the wholesale channel;
  • Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac g-fee increases in certain states where foreclosures take longer and cost more;
  • Loan originator compensation changes, the result of which will most likely be yet another form in the loan package to demonstrate that the borrower was offered a no-fee no-point loan; and 
  •  HMDA data collection changes which we'll know more about in April 2013.
All of these regulations will require some sort of internal change, whether it be in the form of a field change in the loan origination system or adding a policy or procedure to internal checklists. As is usually the case, there will most likely be additional disclosures added to the document package as well for no other reason than to prove to regulators that the borrower was made aware of the change. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

2013 Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Final Rules

The CFPB is amending Regulation X, which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, and implementing a commentary that sets forth an official interpretation to the regulations. The CFPB is also amending Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act and the official interpretation to the regulation, which interprets the requirements of Regulation Z. These final rules implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act regarding mortgage loan servicing.

Specifically, the Regulation X final rule implements Dodd-Frank Act sections addressing servicers' obligations to correct errors asserted by mortgage loan borrowers; to provide certain information requested by such borrowers; and to provide protections to such borrowers in connection with force-placed insurance. Additionally, this final rule addresses servicers' obligations to establish reasonable policies and procedures to achieve certain delineated objectives; to provide information about mortgage loss mitigation options to delinquent borrowers; to establish policies and procedures for providing delinquent borrowers with continuity of contact with servicer personnel capable  of performing certain functions; and to evaluate borrowers' applications for available loss mitigation options. Further, this final rule modifies and streamlines certain existing servicing-related provisions of Regulation X.

The Regulation Z final rule implements Dodd-Frank Act sections addressing initial rate adjustment notices for adjustable-rate mortgages, periodic statements for residential mortgage loans, prompt crediting of mortgage payments, and responses to requests for payoff amounts. This final rule also amends current rules governing the scope, timing, content, and format of disclosures to consumers regarding the interest rate adjustments of their variable-rate transactions. 

For more specifics please visit

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Little Fact

Obama's 2nd inauguration is also the 2nd time it has fallen on the MLK holiday. The first was Clinton's 2nd inauguration. 

Happy Martin Luther King Day

"I Have a Dream"

Martin Luther King Day is a United States federal holiday making the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15. The floating holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, though the act predated the establishment of Martin Luther King Day by 15 years.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

No matter where you will be today remember to celebrate the freedom of this country and the dream that Martin Luther King made possible for so many Americans today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

IDS will be at the New England Mortgage Expo Friday January 18th from 8:00-3:00 pm. Make sure to stop by booth #510 and say hi to Matthew Mackey and learn more about what IDS has to offer!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

IDS Interface Feature: PCLender

PCLender Interface

For PCLender users, drawing closing documents and initial disclosures is easy. idsDoc is connected using PCLender's InHouse Mortgage system. From inside click the following path:

Interfaces > Closing Documents > Vendors > IDS

Users will then have an IHM connection established and the ability to get right to the response web page in PCLender. At this point you can make sure that all the necessary data is entered before doing the transfer keeping PCLender as the main database of record. Of course you have all the functionality of the idsDoc system including; full process compliance measures, high cost checks, federal, state, local and company specific audits. Complete document modifications, data-entry shortcuts, reporting, administration settings, and much more.

Monday, January 14, 2013

General Criteria for QM Loans

General Criteria for Qualified Mortgage Loans

  • The loan must provide for regular periodic payments, with no interest-only, negative amortization, or balloon payment features.
  • The loan term may not exceed 30 years.
  • The consumer's debt-to-income ratio may not exceed 43 percent, with the calculation of the ratio being tied to specific criteria under the rule that are based on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) guidelines. The creditor must consider and verify the income or assets and debt, alimony, and child support obligations of the consumer.
  • The lenders must underwrite the loan based on the maximum interest rate that may apply during the five-year period after the first regular periodic payment is due, and based on a periodic payment of principal and interest. These payments must cover either the principal balance over the term remaining after the date when the rate adjusts to the maximum rate that may apply during this period, or the loan amount over the entire loan term.
  • The points and fees may not exceed 3 percent of the loan amount, although there is an exclusion for certain bona fide discount points. Compensation paid to both employee loan originators and mortgage brokers directly or indirectly by a consumer or creditor that is attributable to the transaction is included in the 3 percent amount, as are any third-party charges to the extent retained by the creditor, a loan originator, or affiliate of either.

Remember that you can visit the CFPB website for details on the regulation changes, what is going on and other helpful information.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

CFPB Announces New Mortgage Rule to Ensure Borrowers Can Repay Loans

The CFPB introduced its new Ability-to-Repay rule that charges lenders to make sure borrowers have the means to repay their loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau introduced new mortgage lending rules in its continuing efforts to reform the mortgage market after the 2008 financial collapse. The rule will require that lenders make certain that prospective mortgage buyers can actually repay the mortgage. The rule will also protect borrowers from risky lending practices that the bureau says contributed to many foreclosures after the 2008 housing crisis such as "no doc" and "interest only" features.

The new rule, called the Ability-to-Repay rule by the bureau, is aimed at improving the low underwriting standards that led to homeowners taking on mortgages that they couldn't afford. The Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act changed standards that set how creditors can make loans and included requirements to ensure that borrowers could repay, according to a statement released today by the CFPB.

"When consumers sit down at the closing table, they shouldn't be set up to fail with mortgages they can't afford," said the CFPB's Director, in a statement, Richard Cordray. "Our Ability-to Repay rule protects borrowers from the kinds of risky lending practices that resulted in so many families losing their homes. This common-sense rule ensures responsible borrowers get responsible loans."

Under the new rule, according to the bureau's statement, all new mortgages will have to meet basic requirements set by the CFPB to ensure the borrower can repay the loan. Lenders will have to verify a borrower's financial information and document the borrower's employment status, financial assets, current debts, credit history, monthly payments on the mortgage, monthly payments on any other mortgage on the same property and monthly payments for any mortgage-related obligations. The bureau says this will prevent lenders from offering "no doc" loans that don't require this kind of documentation, which lenders offered before the housing crisis and then sold to investors.

Lenders will also no longer be able to do their evaluation of a consumer's ability to repay the loan based on the mortgage's teaser rate, the bureau said. The lender will have to evaluate the borrower's ability to repay the loan based on the long term provisions of the mortgage, not on the introductory rate.

Lenders who issue "qualified mortgages" will be presume to be in compliance with the Ability-to-Repay Rule the statement said. The CFPB said that a "qualified mortgage" must have no excess or upfront fees or points such as those used to compensate loan officers and brokers; they must have no toxic loan features such as terms that exceed 30 years, interest-only payments or negative-amortization payments; and they must cap how much of the borrower's income can go towards debt.

The CFPB said in the statement that if the rule is adopted it will go into effect in January 2014.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

From American Banker: Dodd-Frank Remains

Dodd-Frank Remains a Troubled Work in Progress

It has been more than five years since the financial crisis began and more than two years since the passage of the legislative response, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The nature and magnitude of the effects of the largest piece of financial legislation in generations will become clearer as regulators exercise the broad discretion given them under the act. Regulators' efforts at implementation are far from complete, with many of the rules still unwritten and others not yet in effect. Regardless of how the rules are written, the act will certainly have far-reaching effects on the financial system and our economy.

To read the entire article click here

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

CFPB Raises Exemption Threshold for Disclosure Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it has finalized a rule adjusting the asset-size exemption threshold for banks, savings associations, and credit unions under Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Based on the adjustments, institutions with assets of $42 million or less (as of the end of 2012) are exempt from collecting HMDA data in 2013. That exemption does not apply to data institutions are supposed to report for 2012.

The adjustment is based on the 2.23 percent increase in the average of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in November 2012, according to the CFPB. The previous exemption threshold was $41 million.

HMDA and the CFPB's Regulation C requires most mortgage lenders located in metro areas to collect, report, and disclose data about applications and originations for purchase loans, home improvement loans, and refinances. Data reported include the type, purpose, and amount of the loan; the race, ethnicity, sex and income of the loan applicant; the location of the property; and loan pricing information for some loans. The collected data are used to determine if lenders are serving the need of their communities and to assist in identifying discriminatory practices.

CFPB Changes & You- Timeline of Regulations

Featured IDS Interface: Encompass360

Featured IDS Interface: Encompass360

Today we are featuring one of the many interfaces that IDS has to offer within the idsDoc system.

Encompass360: Existing idsDoc web users are pleased with the Encompass interface. Once you transfer the data to idsDoc, you are ready to order documents and take advantage of the many time-saving options and tools available in the idsDoc system. Accessing IDS is easily done from within Encompass. Simply access the Doc Preparation ePASS providers list by going to:

Services > Doc Preparation > IDS, Inc.

The interface sends all necessary loan data, preventing data redundancy, yet enables you to get the document functionality of a comprehensive document system. For example, the interface provides extensive high-cost/predatory lending, RESPA and other compliance audits. In addition, use the flexible document modification tools or import the 1003 to be included in the doc set.

You can save time and gain options with IDS.

Monday, January 7, 2013

January- National Get Organized Month!

New Year, New You, Get Organized!

January is a time for new beginnings and setting personal goals. January is also designated as National Get Organized Month, (we had no idea). Getting organized can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task for many. The list of things to be organized seems so reasonable in the beginning, but can quickly become longer and more overwhelming as time goes on. There are ways to prevent feeling so overwhelmed in the organization process. 

Like many things in life there's a process to organizing and you need to sit down and start somewhere. So in order to help you not get so overwhelmed is are a few tips to get you going and on your way to organization.

Tip 1: Tackle Clutter: Clutter around the home only adds to your stress. Your home should be a place you can relax, feel comfortable and enjoy spending time in. Set aside time to organize and de-clutter! 

Tip 2: There's Just Too Much to Tackle: Come up with a plan and timeline for taking it one step at a time. Examine the room you want to organize and visually break it into small areas that you can tackle in increments. Set achievable deadlines to give yourself a goal to work toward. Make a list of what stays and what could go to reduce the amount of stuff in the room. 

Tip 3: You Can't Get Rid of Things- They Belonged to a Loved One or I Might Need Them in the Future: Keep only things that really matter to you, that you use and that you have room for.

Tip 4: Do Your Best: Get started, do the best that you can in the time you have, and accept that everything might not be perfect. Com up with an organizational plan that works for now, knowing that you can tweak the plan later. The important thing is about getting started! Begin with a small, manageable project, such as a sock drawer.

Tip 5: Make Time for Organization: Many of us believe that time is not on our side and that we are too busy to organize. Just focus on knowing how to find time to commit to organization. Play beat the clock and schedule 15 to 30 minutes of daily catch-up time and see how many organizational task you can complete. Knowing that an end in sight will make it easier for you to get going.

Tip 6: Good Looks: No matter how hard you try, you just can't get rid of clutter around your house. Well guess what? You can't hide all clutter, but you can contain it. Look at where it collects and set up attractive ways to deal with it. For example place a large bowl on the kitchen counter to collect keys. Leave a big basket by the doors for shoes and look for fun patterned files for bills and other paper goods. 

These tips should help all of us get through National Get Organized Month with an A! Hopefully we can make our home less cluttered and more organized making it an even better place to go and call home.

American Consumers Anticipate Rising Home Prices

American Consumers Anticipate Rising Home Prices

Last month, consumer confidence rose in terms of the housing marketing outlook, consisting of an optimistic opinion on the future of home prices, rental prices, and mortgage rate predictions, according to data from the Fannie Mae December National Housing Survey. With this rise in homeowner and borrower confidence amidst positive indicators for 2013, a surge in home purchases could be seen within early 2013; although, despite this confidence regarding the housing sector, may consumers still hold many reservations about the economy and personal finances in general after November optimism was disrupted temporarily by the fiscal cliff talks.

According to Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of the government sponsored enterprise (GSE) Fannie Mae, the majority of consumers within the survey anticipate rising home prices for the next twelve months, a viewpoint which aligns with Fannie Mae expectations regarding increasing rental prices and mortgage rates, consumers may be more willing to purchase a home rather than wait to see how the current market trends will play out, further stimulating the housing recovery. Duncan continued that, although the housing market has grown more stable, consumers have lost a degree of confidence over the fiscal cliff discussions of late December and the upcoming debt ceiling issue, which have contributed to a view of the economy as a whole as increasingly volatile. Consequently, consumer uncertainty has grown in areas outside of housing, primarily with respect to national economic growth and personal financing. 

The aforementioned Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, the most thorough survey for consumer attitudes, polled 1,002 Americans through telephone interview to determine their opinions and outlook in terms of home purchase, rental, mortgage rates, hardship for homeowners, the overall economy, personal financing and confidence levels. Homeowners and renters were posed 100 questions used to assess any shifts in sentiment from the previous survey which was conducted in June 2010. Fannie Mae utilizes this survey in order to provide industry affiliates with valuable information in an effort to stabilize the housing market and provide better support as a government enterprise.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mortgage Industry Fares Well in Fiscal Cliff Deal

Mortgage industry fares well in fiscal cliff deal, debt forgiveness law survives

The mortgage industry can breath a sigh of relief with the final fiscal cliff deal bringing back a popular tax break on mortgage insurance premiums and debt forgiveness for borrowers who go through short-sale or some other type of debt reduction.

A topic that is still up for discussion and likely to surface later in the year is whether the popular mortgage interest tax deduction will be part of a long-term deficit reduction plan.

Still, the deal passed by the Senate and House on Jan. 1 is one that leaves room for hope in the housing market.

The American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 apparently extends a law that expired at the end of 2011, which allowed for the deductibility of mortgage insurance premiums, according to a research report from Isaac Boltansky with Compass Point Research & Trading. The law now applies to fiscal years of 2012 and 2013.

"The law dictates that eligible borrowers who itemize their federal tax returns and have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $100,000 per year can deduct 100% of their annual mortgage insurance premiums," Compass Point said.

"Certain borrowers with AGIs about $100,000 may benefit from the deductibility as well but are subject to a sliding scale. The tax break covers private mortgage insurance as well as mortgage insurance provided by the FHA, the VA and the Rural Housing Service. In 2009, about 3.6 million taxpayers claimed the mortgage insurance deduction," the research firm added.

One of the more watched provisions of the fiscal cliff was the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which was set to expire on Dec. 31.

The fiscal cliff deal extends it for another year, meaning homeowners who experience a debt reduction through mortgage principal forgiveness or a short sale are exempt from being taxed on the forgive amount.

"The amount extends up to $2 million of debt forgiven on the homeowners's principal residence," Compass Point Research & Trading said. "For homeowners to qualify, their debt must have been used to 'buy, build, or substantially improve' their principal residence and be secured by that residence. The law, which was passed in 2007 with a 5-year sunset provision, will now be in effect until Jan. 1 2014.

Another minor win for housing is a provision tied to the government's plan to increase the capital gains tax rate from 15% to 20% for individuals who earn more than $400,000. While in theory, this is harder on higher-income homeowners, Compass Point sees a silver lining through an exclusion.

Compass Point notes the law "states that only gains of more than $250,000 from the sale of the property. Since this exclusion threshold remained intact, the impact of the capital gains tax increase is limited."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it has finalized a rule adjusting the asset-size exemption threshold for banks, savings associations, and credit unions under Regulation C, which implements the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Based on the adjustments, institutions with assets of $42 million or less (as of the end of 2012) are exempt from collecting HMDA data in 2013. That exemption does not apply to data institutions are supposed to report for 2012.

The adjustment is based on the 2.23 percent increase in the average of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in November 2012, according to the CFPB. The previous exemption threshold was $41 million.

HMDA and the CFPB's Regulation C requires most mortgage lenders located in metro areas to collect, report, and disclose data about applications and originations for purchase loans, home improvement loans, and refinances. Data reported include the type, purpose, and amount of the loan; the race, ethnicity, sex and income of the loan applicant; the location of the property; and loan pricing information for some loans. The collected data are used to determine if lenders are serving the need of their communities and to assist in identifying discriminatory practices.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

MBA Advocacy Update: Major Policy Challenges in 2013

MBA Advocacy Update: Major Policy Challenges in 2013

To quote MBA Chairman Debra Still, CMB, 2013 will be The Year of Regulatory Implementation. A number of key Dodd-Frank rule makings, totaling thousands of pages, will be finalized this year.

For starters, seven final rules will be released by January 21, including:

  1. Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule;
  2. Home Ownership & Equity Protection Act/High-Cost Mortgage Rule;
  3. Loan officer Compensation Rule;
  4. Servicing Standards Rule;
  5. Escrow Rule;
  6. Equal Opportunity Act Appraisal Rule; and 
  7. Appraisals for High-Risk Mortgage Rule.
Several other final or proposed rules are expected later in 2013, including:
  1. Risk Retention/Qualified Residential Mortgage Rule;
  2. Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act/Truth In Lending Act Disclosure Integration Rule;
  3. HUD Disparate Impact Rule;
  4. Loan Origination Compensation and Qualifications Rule;
  5. Anti-Steering Rule;
  6. Basel III Capital Standards; and
  7. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Rule.
Notably, the list above does not include expected initiatives from the Federal Housing Finance Agency; the government-sponsored enterprises; and FHA. These entities are all expected to be active in 2013, with FHFA moving to implement aspects of its strategic plan; FHA seeking to protect the insurance fund for its single-family programs; and the GSEs proposing their own operational and policy changes. Cumulatively  all of these changes present extraordinary challenges for the mortgage industry.

To help our industry navigate the demands of multiple policy imperatives, MBA has called for creation of a temporary Special Advisor on Housing Policy Coordination as part of the White House team. The goal is for this new role to help ensure coordination and communication among the different regulators and policymakers as these various policy efforts proceed. If the industry is to function effectively in meeting the needs of consumers, it is critical that there be a rational and systemic approach to implementing major policy changes.